Cantor Marian Turk, Temple Beth El, Richmond, VA
“I had been a fan of Ellen Allard’s music for years, and then, thanks to a grant I received for my religious school, I had the opportunity to bring Ellen to my congregation. Everyone is very, very glad I did so. Ellen came in and was immediately able to establish a connection with each group of our students she worked with. I found the way she was able to get our kids engaged and enthusiastic about singing with her inspiring. The sessions she did with each group of our kids was tailored to their age level perfectly, and she told wonderful stories about the songs she sang with our kids, further drawing them in. As one group of kids left the workshop Ellen had done with them, I heard them sing the song she’d just taught them as they walked down the hallway back to their classroom. What a wonderful testament to Ellen’s skill at engaging kids. The morning ended with a concert in which Ellen involved everyone–the students she’d worked with, our teachers, and even the parents who had come to see the concert. If you are looking for a skilled musician, teacher, and performer to uplift and inspire your school or congregation through song, do yourself a favor and bring Ellen in. You’ll be glad you did!”

Nina King-Madlem, Director Of Religious School, Temple Beth El, Tacoma, WA
“Dear Ellen…Just a note of gratitude for your amazing contribution to our Teacher Recognition Shabbat! I deeply appreciate your willingness to share your own Jewish journey with all of us – I know your comments were meaningful to a few in particular who are finding their way as adults. Thank you for sharing your light and helping us sing out in joy – we need the help sometimes. Thanks again.”

Heidi Cooper, Director of Early Childhood Education, Temple Sholom of Chicago
“Ellen Allard performed and engaged with our Early Childhood Program at Gan Shalom and our Religious School at Temple Sholom, in Chicago. Ellen was amazing and brought such excitement during her concert!  She interacted with children and adults of all ages as she rallied the whole crowd in song! She is an inspirational and dynamic performer!  Children were singing and dancing through the halls of our school! Ellen brings a Jewish spiritual spin to music which is unique in her teachings both to children and to staff! Every Early Childhood program must have an opportunity to experience her talent!”

Marcia Nahmias Yellin, Jewish Music Early Childhood Educator
“Ellen Allard you are the best there is as an educator and a musician for all types of people, little and big! You are in my life every day with your music. Even yesterday, my daughter-in-law sent me a photo of your ” Build it Up” CD that she found in my granddaughter’s folder from preschool! Keep spreading your light on all of us! I’m so grateful to know you.

Carol Chesler, Cantor, Jewish Music Educator
“I am a huge fan of Ellen Allard on so many levels. 1st, her music for young people is simply the best — easy to learn, easy to sing, engaging, age and developmentally appropriate, creative, fun, and more than anything, kids love it. I use many of her songs with seniors, too, and they love it as well. 2nd, I have participated in Ellen’s workshops for educators, and she is simply the best at pedagogy. She knows how kids respond, how they develop, and what makes them come alive — and that’s what goes into her teaching and her music. Finally, I have profound appreciation for how she teaches basic Jewish concepts to the youngest people, how she makes holiday rituals engaging, how she makes Shabbat a holy observance. Thank you, Ellen. I am so grateful for all the joy and creativity you have helped me share with young children, big children, and even the older population with whom I work.”

Jennifer Antebi, Pianist, Vocalist, Cantorial Soloist, Jewish Music Educator
“Simply put, you are my inspiration. Your songs, your personality, the way you interact magically with children, and your vast knowledge about Judaism captured and enraptured my every moment at SLBC. To have more time to learn from you would be a dream come true! You are a phenomenal singer, songwriter, and musical story teller. Most important, you are a role model: a person to whom many aspire. You are “that” singer/songwriter who has and will continue to bring Jewish music to a higher spiritual level.​”

Penny White, Asheville, NC JCC Music Teacher
“Thank you, Ellen! I am so honored and grateful for your support. I have learned so much from you about being an effective songleader, and your amazing songs have inspired and educated untold numbers of teachers, children, and families in Asheville and around the globe. Thanks to you, we know the sounds of the shofar, to stand up for trees, to be grateful for every brand new day, what to say back when someone says ‘Boker Tov’, that our fingers are etzbaot, and how we can build a better world. And that’s just for starters!”

Cantor Amy Zussman, Temple Jeremiah
“Temple Jeremiah hosted Ellen Allard a few years ago. We provided her with an 80 voice children’s choir and she gave us a memory of a life time! Her energy, her teaching, her spirit and her wonderful music had an impact on not only the children’s choir but on the audience as well. Don’t miss the opportunity to bring the magic of Ellen Allard to your congregation. After 28 years as the cantor at Temple Jeremiah I can honestly say that the Allard experience was a highlight for me, for my children’s choir, and for the Chicago community.”

Reine Shiffman, Volunteer Coordinator, Mt. Zion Temple, St. Paul, MN, November 2015
“Dear Jen (Reine wrote this letter to the cantor at Mount Zion Temple),

I hope that by now you’ve caught your breath (to some degree at least) and have reintroduced yourself to your family. What a weekend! Could you imagine beforehand that Ellen would be able to get every member attending Friday’s service to waltz in the aisles to L’cha Dodi? From my back row seat, I could see couples delighting in the closeness, friends enjoying the company of each other, and even others, more bashful (like me), swaying against the wall. In fact, all the music was both fun and meaningful; the combined choirs were magnificent and responded perfectly to what Ellen asked of them. And although the full house wasn’t there just to see Ellen, I don’t think anyone went away without being touched spiritually as a result of her presence.

While I know the attendees on Saturday night had a blast, for me, personally, it was a wonderful educational opportunity. Watching how Ellen was able to get a group of children under the age of five to respond with so much enthusiasm was like being in the mind of an artist painting a picture. I noted the various techniques that any song-leader should know. She created an appropriate song set but read the group and changed course as necessary, she reminded the parents that their children would model them if they participated, too. She could wind them up and and just as easily calm them down. (I loved that she ended by teaching the parents a nighttime Sh’ma.)

Although I didn’t spend much time with you on Sunday, I was fortunate to watch the choir rehearsals. When one of the teens said, “Can we keep you?”, I knew she had connected. By the way, she mentioned privately to me on several occasions that our teen choir was perhaps the best she has heard. Listening to them sing Ellen’s liturgical songs was one of the most moving experiences I have had in the sanctuary.

And her management of the younger choir on Sunday was equally as remarkable. The way in which she was able to get the student literally bouncing of the stairs to a state of calm was remarkable. It would never had occurred to me that one way to quickly reduce uncontrollable energy amongst many young children would be to play yoga music.

Finally, although understandable I’m sorry you weren’t able to join us on Saturday night for dinner. It was a great group that allowed for fun as well as meaningful discussion. During the course of the meal, Cantor Reuben and Ellen broke into Noah Aronson’s “Let There Be Love.” The next day I downloaded the sheet music and have been playing it since then.”

Cantor Beth Schlossberg, Congregation Kol Ami, Tampa, FL, Sept 2015
“Talented, energetic, quirky, and beautiful are only a few of the adjectives which describe Ellen. Her strength of spirit and natural ability to draw out the best in everyone is what makes her such a wonderful performer and teacher. Whether they be child, adult, or somewhere in between, Ellen is able to get them up, moving, and having the time of their lives! The Jewish world is blessed to have her in its ranks!”

Bernie Rotman, Worcester, MA Torathon Director, Nov 2015
“Ellen,  I can’t begin to tell you how positive the reaction has been to the concert. “Outstanding” “fantastic” ” amazing.”  We blew everyone’s expectations “way out of the water.” It was not only a wonderful tribute to Debbie’s memory, but it was also a great demonstration of community spirit and joy which to date has unfortunately been in short supply. It was also a great way to kick off Torathon, setting a wonderful tone for the classes to follow. All that being said,  we owe you, as the organizer, and all your wonderfully talented friends, a big “yashar Koach” and “todah rabah”.  I wish I could hug each and every one of you. You have given our Jewish community something special and enduring for which we are very, very, grateful. Hopefully we can collaborate again in the not too distant future. Everyone would love that.”

Cantor Beth Schlossberg, Congregation Kol Ami, Tampa, FL, Sept 2015
“Talented, energetic, quirky, and beautiful are only a few of the adjectives which describe Ellen. Her strength of spirit and natural ability to draw out the best in everyone is what makes her such a wonderful performer and teacher. Whether they be child, adult, or somewhere in between, Ellen is able to get them up, moving, and having the time of their lives! The Jewish world is blessed to have her in its ranks!”

Cantor Jennifer Strauss-Klein, Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul, MN, Nov 2015
“I just wanted to thank you again for an absolutely fabulous weekend! I’ve been getting amazing feedback ever since you arrived, and I expect that to continue for a long time! I have to echo one of our youngest choir members when he said, “That was the best service ever!” You bring enthusiasm, your amazing charisma, and an obvious love for children, learning, Judaism, and music to everything you do. We are the most lucky recipients, and boy, do we feel blessed! We are all so grateful for you sharing your gifts with us. Thank you again, and much love, Jen”

Rosalie Reszelbach, Mishkan Tefilah, Chestnut Hill, MA
“Thank you so much for helping to make our Sisterhood retreat such a success. Your music and spirit were wonderful in engaging all the women to sing and dance and participate in our soul and spirit afternoon. Thank you from all our committee members.”

Marci Galinkin, Director, Community Coalition for Jewish Education, Albany, NY, January 2015
“Ellen lights up any room when she walks in! Whether it be teachers, adults, or preschoolers, everyone glowed by the end of her time with the group. Ellen managed to engage 50 Early Childhood Educators after a full day of work, having them up, singing and moving. Our directors were amazed that some even unfolded their arms and smiled, let alone sang and danced along. 250-plus young children danced, sang, swayed and moved for over an hour non-stop when Ellen performed. There was electricity in the room, both from the children as well as their parents, grandparents, and teachers. It was nonstop electrical energy in the room. Weeks later, people are still talking. Ellen set the bar so high, it is going to be hard to meet, let alone surpass her next time we have a community event.”

Tina Stone, Early Childhood Music Specialist
“Bravo! Kudos! Sensational!!! But we expected no less from you. Thanks for a wonderful, inspirational Keynote and breakout yesterday. Teachers who attended approached both Diana and me during the day and said how much they learned in just this one day. A gal who resigned a teaching job to direct a newly opened center stopped me to say how much more confident she felt about developing her newly hired staff now that she herself had learned how to identify/quantify skills learned thru music. YOU ROCKED IT!!!”

Cantor Mark Britowich, Temple Judea, Tarzana, CA, Spring 2015
“In a few sessions with Ellen, my ability to create a meaningful music class for our youngest students, ages 2 through 4, has soared. I discovered with Ellen’s help, skills I did not know I had, a comfort working with these children that increases each week, and with the joy of incorporating her material into the program, the children look forward all week to our class together. Ellen is truly a gift to our community and to these young children!”

Barbara Loesser, Community Engagement Director, Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, February 2015
“You were phenomenal at Yom Limmud. The teachers loved the workshop, and the families loved the concert. Thank you for inspiring our teachers and engaging our young families!”

Hilary Yohlin Waller, Director of Synagogue Programming and Youth Activities, February 2015
“On behalf of the department of Life Long Learning at TBI, I thank you so much for sharing your music and creativity with our K-2 students this weekend. Our students and families were energized by your contagious enthusiasm. As educators, our hearts were warmed by the sight of our children and their families equally engaged.”

Chris Vaughan, Music Teacher, California
“Ellen, I am absolutely loving the new album! I listened to the whole thing today and “With My Lips” brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for dedicating yourself so fully to your craft and inspiring those around you to dive head first into the work.”

Linda Sue Sohn, Cantor, Needham, Massachusetts
“Ellen is a dynamic and gifted teacher who is able to teach and entertain children effectively and break down her methods for students wishing to learn her successful techniques.”

Jaime Lewis, Schechter School, Long Island, NY
“Ellen Allard brought ruach and Shabbat joy to the children with her school-wide, Friday morning concert. The performance was interactive and participatory, even bringing the teachers on stage to get in on the fun! We were thrilled to have Ellen share with our school her great talent and passionate love for Jewish music.”

Barbara Stambler, Music Teacher, Hillsboro, NJ
“I am privileged to call Ellen Allard my teacher, my colleague and my friend. I never tire of listening to and teaching Ellen’s music. My students always enjoy singing her songs. In fact, when given the opportunity to select a song to sing my students inevitably chose one of Ellen’s. The only thing better than listing to and singing Ellen’s music is watching Ellen perform. She has amazing energy, grace, spirit and style that will bring a smile to your lips and will keep your toes tapping.”

Rabbi Yoni Regev, Temple Sinai, Oakland, CA
“Ellen Allard and her music are a gift to synagogues, religious schools, and Jewish parents everywhere. She is able to bring out the most important values and lessons of the Jewish faith in a way that children of all ages enjoy to sing. Ellen is a consummate teacher and she sets the gold standard for engaging young children and families in meaningful prayer experiences.”

Amy Newman, Detroit, MI
“Ellen Allard is an amazing person who has much to offer to early childhood educators through her infectious energy. She was able to keep the audience’s attention and taught through her presentation.”

Felicia Cheney, Children’s Librarian, Vineyard Haven Public Library, Vineyard Haven, MA, Summer 2014
“Ellen Allard sang and played music for 45 minutes to a large audience. It was a rainy day in August on Martha’s Vineyard, which meant we had a big, demanding crowd. Ellen managed to not only keep the group amused but had them involved as well. She wrote a song just for our audience which had the children completely enthralled.”

Dr. Alan Mason, Director of Music, Temple Israel of Greater Miami, Miami, FL, May 2014
“Ellen commanded the Bima, getting the congregation clapping to How Good, singing to Standing At The Sea, praying to Open My Lips, and dancing to Adon Olam, all original compositions that immediately touched the congregation’s heart and soul.”

Laura Stein, HUC Cantorial Student
“Ellen Allard has taught me everything I know about Jewish children’s music. She infuses her teaching with so much energy that you can’t help but dance while you sing! Ellen is patient, passionate and creative. A perfect combination.”

Rabbi Linda Joseph, Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation, Ashburn, VA
“This is the second time we have had Ellen Allard lead music at Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation. The first time was on a Religious School morning when at a teaching concert she captured the hearts, minds and imaginations of our students, teachers and parents. More recently she led the community in her WOW Shabbat Service which was a spiritual and spirited Shabbat experience for young and young at heart. Ellen has an amazing ability to make Jewish learning and Jewish worship engaging, interactive and fun. Invite her to your Shul for an unforgettable experience. My congregants are already asking when she can come back!”

Deborah L. Coltin, MEd, MA Executive Director, Lappin Foundation, January 2015
“Ellen engages, educates, entertains and inspires audiences of all ages through music, storytelling and movement. Her performances put smiles on faces and Ellen opens hearts big and wide, filling people with joy! We love when Ellen comes to our community. We know we are in for a really good time!”

Rabbi Matthew Berger, Congregation Beth Shalom of the Woodlands, February 2015
“I’ve had the unique honor of working alongside Ellen for five years as a fellow musician in a congregational band and now welcoming her as a musician in residence. Ellen brings so much joy and passion to her singing, teaching and worship. She was truly a breath of fresh air for our congregation. She led our adult choir beautifully at services, energized our Tot Shabbat experience and shared her unique song with the community in concert. Ellen’s presence was a wonderful gift and a true blessing.”

Amie Bloom, Preschool Teacher, Albany, NY, March 2015
“You had such a huge impact on the Temple Israel kids in Albany this Passover!!! The kids sang your Pharoah song multiple times each day as they played! We also are all sing your Ten Etzbaot song a ton! So fun to have new songs!!!”

Ellen Kempler, Congregant at Temple Israel, Miami, FL, September 2015
“You are new to Temple Israel but it is as if you’d always been with us. Your leading of our High Holiday services this year was exquisite. Music carries the prayers and they hit home this year. Your voice is marvelous but the kavanah you bring is what touches us. Thank you, to life!”

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