"Using DUGMAH for our sons’ Jewish education and B’Nai Mitzvah was the best decision we could have made. After our initial call with Phil Cohen, we were immediately impressed with their educational philosophy. My boys loved learning with Phil, and it was impressive how much they learned. Their B’Nai Mitzvah training was equally as successful. Even at summer camp, my sons loved their weekly zoom with Phil. The service was warm, educational, and allowed my boys to feel confident and shine on their special day. Phil and his team were wonderful to work with."
- Abby and Jeremy Schiffman
"Phil Cohen recently Bat Mitzvahed our daughter Ava and it was truly the most incredible evening. The service was so warm and loving and the room was filled with happy tears while listening to beautiful music play throughout the service. We have gotten rave reviews as friends and family told us it was the best havdallah (end of Shabbat) service they have ever been to and now all want to use DUGMAH for their children.
My daughter has worked with DUGMAH for the past two years and the experience has been amazing. They taught Ava about Judaism and she was excited every week to learn about Jewish history in addition to preparing for her Bat Mitzvah. We feel so lucky to have found DUGMAH and they will continue to work with our other two children for their special day!"
- Jenna and Jarrod Kahn
"Over the several years that our daughter was tutored by DUGMAH we could not have wished for more. After leaving our temple and Hebrew School, we were looking for a customizable learning solution to fit our Hebrew and Jewish tradition learning needs. In DUGMAH we found not only what we were looking for but also so much more! As our daughter studied to prepare for her Bat Mitzvah, her teacher, Molly, was there 100% through every step of the journey, whether it was face-timing through camp summers or recording Torah portions so that our daughter could not only read along but also hear the intonations and melodies to study at her own pace.
When the big Bat Mitzvah day arrived, we chose to have Molly lead the service. We could not have asked for a more perfect, fitting and warm outcome. Over the years Molly has become more than a Hebrew School tutor – a mentor, a steady figure and a loving influence to both our daughter and our family. The process was so easy to navigate with this team. No drama, no struggle to reach people, all questions always answered thoughtfully and in a
timely manner. If you are looking for an alternative to a traditional temple Hebrew School,
I cannot think of anything better than Phil, Molly & DUGMAH!"
- Danielle Wiedemann
"Phil — You are a godsend!!! It is otherwise difficult to express in a few words our overwhelming gratitude to you. We were frustrated with what felt like too uniform and impersonal an approach to the B’nai Mitzvah experience by our temple. When our temple would not accommodate a change, we were introduced to DUGMAH, who stepped in at the eleventh hour, always with a smile and a can do attitude, to take over the process of mentoring our children and preparing them for their B’nai Mitzvah. They brought order and meaning to the process. And I hesitate to call it a process, as with DUGMAH, this was no longer a process but a deeply fulfilling journey. I am sure that to all parents, the bar/bat mitzvah experience is a meaningful one. For us, with you leading the team, with a service created by us and tailored to our children, our family and our spiritual priorities, it became a far more personal and meaningful experience. This was the element missing and found with you. We are so incredibly grateful to you and would not hesitate to recommend your services!"
- Susan & Michael Katzke
"I am writing this testimonial in support of Phil Cohen, who tutored and mentored our son Max for his Bar Mitzvah. Phil is a sensational officiant and master of his craft: seasoned, experienced, spiritual and beyond thoughtful. He has a natural and humorous ‘bed side manner’ that made learning easier and certainly more fun for Max. Phil has also become a dear friend of our family. He came into our world just as the difficult period of Covid began, bringing his life's lessons to Max and my family when we needed them most. Phil was always well-prepared and took careful cues from Max on how much to push at any given lesson, and more importantly, how much to slow down. Max has a tendency to want to "take on the world" with every endeavor that comes his way. Phil knew just how to bring Max back to the moment at hand and remind him of what was truly important.
The results were obvious in our beautiful Bar Mitzvah service where Max, led by Phil, was an absolute superstar. Max read from the Haftorah with confidence and skill and spoke beautifully in his speech. Moreover, the energy of the service was beyond special. It was sweet, poignant, funny, moving and, of course, musical. It’s hard to articulate the special experience that we had as a family and shared with our close group of friends. For this, we are forever grateful to Phil.
Lastly, I view my family's relationship with Phil as lifelong. Whether playing golf with my husband and Max, or joining us for informal family functions, I hope and expect that Phil will be a staple in our lives as time moves forward. And the best part is that our younger son, Alex, already has a warm and comfortable path for his own Bar Mitzvah several years down the road. We fully support Phil, and strongly recommend him to any family that needs a service for advice, religious counsel,
tutoring or for any important life event that requires a mensch."
- Felicia Bersh
"Thank you to Phil Cohen & DUGMAH for making our son’s Bar Mitzvah celebration so special both in Israel and New York. Our Israel experience was incredibly special for our family and with the addition of such a significant celebration, it gave our trip extra special meaning and emotional depth that we weren’t anticipating. Phil put together a beautiful mini service that Cal performed at the Davidson Center and being surrounded by the history and magnitude was extraordinary for all of us. Fortunately, our son’s New York service was equally as beautiful and meaningful! We were surrounded by family and friends who were able to share in our joy and celebration and our son really was the star of the show, thanks to DUGMAH. Phil led the service with strength and conviction and it gave our son the freedom to chant and read with confidence. His preparation was perfect and it led to both of these wonderful services, here and abroad, and I only wish we had yet another service to experience it again!"
- Danielle Strauss
"Finding the right officiant for our wedding was probably one of the most concerning aspects of planning for my husband and me. We wanted to make sure the ceremony felt sincere, honest, and personal. Luckily, we found Phil, who COMPLETELY understood who we were and what our relationship was all about. I think it takes a special person to see people as they are– the process of planning, preparing, and performing the wedding was personal and touching. He understands people's preferences and spends time understanding their relationships. We couldn't have asked for a better fit. I would recommend Phil for literally anything that requires a deep personal connection. He is phenomenal at what he does."
- Gina Bruno
"I want to thank Phil Cohen for making my son Will’s bar mitzvah so special. Phil’s warmth shows through every step of the process, all the way through the ceremony. Will loved working with Phil, and learned a lot about Judaism and his Torah portion as part of his journey. The bar mitzvah journey was delayed as a result of the pandemic, and Phil did a great job with remote learning, and with the start and stop nature of Will’s preparation. Phil never missed a beat, and neither did Will. Phil has an ability to push his students through inspiration, as he did with Will on his bar mitzvah speech, his d’var Torah. Phil made the service very personal, and integrated Will’s brothers into the service in a meaningful way. Finally, I can’t say enough about the music Phil brings to the ceremony. The Cantor and other musicians he work with are terrific. Together with Phil, they made for a warm and spiritual ceremony."
- Jeffrey Karpf
"When we got back from our son’s Bar Mitzvah - the first thing he said to us was 'Wow- Phil was definitely ‘the guy’ for this. I could never have done it without him. Thank you!'
Like many families, our original plans had been pushed back many times over because of the pandemic. But through 4 reschedulings and a last minute major location change, Phil and DUGMAH never skipped a beat- reassuring us, and our son that it would all work out. His team was on top of all the details, even as they kept changing. On the evening of the Bar Mitzvah, our son felt ready and prepared. Our family and friends could not get over how articulate and confident he was, and how special and inclusive the service was that evening. It was truly a magical experience and we feel so fortunate to have been able to work with the entire DUGMAH team."
- Bobbi and Neil Kaufman
"We could not be more pleased with the outcome of our son’s bar mitzvah service, lead by Phil Cohen and his team from DUGMAH. Our experience was unique - postponed by a year and a half secondary to the pandemic - however Phil designed a service that fit our (almost) 15 year old son! Phil creates a warm, relatable experience, which simultaneously brings you back to your childhood bar mitzvah experiences, while infusing a modern day approach which just felt right for our family.
Our son truly benefited from the hands on, individualized approach that one-on-one tutoring provides. It was a perfect fit and we are so incredibly grateful to Phil and
is team at DUGMAH. With Gratitude and appreciation."
- Dara and Scott Weiss