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Bat & Bar Mitzvah

Simone Merrick

Working on Skype with Deena

My eldest daughter was having her Bat Mitzvah almost 15 years ago and I could see she was struggling with her speech.  The words came out in a sing-song cadence. She was stiff and unable to make contact.  She put her heart into it but it lacked excitement.  That’s when my career as a Bar/Bat mitzvah speech coach in Los Angeles began. I could see that she, as well as most kids, needed training to be natural, to let their inner beauty and personality come out. 


.  It worked magnificently!  Aviva delivered her speech with elegance, poise, the warmth it's not about the words; it’s about showing herself through the material. Using all my experience as a radio and TV actress and voice-over artist, I started to develop and modify techniques and speech coach tips to help kids relax and tap into their inner beauty and uniqueness. I taught Aviva that and confidence.  She made complete contact with the audience! Her friends, and her friend’s parents saw the transformation and immediately asked for help on their speeches.  And thus began my private speech coaching business.




"Deena is amazing!!! She provided our children with the tools to be able to stand up in front of 500 plus people and deliver a speech with clarity, humor and confidence. While she worked with Ami, Noa and Aiden to help prepare them for their bar and bat mitzvahs the tools she taught them will for sure help them throughout their lives"

-Dorit Naftalin


Every student has different needs based on their own strengths and weaknesses. I have developed specific techniques over the years that allow me to work uniquely with each student to help them relax, have fun with the audience and allow their inner selves to emerge.  It's a very uplifting experience for both the student and me. 


At the end of the process, each student has learned a way to be comfortable, natural and effective in front of an audience. These are valuable lessons that they carry with them throughout their lives.

For the most part, I have been working extensively as a speech coach in Los Angeles. But in the last couple of years, thanks to Skype and Facetime I have branched out to the world. So far, I coached Bar/Bat mitzvah students as far away as Canada and Israel. And then there are the acting students from New York, Oregon, and Kazakhstan to mention just a few.


My work as a speech coach has flourished.  My special technique for delivery, combined with my love of kids and my enjoyment to see them excel works.  It has given me great joy in my life.

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