Jewish Identity: A Game of Hide and Seek
November 17, 2017
Topics: jewish identity
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What does “interfaith” mean anyway?
October 9, 2017
Author: Arielle Randle

As Messianic Jews, should we identify our families “interfaith”?

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Still Life Meets Real Life
August 15, 2017
Author: Arielle Randle

Abigail Olson opens up about what it’s like to be a Messianic Jewish student at one of the most prestigious art high schools in the country

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5 Surprising Tips for Surviving Passover with Young Kids
April 7, 2017
Topics: passover
Author: Heather Walker

Five tips on surviving the Passover seder with young children!

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Has Hanukkah Passed Its Expiration Date? A Slightly Contrarian—But Not Really—Reflection
Author: Rich Robinson

Quick, when I say “Hanukkah,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I admit that I thought of latkes before anything else. I light a menorah each year, but it’s an electric one (a safety matter, plus I got a really nice one at Bed Bath & Beyond), so there’s no scent of burning…

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“Strange” International Facts About Hanukkah and Christmas
Author: Rich Robinson

Jews might be surprised to learn about some Hanukkah and Christmas customs that take place in countries other than their own. For example: In nineteenth-century Alsace (a region of France), two-tiered menorahs holding sixteen candles were used: one tier for the father, the other for his son. In Morocco, Algeria, and sometimes India, menorahs used…

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Recipe: Award-Winning Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
Topics: recipes, jewish food
Author: Melissa Moskowitz

I don’t like to brag, but I did win first place for this recipe at a Hanukkah party held by the Chicagoland-area Messianic community. What won the judges over? “We loved the onions,” they said. Latkes are traditionally eaten with homemade applesauce or sour cream, but some prefer their latkes with ketchup. 4 large potatoes, scrubbed…

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Death: How Do We Respond?
Author: Rich Robinson

This article is adapted from the original which appeared in the Winter 2012 print edition of Havurah. We are republishing it in this Tisha B’Av season. Tisha B’Av memorializes tragedies that befell the Jewish people as a nation. It is also an appropriate season to talk about the personal tragedies that come into our lives…

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Nothing New Under the Sun
Author: Arielle Randle

What Jewish Young Adults Today Have in Common with Their Parents’ Generation, and Why They Are Just as Open to The Gospel by Arielle Randle “How do we reach Millennials?” This is an important question to raise at a time when many people are analyzing the spiritual climate of 2016. It is not a question only about…

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A Portrait of Messianic Jews
Author: Rich Robinson

Someone once perceptively said, “Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off.”

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

100% of Our Readers Get to Hear About

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A Profile of North American Messianic Jews
Author: Jews for Jesus

A Profile of North American Messianic Jews
A study conducted by Jews for Jesus
by Andrew Barron and Beverly Jamison
10/11/2014

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Missouri, Math, and Messiah: A Jewish Statistician’s Story
Author: Beverly Jamison

Beverly Jamison was the lead statistical researcher for our survey. She is 100% the mathematician, and since behind every statistic there lies a story, she agreed to tell hers for Havurah.

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English Translation of hodu.co.il Article
Topics: architecture
Author: Jews for Jesus

Media coverage of “India Night,” an exhibition by Jews for Jesus staff in Tel Aviv, Israel, about their travels in India.

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Trek your way to these opportunities:

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Movie Review: Flipping Out
Author: Gefen Skvortsov

Review of a 2008 documentary about Israelis who travel to India, get involved with the drug scene, and “flip out.”

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Havurah Round Table
Author: Jews for Jesus

Interviews with people who minister to Israeli trekkers in South/Central America and elsewhere.

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Israeli Traveler Ministry: An Intentional Missions Response to Contemporary Israeli Culture
Author: Aaron Trank

Each year 30,000–40,000 Israelis travel the world as a rite of passage. Many are uniquely open to considering the Messianic claims of Jesus.

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To whom does the Prophet Refer?
Author: Rich Robinson

Aaron Trank’s conclusions may surprise some. But what does the text itself say? There are in fact valid reasons to see applications of Isaiah 53 to Israel as well as to the Messiah. First, Isaiah often identifies the servant as Israel, yet in some way as apart from Israel. In Isaiah 41:8, 44:1, 44:21, 45:4…

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Marc Chagall and Jesus

Marc Chagall’s extensive repertoire of artwork, in which Jesus and the crucifixion is the central subject, assuredly begs the question: “What’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing painting a nice Jewish boy like him?” The artist’s preoccupation with Jesus as a symbol of Jewish suffering and deliverance provides much fuel for discussion from both…

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Jesus and Jewish Suffering: a Perspective from Paris
Author: Joshua Turnil

If one were to give a hard and honest look at the heritage of Israel’s heroes, one would be forced to concede that it is not a triumphant past. Moses, at his apogee, came down from a holy mountain experience only to be “welcomed” by collective and unmitigated disloyalty in the shadow of the infamous…

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Jesus and Jewish Suffering: an Israeli Perspective
Author: Dan Sered

Suffering is international and cross-cultural. It is something that unites all human beings, because we all experience it at one point or another. Therefore, suffering is not specifically Jewish—although in Jewish history there has been a great deal of suffering. My country, Israel, was birthed from the pain of one of humanity’s greatest experiences of…

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Check out this summer’s opportunities— To participate or for more information, contact: mal@jewsforjesus.org The Americas New York City Campaign: June 29–July 26 — http://j4j.co/nyswc Brazil World Cup Outreach: June 13–July 12 Halutzim (ages 16-18): July 13–26 — www.halutzim.com Europe Campaigns Moscow (June 1–14) Berlin (July 3–19) Budapest (July 24–August 9) Israel Massah (June 8–August 12)….

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Ruth Gottlieb: A Poignant Life. Paris: Juifs pour Jésus. 45 mins. In French with English subtitles
Author: Sarah Mebasser

Ruth Gottlieb does not seem to be significantly different from any other octogenarian one might meet—other than her remarkable sharpness of mind. But then she begins to tell her story, one of sorrow upon sorrow. From the loss of nearly all her loved ones to the horrors of the Holocaust, Ruth has seen more suffering…

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The Innocent Victim
Author: Avi Snyder

For Jews in some parts of the world, suffering has been an especially intimate part of life.Havurah asked three Jewish believers, from Eastern Europe, France, and Israel, to reflect on Jesus and Jewish suffering. Judit believes in the existence of sin. She’s certainly seen enough of it to be convinced. As a child, she escaped…

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The Suffering of Jesus and the Suffering of Israel A Reflection on Isaiah 53
Author: Aaron Trank

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see…

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Israeli-Palestinian Reconciliation: Does Politics Trump Unity?
Author: Aaron Trank

Several issues ago in Havurah we addressed the topic of unity within the Messianic movement, namely reconciliation between Jewish believers in Jesus who are pursuing God in various ways from different corners of the Messianic community. The pursuit of Messianic unity and reconciliation resonates with our hearts and brings to mind the Jewish folk song…

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Havurah Round Table
Author: Jews for Jesus

Havurah posed the following urgent questions to four individuals—three Jewish, one (Galen Peterson) gentile. All four have been involved in dialoguing with those whose positions on crucial issues sometimes differ greatly from their own, especially regarding Israel and the Middle East. Here are the questions; Havurah welcomes your feedback on their responses (havurah@jewsforjesus.org or facebook.com/HavurahMag)….

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Review: Through My Enemy’s Eyes
Author: Josh Cohen

As its title suggests, Through My Enemy’s Eyes: Envisioning Reconciliation in Israel-Palestine, promotes empathy as the virtue necessary for peace. Called to love their enemy by their Messiah, Israeli Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians are best suited to this task. The authors, Salim J. Munayer and Lisa Loden, a Palestinian Christian and an Israeli Messianic…

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Reconcile Yourself to These! Camp Gilgal Wonderful Winter Weekend. It’s like summer camp without the mosquitoes! Southern California, Jan. 31–Feb. 2, 2014 Northern California, Feb. 14–16, 2014 And now’s the time to consider: New York City Summer Witnessing Campaign, June 29–July 26, 2014 Massah, June 8–August 13, 2014 World Cup Outreach in Brazil, June 13–July…

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From Generation to Generation: A Tale of Two Kings
Topics: king david, solomon
Author: Aaron Trank

From Generation to Generation: A Tale of Two Kings
by Aaron Trank

Forty years ago the world of Jewish missions was altered forever. That was when Moishe Rosen incorporated Hineni Ministries in San Francisco and began reaching out to the Jewish community with the gospel under the slogan: "Jews for Jesus."

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It’s Not Your Grandfather’s Jewish Community, and We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
Author: Rich Robinson

I am sitting here googling on, um, Google, to see what might have transpired 40 years ago. Why, you might ask?

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Havurah Interview: Rabbi Michael Robert Wolf
Author: Jews for Jesus

By now you may have heard about the full-length movie, The Sound of the Spirit, directed by Messianic Rabbi Michael Robert Wolf of Beth Messiah Congregation, Cincinnati, OH (www.bethmessiah.net). The film is an exploration of what happens when a bat-mitzvah age Messianic Jewish girl, having lost both parents, goes to live with non-believing Jewish relatives. Rivka, the protagonist, is played in a stunning performance by Anna Lasbury.

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Bulletin Board

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Camp Gilgal Adventure Camps – West, Midwest, and East. August 3 or 4 through August 10: Register today at www.campgilgal.com

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Havurah Interview: Paul Liberman
Author: Jews for Jesus

Paul Liberman has been a Jewish believer in Yeshua since 1971. He has had extensive leadership involvement with the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, for which he currently serves as president, the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, and Messianic congregations in the U.S. and Israel. He has served as publisher of The Messianic Times and is…

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The Apostles on Unity and Diversity: A Quick Primer
Topics: unity
Author: Jews for Jesus

We can find examples of disunity among God’s people throughout the Bible. But the apostles’ experiences can be particularly relevant for us. The following examples speak of three kinds of disunity: The disunity that results from overzealous, prideful loyalty to our leaders. 10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus…

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Jews in the Grass

Grassroots 2013 was an event that almost was not. A self-proclaimed “nonference” (“it’s not a conference”), Grassroots curates interaction between 80–100 young Jewish believers, with an emphasis on Messianic leadership. I attended my first nonference in August 2012 after the Asheville Music Festival, Grassroots’ auditory offspring. Grassroots was to conclude at that concert, yet it…

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Messianic Unity-Is It Finally Happening?
Author: Aaron Trank

This past April, thirty-one key leaders in the Messianic movement convened in an upper room in Dallas, Texas. Each of us, representing a broad spectrum of congregations and missions, had taken time out of our busy schedules to attend a “Fireside Chat” that would last less than eight hours. Most of those in the room…

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New Paradigms in Jewish Ministry
Author: Aaron Trank

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What does a strategic effort to reach Jewish people with the gospel look like today? And what challenges must be overcome when bringing the message of Jesus to our people? From Shabbat (Sabbath) meals, to intentional communities, to witnessing-on-the-way projects (like our Massah/Israel to India adventures), to social media networking, we will explore some of the new paradigms in Jewish ministry that have risen as we have brought the gospel into new and emerging cultures within the global Jewish community.

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Social Media @work

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What do Twitter, Facebook, Google+, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Foursquare, Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest, Wordpress, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace and Meetup have in common? An imposing list of new and evolving technology, they’re the current face of social media networking.

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Two Tables, 25 Folding Chairs, One Community

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“We’re going to need another table,”  Melissa had said to Jhan. They stared into the dining room of their Brooklyn home that night in 2007 at a piece of furniture that, as Melissa would one day put it, “came to represent a way that God was moving.”

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Share the Gospel, See the World!
Author: Jews for Jesus

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Got summer plans? There is still time to get involved in Jewish Missions! Here are a few of our upcoming opportunities:

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Sveta Family

Sveta and Misha
Author: Jews for Jesus

These articles — a memorial by Sveta’s husband Misha, and Sveta’s own story — have been edited only slightly in order to preserve their own voices. They have been translated into English from the original Russian. In the first article, Misha, a Jewish believer in Jesus, also tells how he has been processing the loss of his…

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If You’re Ever In Romania … or Chicago
Author: Ruth Rosen

If you’re ever in Romania, do me a favor: visit the Merry Cemetery. Yes, that’s really it’s name, and its uniqueness will make you smile. A lot of thought went into Merry Cemetery. According to the web site, “Instead of the usual boring stone grave markers and marble mausoleums that populate just about every other…

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Our Losses, Our Thoughts
Author: Jews for Jesus

For memorial comments or videos, please see the web links given below. Jhan Moskowitz, 1948–2012 Stan Telchin, 1924–2012 Holly Meyer, 1957–2011 Sveta Karpovetski, 1980—2012 Zecher tzaddik livrachah. The memory of the righteous will be a blessing. Proverbs 10:7

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

And now for some lively opportunities: BLUE MOSAIC, an evangelistic music team, is looking for Jewish believing musicians (vocalists, instrumentalists and singer-songwriters). The team will come together in June 2013 with a thirteen-month commitment. Team members will travel and sing throughout the U.S. in congregations, parks, festivals, and at open mikes. See the Blue Mosaic…

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Here Comes the New Wave
Author: Jews for Jesus

The Latest Generation of Jewish Scholars Give Us Their Take on Jesus and Jewishness If you could go back a few centuries to a shtetl in Eastern Europe—or even to the early 1900s in the Lower East Side of New York City—and ask, Who do you think Jesus is?, you might receive a response like…

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From Moses’ Blog
Author: Jews for Jesus

It’s not just modern scholars who debate about Yeshua. Jews have always had opinions about Jesus. We recently discovered some discussions online on Moses’ own blog. January 19, 1235 B.C.E. Moses said … So yesterday God said to me, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will…

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Six Questions for Amy-Jill Levine
Author: Jews for Jesus

HAVURAH: The Jewish Annotated New Testament has made quite a splash in some circles. What were your expectations as co-editor in terms of its reception and impact among Jews and Christians? Have those expectations been met so far? AMY-JILL LEVINE: Rather than thinking of “expectations” for the Jewish Annotated New Testament, I thought in terms…

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Jewish Believers, Muslims, and the Gospel
Author: Rich Robinson

A Changing World “We can speak of a Muslim people,” said P. J.,[1] a Jewish believer, mother of two and missionary to the Muslims of North Africa. What she meant was that the religion of Islam encompasses many peoples who all feel caught up in a common destiny and metanarrative which they themselves struggle to…

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When Cultures Meet
Author: Jews for Jesus

Havurah interviews a Messianic Jewish/Muslim Background Believer Couple Havurah: Can you tell us how you came to faith in Yeshua? Basrah: I was born into a Muslim family, but came to believe in Yeshua through a process in which God used several things. The first was receiving a vision from Yeshua in which he told…

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Voices from the Field
Author: Jews for Jesus

Two Jewish missionaries to Muslims Martin Goldsmith Martin Goldsmith was born into a middle-class Jewish home in the UK. He showed a propensity for foreign languages and became a Russian interpreter with the Royal Navy. Through the Student Union movements, Martin came to faith in Yeshua, subsequently working with Overseas Missionary Fellowship in Muslim evangelism…

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Review of Free Men
Author: Jews for Jesus

2011, France; directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi.99 minutes. In French with English subtitles. Free Men, an official selection of the Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festivals, is based on the true story of the Paris Mosque, which hid Jews in occupied France during World War II. Filmed with exquisite beauty and detail, the subdued tone,…

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Life from the Dead
Author: Avi Snyder

There are a number of cities throughout Europe that need to hear the gospel from Jewish lips specifically because of what happened to us there. Three of these cities are Berlin, Warsaw and Budapest. Maybe you can already see the historical thread that connects these three cities. Berlin is the place where the Holocaust was…

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Find your commonalities with these: The Asheville Music Festival: “A Messianic Jewish music festival with new expressions and styles from emerging artists connected with the Messianic Jewish community in Israel and the Diaspora.” August 9-11, 2012 in Deerfields, NC. Details at www.AMF12.com Except where indicated, links to the following events can be found here. Camp…

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From the Editor
Author: Rich Robinson

Readers of Havurah will notice that Aaron Abramson’s usual lead article is missing from this edition. In the summer of 2011, Aaron moved with his family to New York City in order to head up our outreach in “the Big Apple.” As a former New Yorker, I couldn’t be more pleased that Aaron will be…

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Assimilation or Acculturation?
Author: Susan Perlman

What Hanukkah Has to Show Us If you listen to the Jewish experts, they all seem to agree on one thing: one of the greatest threats to Jewish survival is assimilation.  Some say that assimilation is a result of intermarriage and are quick to point out that the rate of Jewish-Gentile marriages is on the…

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When Non-Negotiables Go Bad
Author: Rich Robinson

As Susan Perlman’s article shows, discussions in the Jewish community about assimilation are nothing new. In fact, even prior to the Maccabean revolt, the assimilationist vs. non-assimilationist scenario was playing out in soap-opera fashion.  The high priest about 200 B.C. was named Chanan, though he is known to history by a Hellenized Greek name, Onias…

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A Hanukkah Prayer
Author: Jews for Jesus

At Hanukkah, our Jewish people recite this prayer: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time. The late Vera Schlamm was a Holocaust survivor who understood such prayers. In the story of her journey to faith, Vera wrote: I didn’t…

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Something Different for This Hanukkah!
Author: Jews for Jesus

Judah Maccabee didn’t know this, but “without Hanukkah, there would be no Christmas!”  Now, though, your Jewish friends and family can know when you send them our special Hanukkah postcard. You can view it full-color here where you can also download the original artwork in color or greyscale to print and mail out. (Kinko’s, Office…

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Assimilate This! Be Part of These Opportunities
Author: Jews for Jesus

Camp Gilgal Wonderful Winter Weekends Camp Gilgal WWW is for Jewish believing children and youth ages 8-18. Plenty of fun along with opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship. Camps are in New Jersey, Illinois, and Northern/Southern California.  For exact dates and details, see www.campgilgal.com or contact Dave “Moose” Garrett. Blue Mosaic You’re a musician, and your…

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The Aliyah Question
Author: Aaron Abramson

“Jewish believers belong in Israel!” There was an awkward moment as we mulled over the statement. Then the conversation picked up again. An Israeli Messianic leader had challenged a group of American Jewish believers about Messianic Jewish identity. His assertion? That Messianic Jewish identity was incomplete and unfulfilled for those living outside the land of…

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Reports from the Ground
Author: Jews for Jesus

Havurah asked four Jewish believers—three Americans, one Ukrainian—about their aliyah experiences. Here is what they shared with us. At their request, some of their names have been changed. Avi In 1988, Moishe Rosen invited my wife and me to be his guests on our first visit to Israel. We went with the expectation of having…

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Don’t live in a spiritual diaspora! Check out these upcoming events: High Holiday Services:go to http://www.jewsforjesus.org/programs/highholidayservices to find Erev Rosh Hashanah and Erev Yom Kippur services in your area. Ingatherings for the whole mishpochah: East Coast, Midwest and West Coast. Brochures at: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/ingathering. Blue Mosaic: You’re a musician. And your mother thinks you are oh-so-talented,…

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Bulletin Board
Topics: bulletin board
Author: Jews for Jesus

1. Behold Your God Consider serving with Behold Your God” in the coming months!! Opportunities are as varied as helping to pack tract bags, hand out water bottles to weary campaigners, share in our prayer network OR be a full-time campaigner (for all or part of a campaign). Campaigns will take place in: MARSEILLES, FRANCE…

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To the Jew First and Also to the Gentile
Author: Jews for Jesus

We spoke to several pastors who are Jewish and who also lead evangelical churches. Their stories are testimonies of God’s faithful leading to bring three men to Himself from their Jewish backgrounds, as well as leading them into ministry in the church. They feel the liberty of the Spirit to minister to the general population…

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We Had Questions…Oy! So Many Good Answers!

This was the most fun article to put together, because it’s all about YOU! We recognize that not all of our Havurah readers worship at a Messianic congregation, or live so far out in Yennevelt that they don’t have the option. Many in our Messianic family have chosen to worship in local churches and have…

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Wonder What You Can Do with the Wonderbook?
Author: Jews for Jesus

Book Title: The Wonder Book: Answers to Kids’ Questions Author: Child Evangelism Fellowship Date Published: 2000 Publisher: CEF Press ISBN: 978-1559760249 Reviewer: Jews for Jesus Scores of books on evangelism are available, but little has been written that presents the gospel to Jewish children. There are not many materials on the market for Jewish children…

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Inside the Mind of Blue Mosaic
Author: Jews for Jesus

Blue Mosaic is Jews for Jesus’ newest, and very international, musical team.  They focus on evangelism in secular venues like coffeehouses and campuses, in addition to performing in churches and Messianic congregations. You can read their full bios, listen to sound samples, and find their schedule at www.bluemosaic.org. Pray for Blue Mosaic, and check out…

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A symphony of stuff…
Author: Jews for Jesus

Make music with God this summer by considering: New York Summer Witnessing Campaign 2011 For Jewish believers ages 18–30. Consider joining us for what could be the most exciting evangelism opportunity of your life. Mid-June through end of July. Connect with Aaron Abramson or see www.jewsforjesus.org/swc Halutzim 2011 Our two-weeks-of-outreach-and-fun trip to New York City…

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Is Messianic Music Dead?
Author: Jews for Jesus

My dad has always been into music. I remember the smell of vinyl and the hundreds of interesting (and bizarre) album covers scattered throughout our living room. We used to sit and listen to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Cream; The Who; The Rolling Stones; Dylan; The Beatles—and Lamb. Yes, Lamb, the Messianic Jewish rock…

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Reconciling An Artist to His Creator
Author: Jews for Jesus

by Remy R. I found myself surrounded by some forty-odd pairs of stoned and glassy eyes, staring at me and soaking in my every word. I was used to being in front of an audience, performing for people, but I could not have foreseen this: having a platform to speak to people about Jesus through…

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Moishe, Buddha and the LCJE
Topics: LCJE
Author: Ruth Rosen

  An excerpt from the forthcoming biography by Ruth Rosen This way, Moishe!” Jhan pointed to some small boats on the river. He then darted to the other side of the road before his boss could reply. It was a small town in Thailand, but even so, Moishe looked both ways to be sure it…

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Contribute* to This!
Author: Jews for Jesus

*We’re not asking for money. We want YOU! Camp Gilgal’s Wonderful Winter Weekends — February 2011. For children and youth ages 8–18. www.campgilgal.com And now’s the time to think about: Summer Witnessing Campaign 2011 — If you’re a Jewish believer age 18–30, consider joining us for a month in New York of what could be…

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The Changing Face of the Jewish Community: Meet the Asian-Jewish Intermarrieds
Author: Stan Meyer

The face of the Jewish community is changing. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of intermarriage. In fact, many readers of Havurah may be Jewish and married to a non-Jew, or know someone who is. Five years ago we ran an article by Tuvya Zaretsky on intermarriage.1 At that time, Tuvya reported his…

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Backgrounder to Asian-Jewish Edition of Havurah
Author: Stan Meyer

Rise of Asian-Jewish Mixed Marriages Many began to notice Asian and American intermarriages in the 1990s after immigration from the Far East began to peak. Asian immigration increased steadily after 1965 when Congress reversed controversial racial quotas on immigration from the Far East. In 1975 following the Vietnam War, more than 130,000 refugees arrived in…

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In Their Own Words – Four Asian-Jewish Couples
Author: Jews for Jesus

Havurah posed several questions to Asian-Jewish couples who are both believers in Y’shua. Below we excerpt some of their answers. For the full responses, go to http://www.jewsforjesus.org/asianjewish Oded and Bimini Cohen Havurah: What are some aspects of your spouse’s background that you found challenging? Bimini (Chinese): The Israeli culture is quite the opposite of the…

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Web Only HavurahXTRA: In Their Own Words: Interviews with Asian-Jewish Couples (extended)
Author: Jews for Jesus

Havurah posed five questions to several Jewish-Asian couples where both partners are believers in Jesus. The print edition of Havurah excerpted the following responses which are given here in full. What are some aspects of your spouse’s background that you found challenging? (can be in terms of marital adjustment, family interactions, personal comfort level, or…

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Mix it Up!
Author: Jews for Jesus

Pray/Participate in One or More We’re launching a NEW evangelistic music team that begins training June 2010. Now accepting applications from Jewish believers ages 18–39 who are excellent singers and/or accomplished instrumentalists. Contact Jeff Millenson or call 415-864-2600 x 151. Summer Witnessing Campaign 2010—If you’re a Jewish believer age 18–30, consider joining us for a month…

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Hear My Cry, O God! The Mystery and Power of Prayer
Author: Aaron Abramson

Not long ago, the father of my friend passed away. The family had prayed for his salvation for years. At the end, he was physically unable to respond, leaving his family uncertain whether he had ever received the gospel. Another friend prayed for his father, a Holocaust survivor, to also come to faith. He continued…

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Prayer and Jewish Liturgy – A Havurah Interview with Crystal Buchhalter
Author: Jews for Jesus

Crystal Buchhalter is a Jewish believer who served as cantorial soloist at a synagogue for several years. She and her husband Shaun currently serve with Jews for Jesus’ music team, The Liberated Wailing Wall. Havurah: Sometime people ask, if we can pray spontaneously, what is the value of liturgy? Crystal: Liturgy is more than just…

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and there was STRIFE: Jewish Believers and Conflict
Author: Aaron Abramson

Many of us have felt the ache of unresolved conflict in our lives despite our attempts to untangle and resolve it. In fact, as long as there are people, conflict is inevitable. Conflict can turn the most beautiful day of the year into the gloomiest. Two close friends of mine parted ways after years of…

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real-life conflict: four vignettes
Author: Jews for Jesus

CONGREGATIONAL CONFLICT Robert Rose The congregation I serve experienced conflict surrounding the resignation of the previous pastor. The presenting issue was how the church should respond to a homosexual couple whose house had burned down: should the church reach out and help the couple rebuild? Or was that response too supportive of a sinful lifestyle?…

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DOUBT: the film
Author: Jews for Jesus

reviewed by Remy Remigio The scene is St. Nicholas parish, the Bronx, 1964. Father Flynn, a progressive young priest, has been accused by the long-standing principal, Sister Aloysius, of foul play with the school’s first African-American student. Sister Aloysius has been suspicious of Flynn from the start. When the young and innocent Sister James confides…

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Through My Lens: Reflections of a Missionary Provocateur by Greg Schneider
Author: Jews for Jesus

For one reason or another, God seems to have gifted Jewish people disproportionately. If you look down a list of leading artists, musicians, or comedians, there is a much higher percentage of Jewish people than our numbers in the general population would lead you to predict. And I think that as a Jew, God gave…

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my father’s gift
Author: Amer Olson

I was sitting on the floor, carefully scrutinizing a selfportrait by Rembrandt. There was something in his handling of chiaroscuro, the way his features emerged from the dark umber shadows into brilliant light and color. There was something too in his confident posture as he stared not only into his mirror, but into the eyes…

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Portfolio of Arielle Rothbard
Author: Jews for Jesus

(see article "Yeshua, Eve and the deep: Not Just Window Dressing") Yeshua Shalom Yeshua Shalom If you rotate some of the letters, you can see the Hebrew words Yeshua (right column) and shalom (left column). Window displays for the Jews for Jesus office at 109 E. 31 Street in New York City. The bars are…

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Art by Amer Olson
Topics: art
Author: Amer Olson

Mike Lynch”, oil on linen   “Freya”, charcoal on paper “Pears”, oil on linen “Carl”, oil on panel “Old Friends”, oil on panel “Stella”, oil on linen “Tea and Fortunes”, oil on linen “US District Judge Clarence C. Newcomer”, oil on linen “The Beading Loom”, oil on linen “Self Portrait with Mandolin”, oil on linen…

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Art With A Mission
Author: Aaron Abramson

In the beginning, God created a breathtakingly beautiful universe. And then God created men and women with eyes, minds, and souls to appreciate his creation and to be inspired by it. He made them not only with an eye to behold his beauty, but to dream, imagine and create in their own right. The design…

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Yeshua, Eve & The Deep: not just window dressing

White foam core. Eight-inch high panels. At ninety-degree angles to one another. You will completely cover each panel with a photograph. Your combined photographs will create a cohesive environment. I look forward to seeing your final project. Drafting project two from our favorite professor,” I sigh, scanning the directions again. I begin brainstorming topics for…

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A Short Timeline of Activism
Author: Jews for Jesus

Meet some of the activist movements of the past and present. Sometimes the worthiest causes faced opposition and public disapproval. The fine print: this chart does not imply our advocacy of every cause listed. Also, if you can read this, you are sitting too close to your copy of Havurah. 18th-19th c. 1787-1807 William Wilberforce…

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messianic activism voices from two generations
Author: Jews for Jesus

SUSAN PERLMAN Once an Activist, Always an Activist “I have a dream . . .” The stirring words of Martin Luther King, Jr. filled my thoughts. He spoke for African-Americans, for the poor and for the disenfranchised. Though I was none of these, I felt like he spoke for me, too, and I realized that…

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Messianic Prophecy: Are we using it for all it’s worth?
Author: Aaron Abramson

That’s Jesus,” he admitted, flashing me a ‘you-got-me-there’ kind of grin. I had been studying Isaiah 53 with Uri, an Israeli now living in Manhattan’s trendy Upper West Side. He had just uttered the very words I had hoped to hear! Carefully, he reread the passage in Hebrew and confirmed, “There cannot be any doubt—Isaiah…

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Isaiah, Pepper and the Beatles: Jhan Moskowitz on messianic prophecy
Author: Jews for Jesus

IMAGINE that I own a book publishing company, Pepper Publications. I contract with a cookbook author and tell her that she can include any recipes she wants. The only requirement is that she needs to include pepper in every recipe. There is a filter that requires pepper to be one of the ingredients throughout the…

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What Rosenberg Can Learn From Rodriguez
Author: Aaron Abramson

A Satmar Orthodox Jewish man once told me, “Messianic Jews aren’t Jewish!” He went on to add, “Reformed, Conservative, Hassidic and most ‘Orthodox’ Jews aren’t really Jewish either. . . .” Jewish identity was a simple matter for him. Real Jews follow the teachings of the Satmar rebbe. But for most Jewish people, including Jewish…

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What is Authentically Jewish?
Author: Rich Robinson

How do we answer the above question when, in every age and Jewish sub-culture, we have absorbed many influences from non-Jewish societies around us? These influences have not only affected food and fashion, but even religious expression and doctrine.1 They include: The Hellenistic (Greek) culture of the 4th-1st centuries B.C. Hanukkah notwithstanding, Hellenism influenced many…

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Ten Questions for Emmanuel
Author: Jews for Jesus

29-year-old Emmanuel Mebasser is an Iranian-American Jewish believer in Jesus. He brings such a multicultural perspective to the table that we thought you might be interested in asking him a few questions. Since you’re not here, Aaron Abramson asked the questions and here are some of Emmanuel’s answers. AA: Tell us about your family background….

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Virtual Disciples
Author: Aaron Abramson

It was a communication breakdown. MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Photobucket, Skype, AIM, personal websites, e-mails—unavailable. All we could do was relate to . . . each other. Mere miles would not have hindered access to family and friends—but between our schedule, a computer shortage and the expense of overseas phone calls, the usual flow of electronic…

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Israelis Everywhere

Some might find my status as a “typical Israeli” debatable. On the one hand, I’ve spent my last several years in much the same way as my peers. On the other, I’ve done things that very few Israelis have done or would do. After my army service, I started traveling around the world (typical) but…

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t o g e t h e r a s o n e

Corporations spend millions of dollars annually training their employees in it. Universities offer courses on it. And every culture on this planet uses it on a daily basis. I got to experience it within the framework of a cross-cultural missions trip this past summer as part of a group of 13 young Jewish followers of…

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A Messianic Jewish Approach to the Middle East Conflict
Author: Aaron Abramson

The signs said, Stop Zionist slaughter of Palestinians.” Sure, I’d seen signs like those before. But in the hands of ultra-Orthodox Jews? Yet there they were—dozens of them— shoulder to shoulder in their black coats, alongside others holding Palestinian flags in front of the Israeli embassy. More signs read, “Judaism rejects Zionism and the state…

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An Arab Christian Perspective
Author: Aaron Abramson

Abdu Murray is not only an Arab for Jesus; he is a former Muslim for Jesus. Aaron Abramson interviewed this brother to see how he deals with tensions and struggles similar to the ones we face over loyalty, conflicts, and maintaining a godly perspective concerning the Middle East. Aaron: Tell us a little bit about…

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Recommended Reading
Author: Aaron Abramson

Please note: Included in this list are books we strongly disagree with; the recommendation to read them is so that we might have an intelligent response. Burge, Gary,Whose Land? Whose Promise?: What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians,Carlisle, Paternoster: 2003 Critical of Israel, this book is Burge’s personal exploration of his…

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Case in Point: Jews and Arabs Join to Make Jesus Known
Author: Ruth Rosen

Peter and Yarden Nasser met at a festival in Akko (in the Western Galilee region of Northern Israel). Unlike most of the participants, they went to celebrate Y’shua and to tell festival-goers about Him. In the course of evangelizing, Yarden, a Jewish believer, asked Peter, an Arab believer, to translate something to help her witness….

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Jewish Gentile Couples Ministry Website

Jewish-Gentile Couples: becoming one flesh and one spirit
Author: Tuvya Zaretsky

In 1972, the sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie,” which had at its nexus a Jewish husband and a Gentile wife, was cancelled after one season because the intermarriage theme was considered too controversial. Evidently immune to the fuss, the stars of the show, Meredith Baxter (Gentile) and David Birney (Jewish) caused quite a stir when they…

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WITNESSING THIS PASSOVER
Author: Jews for Jesus

We all struggle with how best to tell our unsaved families about Jesus, and there are no easy answers. But Jewish holidays provide wonderful opportunities for witnessing. Our redemption from Egypt is so typical of the way God works His salvation plans. And the well-known theme of the lamb’s shed blood can help you explain…

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JEWISH BELIEVERS AND THE JEWISH COMMUNITY: How do we see each other?
Author: Rich Robinson

Looking back on my experience as a new believer and a university student, I remember two distinct Christian groups on our campus: Campus Crusade for Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The two had not so much a rivalry as hermetically sealed lives. Among IVCF-ers, Campus Crusade had a reputation for being too “in your face,”…

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It Shall Be to You a Memorial
Topics: passover
Author: Ruth Rosen

The word “memorial” has never been a favorite of mine. I always associated it with death, either by way of a quasi-funeral service or a cold piece of stone marking a grave. Even the sound of the word seemed heavy and sad. But, like so many things, that perception has changed over the years. The…

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THE LIBERATED WAILING WALL: Past, Present and Future…
Author: Aaron Abramson

Liberated Wailing Wall | Albums | Downloadable Music I have been surprised, as I encounter various Jewish believers, that so many first encountered the Jews for Jesus ministry through the Liberated Wailing Wall (LWW). This mobile evangelistic team continues to present Jewish gospel music and drama in approximately 300 churches and Messianic congregations each year. In…

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Heat and Light: A review of The Christian and the Pharisee
Author: David Brickner

Book Title: The Christian and the Pharisee Author: R.T. Kendall and David Rosen Date Published: January 3, 2007 Publisher: FaithWords ISBN: 978-0446697347 Reviewer: David Brickner In today’s “politically correct” environment, honest and respectful debate over religious differences is an increasingly endangered species. This is especially true in the long tradition of theological disputations between Jews…

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Jewish Guilt and the High Holy Days
Author: Aaron Abramson

“What special day do we celebrate next?” said a little girl to her father as she climbed into his lap. “Well, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot come just after summer,” he replied. By her unmoved expression he gathered that she was not terribly impressed. This was no surprise since she had only been four years old at last year’s services. Still, he had hoped that she would show a spark of interest, have some memory of the fall festivals. Was her lack of interest due to the relatively small Jewish community in their town? Or perhaps he’d not been intentional enough to balance his non-Jewish spouse’s inexperience with Jewish traditions. Whatever the case, one thing was certain: he was feeling stirrings of guilt. “Well,” he began, “Rosh Hashanah is . . . ,” but before he could finish, she had wriggled out of his lap and run out of the living room.

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Mushroom Barley Soup
Topics: recipes

If you are entertaining ushpizin for Sukkot here is a tasty treat they’re sure to love. This recipe debuted in Melissa Moskowitz’s Jews for Jesus Family Cookbook and appeared with many other holiday offerings in David Brickner’s Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles.

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Ushpizin
Author: Yoel Ben David

Movie Title: Ushpizin Director: Gidi Dar Writers: Udi Lion (story editor), Shuli Rand Primary Actors (stars): Shuli Rand, Michal Bat-Sheva Rand, Shaul Mizrahi Date released: 25 November 2005 (USA) Genre: Drama MPAA rating: PG Duration: 1h 30min Reviewer: Yoel Ben David Ushpizin” is the Aramaic word for “guest.” It is also the title of a…

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Christ in the Feast of the Tabernacles
Author: Seth Richards

Book Title: Christ in the Feast of the Tabernacles Author: David Brickner Date Published: May 1, 2006 Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition Genre: 1. Messianic Judaism2. Judaism3. Ritual ISBN: 978-0802413963 Reviewer: Seth Richards You probably know that the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, is the final of the three Harvest Festivals and concludes the…

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Holy Day Reminder ROSH HASHANAH: Saturday – Sunday, September 23-24 YOM KIPPUR: Monday, October 2 SUKKOT: Saturday-Saturday, October 7-14 SIMCHAT TORAH: Sunday, October 15 (All holidays begin the previous evening.) To see if Jews for Jesus is having a High Holy Day service near you go to: High Holiday Services Free Holy Day E-cards! We’ve…

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Reinstate the Draft
Author: Aaron Abramson

A wave of fear swept over me as I held the familiar looking Hebrew envelope. I knew it contained my tzav rishon, or first military interview. I was 16 and had seen other friends receive similar letters. This letter required my presence before the military in order to evaluate my physical and mental condition for…

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What’s It to You?
Author: Jews for Jesus

Aaron’s article stated: When Isaac was called, he was reminded of Abraham’s special relationship with God and of the covenant promises (Genesis 26:2-5). Jacob was reminded of the Lord’s relationship with both Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 28:13). Moses was reminded of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:6). Joshua was reminded of Moses’ faithful service (Joshua…

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If You Feed Them, They Will Come

When we think about serving God we often imagine going here or there to meet people, or to do projects. It is easy to overlook one of the best resources that many of us have for serving Him: our homes. Hospitality is becoming rare in our fast-tracked, Blackberry, blueberry, iPod, takeout dinner world. However, at…

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New from Jews for Jesus This Month!
Author: Jews for Jesus

Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles by David Brickner is being released by Moody Press this month! Please refer to the enclosed flyer for more information and details on how you can order this book to help prepare for Sukkot this fall. You will notice that Moody is also releasing a new, expanded version of…

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Passing It On
Topics: our stories
Author: David Lovi

My name is David Lovi. I was born in 1980 and I grew up in a mixed home. My father is a non-practicing Jew and my mother was Catholic. We sometimes went to a cousin’s house to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, and my mother would take me to a Catholic church for Christmas Eve. I remember…

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Bulletin Board
Author: Jews for Jesus

Summer is almost here! It is probably too late for you to join us on our summer witnessing campaign in New York City but please do pray for all those who have chosen to serve the Lord in this way. It’s not too late to take advantage of opportunities for Jewish children and youth. Jews…

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Running Away
Author: Aaron Abramson

I was camped with my paratrooper unit in the desert surrounding the Dead Sea when I recognized the name Joshua Friedberg on the front page of an Israeli newspaper. Ne’dar, missing. Before I had time to process what was happening, I was on a bus heading back to Machon Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem to join…

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Talking with Tass: A Palestinian who Loves the Jewish People
Topics: israel, interviews
Author: Jews for Jesus

As we reflect on the issue of reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian believers, we thought you might appreciate reading a bit from Tass Abu Sadr, a Palestinian who was raised as a Muslim and has been a believer in Jesus since 1993. Tass spent many years as a Fatah fighter; his is a radical example…

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Resources to Consider: Why Care About Israel by Sandra Teplinsky and Arabs in the Shadow of Israel by Tony Maalouf
Author: Ruth Rosen

Book Title: Why Care About Israel Arabs in the Shadow of Israel Author: Sandra Teplinsky Tony Maalouf Date Published: June 1, 2004 November 10, 2003 Publisher: Chosen Books Kregel Academic & Professional Genre: 1. Pentecostal & Charismatic2. Judaism3. Worship and Devotion 1. Prophecy2. Prophecies3. Israel & Palestine ISBN: 978-0800793432 978-0825431845 Reviewer: Ruth Rosen Ruth Rosen…

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Bulletin Board
Topics: bulletin board
Author: Jews for Jesus

E-cards Please remember that you can post a comment about any of the articles in Havurah,” by going to: http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/havurah Click on the article of your choice and look to the right where you can click on “comments.” It may seem early to mention but Purim and Passover, both will have passed by the time…

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About Torah Observance
Author: Rich Robinson

It’s been a long time coming but The Messianic Movement: A Field Guide for Evangelical Christians from Jews for Jesus is finally in print. One of the eleven chapters explores Torah observance among Jewish believers in Jesus. (We’ve slightly abbreviated it here for space considerations.) Torah observance is a “hot button” for many as it…

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Bulletin Board
Topics: bulletin board
Author: Jews for Jesus

It’s not too late… …to bask in the Son” as part of Behold Your God in the Jewish sun belt: South Florida and Phoenix! These short-term opportunities are a great way of “vacationing” for the Messiah. Okay, it’s not exactly a holiday experience, but the memories will last for an eternity! For more details, e-mail…

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Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People
Topics: book reviews
Author: Rich Robinson

Book Title: Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People Author: Mark S. Kinzer Date Published: November 1, 2005 Publisher: Brazos Press Genre: 1. Messianic Judaism2. New Testament3. Other Religions, Practices & Sacred Texts ISBN: 978-1587431524 Reviewer: Rich Robinson In this book, Mark Kinzer is writing largely to the church, asking Christians to…

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Resolutions That Guard Your Heart
Author: Susan Perlman

We don’t always know how the resolutions we make may one day guard our hearts—or even our bodies—as I discovered at the Israel in the Garden” celebration in San Francisco. It is amazing how many ways people can make their displeasure known when you are handing out gospel tracts in public, and after some 30…

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The Holiday Driven Life
Topics: sukkot
Author: Deanne Ebner

Ah, the holy days; a phrase that brings to mind thoughts of honeycakes, sukkahs and the hope of Messiah’s return…the hope, that is, of Messiah’s very soon return, like before lunch maybe? But this time of year also carries its own unique weight in my home, combining our family’s personal traditions with the honor of…

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High Holiday Celebrations of the Home and Heart
Author: Jews for Jesus

Every year as the calendar rolls around to the High Holidays, our minds are filled with memories of times past and anticipation of the traditions we are about to celebrate. We asked several Jewish believers to tell us what has made their holidays special and as some have reminisced with us, our hearts have nodded…

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All People Eat

All people eat, but for Jewish people eating is an event! What holiday would be complete without food? Even Yom Kippur ends with a break fast. Food provides sustenance, strength and a sense of nurture, and even helps bring meaning and sanctity to Jewish life and community. As food is prepared in the Jewish home—whether…

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What’s a Nice Jewish Boy Like You…?
Author: Stephen Katz

Stephen Katz is currently chief of station of our Jews for Jesus-D.C. branch, having moved to the Washington area two years ago. But for many years he and his family lived in San Francisco, and from that base Stephen wrote the lead articles for Mishpochah Message” and “Havurah.” The Katzes’ journey to find a place…

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Two Sides to the Story
Author: Oded Cohen

As an Israeli-Chinese couple, Oded and Bimini’s story is a fitting illustration of Tuvya’s thesis that Jesus truly transcends all cultural barriers. Bimini My brother called me resilient” because as a baby I fell out of my mother’s car as she made a quick turn. As I lay beneath the car behind her, my mother…

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Seeing Anyone Special?
Author: Ruth Rosen

Is there any group of people within the Jewish community or, at times, even the Messianic Jewish community, whose family status is as much discussed as those who have “married out”? I think that those who have not married at all run a close second. Remaining single and celibate is not such a Jewish thing…

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Irreconcilable Differences?
Author: Jews for Jesus

Book Title: Messianic Judaism is Not Christianity: A Loving Call to Unity. Author: Stan Telchin Date Published: September 1, 2004 Publisher: Chosen Books Genre: 1. Messianic Judaism2. Ecclesiology3. Evangelism ISBN: 978-0800793722 Reviewer: Jews for Jesus Given the polar opinions regarding Some Messianic Jews Say Messianic Judaism is Not Christianity: A Loving Call to Unity” we…

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Not Half and Half, But Whole
Author: Jhan Moskowitz

When my sister and I talked about getting tattoos, and my father asked us not to, at first I couldn’t understand why. After all, he’s the laidback, ex-hippie type, so I couldn’t see why he would be so against it. It is only recently that I realized why. The first tattoo my father ever saw…

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Young Jewish Adult Ministry: Is it all Greek to You?

Shortly before this edition of Havurah went to press, a co-worker read the copy, including the lead article I’d written and said to me, You know, Melissa, your article and advice on young adult ministry are good, but for the lead, it might be good to let a young adult raise the issues.” And so,…

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What Makes Mentoring Meaningful
Author: Ben Wertheim

When I was 14, my parents invited Jim for dinner. Although he was ten years older than me and an attorney, all through dinner he treated me with respect. After that evening we spent a lot of time together, doing things like going out for dinner, hiking throughout the Bay Area, seeing movies, and just…

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On Being Mentored and Mentoring

I believe in mentoring young people because mentoring was a powerful force in my own life for great good when I was young. I came to the Lord out of a very traditional Jewish background when I was in high school, a bumpy time for most young people. For the first two years of my…

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Young Adults: Fanning Their Faith
Author: Letitia Suk

For those of us who are old enough to remember, the big headlines in 1970 were about the breakup of the Beatles, the Apollo 13 crisis, the Kent State killings, and the Vietnam war. It was also the Jesus Revolution,” and many Jewish youths were becoming believers. As a 20 year old, those events were…

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Campus Ministry…Jewish Style!
Author: Mark Moskovitz

In the fall of 2001 I attended my first InterVarsity Christian Fellowship meeting on campus. The evening worship drew from various cultures and languages. Because of this diversity, I immediately felt comfortable enough to share that I was a Jewish believer in Jesus. Soon I was responsible for running overheads during worship, and by the…

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Keeper of Israel: Reflections on Psalm 121

Imagine that early this morning you and some of your friends left the comfort of your homes to begin a long and often arduous journey. Underfoot, stones invade your sandals; you and your friends must watch for larger ones that could threaten your balance. As you walk, you glance to the right and to the…

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Trees from the Forest: The State of Evangelism in Israel

Here in Israel there are no experts” on evangelism. There are many believers who are doing the work of evangelism, but most of us are in the middle of the task and cannot see the trees from the forest. While there are no experts, there is no lack of opinions or perspectives. Our Jews for…

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Here, But There
Topics: our stories, zionism
Author: Gloria Suess

As content as I am learning to be with my life in the States, much of my heart still longs to return to Israel. In many ways, it is home to me. I first went to Israel in 1966. I traveled there by ship and stayed almost two years; I would have stayed longer if…

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Living on the Edge

There are so many adjectives one could use to describe living in a place that changes daily, if not hour-by-hour. At the risk of beginning on a negative note, let’s just say that great” or “awesome” are not always at the top of the list. When our family moved to Israel in 1994, I was…

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New Age in Israel
Author: Dan Sered

Most Israelis are required to serve in the Israeli Defense Force for at least two years. After their service in the IDF, many are weary from facing the reality of death every day, so they decide to get away for awhile. The Far East is a popular destination for these young people. They want to…

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Amitai: A Soldier’s Story and a Recurring Dream
Author: Shlomy A

There were 14 generations from our ancestor Abraham to King David; 14 generations from David to the Babylonian exile and 14 generations from the exile to the coming of our Messiah Yeshua. For Amitai, an Israeli soldier who recently became a believer in Yeshua, the number 14 is also significant, for Amitai’s family has not…

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A Light to the Nations
Author: Jews for Jesus

This edition of Havurah celebrates the contributions of contemporary Jewish believers in Yeshua to the larger body of Messiah by focusing in on a few mishpochah: Meredith Feldstein DeRidder, who with her husband Aaron, ministers in a little village in Papua, New Guinea. Peter and Laura Gittlen, who live among the Mixtec people of Oaxaca,…

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In a Strange Land
Author: Peter Gittlen

To our family, our lives are pretty unspectacular. But over the years, many people—including my parents—haven’t hesitated to tell us that our lives are unusual. Years ago, my wife Laura and I sat down with my mother and father on a grassy hill outside the Detroit Zoo and said excitedly, We have something to tell…

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Only One Life

Shortly after my bat mitzvah, my nice Jewish mother shocked our family by becoming a Jewish mother for Jesus! Naturally, she wanted her family to accompany her to the messianic congregation where she had begun worshipping. I resisted for a long time, but one Saturday I decided to go along. I was challenged to see…

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Brace Yourself
Topics: our stories
Author: Steve Feldstein

For many years I was a businessman whose highest priority was to provide health and happiness for my family. I worked hard so we could live on the highest level. I housed my family in increasingly fine homes, drove expensive cars and provided the best of everything for them. Our family always took costly vacations,…

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It Is Worth It
Author: Laurel Heiss

My husband, Stu, grew up with an agnostic Jewish father who denied Stu a bar mitzvah because God was for the weak, uneducated people who need a crutch.” My father was an Episcopal minister, but mysteriously, we had a mezuzzah on our doorpost. Stu and I met in 1969 and after we both accepted the…

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Letters
Author: Jews for Jesus

While we did not want to devote another Havurah to The Challenge of our Messianic Movement,” we did want to print some of the responses to Part 2. Rich Robinson and Ruth Rosen have responded at the end. Note: the first two letters, by Mark Kinzer and Stuart Dauermann were printed in full as was…

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The Challenge Of Our Messianic Movement, Part 2
Author: Rich Robinson

Us and Him People have been asking, So when are we going to see ‘Part 2’ of this Havurah article?” Apparently, Part 1 stirred plenty of interest and even some controversy. Truthfully, “Part 2” has been through various permutations as we consider a response to current events within the messianic community. As we echo concerns…

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The Challenge of Our Messianic Movement, Part One
Author: Rich Robinson

In the ’70s, the messianic movement” was understood as a moving of Jewish people to faith in Yeshua in the context of Jewish culture. “Messianic,” while not formally defined, had a clear connotation of “Jewish and a believer in Jesus.” For a variety of reasons, the landscape has changed significantly. The term “messianic” has been…

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Twice Married (to each other!), Twice Blessed, An Interview with Jack and Renee Diamond
Author: Jews for Jesus

Tell me about your upbringing. RENEE: I grew up in a loving Jewish home. I remember enjoying Christmas carols and wondering who Jesus was, but in my house we were told that Jesus wasn’t for us. JACK: Unlike Renee, my upbringing was quite turbulent. My mother suffered from emotional and mental problems that caused her…

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A Family Reconciled: The Story of Elaine Lewis
Author: Elaine Lewis

My mother shaped my Jewish upbringing more than anyone else. She diligently ensured that our family celebrated Shabbat and went to our synagogue on Chicago’s North Shore for the High Holidays, as well as faithfully sending my two sisters and me there for Sunday school each week. However, by the time I was a teenager…

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Question Authority, Part Two
Author: Moishe Rosen

In the last issue of Havurah we talked about questioning authority, particularly where the Jewish religion is concerned. We observed a shift in authority following the destruction of the Temple. That shift occurred at the council of Yavneh, where the rabbis appointed themselves as the leaders of Judaism in place of the priestly system established…

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Statistically Speaking: What’s New in Jewish Community Demographics
Author: Susan Perlman

It’s been said that, Statistics are like witnesses—they will testify for either side.” Of course, if one conducts a statistical study with a pre-conceived conclusion, that adage is appropriate. However, statistics, properly gathered and interpreted, can be very helpful. Those of us in the messianic community who are interested in understanding trends in the Jewish…

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Zayde
Topics: poetry

Zayde You used to call me Shayna maidele, your pretty one As you bounced me on your knee. Oh, your grey beard scared me so! Zayde Did you know I looked In your dresser drawer and found the cherry drops. They were for me, weren’t they? Zayde I can still feel Your strong arms Gathering…

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Question Authority
Author: Moishe Rosen

In the ’70s many of us were inspired, instructed and even informed by bumper stickers. Some people used their bumpers to speak out, others to talk back. One Christian group had a bumper sticker that proclaimed, We found it,” to which a group of Jewish people countered with their own bumper sticker declaring, “We never…

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Christmas Is Still a Jewish Holiday
Topics: christmas
Author: Ruth Wardell

It was my joy to share Yeshua with Jewish people in New York City as far back as 1946! As a missionary with the American Board of Missions to the Jews, I recall that some of our greatest times of outreach were through holiday services. I’m not talking about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and others…

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When Is a Christmas Ornament a Foreign Object?
Topics: christmas
Author: Adey Wassink

I am not putting one up. Just leave me alone!” “Honey, it’s a Christmas tree ornament! It’s not going to kill you to put it on the tree!” How could my husband Tom know what it was like growing up Jewish in Skokie, Illinois? Flashback: Each year at Christmastime all the regular television shows would…

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Products That Didn’t Make it This Holiday Season
Topics: hanukkah

Our Purple Pomegranate Productions catalog may seem to have an endless assortment of good and worthwhile products, but even our buyer has to say no to some vendors who want us to carry their products. Here are a few that didn’t make the cut this year. Maybe you can figure out why. Hat Rack Hanukkiah:…

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Yeshua, Yom Kippur And You
Topics: yom kippur, fasting
Author: Stephen Katz

Yom Kippur can be somewhat of a conundrum to Jewish believers in Yeshua. Do we fast and confess our sins like the rest of the Jewish community or do we rejoice in the knowledge that we’re forgiven in Messiah? I remember my first Yom Kippur as a new believer. I had received the Lord in…

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David Lewinsohn
Topics: yom kippur
Author: David Lewinsohn

I was raised in a traditional Jewish home in Melbourne, Australia. My grandparents were killed in the Holocaust. Our family were founding members of the Moorabbin and Districts Hebrew Congregation, where I attended weekly until I was 19. I married a Jewish woman in 1974, but we were divorced in 1989. I married again in…

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Laura Mawer
Topics: our stories
Author: Laura Mawer

I always had a strong Jewish identity, but it disturbed me that I didn’t know what God expected from me as a Jew. In college I even kept kosher for a while, but this didn’t bring me closer to God. It seemed there had to be something more. In my thirties I began to explore…

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Merle Kout
Topics: our stories
Author: Merle Kout

I spent my childhood attending two different neighborhood synagogues for the High Holidays. I remember the awesome dignity of the men as they approached the bimah, in contrast to the sights and sounds of the congregation as they sat and visited during the service. I didn’t shy away from religious observance. Actually, I went to…

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Yom Kippur and You: How Some Jewish Believers Observe the Day
Topics: yom kippur
Author: Jews for Jesus

I observe the fast to the end that God would bang on the hearts of our unsaved families.

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Encounters with Peace in a Land of Strife
Author: Stephen Katz

The media claim that eight recent terror attacks in the heart of downtown Jerusalem have reduced a bustling economic zone to an economic no-man’s land. On a recent trip to Israel I found a very subdued atmosphere that seemed to confirm that claim. Even Tel Aviv—normally bustling with parties and nightlife on Saturday after sundown—seemed…

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Spying out the Land through Project Joshua
Author: Jews for Jesus

Jews for Jesus wanted to put together a good program that could train Jewish believing college students in evangelism as well as encourage them in their Jewish identity in Yeshua. What better place to do that than in Israel? When we first announced Project Joshua, a two-week study and evangelism trip to Israel, the situation…

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Two Walls
Topics: poetry

In his hands, he folds the note, Smaller and smaller The words he’d found so hard to write The question he’d found so hard to ask His feet move slowly Towards the stones touched by holy men Black coats, black hats, gray beards these begin to fill his eyes. Ardent swaying, lips giving shape to…

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Hinei Ma Tov
Author: Stephen Katz

Three congregations stand firmly on the solid rock of God’s Word. The first is the Spit And Be Healed Congregation.” Yeshua healed a blind man by spitting on his eyes, so they base their congregational life on that practice. The second is the “Touch And Be Healed Congregation.” Yeshua often healed people by touching them,…

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A Sidebar from September

I’m putting together this edition of Havurah in late October with the images and impact of September 11, the war in Afghanistan and bio-terrorism at home fresh on my mind. Our very own Jews for Jesus office in Toronto was the recipient of a letter with some white powder (praise God, it wasn’t anthrax) not…

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In the Face of Terrorism: How Shall We Then Live?
Author: David Rose

When I was a little boy, terrorism had a real name and a real face: Joey,* the neighborhood tough guy.” He would pick on anyone regardless of size or age, and to my six-year-old frame, Joey loomed larger than life. So it came as a real surprise to everyone—and most of all to me—that one…

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Is It Ever Inappropriate to Preach the Gospel?
Author: Jews for Jesus

The family and friends of the deceased have gathered in the small chapel; the service is about to begin. This death was an untimely one, and no one was prepared to say goodbye. There is so much pain in the hearts of each one there. A clergyman rises to the pulpit to speak. What words…

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Making Or Becoming Disciples
Author: Stephen Katz

This issue of Havurah examines discipleship from many angles. I hope you’ll read all the articles. Yeshua told us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19) and we need to obey Him. However, our need to be discipled, no matter how long we’ve called on the name of Yeshua as our Messiah, is also important. The saying…

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Discipleship and Evangelism: Hand and Glove Together
Author: Lyn Bond

Evangelism and discipleship are not opposite ends of a spectrum, neither are they the beginning and end of a process. Followers of Yeshua are commanded to both take the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the world” and to “make” new believers into “disciples.” Sometimes we divide the Body of Messiah into those who “take”…

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The Making of a Disciple
Author: Kina Forman

What struggles do new Jewish believers encounter as they begin their spiritual journey? Sometimes, we who have been believers for a long time forget that both pain and joy accompany a new birth. As a missionary with Jews for Jesus, Kina Forman regularly disciples new Jewish believers. Here she offers a bird’s eye view of…

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Meet the Parent: Paul

As we take a closer look at the issue of discipleship in this edition of Havurah, we can gain insight from reading about the Apostle Paul’s relationship with those whom he mentored. Expressions revealing the heart of a spiritual parent are scattered throughout Paul’s letters. In his zeal to see new believers grow up into…

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A Challenge to Congregations
Author: Kiel Cooper

All too often, discipleship has been relegated to elective programs on the congregational calendar. Yet Yeshua gave us a mandate to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). So how do we do it? Congregation as Warehouse or Factory? To begin the process of transforming a congregation, we must first understand what a congregation is and why it…

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The Jewish Roots Movement: Pros and Cons
Author: Stephen Katz

As Jewish believers, we often encourage Gentile Christians to learn about the Jewish roots of their faith. But could an excessive interest in their Jewish roots be harmful to their spiritual health?

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If You Can’t Get to the Synagogue: A Home Shabbat Celebration
Topics: sabbath
Author: Jews for Jesus

Perhaps you live in Yennevelt—far, far away from a Jewish community or a messianic congregation. Maybe you’re the only Jewish believer in your town and you want to celebrate Shabbat. You long for a meaningful Shabbat experience, a transition for you and your loved ones into a weekend of rest and worship, but frankly, you’re…

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Are We Getting It Right?
Author: Jews for Jesus

Ben W.: I’ve heard that for most guys who are bar mitzvah these days, after their bar mitzvah they forget about everything—Hebrew, shul and God. I’ve been a believer in the Messiah Jesus for as long as I can remember, since I was about four years old. Because of Jesus, I think this bar mitzvah…

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Operation Behold Your God
Author: Avi Snyder

Imagine this: Jewish people throughout the world hearing the gospel in terms they can understand—maybe even for the first time! Between March 2001 and October 2005, Jews for Jesus plans to launch an outreach in every city worldwide that has a Jewish population of 25,000 or more. The work will take place in approximately 60…

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Generations and Generations and Generations
Author: Josh Sofaer

It’s 3:00 a.m. I’m sitting in a Jewish deli in New York City, eating blintzes with three high school-aged, second-generation Jewish believers. They are all on Halutzim, a teen mission trip I lead each summer, and we are in one of the most compelling conversations I’ve ever had. We’d been talking since 10:00 p.m. about…

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Be a Mensch: Mentor a Younger Person!
Topics: discipleship
Author: Jews for Jesus

An anonymous sage once said, When you find a turtle on a fence post, the one thing you know for certain is that he didn’t get there by himself.” Anyone who has benefited from the mentoring process can tell you that someone went out of their way to invest in him or her. A mentor…

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Double Angst: Keeping Your College Student in Touch With God
Author: Jews for Jesus

Often, believing parents experience the double angst of sending their child off to college AND releasing them in hopes that they will continue to walk in their faith. For many, there exists the concern that one’s young adult child, when plucked out of his family and worship community and caught up in his new life…

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How Shall We Then Write?

One of my favorite college assignments came in a Children’s Literature class at San Francisco State University, when my professor asked us to read 100 assorted story and picture books. I spent several delightful Saturday afternoons in the public library, enmeshed in the mischievous mishaps of Curious George and fearless little Miss Madeline. Those were…

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What in Yeshua’s Name Is Happening to the Ethiopian Jews?
Author: Lev Leigh

Between 1984 and 1985, a covert series of airlifts known as Operation Moses” transported more than 12,000 Ethiopian Jews from neighboring Sudan to the State of Israel.1 In 1989, diplomatic relations were restored between Jerusalem and Addis Ababa and, “At the heart of this agreement was a commitment on Ethiopia’s part to allow the Falashas2—all…

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Ethiopia

  From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering” Zephaniah 3:10 It is best to have no expectations when visiting Ethiopia and it is vital to arrive there with a very open mind. Ethiopia is a mono-cultural, third-world nation. There are few conveniences and almost…

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I Am a Jewish Believer, from Ethiopia
Author: Jews for Jesus

Oh, you really are Jewish! But you are a little dark,” the young woman said. I was wearing a Jews for Jesus T-shirt and distributing broadsides while speaking to a woman on the streets of New York. I answered, “I’m from Ethiopia.” And she replied, “Now I understand, yes, I know there are Jews in…

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Persecution of Ethiopian Believers in Israel

The Ethiopian messianic community in Israel developed as a result of Operation Solomon, beginning in 1990. Included in the earliest immigrations to Israel were some of the Jewish believers, pastors and elders from Ethiopia. Once settled in the Land, they organized home fellowships which grew and matured into congregations. Today, there is a network of…

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Tribute to the Real Hero
Topics: purim
Author: Stephen Katz

There I stood, “Super Mordechai,” in my red-dyed long underwear, sporting a cape and a big “M” emblazoned on my thermal undershirt. I’m not sure if the costume shaped my understanding of Purim or vice versa, but for most of my life I have seen Mordechai as the hero of the story. As we read…

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Hazel Stone: May Her Memory Be Blessed
Author: Jeanne Waterman

I was a new believer when I began attending the Jews for Jesus Bible study in San Francisco in 1983. Each week, about twenty minutes into the study, an elderly woman carrying a white shopping bag would shuffle her way to a front row seat. It was not uncommon to hear her amens,” or the…

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Losing All; Gaining All
Author: Ruth Horak

I was born in Czechoslovakia in 1935. Our family owned one of the largest textile factories in the Czech Republic. In 1940, when the Germans occupied this area, they first took the industrialists, and my father was sent to the Warsaw Ghetto. We never saw him again. In September of 1942 all the Jewish people…

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Messianic Scribal Arts: Megillot in North Carolina?
Topics: purim

The hills of western rural North Carolina seem an unlikely home for Messianic Scribal Arts, a ministry which produces hand-scribed Hebrew scrolls of both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. Lisa and Deborah Bisol—who are both sisters and artists—also create mezzuzot, machzorim (worship books for holy days), and scriptural art pieces such as illuminated manuscripts,…

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Raising Children in Two Worlds
Author: Stephen Katz

Mommy, does Grandma believe in Yeshua? “No, sweetheart, she doesn’t.” “But why not? She’s Jewish, isn’t she?!” All four of our children have initiated conversations much like the one above with my wife or me, and some of you who are parents have told me of similar interactions in your homes. Some messianic kids have…

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Messianically-Correct Candle Blessings
Topics: hanukkah
Author: Loren Jacobs

While God has never commanded us to light the Hanukkah candles, our Jewish tradition beckons us to do so. Written here are some blessings we use with our own family at home, as well as with our congregational family, Shema Israel Congregation in Detroit. The first blessing, said on the first night, can also be…

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Let Your Light Shine: A Children’s Holiday Outreach
Topics: hanukkah
Author: Jennifer Isaac

The eight days of Hanukkah provide an excellent opportunity for you and your congregational family to shine Yeshua’s light on the residents of an area nursing home. Here are some ideas for making this a memorable holiday season as your children learn to carry the love of Yeshua to their community. Check with a local…

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In the Kitchen of Clara Rubin
Topics: recipes
Author: Laura Barron

Clara Rubin’s parents came from Russia to the United States in 1911. She was born five years later in Brooklyn, New York. Her family had fled the pogroms of Russia for this haven of freedom, but life was difficult and money was scarce. The medical dispensary in Williamsburg, run by Beth Sar Shalom, met the…

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Celebrations of Light
Topics: poetry, hanukkah
Author: Janna Sanders

In the beginning the world was in darkness God speaking, the Spirit moving let there be light we remember the miracle God’s wondrous act. The temple in darkness desecrated, defiled, a small band of warriors, the victory won, we remember the miracle God’s wondrous act. Chanting the blessings with every candle we light, every day…

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Never Give Up
Author: Stephen Katz

I looked out into the congregation and there he was—the man who could have been my father’s double! I tried not to stare at him as I finished my presentation but the resemblance was startling. Strangely, that same week, I saw two more look-alikes” for my unbelieving dad as I continued my speaking tour in…

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With Family, Gently Knock

As Jewish believers, many of us resonate with the words of Yeshua found in Mark 6:4, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Those who grew up with Yeshua could not accept His wisdom because they only saw Him as “that carpenter,”…

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Who Is This Jesus Anyway?
Topics: our stories
Author: Rita Korotkin

Years ago, I often passed a sign on the highway that read, Jesus Saves.” I wondered who Jesus was and what, or whom, He had come to save. Little did I realize that He had come for me, and that one day He would become the focus of my life and my very reason for…

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Something Keeps Me Wanting to Hear
Topics: family issues

I asked David*, an unsaved Jewish man we’ve befriended through our Skokie office, to meet with me. David’s sister Susan* is a believer. I told him that this issue of Havurah was about encouraging Jewish believers to keep sharing their faith with their families and that I wanted to ask him how Susan’s beliefs had…

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When a Sister-in-law is a Sister in the Lord
Author: Renee Abend

When I was a child, I once saw a television program in which Gumby got himself into a bit of trouble, and a friend named Jesus came along to help him. I remember wishing that I had a friend like Jesus, but I had been taught that He was not for us Jews. Many years…

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Unequally Yoked: What Does God Say About Mixed Matches?
Author: Stephen Katz

You may have heard it called evangelistic dating.” You may have heard it called “throwing caution to the wind.” Either way, serious problems arise when believers date and marry non-believers. Perhaps you know someone who is contemplating such a relationship. If you have children old enough to date, perhaps it is becoming a family concern….

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Tovya and Michelle Rose: A First Fruits Marriage
Topics: marriage
Author: Leah Snyder

After their first one-and-a-half years of marriage, the Rose’s are now leading the newest Liberated Wailing Wall team. Here’s how the Lord brought the Roses together: What kind of family did you grow up in? TOVYA: Both of my parents are Jewish. For the first few years of their marriage, they were really seeking spiritual…

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Celebrating Shavuot With the Mishpochah
Topics: shavuot
Author: Jews for Jesus

A Bit of Background Shavuot begins on the evening of the sixth of Sivan. In Bible times, this holiday was an agricultural festival—a time for our people to present the firstfruits of the crops to God. It was a holiday of gratitude; of giving back to the Lord that which He had given to us….

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Appropriate in His Time
Author: Lynn McCoy

When we are going through a particularly trying time, we can’t always see God’s hand in our situation. Yet when we look back, we can realize that God makes everything appropriate in His time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). My wedding is this month (May 1), but I know that the years of my singleness were perfectly “appropriate.”…

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The Art of Messianic Ketubot
Topics: marriage, jewish art
Author: Leah Snyder

Nancy Jardine is a Detroit-born artist who has infused the art of making ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts) with a personal spiritual dynamic. She holds a degree in Fine Art from Madonna University and currently works as an art teacher at a Christian school. Nancy first encountered a ketubah when she was asked to repair one…

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Taking the Plunge
Author: Stephen Katz

A Jew who lived in a Catholic neighborhood drove the neighbors crazy with the smell of barbecue every Friday night. The neighbors went on a campaign to persuade him to convert, so that like them, he would be constrained to eat fish on Fridays. He agreed. Surprised at how easy the conversion was, he asked…

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Milk and Honey: Forms that Reflect our Faith
Author: Jews for Jesus

One of the challenges we face as Jewish believers is finding forms that reflect and connect our faith in the God of our ancestors, our new birth in the Messiah Yeshua, and our Jewish heritage. Our desire is to keep those forms biblical and distinctly Jewish and to weave them creatively throughout our worship and…

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A Holy Appointment

Worship is like the wind. Sometimes it appears as a gentle breeze. Other times it appears with great power and might. The wind can lift us up, propel us forward and refresh us. We can approach the wind with wonder and awe or as something that is an everyday part of our lives. All of…

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Walk With Yeshua Through the Jewish Year
Author: Jews for Jesus

Book Title: Walk With Yeshua Through the Jewish Year Author: Janie-sue Wertheim and Kathy Shapiro Date Published: August 1, 1998 Publisher: Purple Pomegranate Productions ISBN: 978-1881022404 Reviewer: Jews for Jesus Order this book online. Despite the plethora of books and materials available in the messianic marketplace, materials for children of Jewish believing families are still…

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Dialogue Across the Seas
Author: Stephen Katz

My previous article, The Desert Hasn’t Blossomed Yet sparked several interesting responses. We enjoy the letters of appreciation but it’s also good to know when people take exception to what we say. After all, Havurah is for our family in Messiah—and what Jewish family doesn’t argue and dispute now and then? We thought you might…

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Yeshua: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle
Author: Moshe Shuai

Life was a mystery to me when I was growing up. As a child we observed the Jewish traditions and holidays at home. In Israel people are either Orthodox, traditional, or secular. To be traditional means to observe the holidays and traditions, but it doesn’t mean to acknowledge God. Our family kept the traditions but…

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Israelis in Cochabamba?
Author: Jews for Jesus

Cochabamba is not a Latin American dance or a Mexican pastry. It’s a small town in Bolivia, situated 8,500 feet above sea level, home of New Tribes Mission workers Bob and Joyce Wilhelmson (right with Israeli guest). Surprisingly, it’s a haven for backpacking Israelis. The Wilhelmsons’ home has become a witnessing hub to hundreds of…

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Unless the Lord Had Been Our Help…
November 1, 1998

It’s June of ’92, and our Jews for Jesus team of 20 board the British Airways plane from London to Israel. Our faces show a mixture of excitement and apprehension. We are about to spend two months on a moshav (a farm/hotel) outside of Jerusalem. From this base we will do evangelism and take courses…

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Celebrating Hanukkah: in Israel, Cochabamba, or Wherever!
Topics: hanukkah

When I was a child, Hanukkah was one of my favorite holidays. I knew the blessings for the candles and enjoyed the tasty latkes my mother prepared. When I first became a believer in Yeshua, I was tempted to dismiss Hanukkah as something minor and just for children. Yet in John 10, we see that…

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What Do We Do With Yizkor?
Author: Stephen Katz

What childhood images do the High Holidays stir in your memory? I remember my impatience over the seemingly endless synagogue services balanced with the excitement of knowing something special was happening. Then there was the unusual sight of Jews in uniform, piling in from a nearby naval base to worship with us. They helped pack…

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Ray Stolz: On Printmaking and Praise
Author: Jews for Jesus

The Messianic art movement is alive and well and growing in South Africa! Ray Stolz, elder at Beit Yeshua Messianic Congregation in Johannesburg, is a printmaker who weds traditional South African images with biblical narrative to bring praise to the Jewish Messiah Yeshua. Ray’s soft-spokenness is contrasted to and complemented by the bubbly personality of…

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Reaching the Unreachable God: The Story of Dr. Les Berman
Topics: our stories
Author: Les Berman

I was born in Pretoria and our family moved to Johannesburg when I was four years old. Both my parents are Jewish, and from my earliest years I had a sense of pride regarding my Jewish heritage. I can remember a keen fascination with the figures that emerged from the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures—Abraham,…

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From the Editor

It was a very bright, warm Soweto day, perfect for a wedding. A local pastor, friend of the Jews for Jesus ministry, had remarried after his wife’s death. Our party of three—Lev and Jenifer Leigh (Jews for Jesus South Africa branch missionaries) and I—drove through the Johannesburg township in search of the home where the…

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The Desert Hasn’t Blossomed Yet
Author: Stephen Katz

This year, Israel is celebrating its 50th birthday, its modern Year of Jubilee. In the last 50 years the world has seen the Israeli desert blossom like the Garden of Eden. Yet there has been no such spiritual blossoming in the hearts of the people of Israel—our Jewish people—who live in the Land. There have…

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Project Joshua: More Than Just Your Typical Tour to Israel
Author: Brinly Stewart

Project Joshua was an incredible trip for me and the 14 other college students who were part of it. What a God-given opportunity! The Lord did so many things in each of our lives before we even boarded the plane. One lost his wallet and passport the day before, only to have it returned. Another…

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Campaigner Looks Back and Ahead
Author: Guillermo Katz

Hot town, summer in the city.…” Do you think the Lovin’ Spoonful wrote that song about the Jews for Jesus Summer Witnessing Campaign in New York City? Every year we bring a team of willing workers to the Big Apple to share the Good News of Yeshua and to remind them that though New York…

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Does Your Mother Know You’re Doing This?
Author: Josh Sofaer

For those of us who have handed out tracts with Jews for Jesus, we’ve all heard it—in fact, we almost come to expect it. A person is walking down the street, their eyes focused on where they’re headed. They see us, their eyes close a bit. They don’t look too happy, because they’ve just seen…

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On Faith and Creativity

Although this is only the second issue of Havurah, we’ve already begun a tradition: Each edition will feature an article about what’s happening in the Messianic Jewish art world. At this rate—if the Lord tarries—Havurah will need to be published well into the second millennium! We at Jews for Jesus keep discovering” new creativity and…

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He’s Not Clowning Around
Author: Lyn Bond

Henry Morse takes the Word of God very seriously. Yet while the Great Benafuchi thinks of himself as an evangelist, through his circus ministry he acts and looks like a clown. Henry believes that the use of humor is important in getting across the Good News: “When people are laughing, at least we know they’re…

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Camp Gilgal and the Next Generation in Messiah

It could be that when Jews for Jesus ceases to exist,it might be said that our Camp Gilgal ministry was our greatest achievement.” Moishe Rosen, August 25, 1995 Camp Gilgal began in 1991 in both California and Pennsylvania. This summer we will be premiering a third camp in Wisconsin. Over 200 Jewish children have attended…

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An Old Command
Author: Stephen Katz

Havurah. It’s a good title for a messianic publication, don’t you think? After all, the word means company, band or group.” In fact, in Hebrew, the root of the word is used to make other words like “join together, friend, member, society, partner and gang.” We who are Jewish and believe in Yeshua belong to…

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Arthur Barlis: A Jewish Doctor Who Met the Great Physician
Author: Arthur Barlis

I was born in 1939 in Providence, Rhode Island. Our neighborhood was almost entirely Jewish, and our home somewhat traditional. As I grew, my goal was to be a doctor and help people. Although I was fearful of God, I also believed He was helping me accomplish my goals. In the mid-1960’s I entered the…

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Hands Put to Use for Creator’s Glory
Author: Jews for Jesus

What’s crimson, gold, cadmium yellow and appliqued all over? A Michael and Virginia Crosby banner. These two Ohio-based craftspeople paint” with fabrics of all colors, using corduroy, satin, silk and wool, even fabric that’s leftover from a bed pillow or pair of pants that Virginia’s sewn up on her sewing machine. Photographs do not reveal…

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Our Mothers Told Us
Topics: family issues
Author: Jews for Jesus

Our mothers were right. No matter how we tried to fool them when we were little (trying to raise a temperature by placing a thermometer next to the radiator, drawing on chicken pox with ballpoint pens, developing sudden” stomach aches on the day of an exam), our mothers were always there at the door to…

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Three Teens Who’ve Trusted Yeshua
Topics: our stories
Author: Jews for Jesus

Micha Cohen, 17, St. Louis The hardest thing I’ve faced in the past few years was having to move from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Louis right before my junior year. I was so angry with God and my parents for making me do this, but eventually I had no choice but to accept the move….

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Letter Regarding Jewish Identity
Author: Jews for Jesus

Shalom Steve! Yesterday I received the Mishpochah Message with your lead article Alarming Our Community.” I must say that what I read made me angry. I am not angry with you personally, but with what you wrote. Please allow me to explain. Your analysis of what happened to Chuck Snow presents many important concerns. But…

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Letter Concerning Southern Baptists
Author: Jews for Jesus

Rarely have I taken the time to comment in writing to anything sent by mass mail but the occasion of your article (Mishpochah Message, Winter, 1997) warrants a response. In the article you advised Messianic Jews to embrace the evangelical thrusts of the Southern Baptist Convention to non-believing Jews. Great ire had apparently been expressed…

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