Stephen Katz | Washington DC

North American Director

Stephen's grandparents immigrated to America from Eastern Europe in the early 20th century, ultimately settling in the Chicago area. As a boy, Stephen enjoyed sports and excelled in school. In his high school years he began to question the values he had been raised with, and instead of focusing on academics, began to spend all his time playing guitar and harmonica. Over the next few years he searched for answers to his many questions about life, eventually becoming a follower of Yeshua. Three weeks after receiving his bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Illinois, he got married and began to work with abused and neglected youth in a residential treatment center in Chicago, which he did for 10 years (taking one year out to live on a kibbutz in Israel). He received his master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois in 1984. He and his young family attended a messianic congregation for 13 years, where Stephen served as the worship leader. In 1989, Stephen began missionary training with Jews for Jesus and now serves as North American Director. For 12 years he oversaw our work in Israel and still continues to be involved with our work there. Laura and he have four children, three of whom are married. He received a master's degree in intercultural and Jewish studies from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1997. Stephen is known to be a warm-hearted and engaging teacher and a good listener.

Missionary Seasons
April 1, 2006
Author: Stephen Katz

One thing people might not realize about being a missionary is that it has its seasons—and like most walks of life, it has accompanying ups and downs. For the missionary in training, everything is a combination of nervousness and excitement. But in time, that passes....

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The Ezekiel Option
Author: Stephen Katz

Book Title: The Ezekiel Option Author: Joel C. Rosenberg Date Published: 2006 Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers Genre: 1. Mystery 2. Political 3. Mystery & Suspence ISBN: 13: 978-1414303437 Reviewer: Stephen Katz The Ezekiel Option ought to have the following...

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Build and Be Built
June 1, 2004
Author: Stephen Katz

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:11-12 The Apostle Paul taught...

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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...

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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...

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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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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...

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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...

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The ONLY way to know if Jesus is the Messiah
Author: Stephen Katz

The ONLY way to know if Jesus is the Messiah Rhetoric was a required course at the University of Illinois at Urbana and I was not a happy camper. As a Jewish kid from Chicago who considered Bob Dylan my idol, I found it difficult to reconcile being a no-name college...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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Forum: Alarming Our Community
Topics: community
Author: Stephen Katz

In January, the Jerusalem Report ran an article titled, The Rabbi Who Lost His Faith…and Found Judaism.” The rabbi to whom the article referred was Chuck Snow—a Jew who renounced his faith in Jesus after 22 years as a professing believer. Snow, who led the...

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The Messianic Bar Mitzvah
Author: Stephen Katz

Well I had a bar mitzvah when I was thirteen, The greatest bar mitzvah that you’ve ever seen. The temple on the corner of Mayfield and Lee was filled with my friends and my family, all of them proud as proud could be, with catering far as the eye could see—...

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Two Men Who Lived Life Well Finish the Course: More Winners in Heaven—Part One
November 1, 1995
Author: Stephen Katz

When Moishe Rosen heard that Charles Feinberg was in a Bay Area nursing home, he asked me to schedule regular visits with him. I am grateful that he did, for in Dr. Charles Feinberg I found a lasting role model of faith. As we visited, I grew to love Dr. Feinberg. We...

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Mice in the Cookie Jar
November 1, 1994
Author: Stephen Katz

Almost every time I speak at a church, Christians come up and thank me for helping to clarify the Jewish roots of their faith or for giving them ideas on how to witness to their Jewish friends. But at one church I sadly found a set of different responses. It was a...

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More Interesting Coverage in the Jewish Press
June 1, 1993
Author: Stephen Katz

Just before Passover the Jewish Bulletin mentioned us again in a front-page feature article. The subject was haggadot (service books for the Jewish Passover seder). The owners of all the local Jewish bookstores and other Jewish-owned bookstores were interviewed on the...

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Who Needs It?” He Did!”
December 1, 1992
Author: Stephen Katz

I first met Howard when he walked into our headquarters office completely unannounced. In just a few minutes of conversation I knew that here was a Jewish man who was open and willing to discuss the claims of Jesus. When I asked Howard how he knew of Jews for Jesus...

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