Saturday, October 1, 2022
Saturday, September 24, 2022
I used to see Helen every year at the Messiah Conference. She was always teaching dance classes and was a lot of fun!
We recently reconnected and I was excited to learn more about her. Here is her story! Enjoy the music too!
Helen Weiner Wilson grew up with only a vague connection to her Jewish roots. She was raised in Ethical Culture, a humanistic religious movement, and regarded belief in God as unscientific superstition. In college, she met people who led her to question her belief system, and it was only after accepting Messiah Yeshua, that she began to understand the significance of her Jewish identity. She is long-time member of Congregation Beth Yeshua in the Philadelphia area, has served as a leader and teacher in congregational dance, and has choreographed a number of the Messianic dances that are used in congregational worship throughout the world.
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Another fascinating find on Facebook. What an amazing story!
Michele Rozeen was born in an Orthodox Jewish home in Cape Town, South Africa. At aged 14, she had an experience with the LORD and accepted Yeshua. Michele made Aliyah to Israel, brought up her 3 children there. In 1991, she moved to the United States, to Florida, with her late husband, and is currently an intercessory prayer warrior, standing in the gap for her family and for her Congregation, L'Chaim Messianic Congregation. She is also the Personal Assistant and Administrator for hr Messianic Pastor, Pastor Bruce Elman.
Saturday, September 10, 2022
One of the most exciting discoveries was that the synagogue I attended as a young girl in Richmond, Virginia had been bought by a Messianic Jewish Congregation! At one time Jamie Cowen was the Rabbi of Tikvat Yisrael, and his testimony is very exciting. In his own words:
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I was born in a Jewish family in New York but grew up in the Washington, DC, area from age one on. In the early years my family was secular, but as I approached Bar Mitzvah age, we joined a Conservative synagogue, moving to a Reform one a year and a half later, where I eventually made Bar Mitzvah. I came to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah in my senior year of high school through the influence of friends and a high school Christian group.
BELIEVING AS A JEW
At the time I assumed I was the only Jew who had ever believed this. No one told me Yeshua was Jewish; all his first followers were Jews or all the writers of the New Testament were Jews. I discovered the missing link the following year at college. There I met another Jewish believer who explained that we were Messianic Jews and showed through the Jewish Scriptures the many prophecies of the Messiah. Suddenly, everything made sense. I was a Jew who had found the Messiah. Unfortunately, this news was not good for my family, who reviled the idea, and sadly, years later disowned me. By the grace of God, this miraculously changed with a reconciliation with my father in December, 2013 and with my mother in May, 2014, four days before she died.
From college I went to law school and also did graduate studies in economics. After graduating, I took a position in the U.S. House of Representatives and the following year in the U.S. Senate. That same year I married my wife, Stacy. This year, 2013, will mark our 35th anniversary. While I enjoyed the Congressional work, eventually becoming Chief Counsel to a U.S. Senate subcommittee, I still felt there was something more. That something more became entering the ministry. In 1988 I enrolled in a Messianic Jewish seminary in the Washington, DC area, completing my studies in 1990. In 1990 I was installed as Rabbi of Tikvat Israel Congregation in Richmond. Our congregation, Tikvat Israel, became one of the flagship congregations in the Messianic Jewish world. Shortly, after my family moved to Richmond, our then small congregation secured the usage of an historic synagogue building, eventually purchasing it in 1992. We became the first Messianic congregation to be housed in an original synagogue. In 2002 I was elected president of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), an international umbrella group of Messianic Jewish congregations. I served in that capacity for six years. During that time we made a significant impact on the nation of Israel.
In the summer of 2003, in the middle of the Palestinian Intifada when tourism to Israel precipitously dropped, the UMJC brought the largest tour to Israel for the entire year. Our coming at such a difficult time caused two of the Israeli newspapers to write positive stories about our visit - the 1st time Messianic Jews in Israel had received positive coverage. Following that event, as president of the UMJC, I was invited to Israel at the request of a member of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) to assist in raising money for humanitarian needs in Israel. This was again the first time a Messianic Jewish organization joined forces with the Israeli government. I was invited to speak to an Israeli military base as a Messianic Jewish leader. In 2007 through our connections we invited another Knesset member to speak at the UMJC international conference in Chicago. This was the first time, and to this point the only time, a current Knesset member has spoken to a Messianic Jewish organization.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Approximately, eight years ago my wife and I began to discuss and pray about a possible relocation to Israel. We began to consider this for a couple of reasons: 1) The center of world Jewry is shifting to Israel. This has not been the case for 2000 years. In the most recent Jewish census, the largest Jewish community in the world is now in Israel. At the same time, the center of Messianic Judaism also seems to be making a similar shift. Modern Messianic Judaism’s roots are in the United States, but with the rapid growth of the movement in Israel, this is gradually changing. As president of the UMJC I made mention of this numerous times. Much of the growth of Messianic Judaism in Israel has come from young American Messianic Jews immigrating there. We could see ourselves there, assisting the community, as we’ve done in the U.S. 2) Our three daughters have immigrated there as well, and so we began to question the Lord as to our moving there. Without belaboring the point, I felt the Lord indicate to me where we were to live when on a trip in 2003. It was confirmed in the summer of 2008, and in December, 2011, we moved to Israel.
LIFE IN ISRAEL
In Israel, we live in the north, and I lead a small chavurah (home fellowship) called Adonai Shamah Congregation. In addition, I have been asked to teach parts of my Jewish history course to different leadership groups in the country. However, my primary work is that of a Messianic Jewish lawyer. My goal is to assist the growing Messianic Jewish community in Israel both legally and politically. My wife, Stacy, teaches piano, guitar and English.
Saturday, September 3, 2022
I met a new friend over Facebook. Granville Payne is the real deal. He loves Yeshua, the living Torah.
Granville started studying G-D on his own in December of 2007. He got serious about living out Messianic Judaism around August of 2021. G-D blessed him with Chron's Disease in 2009, a bad knee injury that took him out of commercial truck driving in 2014, and a serious car accident in 2019. The miracles started happening around September 2021 and they involve his physical problems. He has absolutely no doubt that Yeshua, who he affectionately knows as Living Torah, has revealed Himself to him through many miracles. Granvilles want people to be aware of his story to show that through Yeshua, a person can have a fulfilling life by doing the mitzvots of Living Torah and His written Torah.
Saturday, August 27, 2022
It was great meeting Jonathan over the phone. He has a very interesting story. Here's a little background:
Saturday, August 20, 2022
First I interviewed Stacy's mother, Cookie Berman, and she recommended that I speak with her daughter. I really enjoyed this interview. Stacy lives in Charlotte,NC with her husband and 2 dogs where she teaches 5th grade math and science in the local school district. She became a believer in 2002 and has been an active member of Hope Of Israel Messianic Congregation since. She has 2 grown children who also live in Charlotte.
Saturday, August 13, 2022
I am so happy to bring you another great interview! Today's guest was Stephen Katz. Stephen was raised in a traditional Jewish home and at the age of 18 became a follower of Jesus. He has been on staff with Jews for Jesus (JFJ) since 1989, serving first in Los Angeles before becoming branch leader their San Francisco, then Washington DC branches. For a number of years he was Director of Recruitment and is currently Chief of Staff. For 12 years he oversaw JFJ’s work in Israel and still continues to be involved with the work there. He’s been on countless evangelism campaigns and is currently spearheading one of the ministry’s newest and most challenging endeavors. He and his wife, Laura, have four married children and seven grandchildren (with another on the way). Stephen holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois and another in intercultural and Jewish studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is known as a warm-hearted and engaging teacher and a good listener.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
A mutual friend connected me to Mark Posner and I really enjoyed hearing his testimony. In his own words:"Born in Albany, NY, I was brought up in a somewhat religious conservative Jewish home. We were members of a conservative synagogue where my parents were very active. My sister and I went to the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District (HACD) aka Bet Shraga. I went through 7th grade before transferring to the public schools. Albany had/has a large Jewish population as many Jews from the NYC area moved up there to work for the state - as was the case for my dad. My graduating class was approximately 10% Jewish. A large % considering the % of Jews in the world. Because of a sign from God- I married a Catholic girl. My folks were very against it at first but came around. On her death bed, my mom told me - 'thank god for Mary Lou, otherwise I don’t know what would have become of you.' She also made me promise not to convert. While I will be going to be immersed in a few weeks - I don’t feel like I’m converting. I’m adding I have been married for almost 39 yrs now. We have two married sons going on ages 33 and 31. No grandchildren yet. I am semi retired and my wife is retiring soon.
We like travel and hiking. And beaches! We like shell collecting and I have recently started to get into shell art."
Enjoy some cool music too!
Saturday, July 30, 2022
So I was walking up the escalator here at Pittsford Plaza and my friend dropped her purse at the top. This nice man picks it up. We start chatting and then I realized - hey, it's Mike Fanto! I had him on Bagels and Blessings a VERY LONG time ago. This was no coincidence! I set up an interview -- and the rest, as they say, is history!!!
Here's a bit about Mike:
Mike grew up in Long Island to a Jewish mother and an Italian father. He was a typical rebellious teenager and didn't really think about God very much. His sister came to know the Lord first, and he followed, after a supernatural experience when he was hitchhiking. He was picked up by a Jewish believer who met with him several times and explained many things in the Bible and pointed him to the prophecies. He accepted Yeshua into his heart and his life has never been the same.
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
With permission from the Messianic Times, I am happy to share a delightful interview with Doug Carmel from Rock of Israel Ministries. This interview was originally published in the June, 2022 issue of the Messianic Times.
Doug was born in the Bronx, New York City to a newly immigrated Israeli man (Sephardic) and an American Jewish woman (Ashkenazi). They attended a Conservative temple in New York City and Doug attended Hebrew School there for several years preparing for his Bar-Mitzvah.
Saturday, July 16, 2022
It was fun talking with Diana Levine! Our daughters went on a ministry trip to the Ukraine together many years ago. Small world!
Diana grew up in a Catholic household where God created an intense love for Israel and the Jewish people. She holds a BS degree in art education/art history from the State University College at New Paltz, NY. Following her college graduation she worked at various corporations in NYC. After accepting her Messiah she and her husband (Rabbi Alan Levine) founded Kol Mashiach Messianic Synagogue in Melbourne, Florida. She has spoken at Bible studies, women’s retreats, and both national and international conferences. Her blogs are featured on http://diana-levine.com
Saturday, July 9, 2022
It was wonderful to reconnect with Ed Zagofsky! It's been over 20 years since we last spoke. His family is very dear to me, they welcomed us when my family first moved to New York City back in 1989.
Born and raised in NYC, Ed came from a Jewish family. The family was not religious but had a lot of Jewish pride. Ed attended Hebrew school for 5 years in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah.
When he turned 15, Ed began doing drugs and became involved in anti-war demonstrations. He was encouraged to apply for a baseball scholarship, but instead he began to sell drugs and became a major distributor.
Ed met his wife Nirit in the Catskill Mountains. They married in 1975 and lived in Rego Park, NY. After their 1st two daughters were born he lost his business and began driving a taxi. His wife was attending a beach club in Atlantic City.
One day a lifeguard at the beach approached Nirit, shared the Gospel, and gave her a New Testament. She had an experience at Atlantic Beach and accepted Yeshua into her heart.
Ed noticed a big change in the way she dressed and discovered Christian music playing in the house.
When she shared her experience with Ed, he thought about leaving the family. But after hearing her full testimony, he realized that everything he was looking for was in Yeshua. He began to cry in the street and didn't know why. He knew she had found something that he needed.
After Nirit prayed for him, his desire for drugs, drinking and smoking was gone. In an instant, the Lord took it all from him. Ed gave his heart to the Lord and started sharing with people as he chauffeured them.
The Zagofskys felt the Lord wanted them to go to Israel. They sold all they owned within 3 months and in March, 1992 they moved to Israel. He is semi-retired and loving life.
Saturday, July 2, 2022
Today's wonderful interview is with Larry Herzekow.
Larry and his wife Bess are full time missionaries to Israel that have been sent out from Calvary Chapel Aurora, in Colorado (US). They are Jewish and hold dual citizenship in the US and Israel. Their personal journey with Yeshua began in 1984 for Larry and in 1987 for Bess. They originally made Aliyah to Israel in 1996 and lived there for 16 years. In 2012, they moved back to the Denver, CO area. In 2014, they felt the Lord calling them once again to Israel with the vision of Beit Rachamim, which is Hebrew for “House of Compassion.” With this fresh vision, Calvary Chapel Aurora has commissioned them to serve as missionaries to Israel in obedience to His calling.
Enjoy GREAT Messianic music too!
Saturday, June 25, 2022
It was fun talking with Tzofiya Rogers a few weeks ago. I know you will be inspired and encouraged as you listen. As usual, I have some of your favorite music picked out too!
Tzofiya Rogers is an international itinerant minister, teacher, and conference speaker who specializes in training and equipping the body in prophetic and deliverance ministries.
She is a Jewish believer and mother of 10, is the founder of As You Go Ministries, an ambassador for Tikkun Global, and is a commissioned prophet by Harvest International Ministries (HIM). Through Tzofiya’s ministry and counsel, God brings transformation to individuals, families, leadership teams, and congregations.
She and her husband currently reside in the South Florida area and serve the local congregation Beth Yeshua as Messianic Ministers.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Today's show was very special to me. I have fond memories of fellowshipping with the Nelson family when we lived in NYC. Gail's parents, Carole and Roger, were the leaders of Beth Tefilah, our congregation in Queens. Today I shared music written by Carole and performed by the whole family. I only recently had the cassette tapes converted to mp3s so it was exciting to once again hear their songs. I hope you enjoy this little trip down memory lane Great interview with Gail as well!!
Saturday, June 11, 2022
What a fun interview with Kenneth Berg! Kenneth has traveled extensively throughout the Holy Land and the Middle East for over three decades producing award-winning television programs based on the Bible.
Ken was raised as a minister’s son in New York City. After serving in the motion picture division of the US Army, he moved to California, where he worked in Hollywood for a Christian advertising agency.
His is the founder of Berg Productions, Inc. which produces such programs as “Zola Levitt Presents” and “The Nazareth Jesus Knew,” which can be seen on one or more of the national Christian networks.
Saturday, June 4, 2022
I am so very happy to share this fun interview with you! Rabbi Brian and Rebbetzin (Rabbi's wife) Sue have been on Bagels and Blessings a few times now. We are happy to host them tomorrow, June 5 for our Shavuot Service as well.
They have produced several CDs, including Promises", "Songs ...From The Secret Place," "Home Away From Home", and their newest album, "Revive.”
Brian and Sue are currently serving as Rabbi and Rebbetzin of congregation Mishkahn David in Rhode Island.
Saturday, May 28, 2022
Today I chatted with Rabbi Mark Rantz. I sure enjoyed hearing his story! Rabbi Mark is the leader of Beit Hallel Messianic Congregation | Tikkun Ambassador to Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International (PRMI) | Author | Lead Contributor and Assistant Sr. Senior for the Complete Jewish Study Bible | Senior Editor - Tikkun Restore Magazine.
As a leading Holocaust Scholar and leader with the March of Remembrance, Rabbi Rantz is presently also developing his Masters Thesis on "The Complicity of the German Church and the Nazi Holocaust" into book form and has recently written a book about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Enjoy some great music too!!
Saturday, May 21, 2022
Elyse grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in New York City. Her Jewish parents were secular and didn’t raise her in the faith. When she was in college, she started searching for meaning in life and truth. She came to the Lord Yeshua as a hippie during The Jesus Revolution. As she grew in The Lord, she started to appreciate how significant the Judaic roots are to Christianity. She now strongly identifies with her Jewish roots as a Messianic Jew. Elyse lives in Hawaii and is a very talented artist. Find her art projects here:
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Today’s delightful interview was with Rabbi Adrian Bernal.
Dr. Adrian Bernal is a Sephardic Jewish believer. He holds a Bachelor of Biblical Studies with a major in Biblical linguistics, a Master's of Theological Studies with a major in Biblical Counseling and minor in Jewish Studies, and a Doctor of Ministry with a major in Jewish Studies. Over the past 29 years he has led congregations in Hawaii, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska. He has been involved with the Messianic Movement since 1987 and has a passion for the lost. He enjoys teaching the Jewish Roots of the faith to the Church. He has also developed curriculum for the class and is currently writing commentaries on 1 and 2 Timothy. He is the senior rabbi for Beth Yeshua Messianic Synagogue in Coral Springs, Florida. In his spare time he is a golf teaching professional with the United States Golf Teachers Federation and was ranked the top 100 golf teaching professionals for the 2020/2021 season. He enjoys spending time fishing and kayaking with his wife and they make their home in Margate, FL.
Saturday, May 7, 2022
I was once a Weiner too -- back in the early days LOL. I met Brett over Facebook and he agreed to share his faith journey on Bagels and Blessings. You'll enjoy some music honoring Yom Hashoah (Day of Remembrance) and the Israeli Independence Day too. Lots of great music. And here's a little bit about Brett:
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Rene Wallace returns to Bagels and Blessings to share how she is dealing with grief. She became a widow 6 months ago.
Saturday, April 23, 2022
I have known Melanie for a few years, and we finally got a chance to do a phone interview. At 23 years old, a Jewish friend showed her only from the Tenach that Jesus, Yeshua, was the Promised Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. Melanie moved to Israel 6 years ago with her husband. They are both believers in Yeshua. Melanie has been walking with the Lord for over 40 years!
Saturday, April 16, 2022
I interviewed Deborah Cohen a few months back, and then I had the pleasure of speaking with her wonderful husband Noam.
Noam is a Sabra, meaning he was born in Israel (Jerusalem). He was raised in the digs of the desert with his father, who was a renowned archaeologist in Israel, and he served in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) as a tank commander in the first Lebanon war. After living in Japan for over 20 years, he returned to Israel, where he found Yeshua, his Messiah. For the last 15 years, he has been speaking, teaching, writing, and ministering to the body of Messiah and to the Jewish people. He and his wife, Deborah, live in the Galilee region in Israel and have a ministry called Declaring Zion International.
Special Passover music too!!
Be sure to read his book "The Ninja and the Pastor!"
Saturday, April 9, 2022
Never fear - the Messianic Matchmaker is here! Today I aired my interview with Rabbi Aaron Allsbrook. He shared his faith journey with me and I know you'll love it!
Plus some great music too! Here's more about Rabbi Aaron:
Born and raised in Southern California, Rabbi Aaron Allsbrook has known Yeshua his whole life. He shared about Yeshua to his Jewish and non-Jewish friends in high school. At the end of high school Rabbi Aaron began to feel that there was more to his Jewishness than just Passover and Hanukkah at his grandparents.
At this time he made his first visit to a messianic synagogue in Philadelphia, his first trip to Israel, and then his first visit to an Orthodox synagogue. God certainly was moving in his life, revealing to him that his Jewishness was something central to his identity. He went so far as to begin to live like an Orthodox Jew, including getting Orthodox rabbinic ordination.
Not longer after that Rabbi Aaron knew there was something missing, something more. While the traditions were great, he craved for more of the Spirit of God and the love of Yeshua. He left the Orthodox world, and began to seek a way of living an authentic Jewish life under the leading of the Spirit.
His travels brought him to Israel, where he lived for four years, and then to New York, where he met his beautiful wife, Brooke, with whom he has three children. It was in New York that he was a special education teacher and an assistant rabbi at a Messianic synagogue on Long Island. After several years of serving in this capacity, he wanted to pursue being a full-time Messianic rabbi, which is what led him to Ohev Yisrael.
He desires to see Jewish people come to know Yeshua, their Messiah, and live their life in service of our Master as Jews full of the Spirit of God.
For more info about the Messianic Matchmaker:
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Saturday, March 26, 2022
It's all in the family! A few weeks ago, I aired my interview with Tov Rose and now today I shared an interview with his brother Jason! Here's some info about Jason:
In March of 2009, Jason became a full-time staff member with Chosen People Ministries. At that time the Gospel Cafe became a ministry of Chosen People Ministries. Since 2009 dozens of Jewish people have come to know the Lord through our coffee shop outreach. His ministry focuses on outreach, discipleship and education. The vision of Greater Tel Aviv Messianic Center is to provide much needed educational information to the public through classes and courses taught by believers who are professionals in those fields. These environments eliminate some of the cultural barriers to the Gospel and allow us to demonstrate that Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are actually normal people. Jason is also working with other local Israelis to open a Messianic / Christian school in the Tel Aviv area. Jason and Janice both have a passion for discipling young people and love ministering as a couple. The excellent behavior and good manners of their children have opened many doors to share about Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). As a missionary family they are blessed and honored to serve the Lord among God’s Chosen People in Israel.
Enjoy the music and the interview and Shabbat Shalom!
Saturday, March 19, 2022
You may ask, "How does she find new people to interview?" Well, I'm glad you asked! Sometimes I find them on Facebook, other times through a recommendation. And occasionally someone contacts me and asks to be on the program!
I found Cookie Berman through a mutual contact on Facebook. She is delightful and I know you'll enjoy our interview together. Here is her story:
In the late 80’s I remember telling my mother I was planning to get baptized and she responded “before you do that, I want you to find a nice young Rabbi and tell him that I did a bad job of bringing you up as a good Jewish girl.” (Jewish Guilt 101.) It was a difficult journey but this is how my life went from growing up as a Jewish girl and finally finding my redeemer, Yeshua HaMashiach! Baruch HaShem!
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Shalom! Today you'll hear a fun interview with Susan Gibboney. Here's her story in her own words:
"I hale from Montreal Quebec Canada and I got here to Orange, a city in California, when I was 18 years old. Due to some very bad choices, I did end up being incarcerated for a short time, for sales of Illegal drugs but that had nothing to do with how much love and attention and encouragement that I got from my parents and my family. It was just that I did have to leave all my friends when I was 18 which was very hard, and settle in Orange County in 68 which was the beginning of drug culture at this time.
We are part of the one new man, the Jew and the gentile grafted in, and our congregation is in Redlands , California at the Church on the Hill , in case anybody wants to come visit on Shabbat."