Saturday, May 27, 2023

Dr. Jay Christianson Interview

I was delighted to find Dr. Jay on Facebook.  He is a fascinating man.  Here is some background:

Dr. Jay Christianson is the founder and President of High Beam Ministry and has faithfully served in ordained ministry since 1994. He is a pastor, teacher, worship leader, speaker, Israel tour leader, independent researcher, Jewish-Christian Dialogue participant, and outspoken advocate for Israel and the Jewish community.


Through his online High Beam Ministry, Dr. Jay hosts the weekly Truth Barista Podcast, authors the Frothy Thoughts Blog, teaches Bible classes, and produces Bible study resources.

He is an enthusiastic teacher who focuses on understanding the Bible from the original Hebraic-Jewish context. He first became excited about the Hebraic heritage of Christianity in 1986. Since then, he has led tours to Israel and twice participated in Bridges for Peace’s Institute of Israel Studies in Jerusalem, Israel. He enjoys teaching Christians about the Jewish foundations of their faith and encouraging interfaith understanding between Christians and Jews.

Dr. Jay Christianson holds a Bachelor of Arts (University of Minnesota), a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Studies (North Central University), a Master of Arts in Judeo-Christian Synergism (Masters International University of Divinity), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies (Master’s International University of Divinity).

Jay and his wife, Jeanne, reside in Naples, Florida.

Check out his website:  The Truth Barista Podcast | Highbeam Ministry

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Rabbi Jim (Appel) Returns!

It's always an honor to chat with my Rabbi.  Here's a little bit about Rabbi Jim:

Rabbi Jim Appel has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Shema Yisrael since 1996 and a Jewish follower of Yeshua since 1977. He is ordained by the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues.

Rabbi Jim previously worked for Xerox Corporation in Webster, N.Y., for 24 years as an optical engineer and engineering manager. He holds more than 45 patents in the areas of copier imaging systems and laser printing. Rabbi Jim received a bachelor's degree in optical engineering from the University of Rochester in 1967 and a master's degree in physics from the University of Southern California in 1970.

Rabbi Jim decided to follow Yeshua after a long spiritual search. He grew up with parents who taught him that God did not exist and organized religion deceived and oppressed people. In 1967 after completing college, Jim became disillusioned with life as an atheist. He rejected his parent's teachings and began his search for spiritual reality. This search took him into the world of mind-altering drugs and yoga meditation, and ended with a dramatic encounter with Yeshua the Messiah, who revealed himself to Rabbi Jim in the privacy of his bedroom without the assistance of any other person.

In this broadcast we discussed the miracles surrounding our purchase of our beautiful new building, miracles in his life, and the meaning of Shavuot.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Rabbi Carmen Welker Leannah

Carmen was raised in a gentile home but discovered later that she was Jewish.  Rabbi Carmen Welker is a graduate of Messianic Jewish Rabbinate.  Author of several books and host of a major Messianic website, The Refiner’s Fire, she is a former U.S. Army Sergeant Major who served 22 years as a journalist and newspaper editor, administrator and German language translator. Originally from Germany, she came to the United States in 1960 when her mother married an American soldier.

Carmen has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the State of New York and is also a graduate of Mid-America Business College (Springfield, Missouri); the Defense Information School (journalism) at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana; and the prestigious United States Army Sergeants Major Academy in El Paso, Texas, where she also worked as a lesson developer and instructor.

A former Bible study teacher and leader in the prison ministry “Friends in Transition,” she is now a Hebraic Faith/Netzari teacher and author who had the distinct privilege of being the original editor/proofreader of the Aramaic English New Testament. 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Avi Snyder Returns!

It was great to reconnect with Avi Snyder.  Avi was raised in a conservative Jewish home in New York City and came to a saving faith in Jesus in 1977 with the help of a Jews for Jesus tract and the forthright witness of Christian friends. He graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary, the School of World Mission, with a Masters degree in missiology. Avi has served with Jews for Jesus since 1978 and has provided leadership for branch offices in the US, the UK, the former USSR, Germany, and Hungary. He currently lives with his wife Ruth in Budapest where he serves as the ministry director for Europe and the former USSR. He and Ruth have three grown children. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

A Tribute to Jonathan Settel

On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, Jonathan Settel passed away, and ran into the arms of Yeshua. His music has been a part of my show since the very beginning and I have interviewed him a few times.  Today I am paying a tribute to one of the greatest Messianic recording artists ever, and a dear friend as well.  Enjoy the music and the interview.  Here is a bit of background:

Jonathan was born in Berlin, Germany and grew up in a traditional Jewish family in Washington, D.C. He studied music at the Inter American University of San German, Puerto Rico. For twenty years he was a vocalist in nightclubs, hotels, bars and cruise ships in the United States. In February of 1984, while employed by Walt Disney World, Jonathan had an "Encounter with Eternity". He became a Believer in Yeshua Ha Mashiach.

He was discipled for six years in a small church in Florida and was one of their worship leaders for their Erev Shabbat Service. In 1990, Jonathan responded to The Lord's call to make "Aliyah" (returned to his homeland, Israel), and moved his family to Jerusalem where he came to love and identify completely with the Israeli culture–and was fired up to "bring the Word forth from Zion". After a tremendous growth in Ministry, in June of 1996, he and his family then returned to the U.S. to fulfill the next part of God's plan for them.

Rest in peace my friend!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Karol Joseph Returns

I first met Karol Joseph in the 1990s when we lived in the NYC area.   She is a sweet, loving woman and I am was so excited to have her on with me again today.

Karol was born to Jewish parents in the Boston, Massachusetts area. In the years following her Bat Mitzvah, she was Jewish culturally only.  She had many fears, anxieties, and also battled an eating disorder. While working on her PhD, a fellow student shared Isaiah 53 with her, and she was intrigued. Eventually, she contacted Jews for Jesus (J4J), and begin seriously considering the Jewishness of Jesus. She became a believer in her Jewish Messiah, and later joined J4J and has worked for them ever since, bringing the good news to her fellow Jewish people.  Karol lived in the New York City area for many years, and now resides in Florida.  

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Rabbi David Levitt

This is the first time Rabbi David has been on the program since he has become our assistant Rabbi at Congregational Shema Yisrael.

David Levitt was born to his Methodist mother and Jewish father in Atlanta,
GA. He grew up following the Methodist traditions with a few Jewish customs
throughout the year. He came to salvation when he was 20 years old through
Campus Crusade and has been seeking the Lord since.  In this interview, we discuss how he was drawn to his Jewish roots and became interested in Messianic Judaism. We discuss his journey to becoming a Messianic Rabbi and what it was like moving here, looking for a house, and the excitement of fulfilling his calling to the Jewish people. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Anna Levine Interview

Anna Levine was raised as a Reform Jew. She had a strong attraction to the occult but when she met Messiah Yeshua she turned away from all New Age practices. 

Enjoy music with a Passover theme!  

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Jen Rosner Interview

She was lost but now she's found!  What?   Let me explain!  I did an interview with Jen a year or so ago, but for some unknown reason it never aired.  I recently found the interview - just ready and waiting to go on the air.  So here it is!   Here's a little background on Jen:

Jen Rosner, PhD, is senior adjunct professor of theology at Azusa Pacific University, and also serves on the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute and The King's University. Her areas of expertise are contemporary Jewish-Christian relations, Judaism and systematic theology. After spending two years living in Jerusalem, Israel, Rosner currently resides in Lake Tahoe with her family. Rosner's doctoral dissertation, Healing the Schism: Barth, Rosenzweig and the New Jewish-Christian Encounter, was published by Fortress Press in 2015. She also edited Mark Kinzer's book, Israel's Messiah and the People of God (Cascade, 2011). She has published articles and presented numerous conference papers on Jewish-Christian relations, Messianic Judaism, Karl Barth, Franz Rosenzweig and other related topics.  Her book, "Finding Messiah," can be ordered here:


Sunday, March 26, 2023

Rabbi Mark Kinzer

I love doing this program!   I met another Jewish believer online.  Rabbi Mark has a very interesting story!

Rabbi Mark Kinzer (PhD, University of Michigan) is the Moderator of Yachad BeYeshua, an international and interdenominational fellowship of Jewish disciples of Jesus. He is a leading Messianic Jewish theologian, and the author of several books. His most recent volume is Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen: The Resurrected Messiah, the Jewish People, and the Land of Promise (2018). Rabbi Kinzer is President Emeritus of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, and Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Zera Avraham in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Jonathan Walerstein Interview

No picture due to privacy.

Jonathan was raised both secular and religious Jewish growing up and his great grandfather planted five synagogues in a mid west city near Chicago.  Jonathan is the first believer on either side of his family. 

Enjoy some great Messianic music!

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Kim Spencer Returns!

I am so excited to share this encouraging interview.   If you have ever been depressed or know someone who is suffering, this program is for you!

Also I picked some songs about Purim, based on the book of Esther.  

Here is a little background about Kim in her own words:

"I grew up in a Jewish family celebrating all the holidays.  I had the ‘normal life’ of partying with friends and going out to bars…searching for the right one to fall in love and live happily ever after…with no success.  One night I had an encounter with Jesus (Yeshua) in a dream and He told me to become “Born Again.” I fell in love with the written Word of God. Eventually God gave me the BEST husband, Mark & a beautiful son named Micah.  In January 2011-July 2016, I began to experience fear, anxiety, and depression to the point of suicide and had adopted many addictions.  There were emotions and past experiences that had caused pain that were lying dormant and not dealt with properly. Eventually, I could no longer function like a normal human being. I knew the written word backwards and forwards, but I DID NOT KNOW & FULLY EXPERIENCE THE LIVING WORD.  In August of 2016, the Holy Spirit began to do surgery on my heart and the Spirit became my PERSONAL Counselor! I began to hear His voice and He (the Spirit) brought up situations that had occurred in the past (as well as presently) on how to handle them.   My Heavenly Father, Jesus (Yeshua) & with the help of (my personal counselor) the Spirit, had set me free from EVERY addiction and I no longer live for his presence, but in it.  Like God told Abraham (Gen. 15:1) “I AM SHIELD AND GREAT REWARD” and now He has become mine!!!! And I am SO IN LOVE WITH MY LORD!  I am in the process of a rewriting a Bible Study to help others get free and experience this EXTRAVAGANT LOVE."

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Shimrit Hanes Back on Bagels and Blessings

What a joy to reconnect with Shimrit Hanes from Zemer Levav.  Shimrit is a songwriter, vocalist and harpist.  When chronic illness forced her and her husband to stop touring, they settled in Florida and Shimrit turned to writing novels.  Music is still important to her and she continues writing new songs and playing her harp.  This interview focuses on her novels and will feature the music of Zemer Levav.  

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Jonathan Bernis - Again!

Happy to re-air this interview from 2016.   Here is a little bit about Jonathan Bernis:

Not only was Rabbi Jonathan the founding Rabbi of my own congregation here in Rochester, NY, Congregation Shema Yisrael, but also Jonathan is President and CEO of Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI) and has been a leader in Messianic Jewish ministry for more than 30 years. He hosts JVMI’s weekly syndicated television show, “Jewish Voice with Jonathan Bernis,” aired worldwide.

Jewish Voice exists to transform lives and help fulfill the biblical mandate to see all Israel be saved. The ministries’ mission is to proclaim the Gospel, grow the Messianic Jewish community, and engage the Church concerning Israel and the Jewish people.  

Rabbi Bernis is a sought-after speaker and a popular radio and TV guest. He has authored numerous books, including Unlocking the Prophetic Mysteries of Israel and his best-selling “Rabbi” series.

In addition to Jewish Voice Ministries, Jonathan is also the founder of Heritage  LA, which is an interfaith Jewish community committed to creating space for all types of believers across the city of Los Angeles. 

While Jonathan lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, Elisangela, and their two daughters, he has a heart for the Los Angeles area and is excited to see Jewish and interfaith families thrive in the Heritage Community!


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Michael David Interview

NOTE:  My podcast server is down.  You can listen to the interview portion here:

It was great to welcome harpist Michael David back to the program!  He is a very talented man and I really enjoyed talking with him!

Michael-David is the author of a new book "The Frequency of the Supernatural". He is an inventor, composer/producer, prophetic harpist/psalmist and Renaissance man. With a lifelong passion for technology, astronomy, and quantum physics, he merges these fields with a love of music and God. His patented electronic harp called the Harpella has taken him around the world in prophetic harp music.

Michael-David is a Psalmist who leads worship and holds harp schools internationally. He has a calling to help restore the harp as a prominent instrument for worship and prayer. He is the founder of the School of the Prophetic Harp and has given instruction in Davidic Psalmistry in Israel, North America and around the world. 

Michael-David and his wife Zsiporah are a Messianic couple who have ministered in music for over 30 years with a distinct Hebraic emphasis. They have appeared on Canada’s #1 daily Christian TV program 100 Huntley Street on a number of occasions and in Israel at the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles before thousands of international visitors and delegates as well as ministering at the All Nations Convocation with the Jerusalem House of Prayer For All Nations for multiple years.

As a harpist, composer, and producer, Michael, along with his wife, who is an author and singer, have produced original musicals including The Feast of the Ages (available on DVD) and A Camelot Christmas Tale that has aired across North America. They are also credited as Executive Producers for a number of feature-length films in conjunction with CubeCity Entertainment.

They were the founders and directors of the KingsBridge School, a classical Christian academic, and school of the arts. They currently are the directors of the KingsBridge Arts Round Table, a non-profit Christian Arts organization as well as providing leadership to the Chautauqua Movement in Muskoka, Canada.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Petra Scott Interview

I had the pleasure of speaking with Petra Scott, president and CEO of The Road to Jerusalem, a few weeks ago.  She is the daughter of Raleigh Washington, former President of Promise Keepers.  

Petra embraced her call to exposing the body of believers to the significance of One New Humanity in 2004. She experienced a deep revelation of the significance of the Jewish Culture of Jesus and how understanding this can enhance the faith expression of believers. She believes that demonstrations between Jews & Gentiles can change homes, communities , and the WORLD.

Petra has experience in both the private and public sectors as a teacher, life coach, pastor, and consultant. She desires to see the philanthropic side of TRTJ flourish too something that will impact the kingdom. In addition to her passion for ministry Petra is a wife and mom, she has three children Darius, Devorah, and Isaac. She is the author of “Intimacy: Unlearning Religion , Embracing God.”

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Scott Volk Interview

I was delighted to find out about Scott Volk.  

Scott is Messianic Jew who came to faith in 1975. After graduating from North Central University in Minneapolis in 1988, Scott has served in various pastoral capacities in Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina . After more than 20 years in pastoral ministry, Scott founded Together For Israel, a non-profit ministry that exists to partner with the Church for the salvation of Israel (Rom 11:26).

Scott and his wife Beth have been married for over 25 years and have a heart to see Jew and Gentile united as ‘one new man’ in the Messiah. They have five children and reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Ken Wilsker Interview

We knew the Wilskers when we lived in NYC.  It was great to reconnect after all these years!

Ken grew up on Long Island, NY in a very Jewish community. In college he discovered eastern philosophy, humanistic psychology, astrology, and all things new age. He was searching, decided to read a New Testament and started attending a Unitarian Church.  He married a Jewish woman and they eventually found themselves at a Messianic congregation where they both felt at home.

After a crisis of faith they moved to Indiana and learned about the Association of Hebrew Catholics (AHC).  They discovered a whole network of Jewish people who practice the Catholic faith but are deeply in love with Yeshua.   Ken still considers himself Jewish and he and his wife observe the Biblical feasts.   This was a most fascinating interview!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Part 2 - Elie Grunhaus 25 Years Later

Continued from last week.   As previously stated, Elie was my very first guest on Bagels and Blessings.  It was August 2, 1997 and little did we know that we were making history!

Today's show continues his story.  Elie grew up in a secular Jewish home in Long Island and when he was in the military he had a supernatural experience where he met Yeshua!

You'll enjoy some great music too!

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Elie Grunhaus-25 Years Later!

Elie Grunhaus was my FIRST guest ever on Bagels and Blessings.   It was August 2, 1997.  I had a chance to do a "one time, one hour" show and I thought I might as well pretend to be a real DJ.  The Lord gave me the name "Bagels and Blessings," and I invited Elie to come on the show - I knew he had great diction and a fun story!  Little did I know that the show would become a regular and last for so many years!  God is full of surprises!

Today you will hear part 1 of his story -- stay tuned for part 2 next week!

Here's a little bit about him:

Elie came to trust in Yeshua as his Messiah in 1973, despite being raised in NYC by parents whose experiences during the holocaust left them doubting God was even real or cared about their suffering.  Through a miraculous set of circumstances he found his Messiah..  And that pivotal decision has brought God to the top of his radar in just about every facet of his life: his wife, their two kids, and the many experiences in which he has seen God's reality and care for him in so many ways.  Elie and his wife Sherry reside in Kentucky and are former members of Congregation Shema Yisrael in Rochester, NY.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Jeffrey D. Miller

What a blessing to reconnect with Jeffrey D. Miller!  Here's a little background:

Jeffrey D. Miller was raised in a traditional Jewish home, but spent twenty-four years of his life as an atheist. However, in 1983 he had a miraculous encounter with the living God and committed his life to Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah. For 30 years, Jeffrey D. has traveled the country and overseas ministering in hundreds of churches and Messianic Jewish Congregations about how Jewish it is to believe in Jesus, and bringing reconciliation through the love of the Messiah.