I was born in the United States and grew up in a Jewish family. When I was young, I attended a conservative Jewish congregation and all my friends were Jewish. I happened to do very well in school, and was accepted to Harvard University. There, as I studied philosophy, psychology, and ancient literature, I began to be perturbed by questions:
What is the meaning of life?
Why am I here?
Life did not seem to make any sense to me – that you just live and at the end you die. Even though I seemed to be successful at a young age – that problem, that question, bothered me so much that I could not go on without an answer. I began to search and explore, all different kinds of philosophies and religions and literature, but I found no satisfactory answer. As a Jewish young man the one thing that I wasn’t willing to investigate, of course, was Jesus.
After college I was traveling in Central America, and met some very nice young people. They were Spanish speaking and they began to tell me about Jesus. I thought, maybe I should just check it out. I got a copy of the New Testament Scriptures and began to read. Almost immediately I sensed that this was more truthful than anything I had read before – more than all the philosophy, literature and psychology. I was fascinated, and fell in love with the person Jesus.
After much prayer and thought, I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t anything else in life worthy of dedicating myself to, other than Him. Then I began to be troubled by another question. Everyone that I read about in The New Testament – they were all Jewish! I thought that you weren’t supposed to believe in Jesus if you are Jewish. But, all the people in the New Testament were still Jewish.
During that time there were other Jewish people around the world, who also spontaneously came to faith in Jesus. We began to find one another, and there was sort of a revolution, a historic reformation of faith – to begin to return to the Jewish roots of the faith, faith in Jesus. We began to recreate an environment where we could believe in Jesus, yet maintain our Jewish identity. That was the beginning of what we now call the modern day Messianic Jewish movement, both in the United States and in Israel. It has grown and grown and we are very excited to be part of it.
Betty and I, and our four children immigrated to Israel and went through the Aliyah process in 1991 and 1992. Previous to that we had been part of building Beth Messiah Congregation near Washington D.C., with our friend Daniel Juster; as well as helping build a network of congregations with others which we called Tikkun. We also started our own congregation in Maryland called El Shaddai.
After many years in Israel, helping others to build congregations and ministries and helping to build the infrastructure, we felt it was time to start specifically what God had called us to do. We decided to call our new team Revive Israel.
Today Revive Israel is active in various branches of ministry including local discipleship, evangelism, strategic global impartation; and undergirding Tikkun-related congregations both here in Israel and internationally.
Thank you for being partners together with us as we all seek to establish Jesus’ Kingdom upon the earth!