Frequently Asked Questions
is Menorah Ministries?
What is Messianic Judaism?
Is it Jewish to believe in Jesus?
But isn't Messianic Judaism exclusively
for Jewish people?
Isn't it too dangerous to tour Israel
Can you tell me more about Dr. John Fischer?
is Menorah Ministries?
Based on over 75 years of combined experience in this field, Menorah
Ministries and its staff have a multi-pronged purpose:
- to effectively communicate the message of Jesus the Messiah
to the Jewish people;
- to establish a model Messianic synagogue which will be a home
for Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus the Messiah, and will
thus serve as a pattern and a training ground for Messianic synagogues
elsewhere in the world;
- to develop and distribute materials for reaching, discipling
and training Jewish people;
- to train believers in Jesus in communicating their faith sensitively
to Jewish people;
- to educate believers in discovering the richness of the Jewish
roots and connections of their Christian faith;
- to promote, within the church, a greater understanding of the
- to combat the evils of anti-semitism.
As part of its educational program, the staff of Menorah Ministries
conducts sessions, seminars and conferences on a variety of topics:
- communicating the Jewish gospel to Jewish people;
- understanding Israel today;
- the significance of the Jewish holidays;
- the Jewish roots of the Bible and Christianity;
- understanding the Jewishness of Jesus;
- the history and menace of anti-semitism;
- the links between prophecy and today.
Menorah Ministries and its staff also conduct Passover demonstrations
and tours to Israel as part of its educational program.
More details of the various aspects of Menorah Ministries’
endeavors follows. Through its efforts, the staff founded and established
Congregation Ohr Chadash, a Messianic synagogue in Clearwater. It
is a fully-functional synagogue which has served as a model for
numerous visitors from around the world. It is presently serving
as the pattern for a similar synagogue in Ontario, Canada. Congregation
Ohr Chadash is currently the largest Messianic synagogue on the
Gulf coast of Florida. Several years earlier, Menorah Ministries
staff founded Congregation B’nai Maccabim, which remains a
major Messianic synagogue along Chicago’s north shore.
The staff of Menorah Ministries developed the booklet “L’chaim.”
It is a tool to communicate the message of Jesus within a Jewish
context. Over two million copies have been distributed worldwide
in English, Russian, and Italian. Another 25,000 copies of the pamphlet
“Messianic Synagogue” have been distributed in English,
Russian, Urdu (a major language in Pakistan), and Telugu (the main
language in southern India). This pamphlet explains the history,
purpose, and importance of Messianic synagogues.
THE OLIVE TREE CONNECTION has gone through several printings and
has been used around the world to train over 10,000 people to sensitively
communicate their faith in Jesus the Messiah. In addition, many
Jewish people who have read the book have realized that Jesus is
their Jewish Messiah. Another 10,000 people throughout the English-speaking
world and in Israel have come to understand the significance of
the Jewish holidays, for Jews as well as Christians, through reading
THE MEANING AND IMPORTANCE OF THE JEWISH HOLIDAYS, another Menorah
Perhaps even more significantly, Menorah Ministries has been able
to supply the rapidly growing number of Messianic synagogues with
vitally needed materials for their life and worship. The SIDDUR
FOR MESSIANIC JEWS (the prayer book for Sabbath services) has gone
through nine printings, and the MESSIANIC SERVICES FOR HOLY DAYS
AND FESTIVALS (the prayer book for the Jewish holidays) has gone
through five. Both volumes are now available in Russia as well,
where the Messianic Jewish movement is growing even more rapidly.
Additionally, Spanish editions are being prepared for publication
and distribution in the Hispanic world, another area of rapid Messianic
Through the literally hundreds of Passover demonstrations conducted
by Menorah Ministries staff, some 15,000 people have learned of
the Jewish roots and connections of their faith. The staff have
also been responsible for establishing Jewish studies courses at
one seminary (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and for establishing
and leading a Jewish studies department and major at still another
(St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva). Further, Dr. John Fischer, the Executive Director,
has helped establish the yeshiva (seminary-level) training program
for the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (one of the largest
associations of Messianic synagogues in the world). He was also
one of the founders of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations
In addition to the foregoing, the staff of Menorah Ministries have
educated Christians and have also trained Messianic leaders at seminars
and conferences throughout the United States and around the world.
This has included sessions and courses in France, Germany, Holland,
Hungary, Russia, South Africa, Japan, the Philippines, and the Ukraine,
plus repeated opportunities in Israel.
An unanticipated ministry has developed in recent years. As a result
of their own initiative, a dozen or so inmates are being assisted
by Menorah Ministries in their walk with God. A number of these
inmates are helping to lead Messianic fellowships in various prisons
around the country. Tapes and literature are being supplied at no
cost to enable these groups to worship and grow.
Tapes also are shipped monthly to 16 states and a dozen countries
in Europe, Asia and Africa. These go to individuals as well as Messianic
fellowships and groups around the world. As a result, tapes (as
well as literature) are assisting groups in India, Pakistan, Hungary,
Ukraine, the former Soviet Union, and a couple of countries in Africa.
Menorah Ministries, in cooperation with St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva, recently established the Netzer David International Yeshiva.
This is a full-time graduate school to train leaders for the Messianic
Jewish movement worldwide. It combines a residential program with
periodic intensive courses offered by extension. A correspondence
department has been developed, and a number of yeshiva courses are
also offered over the Internet. In addition, the yeshiva will be
setting up a cooperative program in Israel with its network of contacts
Dr. Fischer now serves as the Vice President of Messianic Jewish Congregations (the oldest association of Messianic Jewish synagogues) and as President of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance (an organization
founded over a hundred years ago).
Further supporting materials are available.
is Messianic Judaism?
We are integrally connected with the modern re-emergence of a very
Jewish movement, the Messianic synagogue movement, a movement committed
to our Jewish heritage, traditions, people and life.
For centuries the devout among us have longed for the coming of
our promised Messiah. We have found him! When he came, he fulfilled
prediction after prediction made by Israel's ancient prophets. He
said he came to carry out G-d's purpose for our world and make good
on his promises to our people; his mission was one of fulfillment
(Matthew 5:17). In other words (as the term "fulfill" means
in the language he spoke), he would uncover the depths and riches
of our Scriptures and our heritage; he would showcase our traditions
in all their beauty and brilliance; he would pack our beliefs and
practices full of significance and meaning!
Everywhere he went, he touched people and transformed their lives;
and he still does. A noted rabbi and author said: "Who can
compute all that he has meant to humanity? The love he has inspired,
the solace he has given, the good he has engendered, the hope and
the joy he has kindled—all that is unequaled in human history."
One of our foremost philosophers, Martin Buber, added: "I am
more than ever certain that a great place belongs to him in Israel's
history of faith and that this place cannot be described by any
usual categories." Albert Einstein, one of our greatest scientists,
observed: "He is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers,
however artful." As the anonymous author poetically put it:
"...all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were
ever built, all the parliaments that ever sat, have not affected
the life of mankind on this earth as has that one solitary life."
As Messianic Jews, then, we have accepted Yeshua as the Messiah
and have accepted G-d's provision of atonement through him. We acknowledge
him as the one who fulfilled our prophets' predictions and who rose
from the dead, a fact concerning which history bears eloquent testimony.
This historical evidence brought Orthodox Jewish scholar, Pinhas
Lapide, to acknowledge (Time, May 7, 1979, pp. 88f; cf.
The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective): "his
Ressurrection was a Jewish affair...he is a dead Jew revived by
the will of God."
it Jewish to believe in Jesus (Yeshua, his Hebrew name)?
One answer to this and other complex questions is simply that all
those who have accepted Yeshua as the Messiah, and have accepted
G-d's provision of atonement through him, remain Jewish. There is
no conflict here.
History has come to know him as Jesus of Nazareth, but his friends
and close associates just called him Yeshua ("salvation,"
see Isaiah 62:11). He brought a message of life, a message of hope
and joy. He injected peace and purpose, meaning and significance
into life after life. He has transformed us also.
"But," you might say, "doesn't Jesus, or Yeshua
as you might call him, deny or oppose Judaism?" Not according
to his own statements (Matthew 5:17-19), or according to the lives
of his earliest followers, the apostles. They joyfully celebrated
the holidays together and followed the Jewish traditions (Acts 2:46;
3:1; 20:5-6, 16; 21:24-26; 27:9). They came to realize the fullness
that Yeshua said he would pack into their rich traditions. Even
Rav Shaul, whom history knows as the Apostle Paul, remained a consistent,
observant Jew (Acts 25:8; 28:17; cf. 21:20-26). Moreover, he claims
that he continued to live as a Pharisee (Acts 23:6), among the strictest
of the Jewish groups of the first century! History confirms this.
Irenaeus, whose teachers were taught by the apostles themselves,
described the apostles' lives (Against Heresies 3.23.15):
"But they themselves...continued in the ancient observances...thus
did the apostles...scrupulously act according to the dispensation
of the Mosaic law." Even our best scholars, such as David Flusser
of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, concur (Jesus, p. 216):
"As a Jew Jesus fully accepted the law. The community he founded,
comparable in some ways to the Essenes, saw itself as a movement
of reform and fulfillment within Judaism, not as a secession from
Levi further reminds us that Yeshua did not come to abolish the
law, but rather to fulfill it.
Yeshua was a Jew living in a Jewish land among Jewish people. All
the apostles were Jewish as were the writers of the er Testament.
For many years, faith in Yeshua was strictly a Jewish one. The book
of Acts and other historical data tell us that during the first
century there were hundreds of thousands of Messianic Jews. Moreover,
there were Messianic Synagogues scattered throughout the Roman Empire
and beyond. During this time, G-d miraculously showed his people
that the Messiah was for both the Jew and the Gentile alike. Today,
we are seeking to put the Messiah back into its biblical and Jewish
context, and to share its beauty with other.
isn't Messianic Judaism exclusively for Jewish people?
Absolutely not! All who respond to the Messiah, Jew and Gentile
alike, are heirs to a rich Jewish heritage and have deep Jewish
roots. Together, they share the dynamic vibrant life that he gives.
it too dangerous to tour Israel these days?
Contacts and coordinators in Israel, who are good friends of ours,
never encourage or allow tours if they feel there is the slightest
danger. Some who have returned from Israel to the U.S. recently
said they felt even safer there than here in the U.S. There are
tours of Israel all the time. We receive letters from group leaders
who report no problems. At this point, the only thing that would
keep us from going is if we don't have enough people to join us
to make the trip feasible.
you tell me more about Dr. John Fischer?
Dr. Fischer was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1946 to survivors
of the Holocaust. (Read
his mother's book here.) He immigrated to the United States
in 1949. He married in 1972 to Patrice and they have two children,
Eve and Seth, and three grandchildren.
- B.S. in Bible, Cairn University, 1970.
- M.S. in Communications, Temple University, 1970.
- M.A. in New Testament, Trinity International University, 1972.
- B.J.S. in Jewish Thought, Spertus College of Judaica, 1978.
- Ph. D. in Education/Religion, University of South Florida, 1987. Dissertation: The Development of a Core Curriculum for a Messianic Jewish Yeshiva.
- Th. D. in Judaic Studies, California Graduate School of Theology, 1989. Dissertation: Messianic Services for Festivals and Holy Days.
- Visiting Faculty in Jewish Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1975 - 1981.
- Professor and Chairman of Department of Judaic Studies, St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva, 1985 - present.
- Dean, St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva, 1989 - 2002.
- Vice President of Academics, St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva, 1994 - present.
- Rosh Yeshiva, Betzel Shaddai Yeshiva, 1977 - 1981
- Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Institute of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, 1991 - 1998.
- Rosh Yeshiva, Netzer David International Yeshiva, 1998 - present.
- Rosh Yeshiva, Harcourt Samuel Messianic Yeshiva, 1999 - 2004.
- Chair, Bible Department, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, 2004 - 2008.
- Adjunct Faculty in Religious Studies, St. Petersburg Junior College, 1991 - 1999.
- Adjunct Faculty in Judaic Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2005 – present.
- Adjunct Faculty, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, 2008 - present.
- Adjunct Faculty in Judaic Studies, Denver Seminary, 2009 - present.
- Adjunct Faculty in Judaic Studies, King's University, 2013 - present.
- Lecturer, Messianic Yeshiva of the Ukraine, 1998 - present.
- Visiting Professor: King of Kings College, Jerusalem, July 1993, June 1995
- Visiting Professor: Johann Amos Comenius College, Reichelsheim, Germany, July 1995, January 1997, May 1997
- Visiting Professor: Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, 2000 - present.
- Staley Distinguished Scholars Lecturer, Lancaster Bible College, March 1997
- Annual Biblical Lectureship, St. Louis Christian College, April 1998
- University Faculty Lectureship, Liberty University, April 2005
- Guest lecturer: Oakton Community College, Triton College, College of Lake County, University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, Northeastern Illinois University, Millersville University, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, Wheaton Graduate School, Moody Bible Institute, Lancaster Bible College.
- Director of Training, American Messianic Fellowship, 1973 - 1974.
- Vice President, The Watchmen Association, 1975 - 1978.
- Vice President, B'rit Shalom, 1978 - 1981
- Deputy Secretary in North America, International Messianic Jewish Alliance, 1981 - 1984.
- Executive Director, Menorah Ministries, 1984 - present.
- Founder and Spiritual Leader, Congregation B'nai Maccabim, Highland Park, IL, 1975 - 1981.
- Founder and Rabbi, Congregation Ohr Chadash, Clearwater, FL, 1982 - present.
- Contributing Editor, MESSIANIC OUTREACH, 1987 - present.
- Contributing Editor, MISHKAN, 1991 - present.
National and International Organizations
- President, Messianic Jewish Alliance of Chicago, 1974 - 1978.
- Executive Committee, Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, 1977 - 1979.
- Vice President, and co-founder, Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, 1979 - 1981, 2005 - 2009.
- Vice President, Association of Messianic Believers, 1992 - 1994.
- President, Association/Union of Messianic Believers, 1994 - 2011.
- President, American Association of Messianic Jewish Believers, 1996 – 2007
- Vice President , Union of Messianic Jewish Believers, 2007 – present.
- Chairman, Theology Committee of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, 1979 – 1981.
- Chairman, Yeshiva Committee, Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, 1991 - 1999.
- Chairman, Credentials Committee, Union Of Messianic Jewish Congregations, 1991 - 1999, 2003 - present.
- Steering Committee, Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, 1989 - present.
- Advisory Board, Living Center for Biblical and Archaeological Studies, University of South Florida,1984 - 1987.
- Administrative Committee, International Messianic Jewish Alliance, 1997 – present.
- Chairman, Administrative Committee, International Messianic Jewish Alliance, 2000 - 2007.
- Executive Committee, International Messianic Jewish Alliance, 1994 - present.
- Vice President, International Messianic Jewish Alliance, 2002 – 2007.
- President, International Messianic Jewish Alliance, 2007 – present.
- Secretary, Messianic Jewish Rabbinic Council, 2010 - present.
- Board of Directors, St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, 1992 - 1998
- Advisory Board, King of Kings College Graduate School, Jerusalem, 1996 - 1999.
- Board of Advisors, Lederer Messianic Ministries, 1996 - present.
- Board of Directors, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, 2002-2007
- HIS AMBASSADORS TO HIS PEOPLE (American Messianic Fellowship,
- L'CHAIM (Menorah
- IF IT BE OF GOD… (Messianic Jewish Alliance of America,
- SHARING ISRAEL'S MESSIAH (The Watchmen Association, 1978)
- THE MEANING
AND IMPORTANCE OF THE JEWISH HOLIDAYS (Menorah Ministries,
- THE OLIVE TREE
CONNECTION (InterVarsity Press, 1983)
- SIDDUR FOR MESSIANIC
JEWS (Adventure in Faith, 1984)
- MESSIANIC SERVICES
FOR FESTIVALS AND HOLY DAYS (Menorah Ministries, 1992)
- THE ENDURING
PARADOX: JESUS AND JUDAISM (Lederer, 2000)
A Messianic Movement?” TRINITY JOURNAL (Spring 1976)
- “Messianic Judaism,” UNITED EVANGELICAL ACTION (Fall
- “Messianic Jews Are Still Jews,” CHRISTIANITY TODAY
(April 24, 1981)
- “The Turmoil in Jewish Thinking,” INTEREST (October
- “Sharing Israel's Messiah,” INTEREST (November 1981)
After the Holocaust,” JUDAISM (Summer 1983)
- “Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts,” THE HEBREW CHRISTIAN
in His Jewish Context,” EVANGELICAL QUARTERLY (July
- “Torah: Can You Work Your Way to God?” MESSIANIC
OUTREACH (Autumn 1986)
Rabbinic View of God, A Contrast to Maimonides,” MESSIANIC
& Treaty: Implications for Scripture,” MESSIANIC
OUTREACH (Spring 1988)
From A Messianic Jewish Perspective,” MESSIANIC OUTREACH
(Autumn 1988 – Summer 1989)
Fulfillment & Judaism in Hebrews,” MESSIANIC OUTREACH
(Autumn 1989 - Spring 1990)
& Early Judaism,” MESSIANIC OUTREACH (Summer 1990
- Spring 1991)
Development of the Messianic Concept,” MESSIANIC OUTREACH
(Summer 1991 - Spring 1992)
Place of Rabbinic Tradition in a Messianic Jewish Lifestyle,”
MESSIANIC OUTREACH (Fall 1994)
- “Mah Zeh?" KESHER (Summer 1994)
of Messianic Theology,” MISHKAN (1, 1995)
- “The Lifestyle and Teachings of Jesus,” THE INTERPRETER
- “Making Messianic Worship Meaningful,” MISHKAN (1,
- “Why Is This Night Different?” MESSIANIC TIMES (Spring
and Halacha: Which Direction?” KESHER (Summer 1997)
Conversion: It Is Viable,” KESHER (Winter 1998)
for the Reliability of the Older Testament,” MESSIANIC
JEWISH LIFE (Jan-Mar, 1999)
- “The Resurrection of Yeshua: Myth or Fact?” MESSIANIC
JEWISH LIFE (Apr-June, 1999)
- “The Rabbinic View of God: A Contrast to the Rambam,”
KESHER (Summer 2001)
- “The Legitimacy of Conversion,” in VOICES OF MESSIANIC
JUDAISM, ed. Dan Cohn-Sherbok (Lederer 2001)
- “Yes, We Do Need Messianic Congregations!” and “Messianic
Congregations Should Exist and Should Be Very Jewish,” in
HOW JEWISH IS CHRISTIANITY? TWO VIEWS ON THE MESSIANIC MOVEMENT,
ed. Louis Goldberg (Zondervan 2003)
- “Yeshua: The Deity Debate,” MISHKAN, (1, 2004)
- “A Place and a Name: The Conversion of Gentiles,” KESHER (Summer 2005)
- “Soteriology: The View From Here,” MISHKAN (#53, 2007)
- Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council, 2013
- Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, 1988
Dr. John Fischer is listed in:
- Who's Who in America: South and Southwest (1999-)
- Who's Who in America (2000-)
- America's Registry of Outstanding Professionals (2001-)
you tell me more about Patrice Fischer?
- B.S. in Speech, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
- M.A. in Cross-Cultural Communication, Magna Cum Laude, Trinity International University Deerfield, IL
- M.A. in Linguistics 1992 & Ph.D. work in Second Language Acquisition & Linguistics [ABD], University of South Florida Tampa, FL
- D. Min. in Jewish Studies, St. Petersburg Seminary & Yeshiva 2000 St. Petersburg, FL
- Additional coursework at Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Princeton Seminary, NJ; American Institute of Holy Land Studies, Jerusalem
- Editor & Translator for the Messianic Family Bible team Ketuvim [Writings] (Publisher: Destiny Image), 2010-present
- Professor of Hebrew Language & Literature, St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva, 1984-present (Also served as Interim President – 2005)
- Academic advisor and pre-health professions counselor for the Dept. of Biology, University of South Florida (USF), 2006-2009
- St. Petersburg College Director of Admissions, Registration, and Business Office, Clearwater Campus, 1999-2004
- Adjunct Instructor - USF (taught linguistics course called ‘Language & Meaning’, plus Beginning Modern Hebrew, Introduction to Language & Linguistics, & graduate course in Cross-Cultural Communications), 1997-2009
- Academic Grant Administrator, 1995-1996
- Chapter on “Godfearers” in The Enduring Paradox, published by Lederer Publications, 2002
- The Distortion, co-authored with John Fischer, published by Lederer Publications, 2004