Menorah Ministries
Est. 1984 by Rabbi Dr. John Fischer and Dr. Patrice Fischer
Menorah Ministries, PO Box 669, Palm Harbor, Florida, 34682, USA, p: 727-726-1472
ShalomScriptoriumExpeditionsSeminaryYeshivaSynagogueEpistlesWilderness
FEATURED READING

The Distortion
by John Fischer and Patrice Fischer

The Olive Tree Connection by John FischerThe Enduring Paradox
by John Fischer (editor)

Time of Storm by Marianne Fischer and Gayle RoperTime of Storm
by Marianne Fischer and Gayle Roper

"As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene…No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."

--Albert Einstein

Now online: JESUS THROUGH JEWISH EYES: A RABBI EXAMINES THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF JESUS by Rabbi John Fischer

 

 

WHY ALL THE PASSION ABOUT
THE PASSION
?

Read John and Patrice Fischer's new book: The Distortion
The Passion of the Christ became a very controversial movie. The Fischers' new book The Distortion examines the movie, the controversies surrounding it, and some very deep and significant issues related to it which go beyond the movie and continue after its popularity has faded.

 


Menorah Ministries is headquartered at
Congregation Ohr Chadash

3190 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, Florida, 33759, US  • 727-726-1472

Click here for map.

Visitors Since
9/13/99:

Shalom

See our new MySpace Profile and Blog
(The blog reproduces all newsletters.)

Read our Frequently Asked Questions

Next Israel Trip planned for
June 19 - July 5 2014


Da VINCI DECODED

Listen to Dr. Tom Tribelhorn and Dr. Rabbi Fischer lecture on The Da Vinci Code phenomenon:
Part 1
Part 2

THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS

Listen to Dr. Tom Tribelhorn's lecture on the Lost Tomb of Jesus (as seen on the Discovery Channel):
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Note: The Epistles page has been reimagined as our new MySpace.com profile! All newsletters will be posted on the MySpace blog.

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Download Dr. John Fischer's book
The Olive Tree Connection

for the Kindle e-book reader!

EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS:

  • Dr. John Fischer
  • Dr. Patrice Fischer

ADVISORY BOARD:

  • Dr. Bill Anderson
  • Dr. Betty Sue Brewster
  • Dr. Timothy Foster
  • Ellis Goldstein
  • Rev. Tristan Hohler
  • Dr. Vicky Jones
  • Dr. Conrad Koch
  • Dr. Jan McCray
  • Jim McCullough
  • Rev. Angus MacDonald
  • Rev. Richard Ostien
  • Dr. James Rogers
  • Dr. David H. Stern
  • Dr. Robert Willey

Frequently Asked Questions

What 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 these days?
Can you tell me more about Dr. John Fischer?

What 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 Jewish people;
  • 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 Ministries publication.

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 growth.

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 itself.

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 there.

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.

What 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."

Is 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 it."

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.

But 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.

Isn't 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.

Can 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.

Education

  • 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.

Professional Experience

  • 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

Publications

Ordination

  • 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-)

Can you tell me more about Patrice Fischer?

Education

  • 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

Professional Experience

  • 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

 

Publications

  • Hebrew Blastoff, a beginner's guide to Hebrew.
  • Chapter "The Role of Gentiles in Messianic Judaism" in Voices of Messianic Judaism, published by Lederer Publications, 2001.
  • Chapter on “Godfearers” in The Enduring Paradox, published by Lederer Publications, 2002
  • The Distortion, co-authored with John Fischer, published by Lederer Publications, 2004

 


Menorah Ministries •  p:  727-726-1472  •  PO Box 669, Palm Harbor, Florida, 34682, US
_Web Site and Art designed and rendered by Christopher Sirmons Haviland. All Rights Reserved. Menorah Ministries Copyright 1984-2011 by John and Patrice Fischer. The Original Menorah Ministries Web Site Copyright 1996-2011 by John and Patrice Fischer and Christopher Sirmons Haviland._