Yohanna reports that in 1970 Martin received a “vision from the Lord: two electrifying, simple words stretched across the sky in the form of a banner, bringing into focus and confirming what we had been sensing over the years: MESSIANIC JUDAISM.” Gannon opened new Jewish outreaches in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1975 to 1979, and “later pioneered and pastored Messianic congregations in Long Island (1980) and Queens (1983) as well as directing Beth Emanuel Fellowship in Northeast Philadelphia from 1983 to 1988.” “Before moving to Jerusalem to co-pastor King of Kings Assembly in 1989, Dr.
Gannon taught missions and Jewish studies at Central Bible College, Valley Forge Christian College, and the Christ for the Nations Biblical Institute (New York campus). graduates in Messianic Leadership.” In addition to teaching and developing Messianic Jewish educational programs Gannon worked for some seven years as a translator and team translator as part of a four-man theological editing team for the Tree of Live Bible (TLV) produced by the Messianic Jewish Bible Society (MJBS).
Through the continued generosity of JVMI, the MJSP at TKU has become a quality undergraduate and graduate Messianic Jewish Studies option for serious students. Juster is a strong advocate for the Messianic movement to have an appreciation for the heritage of the Christian church even as their primary cultural expression is Jewish.
The First Hebrew Christian Church was renamed Adat Hatikvah in 1975 under Juster’s leadership as “Dan caught a vision of expressing his faith in Yeshua in a more Jewish way and shifted to worship on Shabbat, keeping the Jewish holidays, and a positive attitude toward Torah.” After Manny Brotman resigned as the spiritual leader of Beth Messiah Congregation (greater Washington D. area) the congregation chose Juster to be their leader after hearing him speak at the Messiah ’77 conference. A kind and gentle individual, Juster was a teacher, a pastor and a mediator.
He was “quarterback of the championship high school football team and pitcher for the winning city baseball team.” As a young Spirit-filled Messianic Jew he was a forerunner to the events of 1967 which were so instrumental in establishing the modern day Messianic movement. area were affected by his enthusiastic sharing of his beliefs.
He founded the Messianic Jewish Movement International (MJMI) in 1963. His efforts lead to the establishment of the first youth branch of the Hebrew Christian Alliance (HCAA), the Young Hebrew Christian Alliance (YHCA) in Chicago in 1965.
I needed to be able to honestly profess that we were not an appendage, subsidiary, affiliate, or offshoot of any Christian (Gentile) denomination or ministry. We absolutely were not a “church.” For this reason, if we identified as, “Beth Messiah, a Messianic Synagogue” immediately followed by, “affiliated with the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America,” it would seem an inherent contradiction in our stated goal. ” This idea of a Jewish identity and more specifically a Messianic Jewish identity was the main purpose of the effort to change the name of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America (HCAA) to Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA).
Almost as soon as Beth Messiah began to hold meetings on May 18, 1973, I realized I would be required to “explain” our purpose to the outside Jewish community. If this fledgling thing –Beth Messiah—was to have a future, it couldn’t be under the banner—Hebrew Christian Alliance?These are Manny Brotman, Martin and Yohanna Chernoff, Ray Gannon, and Dan Juster.Brotman, Manny (1938-1999), was a talented individual who excelled in everything he undertook.As a founding father figure Manny produced “the first pictorial Messianic Catalog in the modern movement” and he “pioneered and popularized the use of Messianic terminology, Messianic evangelism materials and training, planting Messianic congregations and Messianic Jewish television and radio.” Martin and Yohanna became committed to the efforts of the Hebrew Christian Alliance of America (HCAA) to maintain Jewish identity while attending the HCAA conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1965.This was another step in their transformation from a Hebrew Christian identity to a Messianic Jewish identity.Both these movements were calling the church back to what they called primitive Christianity and recovery of the gifts of the Spirit.” “According to author Peter Hocken, ‘The new thrust that turned Hebrew Christians into Messianic Jews was distinctly charismatic.’ This reflected the influence of the charismatic Jesus movement at the same period.” The social, cultural and political environment in the United States created this very unique climate in which the modern Messianic movement was birthed.