For the past two weeks, my husband and I have been traveling. We’ve been in three different countries and three different U.S. states. We’ve visited family, attended the Messianic Leaders Roundtable (a yearly conference sponsored by Jewish Voice Ministries for Messianic rabbis and leaders), and spent three days teaching and ministering at the Messianic Jewish synagogue of a dear friend. The time with family was a blessing, and the conference, which was held on a three-day Caribbean cruise, was a wonderful time of rest, reflection, relaxation, and relationship building. I renewed friendships and made new ones, caught up with some MJTI students, and shared with others about MJTI’s new Panim el Panim courses, Mature Status entry, and Certificate Tracks.

On the cruise I was able to spend some time with J.R. Klein and his wife Lola. J.R. is the newly elected Chairman of the Board for MJTI. It was a blessing to get to know J.R. and Lola, to hear a little about their walk with HaShem, and to learn about J.R.’s ideas, hopes, dreams, and direction for MJTI. I look forward to working together with the MJTI team and Board to lead MJTI into the future.

I was also privileged to catch up with at least three of our graduates while on the cruise. Since their graduation from MJTI, all three have been ordained as Rabbis and serve as leaders in the Messianic Jewish community. Two of them lead Messianic Jewish synagogues, as well as serving in other Messianic Jewish organizations. The third graduate works in education, training future Messianic Jewish leaders. It is encouraging to me to see where HaShem has led our graduates and how they are using their MJTI education and training as they serve in the Messianic Jewish movement in their own way.

Our three-day visit at the Messianic Jewish synagogue was also a blessing. I did, however, lose my voice from talking too much! Shabbat started with breakfast at the congregation, continued with Shabbat morning services in which my husband gave the drash (sermon), and finished with a shared meal that included more catch-up and making new friends. After a short rest, we returned to the congregation for Havdalah. We hosted a time of answering questions about Israel and what it is like to be a Jewish Yeshua-believer living there. On the first day of the week, Sunday, I taught a 5-hour seminar on Men, Women and Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark that was remarkable and full of good discussions. For those who were not able to attend this seminar, I will be teaching the same material online as a Panim el Panim class in April. More information about this short class, as well as the other short courses being offered, is available on our website at

I praise God every day for the journey on which He has led me and for the people I have met along the way. Many of those people are part of the broader MJTI community. I invite you to join the MJTI community by studying with us, praying for us, or contributing to MJTI. May HaShem bless and keep each of you.

This post was written by MJTI Academic Dean Rabbi Dr. Vered Hillel. For more from Rabbi Hillel, read Thanksgiving in Israel, Autumn Reminiscing, or Sukkot Harvest Recipes.

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