Meet the Rabbis
Rabbi Loren Jacobs
Rabbi Loren is the senior rabbi and founder of Congregation Shema Yisrael, a community of Messianic Jews and kosher-hearted Christians that started in 1986 when Rabbi Loren and his wife Martha moved to Michigan to proclaim the Good News about the Messiah to the 70,000 – 80,000 Jewish people in the metro Detroit area.
Rabbi Loren grew up in the Chicago area and became a Messianic Jew in 1975. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute’s Jewish Studies program in 1979 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Literature from Northeastern Bible College in New Jersey in 1986. Martha is a fifth-generation Messianic Jew – which is quite unusual. They have two adult children and two grandchildren
Rabbi Glenn Harris
I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
I was brought up in a loving Jewish home in Los Angeles, California. My parents were not religious, but from a young age I was taught to appreciate our Jewish heritage. When I was six years old, my grandpa was widowed and came to live with us. He exerted his influence, especially over the question of my religious training. Consequently, beginning at age eight, I spent the next four years attending Hebrew school, and at age thirteen, I became a Bar-Mitzvah.
We never talked about God at home, but beginning in my senior year in High School, I became fascinated with eastern mysticism and all matters supernatural. I had three core questions that formed the basis of my quest to determine the meaning of life: Who am I… why am I here… and where will I go when I die?
I began college, but dropped out after a year and a half, having no real sense of direction. All the while, my three core questions remained unanswered, despite all the New-Age books I read. About that time, a co-worker named Mandy invited me to go to church with her. She knew I was Jewish, and was eager to share the truth about Jesus with me. I agreed to go with her, but only to keep up the appearance of open-mindedness. I had no intention of believing any of that ‘Born-again Christian’ nonsense.
And yet, that very night, hearing the Gospel for the first time, my eyes were opened. My three big questions were finally answered, and I knew Yeshua (Jesus) had to be the Messiah! I may not have known much of the Bible, or of theology; but I knew a good deal when I heard it. Through Him I could have eternal life, and a close relationship with God. So that very night, in March of 1981, I gave Yeshua my heart!
A battle with cancer in 1985 punctuated my life, but not my faith, and the years since have been the best of my life. For a little over ten years I served with the ministry of Jews for Jesus. In 1990 I married a lovely Greek girl named Alexandra, and we now have three children, and three grandchildren. For 25 years I have been the associate rabbi at Congregation Shema Yisrael, where I am privileged to teach and to lead worship.
My challenge to anyone who reads this: if you are sincerely seeking the truth, I urge you to take the good advice of King David;
“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)
Rabbi Jerry Weinstein
“So Adonai blessed the seventh day and made it Holy, because on it Adonai rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
I was raised in a Jewish home in Metro Detroit. My mother was a Messianic Jew and my father was a secular Jew. As a child, I attended both Temple Israel’s Hebrew School (Reform Judaism) and Congregation Shema Yisrael. For all my life I believed that Yeshua is the Messiah. I have early memories of answering questions in Temple Israel’s Hebrew School and mentioning Yeshua as the Messiah – to some incredulous looks.
Growing up, I celebrated most of the Jewish holidays either with family or at Shema. Every year we would get together with my father’s side of the family for huge Passover seders and break-the-fast meals. I celebrated both Chanukkah and Christmas and didn’t realize how different this was from the experience of most Jewish people.
Because of persecution in high school, I became more serious about my faith. By the time I was a senior, I was well-known for being that Messianic Jewish kid and that I would stand up for what I believed.
I received a degree in accounting from Walsh College and became a member of Shema. At Shema, I became involved in running our video equipment and managing our website, and social media and I also began to give commentaries on the weekly Torah portion. I also presented Passover seders in area churches, explaining how Passover connects to the ultimate Passover Lamb, Messiah Yeshua.
It became clear that the Lord was leading me into full-time ministry. After prayer and careful consideration, I attended Moody Theological Seminary where I received my Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies.
One year later, I was ordained by the leaders of Shema.
Logically, historically, and factually, the case for Yeshua is airtight. But more important than the historical reality of Yeshua is how He has personally impacted my life through the Holy Spirit. If you are reading this and wondering if Yeshua is the Messiah, then I encourage you to explore our website and discover this for yourself. I pray that you are willing to seek out the truth no matter where it leads you. If you pray and open your heart to the Lord, then you too can experience peace and joy beyond life in this world.
What is Messianic Judaism?
Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish people and kosher-hearted Gentiles who believe that Yeshua (Jesus’ original name in Hebrew) is the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.