Eric and Kristie
“As an interfaith couple, we were in search of a place of worship that would speak to the important principles that each of us valued from our individual backgrounds,” says Kristie. “Eric was raised in a traditional and culturally conservative Jewish home. I came from a Christian background with a deep belief in the Messiah. Through answered prayers, a recommendation from a Jewish friend landed us at Ruach Israel. The experience was life changing and a blessing beyond measure.”
“Eric felt comfortable worshiping God in a Jewish space, with familiar practices and prayers from his past. At the same time, I was right at home with the gospels from the New Covenant. We were both captivated by the music and inspired by the message delivered that day. From that day forward, Ruach Israel became our second home. Rabbi Rich was instrumental in providing guidance, education and answering all of our questions about what it meant to be a Messianic Jew.
“Over many discussions, Torah studies and prayer with Rabbi Rich and our fast-forming friends in the congregation, Eric became more interested in developing his Jewish faith, and his relationship with G-d with a new belief in Yeshua as his Messiah. As his new faith was consecrated in a Tevilah, my Christian roots have been enriched with a better understanding of Torah, Jewish culture, and most importantly, an understanding Yeshua’s life and purpose.
“Nearly ten years later, Eric and I are members of Ruach Israel along with our three children, Benjamin, Sara-Grace, and Joshua. Our family life is centered on our faith and love for who we are as Messianic Jews and the light that we can be to the rest of the world. Being an interfaith couple and discovering what we do at this synagogue is proof of how God wants us to be united through Yeshua the Messiah.”
Evan and Rebekah Labell
Married in 1999, Evan was raised in a Conservative Jewish home, while Rebekah was raised non-denominational Christian.
“We discovered Ruach Israel during our first year of marriage and, after a few months of visiting, committed to attending regularly. We found Ruach to be a place where our diverse spiritual backgrounds blended well; we both found the services challenging in some ways and comfortable/familiar in others.”
For Evan, the observance of Yeshua as Mashiach added a new dimension to his Jewish identity, faith and understanding. For Rebekah, it was humbling to learn about Jewish holidays, customs, beliefs and study – all of which informed her already strong belief in Messiah Yeshua.
“We became members of the congregation in 2006 and Ruach Israel continues to be a place in which we are both able to give and grow. We love our fellow congregants and revel in the fellowship each week brings. Encouragement from Rabbi Rich to spend time together on Shabbat has made this congregational family a strong one. We travel a full hour to services and another hour back almost every week in order to worship with this group!
“Now raising children, we appreciate the opportunity to offer them a strong foundation in Jewish life and identity, while learning about the redemption available through Messiah Yeshua. Our girls are learning Hebrew and our little boy started participating in Shabbat School this year. The anchor of our crazy week is Shabbat and Ruach Israel is central to our family’s observance.
“What a gift this congregation is to our family!”