Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council?

The MJRC is a growing community of ordained Messianic Jewish rabbis committed to the exciting concept of a Messianic Judaism which is both faithful to the teachings, example and person of Messiah Yeshua and to deep connection with the larger Jewish community. This connection demands our giving serious attention to Torah as practiced through the march of Jewish history. MJRC Rabbis endeavor to develop standards of Messianic Jewish practice so that our congregations worldwide can grow together as life-giving communities, filled with the Ruach and the joy of Jewish life renewed in Yeshua.

 

  • Who are the current members of the MJRC?

The membership of the MJRC is made up of ordained rabbis and other leaders within the Messianic Jewish community here in the United States and Israel. To see a list of our current membership, press here. (See list attached).

 

  • How does someone join the MJRC?

If you are a Jewish person upon whom smichah (rabbinic ordination) has been properly conferred, and who accepts the vision, beliefs, and values of the Council, and who is committed to model the established halakhic principles and standards of the Council, you may apply for Full Membership. Currently, the MJRC accepts rabbinical ordination as conferred by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC).

If you are a Jewish person who accepts the vision, beliefs, and values of the Council, and is committed to model its established halakhic principles and standards, you may apply for Associate Membership.

To apply for membership, contact the Council via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

  • Does the MJRC grant smichah (ordination)?

Currently the MJRC does not grant smichah. Instead we recognize the ordinations of those rabbis who have completed the requirements for ordination, and have been duly ordained by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations. See the next question for further details.

 

  • Who can become a rabbi according to MJRC standards?

The MJRC currently accepts ordination as conferred by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, with the caveat that the person receiving ordination is a Jewish person. We have chosen this program because we feel it maintains the highest standards for rabbinical education currently available in the Messianic Jewish community. To learn more about the UMJC ordination program go to umjc.org.

 

  • May women become rabbis?

At present there is no organization in the Messianic Jewish community which offers smichah to women. However the MJRC does support the ordination to the rabbinate of qualified Jewish women. When such a program becomes available women may apply to the MJRC for Full Membership.

 

  • How can I find the halachic standards endorsed by the MJRC?

The Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council has produced for the benefit of the Messianic Jewish community our "Standards of Observance". Our aim was to articulate realistic and practical standards and guidelines for Messianic Jewish observance that point us and our communities toward the way of covenant faithfulness. We commend these practices to all the congregations in the Messianic Jewish community. Click here for the PDF of this document.

 

  • How can I locate an MJRC affiliated synagogue in my city?

To find a directory of MJRC affiliated congregations go to our membership and affiliates page

 

  • Why does the MJRC develop halachic standards for Messianic Jews?

The rabbis and associate members of the MJRC are convinced that Messianic Judaism, if it is to be taken seriously by both the Jewish and Christian communities in the decades ahead, must seek to develop basic standards of practice which give shape to maturing Messianic Judaism. Four intersecting criteria help us form judgments as to how life should be lived in our communities:

  • The biblical teaching on a given issue
  • The teaching and example of Yeshua
  • The voice of Jewish tradition as it impacts the matter at hand
  • The necessities and realities of modern life

By allowing these four criteria to inform our deep thinking, bathed in prayer, MJRC standards are intended to give life to our members and their children who deserve clear answers to the question: "what exactly is the Messianic Jewish life all about?"

 

  • Is the MJRC an affiliated organization?

Though not a formal affiliate of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), the MJRC draws much of its inspiration and membership from this international affiliation of Messianic Jewish synagogues. Other groups with which the MJRC is informally related are: the rabbinical training center, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (MJTI), the think tank, Hashivenu and the women's organization Nachalat Nashim. At present,all our rabbis are ordained through the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations.

 

  • Do women participate in the MJRC?

Yes. Messianic Jewish women who share our basic outlook contribute significantly to the development of a halachically-rich Messianic Judaism. Currently, there are no ordained women in our ranks, but those serving as Associate Members are encouraged to do significant committee work and to add their voices as standards are developed which demand the insights of wise and experienced women. Without this input, the efforts of our organization would be severely hampered.

 

  • Do non-Jews have a place in the MJRC?

The primary focus of the MJRC is answering the question, "how should Jews who follow Yeshua the Messiah live as participants in God's covenant with the Jewish people?" Thus, our Full Members are ordained rabbis who of course, are Jewish. Associate Membership is also reserved for Messianic Jews. We certainly welcome the prayers and encouragement of Christians who see the hand of God in the emergence of modern Messianic Judaism and who desire to see it develop as a distinctly Jewish movement among the people of Israel.

 

  • Does the MJRC see it's mandate as including developing standards for non-Jews who have a Jewish orientation to life?

 

There are a growing number of non-Jewish people who want to express more fully the "Jewish roots" of their faith in the Messiah. These folks deserve the guidance of the remnant of Israel as they seek to live responsibly, not trivializing Jewish customs and norms by cavalierly appropriating patterns of behavior which belong to the Jewish people. In the years ahead it is the hope of the MJRC to provide such guidance. But, given the magnitude of our primary calling to our Jewish people, this important enterprise will have to wait for a while.

 

  • How does the MJRC interpret and apply the New Testament teaching on the conversion to full membership in the Jewish people?

The MJRC acknowledges that New Testament halakhah includes a general prohibition of conversion to full membership in the Jewish people for followers of Yeshua (Galatians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20). We believe that this general prohibition is still applicable in the 21st century, and is intended not only to preserve the purity of Yeshua-faith but also to guard the integrity of Jewish communal life. However, halakhic prohibitions are not universal and unqualified. There are exceptional cases (e.g., intermarriage; Jewish ancestry; extraordinary vocation) where the general rule does not apply. The MJRC only sanctions conversion in such exceptional cases.

 

  • How may one apply for conversion through the MJRC?

In order to qualify as an applicant under the auspices of the MJRC an applicant must be an individual who is actively affiliated with a Messianic Jewish synagogue whose leader(s) is a member of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council (MJRC), or who is actively affiliated with a Messianic Jewish congregation which adheres to MJRC standards, and who is sponsored by a member of the MJRC. It is also required that the leadership will recognize the MJRC conversion process in writing.

 

  • What does the MJRC do that is different than the other Messianic Jewish organizations?

The MJRC is an independent group of Jewish Rabbis and Jewish associate members, who endeavor to bring a clear focus and definition for a branch of Judaism which affirms Yeshua of Nazareth as the Messiah of Israel, and Lord of the Nations. This is a distinctly Jewish branch of Judaism, connected to the stream of Judaism traceable through our Rabbis, Sages, Prophets, Moses, to the Patriarchs. We are making a clear distinction that people who are not Jewish and follow Yeshua of Nazareth as Lord of the Nations become part of the larger Commonwealth of Israel without becoming Jewish.

 

  • How does the MJRC interpret and apply the New Testament teaching on the conversion of non-Jews to Judaism?

The MJRC acknowledges that New Testament halakhah includes a general prohibition of conversion to Judaism for followers of Yeshua (Galatians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20). We believe that this general prohibition is still applicable in the 21st century, and is intended not only to preserve the purity of Yeshua-faith but also to guard the integrity of Jewish communal life. However, halakhic prohibitions are not universal and unqualified. There are exceptional cases (e.g., intermarriage; Jewish ancestry; extraordinary vocation) where the general rule does not apply. The MJRC only sanctions conversion in such exceptional cases.