Meet the Beit Din

 

Oversight of the United Messianic Jewish Assembly is conducted by the UMJA Beit Din, a group of z'kanim (elders) who have been selected based on experience and wisdom within the Messianic community.  Our Beit Din members are experienced as overseers of their own congregations, dedicated to the vision of the UMJA and to the edification of the Messianic Jewish movement.  

 

The Beit Din work together to plan UMJA events, oversee new chartered congregations, grant s'michah (ordination) to qualified applicants, and provide support and counsel to the Messianic community.  We thank our former Beit Din members who have served the UMJA and welcome our newly appointed members to our leadership.  

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RABBI KEN "MACCABEES" MACNEIL

UMJA President 

Rabbi Ken was born and raised Jewish in the Boston area, and has been involved with the Messianic movement for 30 years. He's been active with the UMJA since 2015 when he received his s'michah (ordination), and accepted the role as President in 2022. A man of diverse experience, he served in the Marines, worked as a private investigator, a commercial pilot, and holds a B.S. in Aviation Science and Management.  Ken ministered as VP of the Brazilian Youth Challenge with chapters in Boston and Florida. He mentored under three revered Rabbis over six years, including a private Yeshiva and understudy from an Ultra Orthodox Yeshiva graduate, and brings it all to the table for the UMJA.  He is presently enrolled in courses from Jerusalem's Hebrew University, and looks forward to seeing the UMJA grow globally with the blessing of HaShem.  He and his lovely wife Sharon live in Central  Massachusetts where he leads Messianic Jewish kehilla Kadosh L'cha. 

RABBI GREG LEHTIMAKI

Beit Din

Rabbi Greg received his s'michah (ordination) as a Ro'eh from the UMJA in 2015 and s'michah as a Rabbi from Y'Sharim USA/International in 2016. He is honored to be a member of the Beit Din of the UMJA. He is also an associate member of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA).
Rabbi Lehtimaki has been happily married to his b'shert (soulmate), Lois for 39 years, they have 2 children and 12 grandchildren.  They live a Torah observant life to the glory of God and pray that their ministry will build up HaShem's kingdom to accomplish His will and purposes.

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RABBI RICHARD CHAIMBERLIN

Beit Din

Rabbi Richard and his Columbian bride Miriam became believers in Yeshua in 1975.  He has been editor and publisher of a quarterly Messianic magazine called Petah Tikvah since 1983 (when everything was done by typewriter) and became Rabbi at Petah Tikvah Kehilah, the Door of Hope, a Messianic Jewish fellowship in upper New York state, since 1984. Richard and Miriam are pioneers in Messianic Judaism and have been valued members of the UMJA since 2013.  They have one grown daughter, born in West Germany where he was stationed in the army.  She taught at Hillel School (a Jewish elementary school) for three years and now teaches in public school. They also have two grown grandchildren.


RABBI YOSEF KOELNER

 

Beit Din

Yosef (Harvey) Koelner was born in Chicago and raised in an Orthodox Jewish home. His extended family is among the early Chalutzim (Pioneers - early settlers of Israel) and are founding members of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi and Kibbutz Galon. Rabbi Yosef’s education includes a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Illinois State, a Master of Ministry with Jewish studies from Messiah Biblical University; a MA in Jewish Studies from Gratz College, and a Doctorate of Practical Ministry from Wagner Leadership Institute. While living in Israel, he graduated from Ulpan Alef (Hebrew language studies) Katsrin, Israel, and studied at an Orthodox Yeshivah in Tzfat.  He served as Rabbi of Temple Aron HaKodesh for 28 years, and currently serves as Rabbi Emeritus of Kehilat Bet Avinu, a predominantly Spanish speaking congregation. Rabbi Yosef travels extensively throughout Latin America presenting seminars on Jewish Studies. He is ordained by both the UMJA and El Concilió  Judío Mesiánico Internacional (Messianic Jewish International Council).  Rabbi Yosef is a newly appointed member of the Beit Din and will be heading up our first Yeshiva beginning in 2023.

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RABBI GARY BERESFORD

Beit Din

New photo and bio
coming soon!

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KAREN LOW DELOGE

Secretary

Karen (formerly Judd Low) comes to us with a background in indigenous church-planting and missions, having raised her family in a tribe in New Guinea for 17 years. An author with corporate experience, she enjoys working with global teams. She earned a Masters in Education in 2004, and with a life-long passion for the Word and outreach, she has been teaching Bible studies in lock-ups, co-founded a refugee ministry in 2015, and teaches Torah online to women's groups.  Karen and her husband Doug became Torah observant in 2018. They live in Central Mass where they enjoy their grown kids and eleven grandchildren, who range in age from college to newborn. 

You're part of the team too!

"3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future...
7 However, he has given
each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ...13 until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son...15 growing in every way more and more like Christ...
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16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part

does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow,

so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. 

Ephesians 4:3-16 CJB

May the Ruach HaKodesh move through the nations

gathering his people together, enveloping us in his love, and wrapping us in the spirit of unity, to the glory of the Father, King of the universe, in Yeshua's Name. Amen.