Who Was Beth Messiah and Why Are So Many Messianic Congregations Named After Her?


Born Beth Hallel in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, to Russian-Jewish Immigrants turned Vaudeville performers, Keren Ohr and Hillel Hallel, Beth Messiah was raised in a one bedroom apartment with nine siblings. Though her life started with humble beginnings, she would go on to become someone who is often hailed as “The Chuck Norris of Messianic Judaism.”

Beth Messiah led an epic life with events that ranged from leading Joel Chernoff’s parents to The Lord, to riding the Loch Ness Monster barebacked, to jump roping across the United States in a matter of three days, to planting what is now the largest Messianic Congregation in the world.

Beth Messiah met her husband, Walter Messiah, while grooming rabid bears in Alaska and the two would later head the committee to unify the MJAA and the UMJC. Sadly, they did not succeed, but the effort was still there.

Beth Messiah passed away in 1989 after being eaten by a bear, but her legacy lives on in the names of countless Messianic congregations throughout the United States. Baruch Dayan HaEmet. Rest in peace, Beth Messiah. We couldn’t bear to not let your memory be for a blessing.

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