Grantham, PA — Fresh off a highly successful Messiah 2017 conference, the MJAA is proud to announce a new structure for the adult morning sessions to take place at Messiah 2018. In addition to being presented in the typical grid format, the classes will now be organized into tracks, to assist attendees in selecting classes best suited to them.
“I’m excited about the new track structure,” said MJAA President, Rabbi Larry Feldman. “It’s difficult for many people to select classes which meet their needs and interests. The message titles are only so useful, even when the speakers stick with their stated topic. But we were discussing the problem in one of our secret leaders’ lunches this year, and we realized that most speakers just do the same thing every year anyway, so why not group them accordingly?”
“Titles are hard,” added Rabbi David Chernoff. “We used to provide summaries in the booklet, but knowing what you want to talk about in advance, choosing a title, describing it…it was an impossible task. My wife, Debbie, has done a ‘For Women Only’ session for years to avoid having to come up with a title, but we can’t all do that. I’ve considered doing a ‘For Cool People Only’ session, but the fundamentals of our faith are probably more important.”
The current plan divides the sessions into three tracks. Fundamentals of Biblical Judaism will be primarily for those new to the conference or seeking to learn more about Messianic Judaism and the MJAA, and will include excellent foundational teachings from Messianic leaders such as Rabbis David Chernoff, Jeff Forman, Charlie Kluge, and Michael Wolf. “I feel that my class on the MJAA’s ministry is very important to provide to the newcomers at Messiah,” said MJAA General Secretary, Joel Chernoff. “Not only do people need to catch the Messianic vision, but they also need to understand precisely how many additional water wells the MJAA has built this past year in Ethiopia and watch a special video of me taking a drink from each one. Seeing me drink from every single well really helps people connect to the ministry.”
The second track will be the Conference Veteran track, aimed at those who have already mastered the FBJ material over several previous years. Speakers will include Debbie Chernoff, Michael Rydelnik, Rachel Wolf, Jeffrey Seif, and an optional specialization for those who wish to major in Rosenberg. Like the FBJ track, the classes will be intentionally scheduled to avoid overlaps in the same time slot. “I’ve been making fewer handouts in the past years, since I’m always scheduled at the same time as Debbie Chernoff,” said Dr. Michael Rydelnik. “I’m glad to know we’ll be sparing attendees that difficult decision of choosing between us in the future.”
The final track, titled “Blow A Shofar In Zion,” will be designed for those interested in right-wing politics, unscientific nutritional advice, apocalyptic analysis of regularly occurring phenomena, exhaustive search techniques to dig up any hints of Jewish ancestry, and overly simplistic explanations of prophetic mysteries. The track will also introduce a new class, titled “18 Reasons Why The World Will End In 2018” (which will be updated for Messiah 2019, should the need arise). Blow A Shofar in Zion track participants will also have exclusive access to a Cultural Center showcase exhibiting every product which was ever invented in Israel. Ever.
A fourth track, tentatively titled “Virgin Daughters of Zion,” may be included for those seeking a spouse. It would include classes on developing your “Jew-dar,” the roles of men and women in marriage, and how to convince your significant other to move to your city so that your Rabbi supports the relationship. Additional track-specific activities have been proposed, including singles-only schmooze times (which are not “open to all”), speed “intentional friending,” and opportunities for private consultation with Hope Edelstein.
The MJAA has also announced several new afternoon workshops at Messiah 2018, including Introduction to Interpretive Dance, Overwhelmingly Anointed Prayer, Davidic Harp-Carving (bring your own log), and How to Know You’re Called to Make Aliyah When Your Rabbi Says No.
You can register now for Messiah 2018 at http://mjaa.org/messiah18 to set up a prepayment plan with a 10% discount. You won’t want to miss this one, just in case the world really does end.
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