Our Leaders


Yeshua is our Leader. To be a Talmid, we should be imitators of Yeshua.

Pastor Joseph John

Messianic Pastor Joseph John is the President/ Senior Pastor of Kehilat Bethlechem, a Messianic congregation in Hyderabad, India. He was an Assemblies of G-d pastor when he had a supernatural encounter with the Lord while reading the Book of Romans.

After ministering the Gospel throughout the nation and other nations for many years, received a call to start his own congregation. On seeking the purpose of the congregation, he was directed to Romans 11 and for the first time he “saw” that the non-Jewish believers in Yeshua were engrafted into Israel!  Thus began the journey of Pastor Joseph and his wife Susan which led to their pioneering a Kosher Messianic Congregation.

Kehilat Bethlechem which began in February 2009, has now grown into an authentic Messianic congregation in the city of Hyderabad, India and is part of the community of Yeshivat Shuvu under the leadership of Rabbi Itzhak Shapira.

Kehilat Bethlechem gathers on Shabbat and is committed to discipleship and training of workers to build the Kingdom of G-d by revealing the true identity of the Jewish Messiah and His Kingdom.

Kehilat Bethlechem is a member of IAMCS:

Rabbi Itzhak Shapira

Tzahi (Itzhak) Shapira was born and raised in a traditional Sephardic Jewish home in Israel.

After years of studying Rabbinic Jewish texts, he found the Messiah within the Hebrew writings. He serves as the Shaliach Tzibbur of Yeshivat Shuvu. He also serves as the founding rabbi of Ahavat Ammi Ministries, an international Jewish organization that is focused on reconciliation between Jews and Yeshua.

Rabbi Shapira is also the author of several notable works to include: The Return of the Kosher Pig and the Makor Chayim-Yomim Noraim Siddur.

Rabbi Steven A. Bernstein

Rabbi Bernstein is the Rabbi at Aydat HaDerekh Messianic Synagogue in Fort Myers, FL.

Steve was born on Lag B’Omer in Ann Arbor, MI but was raised in Gainesville, FL. The son of two University of Florida professors, he excelled in the sciences in school. In addition to his normal academic studies, he pursued his Jewish education studying with many Rabbis and professors of Judaic Studies from the University including visiting Rabbis such as Abraham Joshua Heschel and Shlomo Carlebach. In the late ‘70s, Steve moved with his family to Jerusalem where his parents became visiting professors at Hebrew University. In addition to continuing his academic studies while in Israel, he served in the Gadna division of the Israel Defense Forces. Steve also did volunteer work on kibbutzim with Sherut Leumi, with Magen David Adom, and various archaeological digs all over Israel.

On returning to the U.S., he entered Duke University. Steve pursued both sciences and Judaic studies, studying 1st century Judea under Dr. Eric Meyers and historical Judaism under Dr. Kalman Bland. He finished his degree at the University of West Florida with a major in Philosophy and Religious Studies and New Testament studies under Rev. Dr. William Mountcastle. After college, Steve became a financial advisor and investment consultant. He worked with Paine Webber for 14 years and earned the Chartered Financial Consultant designation from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA. He joined Raymond James in 2001 where he still practices today. Steve was given his first Smikha in 2005. Since then, he has been the Rabbi at Aydat HaDerekh Messianic Synagogue in Fort Myers, FL which is affiliated with the UMJC and the IAMCS. He is currently in the interim program with the IAMCS and the rabbinic program with the UMJC. Rabbi Bernstein lives in Estero, FL with his wife, Roni.

Pastor Matt McKeown

Matt McKeown is the Associate Pastor at the United Brethren in Christ Church (UBIC) in Holly Hill Florida and the Manager of Sound Mind Studios. His music is featured in televised sports games and events for the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and F1 racing. He also has worked in ADR for programs like Hawaii Five 0, Law and Order SVU, and The Man in the High Castle.

In ministry Matt has served on his denomination’s Youth Leadership Team and National Human Sexuality Task Force. Matt has a passion for studying Messianic Judaism and as a Christian Pastor lives a Messianic lifestyle; willingly attending his local Messianic Synagogue, studying at Yeshivat Shuvu, eating Kosher and teaching from a Messianic Jewish perspective. He has also taught on tours in the Holy Land and has provided music for the Bless Israel Network. Matt has done voice over work for FFOZ on their television show and is the voice of Torah Kids audio lessons and their books ‘Tent of David’ and ‘Elementary Principles’. He is currently recording the audio version of the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern.

The call on Pastor Matt’s life is an interesting one. The Lord is using him to be a bridge between the Christian world and the Jewish world. It is his desire to see Jewish people recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as the Jewish Messiah and for Christians to recognize the Jewish foundation of their faith.

Matt, his wife Kara and their three teenage children live in the Daytona Beach area of Florida and in addition to serving at UBIC attend Beth Judah Messianic Synagogue in Ormond Beach.

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