MembersMessianic Jewish Independence – Bar David Style

An internal conflict plagues most Israeli Messianic Jewish congregations, and one group tried to break free

By Ori ben Gvir | | Topics: MESSIANIC JEWS
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Messianic Assembly (see Israel Today, May 2019, p. 22), independent as it was, still nourished close relationships with foreign missions and an array of European and American churches. This level of dependency, where the fledgling Israeli Messianic movement accepted without much question Christian theology, along with some distinctive Christian cultural practices, was something some of the original members of the congregation couldn’t accept. Among them was Haim Haimoff Bar David (1905-1996), who in 1970 started his own congregation in the city of Ramat Gan (part of the Tel Aviv metropolis). 

A Bulgarian Jew who came to Israel in 1928, Haimoff was working as a missionary for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) and for the American Board of Missions to the Jews. After several years in this role, however, he decided to cut ties to these organizations after realizing that they weren’t interested in facilitating the development of truly independent Israeli congregations.

With his wife, six sons and daughter, Haimoff formed a tight-knit congregation, characterized by staunch Zionism, a rejection of...

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