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March/April 2011 – The Middle East—A Breakthrough or Storm Clouds?

Kehilat Ariel Messianic Synagogue Newsletter
Volume 27, Number 4                       March/April  2011                     Adar II – Nisan  5771

*Purim Celebration- March19

*KA Seder – April 19

*Israel Study and Mitzvah Tour – June 26- July 12



The Middle East—A Breakthrough or Storm Clouds?

 By Rabbi Barney Kasdan

Wow!  What can you say about the breathtaking chances currently happening in the Arab world?  Just a few short weeks ago it would have seemed highly unlikely that any major internal changes would happen any time soon in the various Arab countries of the Middle East.  But then a young man from Tunisia set himself on fire (as a physical demonstration) and consequently set the Arab world on fire (figuratively).  At this writing, Tunisia has experienced the first overthrow of an Arab dictator by his own countrymen.  Egypt quickly followed with the ouster of their long-time autocrat Hosni Mubaruk.  At this moment Libya, Bahrain and Iran are in turmoil as they face significant public uprisings.  Israel, the forgotten nation for the moment, finds itself in the unsettling position of not being able to do much of anything although it is located in the middle of this sea of revolution.  What does it all mean to Bible believers?  Through all this there is a potential for a positive breakthrough in the Arab world.  The general population has finally reached a threshold that they will no longer tolerate.  Limited civil rights, oppression of women’s rights and great economic inequity have finally reached a level that required a strong reaction.  It has been heartening to see so many demonstrating (usually peaceably) for a new vision of democracy within the Arab world.  It has been pointed out that unlike some past demonstrations, the crowds have not been chanting “death to Israel” or “death to American”.  For too long Arab leaders have used Israel (the little satan) and the USA (the big satan) as convenient scapegoats to deflect any critical attention from themselves.  No doubt there still needs to be a peaceful solution to the broken relationship between Israel and its Arab neighbors but evidently the recent crowds have come to the realization that the biggest issues facing their own countries are not Israel’s fault.  In this sense, maybe the recent changes will turn out to be an amazing breakthrough in the Muslim society where long held inequities are finally addressed.  We should also remember to pray for the Arab Christian community which has faced incredible challenges from their own cousins.  It could even be an opportunity to come to a peaceful acceptance of Israel and a new spirit of cooperation throughout the Middle East.  One can hope.  I wish I could say that the situation is without dangers.  While the crowds seem to desire a form of democracy and necessary changes, the current situation is very unsettled.  The Egyptian military currently controls Egypt and is assuring the world that democratic elections will come within six months.  We should remember however that Mubarak originally took control of Egypt and put it under a temporary “state of emergency” after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.  That was 30 years ago and the promise was never fulfilled.  What of the Muslim Brotherhood that is now considered a viable political party in Egypt?  What of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel?  Will the Palestinians still talk of negotiating a peace with the Jewish state if other Arab countries revoke their own peace agreements?   With all the euphoria in the Arab world, there are many potential storm clouds gathering as well.  All this calls believers in Yeshua (Hebrew)/Issa (Arabic)/Jesus (English) to be aware and prayerful.  We pray for peace and especially a spiritual revival throughout the Middle East.  Before the Messiah returns there will be many ups and downs.  But when Yeshua comes back to the Middle East (specifically Jerusalem), the peace plan of the true God will be implemented.  The Prophets of the Bible put it this way: “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.  In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth whom the Lord of Hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance” (Isaiah 19:23-25).  Maybe things are moving just the way God intended?

Upcoming Events
March 5, Saturday, 1pm.  Special Oneg Luncheon honoring Donna Jacobson.  After 17 years as the KA Office Administrator, Donna is stepping down to pursue some new goals…including being a bubbe!  Bring your favorite Middle Eastern dish to share for this sweet time together after services.

March 19, Saturday, 7:00pm.  Purim Service. Come one, come all to our annual celebration of God’s faithfulness!  We will read Megillat Esther and act out a shpiel.  Dress in your best costume (Biblical or otherwise) and maybe you will win our contest.  Yea Mordechai!

April 19, Tuesday, 6:30pm.  KA Passover Seder.  Get your tickets early (now!) for this highlight of our spiritual year.  We will enjoy a full catered dinner with holiday specialties and read through the Haggadah as we remember our deliverance from bondage.  Lots of music, dance and friends so don’t miss it.  At the Town and Country Convention Center in Mission Valley.  $50 per adult and $25 per kid under 12.  Contact our office for tickets or pick them up after Shabbat services.  Next year Jerusalem!

April 20, Wednesday, 7:30pm.  KA Bikkurim Service.  We continue our Passover week celebrations with this distinctive Jewish way to celebrate the risen Mashiach!   This is on the third day of Passover in fulfillment of the Torah holy day where the first harvest is raised up by the Priests (cf. Leviticus 23:15-16).  It all perfectly pictures the reality of Messianic Judaism in the of the resurrection (cf. I Corinthians 15:20).  There will be special music, liturgy and a message on this vital holy day.

Israel Study/Mitzvah Tour,  June 26-July 12, 2011. Rabbi Kasdan and Rebbitzen Liz will be leading an amazing study tour of the Land to the key historical sites and enjoying modern Israel.  This will be followed by an opportunity to bless many families of Israelis by doing some remodel work at a needy apartment building bomb shelter.  Contact Rabbi for more information and pray about this opportunity for your own life.  This year Jerusalem!

July 13-17.  UMJC International Conference in Dallas, Texas.  Join hundreds of messianic believers from around the globe for this annual gathering.  Special concerts, workshops and fellowship with the mishpacah.  Conference details and hotel information

Weekly Services
Shabbat Morning Services: at 3219 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., in Clairemont, Saturday, 10:30am. Join us for this uplifting time of worship, fellowship and study. Our current sermon series is “Things To Come” which is a study of what the Bible says about events of the near future.  That means your future!


Children Shabbat School: Our children join us for the first part of the service, then break for different classes. Classes for ages 2 through High School which include a Bible lesson plus background on Jewish studies and Hebrew.

Dance Ministry: Beginning Dance workshop is held every Shabbat, 10:00-10:25am in the upstairs classroom area. All welcome to learn!

Midweek Minyan and Messianic Jewish Institute of San Diego:   Corporate prayer from 6:30-7:00 on Tuesday. From 7:00-8:30 current 12-week class:  “Messianic Prophecy” which is an in-depth study of the predictions of the coming Mashiach in the Scriptures and how the rabbis have interpreted those verses.   Bring your Hebrew Tenakh but Hebrew reading skills not manitory. The MJISD classes can lead to a certificate of Messianic Jewish Studies.   $60 fee for this class taught by Rabbi Kasdan.  Call for information.

“A Taste of Torah” Classes: Saturday 9:00-10:00am. This survey of the Torah class will take you through the Parsha in one year. Currently in Vayikra/Leviticus.   A great way to learn the foundations of our faith!  There is also a Spanish Torah Study at this same time.  Contact Rabbinic Intern Mark Rantz or Luciano Rivera for info.

Men’s Club
All men are invited to this group for connecting, dialogue and encouragement on vital issues that we deal with today.  Always some good discussion and study along with service projects for men to be involved with.   Contact Rome Remigio for more information at 858-243-3126.


This dynamic group of women meets monthly for study, friendship and service.   Call the KA office for the latest info on the next luncheon and meeting.  All women are welcome!


KA Zekeynim/Elders                                   Board of Directors
Barney Kasdan, Rome Remigio, Frank Rosas                 Mark Rantz, Valerie Cooper, Rome Remigio, Anna Martin, Gabe Pacheco


Luis Garibay                                                                    Paty Garibay
Donna Jacobson                                                           Murray Jacobson
Eric Kragenbrink                                                               Mark Rantz
Joanne Kragenbrink                                                     Debbie Remigio
Joan Savarese                                                               Tony Savarese
Jeannie Stinton                                                               Michael Stinton


Audio: Gabe Pacheco                                                  CD Duplication: David Stephens
Dance: Diana Martin                                                     Facilities: Jim Scarborough
Music: Eric & Joanne Kragenbrink
Office: Donna Jacobson                                                 Oneg: Maria Montelongo
Resource Center: Alice Hoover
Singles: Bob and Jeannette Haas
Translation: Paty Garibay                                                         Ushers: Elisabeth Sant’ana
Website: Mark Rantz                                                 Youth/Education: Michael & Jeannie Stinton


Nu? News is published bi-monthly by Kehilat Ariel Messianic Synagogue. We welcome your testimonies, poems, humor (no kvetches) or any creative submissions. Please email

Havurot/Small Groups
Del Cerro, Tony & Joan Savarese, 619-501-7778, every Fri, 6:30 pm. Cover dish.
Escondido, Mark & Kathy Rantz, 760-294-9619, 1st & 3rd Fri, 6:30 pm.
Men’s Club, Rome Remigio 858-243-3126, every Wed, 5:00 am.
Encinitas, Michael & Jan Folb, 760-436-8828, 2nd & 4th Weds. 7:00 pm.
Carlsbad, Yrena Friedmann 760-931-1298, 1st & 3rd Thurs. 7:00 pm.
Bay Park, Mike and Sylvia Ferson  619-276-9321, every Thurs. 10 am.
Yachad (Singles Fellowship), Bob & Jeannette Haas,   415-370-8449.  Various events planned.
Espanol, Luciano Rivera, 619-475-0430.  Shabbat 4pm-sunset at KA upstairs.  Potluck Havdalah.
Sisterhood, contact the KA office for details about the next monthly meeting.


Upcoming Speaking Engagements of Rabbi Barney Kasdan:
March 13, Sunday, 9am.  Association of Christian Therapists at the Bahia Hotel on Mission Bay.
April 6, Wednesday, 6pm.  Seder at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in San Diego.
April 10, Sunday, 10:15am.  Seder teaching at New Heights Church in Santee.
April 11, Monday, 6pm.  Seder at North Coast Church in Vista including Zemer Yeshua (KA music) and Nagilah B’Ariel (dance ministry).
April 13, Wednesday, 6:30pm.  Seder at St. Michael’s Anglican Church in Carlsbad.
April 13, Wednesday, 10am.  Seder teaching at San Diego Christian College chapel in El Cajon.
April 15, Friday, 10am.  Seder teaching at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa women’s fellowship.
April 15, Friday, 6pm.  Seder at Faith Chapel in Spring Valley including Zemer Yeshua (KA music) and Nagilah B’Ariel (dance ministry).
April 17, Sunday, 9:30am.  Seder teaching at The Father’s House in San Marcos.
April 21, Thursday, 6pm.  Seder at First Methodist Church in Chula Vista.

If you would like to send a special love gift donation for our work within the Jewish community, please send it to:

Kehilat Ariel
P.O. Box 178755
San Diego, CA 92177

Thank you! And may God return a special blessing to you as you bless our people! (Genesis 12:3)