Featured Director: Rabbi Ari Waldman

Senior Rabbi Baruch Hashem Messianic Synagogue

By Tara Kieschnick
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Posted in Zealous Magazine on September 22, 2018
Rabbi Ari Waldman

Tell us a little bit about your family. How did being the grandson of Jewish Holocaust survivors influence your upbringing?

My paternal grandparents were survivors from Poland. I grew up with an understanding of the atrocities they suffered, such as knowing early on what the tattoos on my great-aunt and uncle’s forearms represented. As a teenager, I struggled with my family’s deep hurt at the hands of the Nazis but learned to process some of it through my artwork. How the Holocaust affected our family experience became a deep passion for me and has given me a heart of gratitude for my personal blessings. I firmly believe it is paramount that these stories continue to live on, even after the death of the survivors.

 

How does it feel to follow in your dad’s (Marty’s) footsteps, as a second-generation MJBI board member as well as BHS senior rabbi?

It wasn’t an easy decision since I watched my dad experience a lot of the negatives associated with ministry. My passion was aviation, and I worked in that industry for 10 years. The L-rd, however, did call me to full-time ministry. I took a step of faith and left my career, went back to school, and eventually joined the BHS staff. I am so thankful for the counsel of my parents both during my transition to senior rabbi and now. Following in my dad’s footsteps through BHS and MJBI is very rewarding and honors my parents and their legacy.

 

Having grown up in the Messianic Jewish community from birth, what are some of the changes you have seen?

Watching our community grow in number and our influence increase within the larger body of Messiah has been exciting. I am especially impressed with the move over the last 20 years to bring reconciliation into our community.

 

What are some of the greatest challenges for Messianic believers and ministries you see today? What role will MJBI play in helping meet those needs now and in the future?

The Messianic Jewish Community needs to be of one heart in our service to the L-rd. Too often we depend upon ourselves and forget the power that comes in unity. We need to learn to focus on the things that will bring us together and strengthen our relationships. MJBI can help guide the next generation of influencers for the greater good of the Body of Messiah by training leaders to operate from a place of knowledge, understanding, servanthood, and unity.

 

ARI WALDMAN graduated with a B.S. in aeronautical science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a MDiv in Messianic Jewish Studies from The King’s University. He is married to Brittany, and they live in Dallas with their two beautiful daughters. He is the Senior Rabbi at Baruch Hashem Messianic Synagogue.


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