“Hear Oh Israel, the LORD Our God, the LORD Is One”
Phil Bova was enjoying his life to the fullest. In addition to his career as an entertainer, he was also a lay cantor for several years for a large synagogue near Cleveland, Ohio. A major stroke at the age of 29 greatly affected his speech and voice, as well as his body. He could no longer drive a car, or run, or sing, or be active in any of the ways he once was. With a whole new physical challenge, he had no idea what would happen next.
Sitting alone in a hotel room, Phil decided to read the Gideon Bible placed in the room. Being Jewish, Phil had never read the Gospels nor knew anything of the life of Y’shua. Phil’s whole life changed as he accepted Y’shua as his Messiah. Phil now had the power to cope with the losses he experienced.
Many years later, Phil met Ralph Ringer, the evangelism coordinator for the Florida Conference during that time, now the director of church growth, evangelism training, and Jewish ministries at the Southern Union. Together with Jeff and Barbara Zaremsky and a few others, they began praying and planning how to reach the Jewish people in the Florida Conference with the same message of God’s love that had transformed their lives.
A book of Bible studies was developed under the title of Jewish Discoveries. Congregations were planted in Florida, first in Hollywood, then in St. Petersburg, and followed by one in New Port Richey.
The Jewish Discoveries book continues to impact lives, such as the young woman in her early 20s who was cutting herself and suicidal. After reading the book, she was finally able to truly forgive. She is now very active in Jewish outreach and telling others of God’s amazing love.
The congregations continue to minister to people with a Jewish style of worship and a full-Bible message.
“Sydney,” coming from an orthodox background, struggled with the idea of accepting the Messiah. When he saw he could still be Jewish and accept the Messiah, he was happy to do so. Not only was he immersed, he was married under a chuppah at the age of 89 in the synagogue in St. Petersburg.
Shalom Adventure is an online magazine that posts new articles, music videos, sermons, recipes, and Bible studies. Tens of thousands of people have visited the magazine and watched or read the new posts that are added daily.
Videoed Hebrew lessons are very popular. Almost anyone can learn to read Hebrew in just 10 minutes a day for two weeks.
Another popular video, Ultimate Passover, is a docudrama filmed in Israel, Egypt, and the United States. Three Passovers are reenacted and overlapped in the video, the original Passover in Egypt, Y’shua’s last Passover in the upper room, and a modern Passover.
All three Passovers show that not much has changed since the first Passover. All three point to Y’shua as the ultimate Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
A full Daniel & Revelation series was filmed live and has helped many people see the prophecies from a Jewish perspective. It helped “Oscar and Beverly” so much that they have bought multiple copies to share with others. Several people have come to the synagogue as a result of Oscar’s and Beverly’s efforts.
Dan-to-Beersheba tours to Israel are conducted every couple of years, including one scheduled for this spring. This tour is unique, as it covers more of the sites and land of Israel than most tours. It gives tourists the ability to see Bible history from a Jewish background with a full-Bible understanding, and takes its pilgrims to places where they can relive the experiences of the Bible.
One Israeli tour guide was so impacted by this particular tour that he allowed the tour leader to immerse him into the family of Messiah in the Jordan River. Many of the pilgrims have had an indelible spiritual impression placed upon their souls as a result of this tour, never to be the same.
is the spiritual leader of two congregations in Florida Conference: Beth-El Shalom in New Port Richey and Beth-El Shalom in St. Petersburg. He is a speaker and author, and spearheads an online magazine, shalomadventure.com.
Florida | March 2019