Jonathan Bernis is the President and CEO of Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI), a Messianic Jewish non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as its associated ministries in Canada and the United Kingdom. The mission of Jewish Voice is to proclaim the Gospel that Jesus (“Yeshua” in Hebrew) is the Messiah of Israel to the Jewish people and the Nations, and to educate the Christian church about the Jewish roots of its faith. To accomplish these goals, Jewish Voice Ministries provides humanitarian aid through recurring medical and dental clinics to impoverished Jewish people around the world including Russia, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, India, and Israel. Since 1993, Jewish Voice has established local Messianic congregations led by indigenous leadership with whom they maintain a continuous relationship to build, sustain and grow the Messianic Jewish movement abroad. Bernis has been a leader in the Messianic Jewish movement for more than thirty years.
Raised in a reformed Jewish American family, Bernis placed his faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Jewish Messiah at the age of 20. He was the Founding and Senior Rabbi of Congregation Shema Yisrael in Rochester, New York from 1984 to 1993. In 1984 he began leading annual teaching tours to Israel. From 1993-1997 he was the founding congregational leader of the Messianic Jewish Center of St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1993, Bernis also founded Hear O’ Israel Ministries, which conducted large outreach festivals of Jewish music and dance worldwide.
After Louis Kaplan, the founder of Jewish Voice Broadcast, died in 1998, that ministry combined with Hear O’ Israel Ministries in 2000 to create Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI) with Bernis as its President & CEO.
Bernis is the host of Jewish Voice with Jonathan Bernis, a daily syndicated television program viewed on religious television and religious programming blocks on stations and networks throughout the United States. The program also airs on a variety of outlets in Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia and the Middle East. Bernis has also been a frequent guest on other television programs such as The 700 Club, In the Market with Janet Parshall, Understanding the Times, Chris Fabry Live!, and Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural.
Bernis is an international speaker featured at numerous conferences, seminars, and symposiums around the world each year, including those involving JVMI’s Jewish music and dance festivals and JVMI’s humanitarian medical outreaches. Bernis devotes considerable time to the Hear O’ Israel Festivals of Jewish Music & Dance and is the keynote speaker at each event. Since the first such festival in 1993, over 600,000 people have attended, with millions having viewed them on television. Over 250,000 people―more than half Jewish―have responded to invitations to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah through these events. Over a dozen Messianic Jewish congregations in Russia, Ukraine, Argentina and Uruguay have been planted as a result of the festivals and their follow-up programs.
Bernis is a strong supporter of the nation of Israel. He has played a significant role in the establishment of various pro-Israel and Israel-Church reconciliation organizations. He also serves on the boards of various organizations in Israel.
Bernis is the author of a multitude of articles and numerous books, including A Rabbi Looks at the Afterlife: A New Look at Heaven and Hell with Stories of People Who Have Been There (2014); A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days: Surprising Insights on Israel, the End Times, and Popular Misconceptions (2011); A Rabbi Looks at Jesus of Nazareth (2011); Confessing the Hebrew Scriptures (three distinct editions, 2011, 2013, and 2014); and Is Peace Possible: Understanding the Current Middle East Crisis (2011).
Bernis lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, Elisangela, and two daughters