Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Congregation B'nai Maccabim: Leadership

Rabbi Betzalel Budoff

Our beloved Rabbi Barry Budoff had passed away on the Erev Shabbat of July 26th 2014. He had prepared the Shabbat meal, then with candles lite, prayers recited, and a partial Scripture portion read, the meal was about to begin when quite suddenly, but peaceably without pain, Barry's eye went shut and in a 'twinkling of an eye' he was ushered into eternal glory hearing those words of Scripture from the LORD: "Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I will put you in charge of much. Enter into your Master's joy!"

      * If you wish to give a financially gift towards his family, please make your check out to Congregation B'nai Maccabim designated to the 'Budoff family'.  If cash, indicated on the envelope that it's for the "Budoff family'.

Rabbi Betzalel was raised in a Conservative Jewish home in Brooklyn, New York. In his early travels, at the age of 23, he accepted Yeshua as the Messiah. However, soon after moving back to New York, he was confronted by anti-missionaries, with many questions to which he hadn't yet come to have answers. The resulting confusion, which came from the very emotional and pressure-filled meetings with these anti-missionaries, caused him to renounce his new found faith. Shortly after which he began to attend Yeshiva as a Baal T’shuvah (Master of Repentance). During his Yeshiva studies, the scholarly background that he lacked when originally confronted, started to form, as did a renewed interest in questions concerning the Messiah. The main difference was that he was now able to approach and answer these questions from the traditional Jewish perspective. The prejudices he was expected to have against Yeshua disappeared, and in their place the truth about Yeshua being the Messiah of Israel began to take form again. In fact, the more he investigated the subject of the Messiah from the Yeshiva's own resources, the more firm his knowledge and conviction became that Yeshua truly did and does fulfill the Scripture concerning the person and coming of the Jewish Messiah. As a result, Rabbi Betzalel renewed his faith in Messiah Yeshua. Rabbi Betzalel worked for a number of years with what is now called Chosen People Ministries, and in 1980 he moved to Los Angeles, California where he was the Rabbi of Ahavat Tzion Synagogue. He was in Los Angeles for 11 years, and during that time he also served on the Executive Committee of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) as its Recording Secretary and as the General Secretary. In 1991, Rabbi Betzalel moved to Chicago, Illinois where he served as the Rabbi of Adat HaTikvah for six years. At the end of that time, he started a ministry called D'vehkut, and through that ministry he began to develop materials for use in Messianic Synagogues. He also began attending Congregation B'nai Maccabim, which was at that time located in Highland Park, Illinois. Late in 1999, Rabbi Betzalel translated and published a Messianic Jewish Siddur, which is in use in a number of Messianic Synagogues around the country. Then in January 2001, Rabbi Betzalel became the full time Rabbi of B'nai Maccabim, where he is currently serving. Rabbi Betzalel has recently finished work on the Messianic Jewish Machzor, which is now available (see purchase tab or contact Bnai) for High Holy Days usage. He is currently working on a companion book concerning the use of a traditional Siddur in the context of a Messianic Jewish Congregation.” Rabbi Betzalel has been married to his wife Dyann for 35 years. He has two daughters; Hadassah and Chyah, and is, with his wife, raising his grandson, Aaron Israel Budoff.

Rabbi Emeritus Michael Becker

Rabbi Mike Becker and his wife Fran became believers in Messiah in June of 1968 during the revival of the “Jesus Revolution.” (The Jesus Revolution swept across the United States from 1967 to the middle of the 1970s.) Soon after, God led them to enroll in Bible School. Upon graduation, they began their ministry with a Jewish mission in Chicago, Illinois, the American Messianic Fellowship. Through this work they became part of the rebirth of the modern Messianic Jewish movement. In 1975, Mike, along with several others started Congregation B’nai Maccabim. Rabbi Mike was instrumental in the forming of the first union of Messianic Jewish congregations, the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) was established in 1978.

In 1993, while Senior Rabbi at B'nai, Rabbi Mike started working in the Former Soviet Union as chaplain of an outreach festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. In April of 1994, he requested and was granted a one year sabbatical to plant a Messianic Jewish congregation in Moscow, Russia. Thus began Rabbi Mike's ministry to the Jewish people in what is now the former Soviet Union. In January of 2001, after 25 years of service, Mike handed over the Senior Rabbi position of B'nai to Rabbi Barry Budoff. Rabbi Mike recently stepped down as the Associate Rabbi at B'nai, where he continues to serve as a Zaken. Rabbi Mike is currently the President of "God's Grace," an organization concerned with raising funds for humanitarian aid to impoverished Jewish people living in the former Soviet Union and Israel.

Rabbi Mike and his wife Fran have been married for over 43 years. They have a son, Michael, Jr., and a daughter Rochelle. Their 7 grandchildren bring them much joy.

Seeking Elder/Rabbi

Congregation B’nai Maccabim is seeking a Teaching Elder/Rabbi having, or in the process of obtaining, Smicha from a valid organization, gifted as a Shepherd, and skilled in both counseling and teaching. Our vision: Attracting Jewish people to Life in our Heavenly Father through Messiah Yeshua, building a community based on this life, and conveying this way of life to our children. Please send your Resume, with References, to doveseyes1@comcast.net with subject line “Rabbi Applicant”.