One becomes part of Hashivenu simply by self-identification with the seven core values and the heartfelt desire to make a difference.
In 1997 and 1998 five Messianic Jewish leaders met in Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas to determine how they might best assist the Messianic Jewish movement during its next phase of development. Rabbis Robert Chenoweth, Mark Kinzer, Paul Saal, and Michael Schiffman were assembled by founder Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, and together they articulated seven core values describing the Messianic Judaism they envisioned. Those values have guided Hashivenu in the decades since.
Hashivenu has pioneered many endeavors over this period. Those initiatives have facilitated theological development, collegial conversation, higher education, humanitarian outreach, and increased interaction with both the Jewish and Christian scholarly worlds. In 2000 Hashivenu launched Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, the first and to date the only independent Messianic Jewish graduate seminary.
Hashivenu is probably best known for the theological forums that bore its name. The first Hashivenu Forum was held in Pasadena, CA in 1999, and was attended by over seventy Messianic Jewish thought leaders. These forums, which were conducted until 2017, introduced the practice of collegial argument to the Messianic Jewish movement and enabled diverse groups within the movement to speak to one another. This has resulted in a plethora of seminal papers and books in the areas of theology, spirituality, religious sociology, and religious ethics.
Over the years the five original board members were joined by Dr. Ellen Goldsmith of blessed memory and by Rabbis Richard Nichol and Jason Forbes. While each has made a lasting and indelible contribution to the Hashivenu vision and goals, the most important contributors could not join the organization. Hashivenu has had no dues, paid employees, polity, or membership. One becomes part of Hashivenu simply by self-identification with the seven core values and the heartfelt desire to make a difference.
From the beginning Hashivenu was the dream of connecting Judaism’s ennobling traditions with the glorious hope embodied in Messiah Yeshua. Today the dream continues. Hashivenu thrives in the vision that was cast, the values that were established, and the many friends we have made along the way.