Zohar was raised in a secular Jewish home in Israel. Like most young Israelis, after finishing his I.D.F. military service, he travelled abroad where he met, for the first time, Gentiles who love Israelis. Some of these dear believers told him about Yeshua (Jesus) being the Jewish Messiah and that salvation is only possible through Him. Shortly after returning to Israel, Zohar began weeping over the realisation of sin in his life. It was then that he acknowledged that the Lord Yeshua had sacrificed His very life for him. He also began to mourn for his own nation, knowing that they had rejected the Messiah for 2,000 years. Thus began Zohar’s intense burden for his people, and a longing to see them turn to Yeshua in repentance and faith. Zohar joined an Israeli Hebrew-speaking congregation, where he met and married his wife, Tehila. Together they served in Israel for many years while raising their young children. For ten years Zohar worked as an engineer for a telecommunications company in Israel until the Lord led him to a wonderful Bible College in New Zealand. It was during their time in New Zealand that Zohar and Tehila realised the great potential for reaching out to Israeli travellers. Zohar followed God’s call to full-time ministry among his people by coming on staff with Celebrate Messiah NZ. Zohar and Tehila reach out (in Hebrew) to many of the thousands of Israelis who travel through New Zealand each year, connecting interested Israelis to local congregations back in Israel. In addition, Zohar trains local believers on the subject of Jewish evangelism, the unique role and future of Israel, the Feasts of Israel and other related topics. The Gonens have five children whom they aim to raise to the glory of God: Aviel, Liam, Yakim, Eliya and Emette.
I am writing to recommend Zohar Gonen to you as a gracious, authentic, God honouring Shaliach (sent one, minister) of the Gospel of our King Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christ). As an Israeli follower of Yeshua (Jesus) Zohar offers a fresh perspective and illuminating insights into the word of God and its application to the daily lives of believers worldwide. He is a gift to the Christian community of New Zealand. His passion for the Gospel and for the redemption of our people the Yehudim (Jews, Israel) is both an inspiration and a challenge. Zohar is polite, articulate, personable, kind, thoughtful, funny, warm and engaging. He brings the faith of our forefathers alive as he teaches the Jewish roots of Christianity and offers a reasoned and timely solution to both Jewish and world evangelism. As both a Jew and a follower of Yeshua (Jesus) I am delighted and challenged by Zohar’s unbridled passion for our Messiah and King Yeshua (Jesus). Both Zohar and the team of Celebrate Messiah New Zealand are doing important and productive work in the Kingdom of God. I unreservedly and wholeheartedly recommend Zohar Gonen to you, trusting that you will be blessed, inspired and motivated by his ministry in our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).
I have the pleasure of recommending Zohar Gohen to local churches interested in hosting him as a guest speaker from Celebrate Messiah New Zealand. Birkdale Bible Chapel has now had the opportunity to host Zohar twice in the last twelve months. On both occasions we have been richly blessed in both the insightful and depth of teaching we received. As a Messianic Jewish believer, Zohar brings a wonderful richness and context to the Word that I find we seldom experience in New Zealand. The opportunity to hear the Word of God taught from a Jewish frame of reference will greatly bless any congregation considering extending an invitation to Zohar. Zohar, as he himself will attest, teaches on a variety of topics and is particularly interested in teaching about Israel and particularly God’s plan for this Nation, the Jewish feasts and Eschatology. You will discover very quickly Zohar’s unmistakable passion for Jewish evangelism and the opportunity that New Zealand presents with visiting Israelis. One of the real surprises here is learning about the unique opportunity we have as Kiwis to support bringing the Gospel to Israelis in New Zealand. One of the topics I would recommend is having Zohar teach on is the Jewish Feasts of Israel. Starting with the Feast of the Passover would be an excellent place to commence. It is at the Passover that we are reminded that Jesus, a Jew, observed the Passover meal with His disciples before He was crucified. We discover how Passover is fulfilled by the sacrifice of the Messiah Jesus. A wonderful foundational topic. Studying the Feasts, we discover how they reveal the first and second coming of Jesus. I am confident you will welcome Zohar’s Insightful, warm and engaging style. I certainly look forward to having Zohar and Celebrate Messiah New Zealand back at Birkdale Bible Chapel.
Crossroads Church is a contemporary Christian church who desires to be a community of people who are fully committed to following Jesus, actively sharing His love and serving others. We have an active congregation of approximately a thousand people from various cultures and backgrounds. Crossroads Church runs multiple ministries serving the local community of Palmerston North. Zohar spoke and lead members our community through a Passover Seder celebration on the 19th of April 2016. Our time with Zohar was a fantastic experience for everyone involved. He brought a fresh and inspiring perspective to the Passover celebration. Zohar presented the rich heritage of Passover, and it’s significance in pointing to Jesus the Messiah. The way he spoke made the Passover celebration come alive, he explained the significance of the various elements of the celebration in such an understandable and inspiring way. The feedback from many in our community was that in a new way they were able to make the connection between God’s covenant people, and their story of God’s message of reconciliation for all peoples and cultures. Zohar is a captivating speaker who infuses his personal journey of faith and heritage into his presentation in a very effective way. His heart and passion to reach Jewish people with the Gospel was so evident and inspirational to many. He is very approachable, a man of integrity and humility who’s heart to serve and share from the richness of his experience was a great blessing to our community. I highly recommend Zohar to any organisation. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.