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.
standard-title Zohar Gonen
I am writing to recommend Zohar Gonen to you as a gracious, authentic, God honoring 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).
We have had Zohar speak to us at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church of his ministry and he impresses as having a deep passion for this work and I have watched with both interest and amazement at how God has blessed the ministry over the four years or so that I have known Zohar. I cannot recommend Zohar highly enough. He is at the forefront of this type of ministry and has innumerable compelling testimonies of God’s goodness, provision and blessing. As he shares his journey, I know that others will want to be a part of what God is doing in introducing Israeli people to Christ. It is an exciting work.
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.
Zohar Gonen came to speak at the monthly Dunedin Day Aglow meeting on August 15, 2012. His topic was “lsrael in the End Times”. We found him to be a man of incredible faith. His love for God and his gratitude for his relationship with God oozed out of every action and word. His passion for helping Gentiles understand the Word of God (our personal perspective) was contagious. Not only is he ex lsraeli military, Jewish, a family man, husband and a son of the Living God but is also gifted with a message so insightful, so thought provoking, so…powerful that it will quicken your spirit and move you deeply. Scott Brown and the Board of Celebrate Messiah have exercised profound wisdom in adding Zohar Gonen to their team. lf you are astute, you will make every possible effort to hear the message this man carries on behalf of the Celebrate Messiah movement. It is my pleasure and my honor to recommend him to you.
Gateway Church Hibiscus Coast recently had the privilege of Zohar Gonen speaking at our Sunday service. Zohar spoke on the place of Israel in the world today and on into the future based on what God has to say to us about this nation in his word to us, the Bible. We thoroughly enjoyed Zohar’s presentation, found it to be scripturally accurate and compelling and delivered in an engaging manner. We warmly recommend him as a speaker.