But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain- and appoint them over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
Exodus 18:21 (TLV)
Ephesians 4:11 (TLV)
Meet Our Rabbi
Rabbi Michael & Jan Weiner
Messianic Rabbi & Cantor
Sometimes as I was growing up, I would ask why questions about our Jewish practices. Usually the answer was the same,
“Because the Rabbi said.”
Introduction from Rabbi Michael… Since I started the congregation almost 25 years ago a lot has happened. Sadly, my wife of 42 years, Ann, with whom I founded the congregation, passed away after a long illness in January of 2018. She eagerly co-founded the congregation with me and was always a huge force in the congregation during her lifetime. She should always be honored among us.
After a season of healing I have been blessed to love again. Jan Strous and I were married on March 23, 2020. Now, Jan Weiner and I are working together in the kingdom of God to bless His community at Shomair Yisrael and beyond.
A Brief History of Shomair Yisrael
Here is the story of the founding of Shomair Yisrael in the words of Rabbi Michael Weiner. “There were only 2 things I wanted to accomplish, create Messianic Jewish space in Knoxville and to provide an opportunity to celebrate the Lord’s Supper at every occasion. Shomair Yisrael is the blending of those two desires.
“When I first moved to Knoxville (for the first year) I went to the synagogue (both Heska Amunah on Kingston Pike and the Synagogue in Oak Ridge) on Saturdays and attended a local church on Sundays. I was unhappy that I could not fully express my Messianic Jewish faith in either place. On Saturday night in July of 1997 we prayed in the back of the auditorium at the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations Conference in Sturbridge, MA. Scott and Sherry Moore and I prayed for the Lord to open the door of opportunity to fulfill the Messianic vision for Knoxville.
The next month, in August of 1997, we had our first worship service in my living room. Three weeks later I asked Pastor Barry Culberson if we could meet at his building on Cedar Bluff Road at the Knoxville Christian Center and he gladly agreed. Our vision to see Israel saved matched his own. He opened his building and his heart to our fledgling group. We will be eternally grateful to him. Pastor Barry mentored me for 13 years before we left KCC. Interestingly we went out on our own in our Bar Mitzvah year.
After a year at Cornerstone Church of God with Pastor Steve McCullough, we bought the Marble City United Methodist Church from the UMC. Five years later we sold that building and bought our current building at 3811 Boyds Bridge Pike on the same day, December 29, 2017.
We are thankful for all the Lord has done to make the vision for Shomair Yisrael a reality. The vision was for people we didn’t know, and God answered our prayers with the most wonderful assembly of family and friends, ‘beyond all we could ask or think.’”
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us, 21 to Him be the glory in the community of believers and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Rabbi’s note: Writing a bio is difficult. Everyone’s life is a great story that needs to be told. It’s hard to know where to start and where to stop. My personal testimony appears elsewhere on our website.
Michael was ordained as the congregational leader of Shomair Yisrael in May 1998 by the laying on of hands by our Shileach, Dan Juster, Th.D in his capacity as leader of Tikkun America. Many years later, in 2017, Michael received a second ordination by completing the requirements for a Rabbinical Smicha (certification) offered by Tikkun America. Michael has four adult children, four grandchildren and one great grandson.
Boards of Directors Positions
Rabbi Michael is a member of the American Apostolic Team that governs Tikkun America, a network of roughly 30 congregations and ministries.
Rabbi Michael was a board member of Caleb Company, founded by Don Finto, for many years until rotating to emeritus status.
Rabbi Michael is currently a board member of HaMiflaht (the refuge) which serves lone IDF soldiers from its headquarters in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Michael served as a law enforcement chaplain for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years until his retirement in April of 2021. He attained the certification of Senior Law Enforcement Chaplain and holds credentials as an international certified trainer for the core curriculum of law enforcement chaplaincy
Last August, the eldership at Shomair felt the urgent need to teach discipleship at a deeper level. They asked, and Jan agreed to teach the course using the Song of Songs as the main text. The way the “Beloved” disciples the Shulamite (his Bride to be) is a lesson in discipleship not to be missed. Then she, in turn, disciples the daughters of Jerusalem. The course turned out to be 18 – 2 hour sessions with 27 participants earning Certificates of Completion.
Prior to her marriage to Rabbi Michael in March of 2020, Jan served the kingdom in the capacity of elder, women’s pastor, and Bible teacher, at Lionheart Restoration Ministries. In addition, she was actively involved in the Prayer Furnace of East Tennessee, serving as a Prayer Leader and Intercessor. Many years ago, Jan served on staff in several capacities at Fellowship Church.
Jan’s desire is to see God’s people awakened by His Spirit, to His Presence, through the application of His Word. Over the past twenty five years, Jan has led Women’s Ministries, taught at Regional Conferences and Retreats and gatherings at the invitation of several churches and ministries in Eastern Tennessee.
Prior to her ministry experience, Jan developed training materials and taught for the Air Force, the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, the Department of Energy, and the Centers for Disease Control. She is a certified, Precept Upon Precept Instructor (Kay Arthur), and certified in RTF (Restoring the Foundations).
Jan holds an M.S. in Educational Psychology. During her course of study, Jan oversaw halfway houses for chronic schizophrenics for Oak Ridge Regional Mental Health Center and Overlook Mental Health Center in Knoxville. Jan and has two adult children, Stacy (married to Bryon) and Stephen (married to Jessica) and seven grandchildren.
Meet Our Elders
Keith & Kami Henschen, Elders
Keith received a bachelor’s degree in youth and music from Crown College of the Bible. He then earned a master of ministry and was ordained as an elder in at Shomair in 2017. Kami also attended Crown College and received her bachelor’s degree in secondary education.
The Henschens began attending Shomair after being introduced to the Messianic movement through a series of books. They found a depth of the Scriptures they had not previously known when they approached the Bible from a Hebraic perspective. The Henschens live on a small farm where they raise their five children, whom they homeschool. It is their desire to help the local Body of Messiah grow and function as outlined in Scripture.
Carlton & Lisa Taylor, Elders-in-Training
Carlton and Lisa Taylor have been married for thirty-one years and share nine children ranging from age twenty-six to seven. They have been traveling the road to Zion and deepening their understanding and observance of Messianic Judaism since 1997.
Together they have faithfully served the body of Messiah in a variety of roles and with various ministries over the past thirty years. Some of which include serving for extended times in Israel and most recently with Shomair Yisrael Messianic Synagogue. Carlton and Lisa share the passion of helping believers discover the foundation of their faith in Yeshua and introduce them to the blessings that are theirs when walking according to His biblical calendar and commands.
Carlton is an ordained minister of the gospel and is currently fulfilling the requirements needed to be set in the office of elder for Shomair. Together they serve on the leadership team and facilitate the HaYesod and Shabbat discipleship classes for Shomair.
Outside of ministry, Carlton is on the executive board as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MCP, USA and Lisa is CEO of their small homestead where she is the joyful mother of children in the heart of her home, preserving the art of homemaking, homeschooling and raising up the next generation for the glory of our King.
Every Quarter there is a 5th Shabbat-We do not hold services on that Shabbat.