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A Global Association of Messianic believers in Yeshua Ha Moshiach

We are a voluntary membership organization of Rabbis, Ministers, teachers, and leaders, all followers of, and Believers in, Messiah Yeshua ben Yosef, in accordance with the unction of the Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit of G-d), and with each other accordingly, seeking the re-establishment of a halachically ordained and correct Torahobedient faith, which will properly provide leadership, education, fellowship, justice, compassion, association and provision for its members.

Leadership Building up of current and new leadership in the Body of Messiah to make disciples, not just converts Smicha Halachically established ordination by ordained shoftim (judges) in the Land of Israel Education Establishment of yeshivot focused on proper Jewish education, and teaching Messiah from the Torah Justice Establishment of batei din in accordance with halacha Conversion Halachically established process of witness, certification, and recognition Association Institution of fellowship, accountability, credibility, recognition, and support
We have come together by the Spirit of G-d from all over the world, to lay the groundwork in turning this vision into an actual reality within our lifetimes. All who are believers in Messiah Yeshua are invited to participate in this endeavor since we believe anyone with a love for HaShem and his Word, and who has a love for ones fellow disciple of the Master, can contribute to this great work! If this vision resonates your heart, and is one you believe HaShem is calling you to participate, then please contact us. Rabbi Steven A. Berkowitz, MS, DD, is Ysharim USAs Board of Directors, hereafter referred to as The Board, responsible for providing direction for Ysharim USA as an affiliate of Ysharim International, and is charged with the full development and implementation of its goals, The Board will approve the bylaws for the Association. The Board is responsible for everyday operational and functional activities necessary for the Association to carry out its purpose. Further, he is further entrusted with the development of International Messianic Torah Institute and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Yeshivas Operational Board. Board of Directors/ Sage Council Comprised of individuals who are recognized for their dedication to YHWH and pioneering efforts in the return of the Children to the Fathers. They possess wisdom and a deep understanding of the ways of YHWH. Their function is to review and provide spiritual council in all operations of the Yeshiva.

YSHARIM USA Rabbinical and Ministerial Association

YSHARIM USA Rabbinical and Ministerial Association exists to: Support Israel and the Jewish people whether they are Messianic or not Provide support to Israel and its people Promote Messianic and Messianic Jewish Beliefs Provide guidelines for Messianic Rabbinical Qualifications Provide Leadership Training & Mentoring Assist in the Formation of new Synagogues Develop Cooperation between Messianic Synagogues Provide Accountability for Messianic Synagogues Promote Common Messianic Jewish halacha Provide Guidelines for Messianic Jewish Conversion Live and Act as part of the greater Jewish Community

WELCOME. YSHARIM USA Credentials are now linked to the accomplishment of International messianic Torah Institute Yeshiva students. Because Ysharim USA is a small organization, we are not responsible for the teaching or practices of those who are issued credentials. Ysharim USA Credentialed Moreim, Moraim, Madrikhim, Rabbis, Zakkaiim, Messianic Ministers and Congregational Leaders, must accept our statement of faith and must abide by all our regulations, and must of their own initiative make sure their dues are fully paid. Failure to do these things will result in cancellation of credentials. Qualifications for credentials through Ysharim USA are based on sound doctrine, the wisdom of experience and proven tradition. Ysharim USA does not make any claim that the qualifications are infallible, nor that their credentials necessarily proves the qualifications and ability of anyone to do the work of ministry. The credentials are intended to be an encouragement to responsibility and accountability for the minister. Ysharim USA has chosen the qualifications which it esteems to be the best and safest for recognizing a calling to ministry. Credentials MUST be updated annually. By submitting before December 31 of each year, a renewal application for credentials. Failure to do so could also result in cancellation of credentials. Candidates for ministry credentials must provide: 1.a properly filled out application, which states agreement with the statement of faith and regulations, and includes the first year of dues ($100.00) which is non-refundable. 2.a resume/curriculae vitae 3.a current picture (no more than one year old) 4.a testimonial explaining your faith and calling, as well as a vision statement for your ministry 5.fulfillment of the qualifications below 6.two character references 7.evidence of your calling; three letters of reference from persons already in ministry stating that you are definitely called to minister. There letters should attest that you are currently the leader or assistant leader of a congregation, leading a Chavurah in preparation for starting a congregation, are doing prison ministry or some other visible public ministry. MESSIANIC MINISTRY APPRENTICE 1.A follower of Messiah Yeshua for at least two years 2.Written testimony of a call to Messianic ministry and a vision statement 3.Written testimony of commitment to fulfill the qualifications for future ordination/licensing 4.A Certificate of Messianic Studies from International Messianic Torah Institute or and equivalent Yeshiva for (30 credits) or currently attending IMTI 5.Applicant must be mentored by a rabbi approved by Ysharim USA

For License:

(a) formerly a credentialed minister, or a follower of Messiah Yeshua for five years, or a Messianic congregation leader for one year. (b) An Associates Degree in Messianic Studies from IMTI or equivalent (68 credits) For Ordination: (a) formerly a Licensed Messianic Minister, or a Messianic congregation leader for two years (b) A Bachelor's Degree in Messianic Studies from IMTI OR Master of Divinity or Messianic Studies from an approved and accredited Messianic Yeshiva (c) A letter from a Messianic Congregation (ie. Congregation rabbi or leader or trustee, etc.) on letterhead, or recommendation from two other credentialed ministers and/or elders. MESSIANIC RABBI 1.Formerly a Jewish rabbi and a Messianic for at least two years, or formerly an licensed Messianic Minister, or a Messianic congregation leader 2.Letter from a Messianic Congregation (ie. congregation Rabbi, leader or trustee, etc.) on letterhead, or recommendation from two other credentialed ministers and/or elders. 3.Proof of past or presently being the leader of a Messianic Congregation 4.Education: Master of Divinity or Master of Theology in Rabbinic Studies or a Master's degree in Jewish Studies OR ongoing pursuit of a Master's in Rabbinic studies from an accredited and recognized Messianic Graduate Degree program. Why do you need credentials? You may not need credentials to accomplish the work that the L-rd has called you to do. Even if this is true, you should want to know if there are areas of your faith that need to have more scriptural foundation as your base of faith. Those that want to work in or visit hospitals, psychiatric wards, prisons and/or other state facilities will need papers that are accepted by the government of the country you plan to work in. Many seminaries and yeshivas do not provide the breadth of acceptance that Ysharim USA provides. Credentials have less to do with the call of HaShem on your life and more to do with governmental sanction. We at Ysharim USA say G-d ordains, man throws paper!. At the same time, we must see HaShem's call to ministry and sufficient biblical training before executing credentials. The only practical value for credentials is to facilitate your acceptance with governments that you may wish to minister in. Without credentials you cannot function in a governmental context. Marriages, while not truly biblically based in the US, typically require approved ministerial credentials for the one doing the ceremony and signing governmentally approved licenses and certificates. Prison ministry typically requires credentials as does working in state hospitals. Attending any governmental functions as a rabbi or minister requires credentials as well. Summary: Our credentials are not how you become approved to serve HaShem. They are a lawful certification from our organization to the state and federal governments that you have had training, are ready and qualified to minister. As to whether or not you can assume a pulpit after receiving credentials is up to the local body. They typically choose who assumes the pulpit and give their approval to those they choose. Our credentials should be beneficial to those needing to demonstrate their merit for such an office. We do not regulate your call or commission in the kingdom of G-d. We do not distinguish between men and women where it comes to credentialing. When credentials are issued by Ysharim USA, recognized as a legitimate religious association by the State of Florida as well as the US government (IRS) those credentials are automatically accepted without question in every Hague convention country. This means that if you want to minister in any of these countries, there is no process or waiting time to be approved by that government. Our office of the organization seal is registered in the U.S., Israel and the Phillipines. According to our legal counsel we only need be registered in one Hague

country to receive the benefit of acceptance by all. Since the US, Israel and the Phillipines are all Hague countries, we are more than covered.

Requirements for Rabbinic Ordination

Rabbinic Ordination requires much more training than Pastoral credentials. Rabbis have to know things about: Hebrew reading skills and use of Hebrew resources Synagogue forms of worship and liturgy--History Shabbat observance and laws Holy Day observance and laws Extra biblical observances Kosher laws Jewish history Hebrew ceremony essentials Life cycle events Talmudic study Zohar - familiarization Midrash Rabbah Lawful forms of rabbinic interpretation of Scriptures Rabbinic teaching methods Most importantly, Messianic rabbis must know about Oral Law and how it should be used in the messianic community. [In Ysharim USA the ordained Messianic Minister (MMin.) and the Messianic Rabbi (MRav) are equal peer level offices. Any difference to be noted is cultural NOT spiritual. In Jewish culture the rabbi has completed rabbinic school, and is the head of a congregation (not usually an itinerant), and can read and write biblical Hebrew. He or she must be fluent in reading and saying the usual Hebrew prayers. He or she should have a grasp of Jewish history and some Talmud. Therein lies any difference from the requirements of the Messianic Minister. Messianic Jewish rabbis are expected to be Jewish and as culturally familiar, comfortable, and deeply involved with Jewish life and leadership even as are non-Messianic rabbis.]

For the purposes of these regulations the term "Messianic Minister" shall apply to all credentialed parties. These regulations may be changed without notice. They become binding upon change. Ysharim USA Credentialing Committee reserves the right to deny or remove anyone from our membership based upon our standards and regulations.) 1. Substantial Agreement. The Messianic Minister, holding credentials with Ysharim USA, must be in agreement with our Statement of Faith. If a Messianic Minister is in disagreement they must explain in writing how and why they disagree. 2. Application and Update. The Messianic Minister must apply for credentials and send in a renewal to their membership once per year, and pay the $50.00 annual dues renewal at that time. The deadline for annual dues and application renewal is December 31. All ministers not meeting that deadline shall be considered lapsed, and their credentials recalled. All credentialed certificates remain the property of Ysharim USA, and may be re-called upon the action of the Ysharim USA Board of Directors. A conferred credential is considered null and void if the application contains any untrue or misleading statements by the applicant. Submitting the application for Ysharim USA Credentials shall constitute an exclusive and inclusive contract whereby the applicant agrees to hold Ysharim USA International or any iteration thereof, blameless and not legally liable for any possible damage to the credential holder whether by association or non-association with Ysharim USA. 3. Association. The Ysharim USA Credentialed Minister agrees that association with Ysharim USA is totally voluntary. Only those Ministers with Current Credentials are eligible for leadership within Ysharim USA, and said

Minister hereby agrees to all future amendments to the qualifications, regulations, and statement of faith, as long as he/she is a credential holder with Ysharim USA. 4. Immorality. The Messianic Minister is responsible to report any immorality or substantial change in their walk or belief as varying from the standard of Ysharim USA, including bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce or child custody actions in any court of law, and submit all relevant materials and information to the Executive Office for the work of prayer, redemption and restoration. If any Messianic Minister is believed to have performed an act of adultery, homosexuality, or any immorality as stated in Torah, they shall be put immediately onDisciplinary Suspension and may not act upon their official duties, nor minister from the Bima, until restored to active status. Any Messianic Minister who will not be restored according to the process of Ysharim USA shall turn in their credentials; their commission/ordination shall be immediately rescinded and they will be Dismissed. 5. Addictions and Obligations. The Messianic Minister must be free from all substance and/or emotional addictions, and free from any financial entanglements that could bring a reproach or doubt on Messiah. Bankruptcy, drunkenness, alcoholism, chemical dependency, psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment must be reported to the Executive Office. 6. Confidential Records. The Executive Office will maintain confidential records. The Executive Office will be available for instruction, counsel, and care of the Messianic Minister. 7. Vestures. All Rabbis and male Messianic Ministers shall wear a Talit (Talis) that is woven white with dark stripes whenever or wherever they are called to speak or officiate (except if they choose not to at night). Female Messianic Ministers or Rebbitzin may wear a feminine bat mitzvah type talit or a feminine head covering, which may or may not have tsitsit attached. Women shall not wear the traditional male Talit (white with dark stripes). All Messianic Rabbis shall wear a kipa (yarmulke) when officiating their duties (optional for male Messianic Ministers who are not Rabbis). 8. Shabbat and Kosher. It is expected that all Messianic Ministers will heed all G-d's instruction as best they understand it, including the biblical commandments for the Shabbat and in partaking of kosher food, as being that which is made holy by the clear directed Word of Elohim, with thanksgiving. 9. Family Life. The Messianic Minister should make every effort to solemnly and patiently bring his family into the understanding of the Messianic faith, lifestyle and consecration. 10. Titles. No Messianic Minister of Ysharim USA may call themselves a prophet (navi) or apostle (shaliach) as a matter of official title, without the express written consent of the Executive Office. All rabbis must be Jewish according to their confession. Messianic Rabbis and ordained Messianic Ministers shall be equal peer levels. 11. E-mail. Messianic Ministers shall make every effort to keep a valid e-mail address, and to inform the Executive Office of each change of e-mail address. 12. Marriage Officiating. Messianic Ministers are required to abide by the marriage officiating laws of the state, province or country in which they reside or perform wedding ceremonies. No Messianic Minister shall perform a wedding ceremony without fulfilling the requirements of their local legal authority. 13. Marriage Vows. No Messianic Minister shall separate, divorce or remarry without the counsel of the Executive Office. To do so will result in automatic Dismissal. 14. Felony Charges. If any Messianic Minister is arrested on a felony charge, they shall be put immediately on Ministerial Suspension and may not act upon their official duties, nor minister from the Bima, until cleared of such charges. Any Messianic Minister who is found guilty of a felony shall turn in their credentials; their commission/ordination shall be immediately rescinded, they shall be Dismissed. 15. Resignation. Any Messianic Minister wanting to resign their credentials with Ysharim USA shall return their paper credential (if issued), any issued membership cards, along with a letter of resignation to the Executive Office. 16. Charters. Ysharim USA Ministers who lead a ministry or congregation are encouraged to charter it with Ysharim USA. Messianic Ministers who do not charter their ministry with Ysharim USA will NOT have their ministry or congregation listed on the Ysharim USA website nor receive referrals of persons looking for a Messianic congregation in your area. 17. Using "Ordination". No Messianic Minister shall use the designation or imply the status of "ordained" unless duly awarded such certification by Ysharim USA, and holding a current year credential. 18. Using "Rabbi". No Messianic Minister shall use the designation or imply the status of "Rabbi" unless duly awarded such certification by Ysharim USA, and holding a current year credential. 19. Conflict with another Messianic ministry. Any Messianic Minister having a prior conflict with another Messianic ministry or ordination shall make all due effort to resolve the conflict before applying for credentials with Ysharim USA.

20. Obedience. Knowledgeable disobedience of these regulations or any plain commandment of Scripture may
result in change of status or loss of credential. 21. Official Address: The Official Address for all correspondence is Ysharim USA, O.O.Box 152107, Cape Coral, Fl., 33993.

These guidelines are provided for the helpful use of the Messianic Minister as needed. Officiating Guidelines will be updated modified and increased from time to time. 1. MIKVEH ( a.) Mikveh (immersion, baptism) should be performed for new believers as a sign of their trust in Yeshua as Messiah. ( b.) It may also be performed for consecrants to the Messianic Jewish lifestyle and community; those who wish to re-affirm the Jewish/Hebrew roots of their faith; or those who are processing through to Simcha ("Jewish Conversion"). In any Mikvah they should take a Hebrew name and confess their place as a part of the commonwealth of Israel. ( c.) Further, a private Mikveh (without an official) may be performed by those who view themselves as being in need of the ceremonial cleansing specifically ordained in the Torah. In any public Mikveh it is not necessary, nor Scripturally mandated, for the official to enter the water with the consecrant. In fact, it is best if the consecrant proceeds unaided and the official acts as the official witness of the event. 2. MARRIAGE (Messianic Jewish Wedding Ceremony example) ( a.) In officiating a marriage, the Messianic Minister should bring to the ceremony those symbolic things which are recognizably part of the Scriptural marriage of the Most High with Israel. The Chupa (cloth shelter) should be over the wedding couple as symbolic of the cloud/fire which protected Israel in the wilderness. The Chupa may most correctly be an extra large Talit with tzitzit attached to the four corners. ( b.) The marriage vows should reflect both a confession of Yeshua as Messiah and the couple as a part of the commonwealth of Israel. ( c.) The groom should prepare a Ketubah (writing) which outlines his personal promises for the care of the bride, which is a form of Torah covenant. This should be read in the ceremony. ( d.) It is fitting that Hebrew prayers and mention of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs are part of the ceremony. ( e. ) Other Jewish marriage traditions, such as breaking the glass, are optional, and should be explained as other than superstition. 3. TITHES AND OFFERINGS ( a.) The Messianic Minister has the right to collect tithes, gifts and offerings for the upkeep of his ministry, since the Messianic Minister abides by the Levitical principles and privileges according to Shaliach Rabbi Sha'ul. This collection should be without demand and in full recognition that the collection actually belongs to the Most High, but that He in His goodness has given what is His to the Messianic Minister for his livelihood. ( b.) Where there is a congregation, the tithes and offerings will go into the congregation's account, then distributed to the minister as the congregation allows. This action is necessary to foster trust and accountability, which ultimately works in the minister's financial favor. (c) Ysharim USA holds to the principal in Torah of tithing upwards, just as Israel tithed to the Levites, so also the Levites tithed to the Kohenim. Therefore, a congregant tithes to his/her local congregation, which then tithes to their minister and the minister may then tithe to Ysharim USA as their covering association/overseer. This means that the Ysharim USA Credential holder may consider his personal annual dues as part of his tithe. Using this principle, there should be very little extra burden for most credential holders to pay their dues.


From time to time Ysharim USA will be adding official position papers to the website. These position papers may be written by officers, staff or members of Ysharim USA, OR position holders from other noted Messianic organizations.

Apply to Ysharim USA Rabbinical & Ministerial Association(YUSARMA) Thank you for your interest in the Ysharim USA Rabbinical & Ministerial Association(YUSARMA)
Berkowitz, Rabbi Dr. Steven A. A lifelong student, he has earned Masters degrees in Human Services and
Business Administration and a Doctor of Divinity. He has over 20 years experience in formal and informal education and currently serves as President and Provost of International Messianic Torah Institute. An exceptional adult educator, he enjoys teaching and learning a variety of topics, and working with individuals and congregations that are passing through lifes milestones. An engaging teacher, he brings new insight to Jewish texts, and has served as founding Rabbi of Beit Tefillah in Bremerton, Wash., Adat Avraham, Seattle, Wash., and Kehillat Aish Kodesh, Cape Coral, Fl., over a 20 year period. Known for both the warmth and in-depth knowledge his teaching style brings, he teaches through International Messianic Torah Institute, and has taught Torah, Biblical Hebrew and Cantorial courses. He is particularly interested in the role that oral tradition and oral performance played in the life of the religious disciples during the classical period of Rabbinic Judaism and the times of Yeshuas Shaliachim. He received his semicha as a Messianic Jewish Rabbi from Rabbi Haim Levi of International Federation of Messianic Jews, Tampa,Fl., who is considered the grandfather of Messianic Judaism in America, Rabbi David Hargis of Messianic Bureau International, as well as having studied the Orthodox Jewish courses of study in Dayanus, Shulchan Aruch and Shabbos with Pirkei Shoshanim, in the Shulchan Aruch Project, Shma Yisrael Network. He also serves as the Director of the Simpson & Mildred Berkowitz Scholarship Foundation, which provides financial assistance by way of tuition match-grants to students of International Messianic Torah Institute.