In The Beginning 1975–1980
Beth Messiah Congregation (BMC) began in June of 1975 as a small group of people meeting for Erev Shabbat services. Meetings and services were conducted at an apartment in the campus area of The Ohio State University. The first service was attended by two people, Dr. Bruce McCoy and Bob Weiner, a medical student at OSU who served as the principal leader. During this embryonic stage, this small group began to grow. In 1977, several key people, some of whom are still active in the congregation, came to Beth Messiah. Elliot Klayman came to Columbus from Cincinnati to take a teaching position at Ohio State. Elliot and his wife Joyce were to become visionary leaders in the congregation for many years. Elliot became the congregational leader in 1977 and guided Beth Messiah from a small chavurah to a full fledged congregation. In 1978, Beth Messiah adopted a constitution and a Board of Trustees. A library, nursery, and other congregational aspects were birthed.
The Congregation Grows 1980–1990
The 1980’s brought more people and new leaders. Elliot Klayman realized the need for full time leadership if Beth Messiah was to grow. As a result, Dr. Michael Rydelnik came as congregational leader (1983–1984) and was followed by Dr. Michael Schiffman (1985–1990). Elliot Klayman continued to serve as an Elder for the next 30 years. During this period, the congregation experienced growth in people, programs, and outreaches. In 1989, Beth Messiah celebrated its first Bar Mitzvah. During this period, the Beth Messiah Sisterhood was established as well as a youth program for all ages. In the late1980’s, Beth Messiah inaugurated an annual banquet called “Forward In Faith” at which time a congregational member is recognized for service to the Beth Messiah Community.
New Opportunities 1990–2000
In late 1990, Howard Silverman was invited to come to Beth Messiah to serve as the 4th Congregational Leader. He and his family arrived in June 1991, and Howard continues to serve as Congregational Leader to this day. The 1990’s brought new opportunities for Beth Messiah to serve both its congregants and the community. The Messianic Studies Institute (MSI) was established in 1994 as the adult educational branch of the Congregation (see mjsi.org). MSI serves hundreds of people annually in Columbus and around the world. MSI's dynamic curriculum unlocks the Biblical languages, Scripture in its continuity from Genesis to Revelation, and the inherently Messianic Jewish perspective important to understanding and knowing the only true God, and the one whom He sent, Yeshua Messiah. The youth program expanded to include a summer day camp (Camp Yeladim) and a variety of other youth opportunities. During this period, Beth Messiah made a big move. After meeting in nine different temporary locations around the city, the congregation bought its first building — a house turned synagogue on Hamilton Road.
The Vision Grows 2000–Present
The 2000’s have brought growth and maturity to Beth Messiah. In addition to new programs, Beth Messiah has grown with new families and new energy. The move to our current location on Morse Road has given Beth Messiah a way to project a more authentic Jewish expression in our services, holiday celebrations, and lifecycle events. It was a glorious day on Sukkot 2007 when well over 100 people paraded down Hamilton Road with our Torah scrolls to our new synagogue. Since that time, the congregation has continued to grow and engage in new programs and outreaches. Beth Messiah has come a long way since its first Erev Shabbat in a small apartment with two people in attendance! While much has changed over the years, some things remain the same. Beth Messiah Congregation remains committed to a holistic Messianic Jewish worldview and way of life. Many people have come to embrace Yeshua as Messiah at BMC, and many people have come to love and appreciate its rich Jewish heritage and essence. G-d has sustained and blessed us for many years, but as a work born of G-d,
the best has yet to come for Beth Messiah Congregation.