About Rabbi & Rebbetzin
In 1973, in their last year of law school at George Washington University, David & Leslye Schneier placed their trust in Yeshua as their Messiah after several years of searching for truth as "hippie“ law students.
They immediately became involved with Beth Messiah Congregation (one of the early Messianic congregations in the US in the 1970’s) in its first year in Rockville, MD. Both David and Leslye worked as lawyers in the DC-Maryland area.
In 1977, the Schneiers spent a year in Israel helping to develop a new congregation there. Their younger daughter was born in Israel the weekend that came to be known as "The Shabbat Massacre."
The transformation from D.C. lawyer to Odessa, Ukraine Messianic Jewish Rabbi came as a result of working with Russian Jewish immigrants in the U.S. and seeing their spiritual hunger and openness to Yeshua. In 1995, the Schneiers went with Hear O Israel Ministries to Odessa, Ukraine to work in its Jewish music and dance festival in a three day outreach where 60,000 people attended. Following the festival, they helped plant Gates of Zion Congregation in Odessa. David and Leslye led that congregation from 1996 to 2007. They are now senior leaders of the congregation and have installed a local couple to lead it.
In 2005, their Odessa congregation birthed daughter congregations. One, called Beth El in the nearby port of Ilychusk. and the other a Messianic Arabic congregation led by a Syrian, a former Muslim, who came to faith in Gates of Zion six years earlier. These congregations are now led by local believers.
The main vision of Gates of Zion is to reach Jewish people with the good news of Yeshua, to disciple those who put their trust in Him, to serve the poor, and to raise up worship and praise that will capture the hearts of the Ukrainian people. The Odessa congregation is specifically involved in aid to Holocaust survivors, orphans, alcohol and drug addicts, the sick, and the poor. The ministry to Holocaust survivors has spawned a Messianic congregation composed of survivors, their children, and grandchildren. The Schneiers have developed teaching/training courses for Messianic congregations and churches about the Jewish roots of the faith, and the common destiny of the Jewish people and the nations.
The Schneiers moved to France in September, 2007, to help encourage a Messianic Jewish movement there and in all of Europe. France has the third largest Jewish population in the world (600,000) and only two Messianic congregations. It also has Europe’s largest Muslim population (6 million). They are working with the Messianic leaders of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, England, Czech Republic, Italy, Russia, Romania, Belarus, Finland and Ukraine, and with pastors of churches who are open to the Gospel from a Jewish perspective including leaders of Arabic ministries there. The Schneiers continued to be senior leaders of the main congregation they established in Odessa while ministering in Europe.
In July of 2007, David was elected to the Steering Committee of the International Association of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (“IAMCS”) which is responsible for about 140 congregations in the US, Central and South America, Canada, Europe and Africa. He is the IAMCS representative for all of Europe (Western, Central and Eastern). There are 30 affiliated IAMCS congregations in Europe. In addition, the IAMCS created its first congregational region outside of the US for Central and Eastern Europe and David serves as its Interim Regional Director until such time as local leadership can assume the position.
Most recently, in September of 2013, David and Leslye, after clear guidance from the L-rd, accepted the positions as Rabbi and Rebbetzin of Beth Hallel in Birmingham, AL, and moved the base of their international ministry there. They continue to work with congregations and leaders in Europe while leading this local congregation in the US.
They officially became leaders of Beth Hallel on November 8, 2013. Since that time, Beth Hallel has moved forward under their leadership in connecting with local church and governmental leaders who have a heart for the salvation of Jewish people. Also, small groups and Hebrew instruction have been instituted and the celebration of the feasts of the L-rd have been deepened. Their vision is for Beth Hallel to be a believing community that is a light to Birmingham, Alabama, our nation, and the world.
Rabbi David also has a blog located here.