MEET OUR STAFF
Assistant Messianic Pastor Tom Burgo
Elizabeth was raised as a Messicanic Jew, and has known the Messiah all her life. She has attended Congregation Shema Yisrael since she was 11 years old.
Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English literature and been the Administrator and Financial Manager at Congregation Shema Yisrael for the last 5 years. She previously ran the congregation's bookstore.
Elizabeth likes to spend her time laughing with friends, reading and cuddling her cat. She is currently working on mastering the art of breadmaking.
Besides degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology, Mark received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity, and was the President of United Christian Ministry Institute, Ltd. He is also an ordained minister and served 7 years as Youth Pastor at his former church. He currently serves as Congregation Shema Yisrael's Prayer leader and leads the K'eesh Echad (As One Man) group. He and his wife Rebecca are kept busy with their four children.
Mark believes that Christians can’t understand the fullness of the Gospel without studying the Jewish roots of the Bible. This understanding starts with prayer and continues by connecting with the Messianic movement.
Rabbi Jim Appel has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Shema Yisrael since 1996 and a Jewish follower of Yeshua since 1977. He is ordained by the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues.Rabbi Jim previously worked for Xerox Corporation in Webster, N.Y., for 24 years as an optical engineer and engineering manager. He holds more than 45 patents in the areas of copier imaging systems and laser printing. Rabbi Jim received a bachelor’s degree in optical engineering from the University of Rochester in 1967 and a master’s degree in physics from the University of Southern California in 1970.
Mark was raised in a believing home, and came to know Yeshua as his personal savior at the age of 7. He became part of the Messianic movement in October of 2014, after intensive studying to find and connect with the power and authority of the word of G-d.