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Jonathan Bernis Health Update

April 29, 2024

April 29, 2024

Jonathan Bernis shares about a health crisis that almost took his life, the miraculous ways God intervened to save him and the powerful spiritual lessons he learned while recovering. 

March 20, 2024

We are thrilled for you to watch this video from Rabbi Jonathan!

If you remember, last November, we told you about the life-threatening health crisis our beloved CEO, Jonathan Bernis, went through. Due to non-alcoholic liver disease, he underwent a liver transplant and the arduous journey of regaining health and strength.

After making remarkable progress, Jonathan is back, and he couldn’t wait to tell you himself how grateful he is for your prayers and support over these last several months. Watch this and praise God with us over all He has done in Jonathan’s life.

January 11, 2024

Shalom, and a very Happy New Year to you!

Thank you, as always, for your continued prayers for Jonathan and the Bernis family. At the outset of 2024, I am thrilled to report that Jonathan continues to make “profound progress” (his doctor’s words) through the physical rehabilitation process following a successful liver transplant surgery late last November. While any recovery process has its normal ups and downs, Jonathan continues to regain strength and stamina in his body and is moving toward a full recovery in the coming weeks. We praise God for His continued hand of protection, strength and healing upon Jonathan and for His watchful care over the Bernis family during this time.

We sat with Jonathan earlier this week, and he asked that we share an update directly from him to you:

I'm so grateful for all of you, for your faithful prayers and ongoing support. God really performed a miracle, because in November, I was added to the liver transplant list and just four days later, a liver was found for me. It was at a time when I desperately needed the transplant. 

I am gaining strength every day, and I believe the Lord has called me to many more years of fruitful ministry. I want to extend my love and appreciation for your prayers, which have encouraged me so much. I'm in the process of fully recovering, and I look forward to rejoining my team at Jewish Voice again in the near future. I'm praying that 2024 will be one of the most fruitful, productive, blessed and healthiest years of your life and the life of your family. 

And I want you to know that 2024 is heading toward being a great year of ministry here at Jewish Voice. We're dedicated to doing as much as we can to bring the Gospel to Jewish communities in the most remote parts of the world. Thank you for your continued support. 

With love and great blessings, Jonathan

We will continue to keep you updated in the coming weeks, and I’m excited that you will be hearing more, directly from Jonathan, very soon.

Please continue to pray for:

  1. Jonathan’s body to continue integrating his new liver and for the new liver to continue to function properly
  2. Protection from illness for Jonathan
  3. The Lord’s orchestration of next-steps for Jonathan as he gets stronger and healthier
  4. Increased strength each day as Jonathan progresses through recovery
  5. Shalom, rest and protection for Jonathan’s wife and children as they stand with him at each step of the journey

And lastly, thank you for your prayers and your partnership with Jewish Voice as we head into our biggest-ever year of ministry amid the war in Israel and among Jewish communities scattered across the globe.

Ezra Benjamin

Vice President of Global Ministry Affairs

November 30, 2023

“For I am Adonai Rofecha—the Lord who heals you.”

— Exodus 15:26b 

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory…”

— Ephesians 3:20 


Shalom dear friends,

Thank you once again for your fervent prayers for Jonathan, his family, and for Jewish Voice during these last few difficult weeks. Jonathan, the Bernis family, and all of us involved in supporting them, have felt the nearness, goodness, and shalom of the Lord even through this unexpected medical crisis. We know your prayers have been a key part of that. Thank you!

I began to write to you earlier this week to share the WONDERFUL NEWS that, following a medical determination that a liver transplant would be the best way to completely resolve Jonathan’s medical situation, and an extensive evaluative process, Jonathan was approved for the liver transplant list last Friday evening November 24th — the day after Thanksgiving! And I was just about to ask you to join with us in focused prayer that the Lord would continue to sustain and strengthen Jonathan as he awaited a liver, and that the perfect liver the Lord had prepared for Jonathan would quickly become available for him.

But before I could even get that great news and those prayer requests to you, less than ninety hours after being added to the transplant list, a matching liver became available for Jonathan two days ago. And yesterday, November 29th, exactly one month after Jonathan’s life-threatening medical emergency, Jonathan underwent surgery to receive the best early Chanukah gift of all — a healthy new liver! Hallelujah!

We are still amazed — not only for the favor and goodness of the Lord demonstrated so clearly throughout this entire situation, but also for the miraculous speed with which the Lord, through an extensive team of doctors and support staff in multiple states and multiple facilities, intervened to meet Jonathan’s need. Just think — the Lord delivered exactly what we have all been praying together for: a healthy new liver, perfect for Jonathan, at exactly the right time.

Jonathan’s surgery lasted over six hours and, while it was overwhelmingly successful, it was nonetheless a complex and physically traumatic ordeal on the body, and Jonathan will need to spend the next many weeks recovering. There is also significant pain, understandably, following a procedure of this magnitude. But Jonathan, through the pain, continues to express his gratitude and joy.

Shortly before surgery, Jonathan praised God for the provision of this healthy liver and expressed to the Lord his ongoing dedication — now with a new liver — to serve the Lord wholeheartedly and to walk in the fullness of God’s purposes for his life and calling. And from his hospital bed today, less than 24 hours after the transplant, Jonathan said that he can’t wait to “rejoice together over what God has done. It’s been completely miraculous!”

As we, and our "extended Jewish Voice family" around the world (including you!), rejoice in what the Lord has done this past week, Jonathan and all of us ask you to continue to please pray for:

A complete reception and integration of Jonathan’s new liver into his body with no complications or rejection.

  • The Lord’s protection and strengthening of Jonathan as his immune system is vulnerable following an organ transplant and as he will need to rebuild the strength lost during the medical emergency.
  • A thorough and successful recovery process for Jonathan as he moves step by step during the coming weeks and months into a new season of life and ministry completely free of liver disease!
  • Continued shalom, endurance, and rest for Jonathan and the Bernis family as they shift their focus not only to recovery but to the exciting things the Lord has ahead for them.

Next week, with a war still raging in Israel, will mark the beginning of Chanukah. It’s a time when we remember God’s enduring commitment to preserve and protect His people in every generation — often through unlikely and even miraculous means. This week and this year, we celebrate yet another miracle: that the Lord has preserved our friend Jonathan’s life in ways and with speed we would not have imagined. Brothers and sisters, miracles still happen! Join us in celebrating...

We will continue to provide periodic updates as Jonathan progresses through his recovery. And I know you are as excited as we are here at Jewish Voice to welcome Jonathan back soon.

Ezra Benjamin, on behalf of the Board and staff of Jewish Voice

November 17, 2023

“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
— James 5:15a,16b

Shalom again dear friends,

On behalf of Rabbi Jonathan, the Bernis family and the Jewish Voice staff team, thank you so very much for joining us in urgent prayer over the past ten days since we shared with you about Jonathan Bernis’ medical emergency. Your outpouring of love, prayers, and support has been overwhelming. We praise God for providing such a committed “extended family” of Jewish Voice to stand with us in faith even in the most difficult seasons.

Firstly, I am overjoyed to share with you that the Lord has preserved Jonathan’s life! The life-threatening medical emergency has been resolved, and Jonathan is now hospitalized in stable condition. We know that your prayers have been a part of this turnaround for our beloved leader and dear friend. Thank you!

I know you remain committed, along with so many friends and ministers around the world, to continuing to pray for Jonathan and his family. So please allow me to share with you some more details regarding Jonathan’s medical need. 

Jonathan was recently diagnosed with what is known as “non-alcoholic liver disease” (meaning a serious liver problem affecting those who consume little to no alcohol). While the medical emergency I shared with you has been resolved, Jonathan still needs a healthy and fully functioning liver to fully recover and move forward. This will likely involve the need for a liver transplant. Whether the Lord chooses to intervene miraculously, medically, or both, we ask you to join us in fervent prayer that the Lord intervenes and brings Jonathan the healing he needs.

Please also pray for wisdom for the medical team working with Jonathan and his family as they now turn their attention to addressing the liver disease. Pray for strength and shalom in abundance for Jonathan’s family as they attend to him throughout this process. And, of course, pray with us for the Lord’s continual healing and sustaining hand upon Jonathan’s life. We are excited for many years of fruitful ministry ahead for Jonathan and his family on the other side of this difficult season, and I know you are as well.

In a brief conversation in the hospital a few days ago, Jonathan said to me, “We have to do outreach! We have to do ministry!” I assured him that we are continuing to do just that – and I know we can count on you to stand with us as we do. While Jonathan continues his healing journey, Jewish Voice continues to engage with partner ministries in Israel more than ever before. We’re embarking on the largest annual Outreach schedule in the history of Jewish Voice right after the New Year – all things Jonathan has been so excited about. Your ongoing partnership through this unexpected challenge helps us fulfill our missional mandate – and Jonathan’s fervent desire – to make an even bigger Kingdom impact among Jewish communities and their neighbors.

Finally, thank you for your continued understanding that we are simply unable to respond to the many individual communications or requests for more information regarding Jonathan’s situation. We will make every effort to keep you updated for prayer purposes in the coming days and weeks. Thank you for sojourning with Rabbi Jonathan and with us on his journey to healing.

Ezra Benjamin, on behalf of the Board and staff of Jewish Voice

November 6, 2023

Shalom dear friends,

As faithful partners of Jewish Voice who are so deeply committed to standing with and praying for this ministry, I felt it was essential that you hear directly from us as soon as possible on an unexpected development affecting our beloved President & CEO, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis…and I knew you would want to know so you could join us in urgent prayer.

This past week, our dear friend and partner in the Gospel, Jonathan, suffered a life-threatening medical emergency related to ongoing challenges with one of his vital organs. Jonathan remains hospitalized in critical condition, though he has continued to show continuous signs of improvement for which we are very thankful.

For decades, Jonathan has led the way to bring life-saving medical care, miraculous physical healing, and the hope of Yeshua to hurting Jewish communities and their neighbors all over the world. Right now, Jonathan is himself in need of that same life-saving care and that same miraculous healing touch from the Lord. Thank you for praying urgently and for joining your faith with ours for incredible healing and complete recovery in the days to come. Please pray also for wisdom for the doctors involved and shalom for Jonathan’s family in this difficult time.

And of course, thank you for your continued prayers and support for the ministry of Jewish Voice as we open another Medical Outreach this week in Zimbabwe (amongst a Jewish community Jonathan has been so dedicated to serving for over a decade) and as we lend much-needed support to our many partner ministries on the ground in Israel through the ongoing war. Your friendship and partnership are needed now more than ever.

Thank you for your understanding that we cannot provide individual updates or more specific information at this time. We will keep you updated with developments and additional specific prayer requests in the coming days.

“…and by His stripes, we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5b

Ezra Benjamin, on behalf of the Board and staff of Jewish Voice

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