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Avi Snyder
Avi Snyder
European Director of Jews for Jesus, Missionary
07/23/2012

Bio & Testimony

Avi Snyder, narration about  “Life from the Dead” Budapest campaign, August 2013

Mini-campaign in Essen and Dusseldorf, Germany, 2010 

I grew up in a traditional Jewish home in New York City. The fact that I’m Jewish has always been very important to me. But by the age of twenty-two, I claimed to be an atheist, even though I still identified as a Jew. I simply defined myself as a “Jewish atheist. “ I’d embraced a nihilistic point of view that amounted to this. “Our lives and labors are thoroughly pointless. Nothing we accomplish has any lasting value. So, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, then we need to accept the absolute futility of our existence, choose to live anyway, and find satisfaction for our lives from our work.”

My life’s work was the professional theatre, and I had a good career. But I was furious, because the thought that my life ultimately meant nothing filled me with rage. In fact, one day, I literally shook my fist at the ceiling and screamed at God, “How dare You do this to me!”

Then the absurdity of my outrage struck me. If God didn’t exist, then with whom was I so angry? My own fury at God betrayed my hidden belief in God. How could I be angry at a being who didn’t exist? A thought came to my mind: “If you’re going to hold God accountable, then first you’d better admit that He exists.”

At least two verses in Scripture challenge people like me who angrily deny God’s existence but at the same time blame Him for all the evils of the world: “He who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6), and “you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you” (Jeremiah 29:13-14). God’s word confronts us with a dare. He dares us to discover that He exists and that He answers.

So, I started to read the Scriptures with an open mind. Not coincidentally, God responded to my need for answers by bringing two types of people across my path: Jews for Jesus, and a family of gentile Christians who cared enough about me to tell me the truth. From the existence of these “Jews for Jesus,” I realized that I could no longer dismiss the claims of the gospel message simply by saying that “it doesn’t apply to me because I’m a Jew.” I knew that someday, I would have to deal with the gospel. But I didn’t want to deal with it by interacting with these “apostate” Jews for Jesus. But I was willing to talk to that family of gentile Christians whom I’d met, because, as far as I could see, they posed no immediate threat.

As I studied my own Jewish Scriptures, I came across the prophecies that speak of a Messiah who will die as the payment for my sins and rise from the dead. The more I read, the more I realized that the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures were fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus. This is why Jesus Himself said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe in me, because he wrote of Me” (John 5:46).

On 14 March, 1977, I told Jesus I was sorry. I asked Him to forgive me, and I promised to follow Him. In response to my repentance, Jesus rescued me from the wasteland of nihilism. He saved me from the judgment that I deserved for denying God’s existence on the one hand while harboring so great a hostility toward Him on the other hand. Today, instead of anger, I have answers. Instead of  pointlessness, I have purpose. Today, I can echo the words of King David: “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). 

Avi Snyder was raised in a Jewish home in New York and came to a saving faith in Jesus in 1977 with the help of a Jews for Jesus tract and the forthright witness of Christian friends.  He graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary, the School of World Mission, with a Masters degree in missiology.  Avi has served with Jews for Jesus since 1978 and has provided leadership for the ministry in Los Angeles, New York, and London.  He also established the work in the former USSR where he lived for seven years.  For eight years, he supervised the establishment of the German work.  He now lives with his wife Ruth in Budapest where he provides oversight for the start of this latest Jews for Jesus ministry.  He currently serves as European Director, overseeing the work in Europe and in the former USSR.

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Avi Snyder was raised in a Jewish home in New York and came to a saving faith in Jesus in 1977 with the help of a Jews for Jesus tract and the forthright witness of Christian friends.  He graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary, the School of World Mission, with a Masters degree in missiology.  Avi has served with Jews for Jesus since 1978 and has provided leadership for the ministry in Los Angeles, New York, and London.  He also established the work in the former USSR where he lived for seven years.  For eight years, he supervised the establishment of the German work.  He now lives with his wife Ruth in Budapest where he provides oversight for the start of this latest Jews for Jesus ministry.  He currently serves as European Director, overseeing the work in Europe and in the former USSR.

Writings


DateTitle
04/21/2014 22:03:33The Innocent Victim
03/11/2014 16:44:57What the Holocaust proves
03/11/2014 16:43:38Son of SS officer shares platform with son of Holocaust survivor
12/18/2013 22:49:54Can We Forgive?  Can We be Forgiven?
06/01/2012 00:00:00Life from the Dead
04/04/2012 00:00:00Life from the Dead
09/16/2011 00:00:00Hold Back the Sun, and Grant us the Day
03/01/2010 00:00:22Variations on the Freedom Theme...
10/26/2009 00:00:00What Are We Chosen For, Anyway?
10/01/2009 00:00:00What Are We Chosen For, Anyway?
06/01/2009 00:00:00HaTikvah
07/28/2008 00:00:00Should I Not Have Compassion
12/01/2006 00:00:00Not Everyone Rejoiced When Jesus was Born
08/01/2005 00:00:00Jesus and the Shoah
11/01/2000 00:00:00Operation Behold Your God
08/01/1997 00:00:00Will A Voice Be Heard?
04/01/1997 00:00:00A Passover in Russia
09/01/1996 00:00:00Lightning Rods for Y'shua
03/01/1996 00:00:00Jesus Loves Felix Melstein
12/01/1993 00:00:00My Friend, the Enemy; My Enemy, the Friend
08/01/1993 00:00:00Impasses and Absolutes
05/01/1993 00:00:00News from the C.I.S.: Laborers for the Harvest
05/01/1991 00:00:00Heavenly Relationships
11/01/1990 00:00:00Don't Ask!
03/01/1990 00:00:00A Waste? Hardly!
12/01/1989 00:00:00Not Pretty as a Picture
03/01/1989 00:00:00Why Jail?
09/01/1988 00:00:00How to Plan a Rosh Hashanah Service
08/01/1988 00:00:00Losing Through Intimidation
04/01/1988 00:00:00The Miracles of Passover
02/01/1988 00:00:00Three Vital Words
07/01/1987 00:00:00Spiritual Eating Habits
02/01/1987 00:00:00Have Broadsides, Will Travel
10/01/1986 00:00:00And the Walls Came A-Tumblin' Down
05/01/1986 00:00:00Keeping the Right Perspective
09/01/1985 00:00:00Brilliant Minds and Broken Hearts
08/01/1985 00:00:00When God Asks What," Don't Tell Him "Why
07/01/1985 00:00:00A Father's Love
04/01/1985 00:00:00Service and Self-Interest
01/01/1985 00:00:00Dayenu at Yom Kippur
03/01/1984 00:00:00Was Paul the Founder of Christianity?
11/01/1979 00:00:00From The Old To The New
08/01/1979 00:00:00God Makes The Difference

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