Meetings at: 6900 County Road 95, Palm Harbor, FL           

Meet Our Rabbi

About Rabbi Michael Stepakoff:

Rabbi Michael Stepakoff was born in 1965 and grew up in Atlanta, the middle child of three boys, in a conservative Jewish home. Beginning in 2nd grade, Michael attended Hebrew school three times a week, in addition to regular American school. From age 8 until his Bar Mitzvah in 1978, he was schooled in the customs, tradition, language and the rich religious heritage of the Jewish people. Growing up in a very tight-knit Jewish community, Michael attended Jewish summer camp, frequented the local Jewish community center and was active in B’nei B’rith Youth Organization. 

His high school years brought a fascination with Bob Dylan, a Jewish folksinger, who recorded published several albums about his faith in Yeshua. A creative writing major at Florida State, Michael traveled to Italy and parts of Europe, seeking inspiration and answers to the deeper questions of life. In college, his spiritual quest led Michael to explore Eastern philosophy. He also became a "Dead Head," or devoted follower of the Grateful Dead band. After graduating from law school, searching for spiritual truth, Michael became involved with orthodox Judaism...but something was still missing. 

In 1992, at the age of 26, Michael began reading the New Testament, and became a believer in Yeshua as Messiah. Soon after, he began attending a messianic synagogue in Tampa, and became active in the messianic Jewish movement. 

Just one week after becoming a Messiah-follower, Michael met Tara, his wife. Tara is from a mixed Jewish and Gentile background.  Michael and Tara grew together on the same messianic Jewish path. Together they are the parents of four children – Ruth, Joseph, David, and Rachel. Here they are pictured at an annual messianic Jewish Conference, at Messiah College in Grantham, PA.  

"Rabbi Mike" is the founder and Senior Rabbi of Temple New Jerusalem, in Palm Harbor, Florida. Drawing people from all over the Tampa Bay area, TNJ has been been serving the community for over 20 years. The congregation is a spiritual home for Jewish and Gentile people called to the modern-day revival of Israel.
Rabbi Mike is an accomplished messianic Jewish songwriter. He is also the published author of messianic Jewish books and key articles and position papers pertaining to messianic Judaism. A regular speaker at messianic Jewish events, his weekly webinars and podcasts are followed by people all over North America, and beyond, who know him as "Rabbi Mike." An outdoors enthusiast, Rabbi Mike enjoys hiking, skiing, jogging, the beach, and playing pick-up basketball. He is also well-known locally in the community as "Coach Mike," having been actively involved as a head coach of youth sports, in both tackle football and basketball for over ten years. 


Temple New Jerusalem

About TNJ
Books By Our Rabbi

What Is Messianic Judaism?

Shabbat Services
Fridays 8pm

Visit Rabbi Michael's  Facebook page

© Temple New Jerusalem
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software