Rabbi Isaac S. Roussel
Rabbi Isaac Roussel was elevated to Congregational Leader of Congregation Zera Avraham in 2018 after serving many years as Assistant Congregational Leader. He was ordained to the rabbinate in 2014 by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, after completing his studies at Messianic Jewish Theological Institute and Netzer David. He also received Smikhah (rabbinical ordination) from the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council in 2018. He also currently serves as president of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council.
He began his career as a chemist but currently is working in IT at an educational institution, in addition to serving at the synagogue.
He regularly speaks at churches and campus groups about Judaism and the Jewish Roots of Christianity with the goal of helping them understand their relationship to the People of Israel and appreciate the beauty of Jewish tradition.
Rabbi Roussel is also a trained spiritual director. In this capacity, he helps people be attentive to God's voice in their daily lives.
Dr. Mark S. Kinzer
Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer is the Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Zera Avraham, after having served as our founding Congregational Leader for most of 25 years. Ordained to the rabbinate in 2001 by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, he led our congregation since its inception in 1993 through his retirement in 2018.
Rabbi Kinzer received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in 1995. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Rabbi Kinzer is Senior Scholar and President-Emeritus of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (MJTI), an educational center for our movement.
Rabbi Kinzer is also the chairman of the board of Hashivenu and a founding member of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council.
Rabbi Kinzer is the author of several books and articles along with his latest volume titled Searching Her Own Mystery: Nostra Aetate, the Jewish People, and the Identity of the Church. More information about his publications can be found on our Books page and on his website, www.MarkKinzer.com.
Kenneth E. Franklin
Assistant Congregational Leader
Ken Franklin began working towards his Master in Rabbinic Studies degree from the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute in the Summer of 2014 with expected completion in 2020. In the meantime, he joined the Board of Congregation Zera Avraham and was officially named Assistant Congregational Leader in 2018. With that degree, he will pursue Smikhah (rabbinical ordination) from the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) and the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council.
Ken is the proud father of four birth children, two more for whom he's been their guardian and currently two foster kids who along with his wife all enjoy the charm and challenges of their 145-year-old home. He grew up attending services at Temple Israel, a Reform Jewish congregation in Metro Detroit and was extremely active as a Jewish youth and teen spending summers with Camp Tamarack and serving as President and Treasurer of his chapter, Rose A.Z.A., of the B'nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO). In his thirties, Ken came to faith in Messiah Yeshua and began a journey of following our great and eternal Kohein Gadol. That journey has led him to become more Torah-observant than he ever imagined.
Ken has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of Science in Information Systems from Lawrence Technological University. After working for Hewlett Packard, Compuware and Ford Motor Company, he settled in at a real estate multiple listing service (MLS) where he has spent the last 21 years, currently serving as their Director of Information Technology. In that role, he manages several teams of people who design, development and support software applications, and perform database administration, network infrastructure administration, systems integration, desktop and server maintenance, telecommunications administration, and provide second-tier tech support.
Ken is available to lead Passover seders and to speak to synagogues, churches, small groups and chavurot with the goal of building bridges, growing interfaith relationships, and helping others to understand the continuing role of the Jewish people and their eternal covenant with HaShem and His Messiah Yeshua.