Father of 20th Century Messianic Judaism Dies

by | Dec 30, 2014 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

Victor Smadja was born in French Colonial Tunisia in 1931. At the young age of 16 he lost his father who was taken out of Tunisia and murdered in the Holocaust. Around that same time a brother from England introduced him to the Old and New Testament in French. 

After studying and reading the Bible for two years he came to the conclusion that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah. Besides three older sisters in the Lord and his future wife Suzy whom he would meet later in his life, Victor was the only Messianic believing Jew in Tunisia among a sea of Muslims, Jews and Roman Catholics. 

After many discussions with Rabbis, Victor decided to immigrate to Israel with the goal of learning Hebrew and to see if Yeshua was really the Jewish Messiah from the Hebrew Perspective.

After returning to Tunisia for a period, Victor and his new wife Suzy moved to Israel in 1956. His vision was to introduce Yeshua the Messiah to the Jewish people. Victor was one of the early Israeli Messianic pioneers who led Israeli believers for many years, even the years when Israeli Messianics numbered only a few dozen.  He was persecuted for his faith but remained steadfast in his service bearing much fruit to the glory of God.

Victor was a visionary that worked toward the future and fought for the purity, strengthening and self-sufficiency of the Messianic community in Israel.

For many years, Victor led the young-adult conferences and it was he who established them as essential to the lives many.  He also oversaw many children and youth summer camps, led by Warren and Linda Graham, establishing patterns of operation that still exist today.  

He also entreprenuered the first Messianic publishing company in Israel—Dolphin Publishing—and afterward Yanetz Publishing.  When an effort to unify the Messianics of Jerusalem was undertaken in the 1960s, Victor was appointed as one of the leaders who eventually accomplished the task of establishing a Messianic Congregation in Jerusalem.  

After the establish of this first congregation called Messianic Assembly, he served as one of the pastors of the congregation (though to the knowledge of the writer, he never used that term about himself) until each of the other pastors passed away and he remained the sole pastor.  In the ensuing years, Victor also served as overseer of operations at the Beit Yedidiyah (Jedidiah House) in Haifa during the years it was used for as a center for Messianic conferences.

Many Israeli Messianics—several hundred—owe Victor a tremendous debt for laying the cornerstones of the Messianic body in Israel, as well as for leading them to faith.  We praise God for him and his efforts over the years. Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.”

Now he is receiving his heavenly reward and more. As for us, we will never forget his selflessness, his impartation to us and our children, and his lifelong service. Victor leaves behind his beloved wife, three children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

This article was contributed by one of Victor’s sons, Samuel Smadja. Samuel is the Owner and President of Sar-El Tours & Conferences, the largest tour company for incoming Christian tours to Israel.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Young, old, rich or poor—nobody is immune to the feeling of brokenness. Jesus' life, death and resurrection on earth is a constant reminder that death no longer has a sting. Fear and hopelessness lurk throughout the earth trying to find an opportune moment to consume...

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like "God's Not Dead" and "Left Behind," but the iconic "Hercules" star's Christian roots took form at an early age. Sorbo recently told CBN's "Faith vs. Culture" he first read the prophetic book of...

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

In this article, cessationism refers to the doctrine, practice or belief that the ascension ministry gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church and do not function in the present church age (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11). The...

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

We all have the same amount of time—four hours a day, seven days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That’s why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose. The truth is if you...

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the first of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...


The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

Monday night, Jan. 2, 2023, God drew our nation to prayer as Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest on live tv. Could this have been the largest spontaneous prayer meeting in the...
Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Read Time: 4 Minutes 43 Seconds Of the many artificial sweeteners out there, such as aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sugar Twin and Sweet’N Low) and neotame (NutraSweet), aspartame is one of the most common. How common? Aspartame is an ingredient in more...

Pin It on Pinterest