Meet Steve Schneider
Alexandria,Ukraine is about 200 miles north of Odessa close to the Black sea. It was there that my grandparents from my father's side grew up. They left Russia in the late 1800's during the Russian revolutionary war. Coming on a ship to NYC, it was there that my dad Jack Schneider was born on May 16th, 1914. Lithuania is situated close to Riga in the USSR. It was there that my great grandparents from my mothers side grew up. They were orthodox Levites.
In 1951 I was born in LA, California into a reform Jewish home. We didn't keep the Shabbat or Jewish holidays although all the relatives on my dad's side living in California did so. When I was 6 years of age my parents gave me piano lessons. I loved to play piano and spent many hours practicing. When I was 12 years of age all the family moved to my mothers home town-Columbus,Ohio. I have an older brother Mark and younger brother Joseph. My mother, who is now 80 years old, still resides in Columbus,Ohio. She is a lovely believer in Yeshua the Messiah of Israel along with my oldest brother Mark and his family in Rhode Island.
Living in Columbus,Ohio growing up was not easy for me for many reasons. It is a cold state versus warm California. I had many friends in California and felt lonely in a new place. My grades in school dropped and I got totally envolved in music. I would get together with other musicians and form bands to play at parties. At the age of 16 I decided to quit high school because my grades were so bad and the interest was so low. It was when I was 17 years of age that a young man gave me a cigarette of marijuana. I smoked many one day and had a nervous breakdown. My brother Mark rushed me to a mental hospital and after 3 months I was released taking several different medications (who knows what?) From the time I left the hospital until I was 21 years of age I was on a continual search for the truth of the meaning of life. G-d was drawing me to Himself using the circumstances I was in.
One evening while I was at home in my parents' house I received a phone call. It was a man named Dean Ellenwood. I had worked in the past with him musically. He asked me if I would like to join their nightclub music group. The money sounded good and so I said yes. He told me to meet the group for a rehearsal at an apartment on the Ohio State University University Campus. One evening I came to the rehearsal and the 4 people in the group were reading the Bible and asked me if I wanted to read along with them. I took a Bible and they were reading in the book of Romans chapter 10:vs 9-10. When I read these verses they leaped out of the pages and Jesus revealed Himself to me. He told me that He is G-d Almighty the Son of G-d. He also revealed to me many other spiritual truths and it was at this time that I was (born again). I became a child of G-d. I later found out that these people were from a Christian cult group and so I left them.
It was shortly that I found a group of true believers in Jesus and lived with 13 people on the OSU campus for 8 months studying the Bible intensively. After being baptised in water I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, hearing about Jews believing in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. They called themselves Messianic Jews not Christians.They also used the name Yeshua not Jesus seeing that is His Hebrew name. Marty Chernoff the father of Joel Chernoff had been leaving for Philadelphia, Penn. and I moved into their home for 1 year with Joseph Rosenfarb who became the new rabbi for Beth Messiah. I stayed there for 1 year helping in the music ministry. During that time I studied Hebrew with Rachmiel Friedland as my Bible and Hebrew teacher. We became very good friends with both his wife Esthel and their children.
In 1976 I recieved a phone call from Louis Kaplan (founder of Jewish Voice Broadcast) now with the L-rd Yeshua telling me that "No man putting his hand to the plough looking back is fit for the Kingdom of G-d". I want to take you to Israel with 17 other believers in Yeshua to share on the streets for 6 weeks. I agreed and it was March 17th, 1976 that I arrived to Israel with Elliot Klayman and Chuck Sugarmann as leaders with 18 of of us and Chira Kaplan along with Dennis Phillips and a team of cameramen. After the group returned to the states, I made aliyah (immigration) to Israel. I was so happy to be home in the land G-d gave to our fourfathers - Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. Tears filled my eyes as the plane was going down to Tel-Aviv. I was arriving to my new home. G-d was fulfilling what the prophets of old had spoken about the return of His Jewish people in the last days before Messiah returns.
As a professional pianist and vocalist I started to work at the InterContinental Hotel on the Mt. of Olives. After 1 month I found myself at the new Sheraton Hotel and 1 month later at the famous King David Hotel. It was in October 1976 that I decided to move to Haifa and to help out with the ministry there at Bethel Fellowship a youth hostel under the leadership of Wilbur Presson and his wife Betty. I was there for 6 years. It was in the winter of the first year that the pastors wife Betty told me that it would be good to travel to Eilat to both find work and also to encouarage a strayed believer. Upon arriving I worked at a hotel which refused to pay me and also I was living in a situation that was unhealthy to spiritual growth. While I was playing piano one night at the hotel there was a woman named Ruth who told me she was from Haifa working in Eilat as a morse-code operator. She helped me by giving to me some money and a place to stay. In the nights I would tell her that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel showing her many places in the Tenach (Old Testament). When I decided to leave for the north,she wanted to leave with me. I traveled to California to visit my uncle and when I returned to Israel Ruth was in the fellowship praying over her food and she requested to be baptised in the Jordan.
We decided to marry and it was 3 years later that Avraham Moshe our son was born on August 23rd,1980. In February 1981 I was called to the IDF to serve for 4 months basic training and when I returned Ruth had found a new mate. I was left raising Avri alone and stayed in Haifa the next 2 years thinking that Ruth would return but she didn't. In 1983 I decided to go back to Jerusalem with Avri and got a job with Dick Hellman who owned a restaurant and bed and breakfast in Ein Kerem. I helped him cook and played piano in the evening. It was during the Passover season that the King David asked me to play piano and so I returned there after 7 years. On the 17th of March 1983 it was my first night playing piano when I walked into the coffee shop and there was a waitress I was introduced to. She started the same evening. Kerstin is her name. We started dating attending the same church (Baptist House). She is from a little city in Sweden called Hudiksval 4 hours north of Stockholm. Looking at her the first time I truely fell in love with her and couldn't stop seeing her until this present day.
We married in her home town on October 22nd 1983. Our first child Miriam Sarah was born the following year and Daniel our son 14 months later. No work in Israel led Kerstin,Miriam and myself to travel to Sweden. Avri stayed with his grandparents on his mothers side in Israel for 9 months and then after Daniel was born Avri came to live with us in Sweden. I started to work for a music agency booking me in the best hotels all throughout Sweden. It was in 1985 that this agency sent me to Israel to play piano at the Sheraton Tel-Aviv Hotel. We as a family stayed in the hotel for 2 months and during that time some very strange things occured in my live. First of all I was greatly attacked by Satan and along with all of the spiritual warfare I had alot of mental baggage to deal with (manic depression or bi-polar disease). My body would be in contortions and the situation was unbearable. All I prayed was that Yeshua would set me free from this turmoil. The psalmist expresses in psalm 116- which is how I felt, so lost and in total helplessness.
We as a family returned to Sweden and I sought meetings of deliverance and one meeting after another. Some help came but still I was in great need to be set free from this great problem of mental disorder. In 1987 I took my family to California telling them that I was the "perfect prophet" that could do no mistake. What a lying spirit. After a few months my wife left with the children back to Sweden. I was in the apartment and when I turned on the 700 club Christian television, a man spoke personally to me and the word had to do with forgiveness and I truely was set free from this problem. I wrote several cards and letters to my wife asking to come home. Finally after a couple of months I returned to Sweden.
In 1988 came the big crash. I was immersed in a depression that led me to staying in bed all day and night for the next 2 years. In 1990 I decided to travel to the USA to seek professional help. I went to a docter in Columbus, Ohio where I was living with my mother and he advised me to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to a Franciscan hospital and there I would recieve help. There was a group of people that had rented a floor in the hospital and they gave to me a bed for 2 weeks and ministered to me to no avail. The last day I was there came a man named Michael Wolf a mesianic rabbi from Beth Messiah congregation in Cincinnati,Ohio. He heard about me and wanted to come to help me. I left the hospital and moved next door to the congregation and stayed there for about 1 and 1/2 years. Almost everyday Michael prayed for me anointing with oil and encouraging me that all would be well. In 1991 Michael took me to the Messiah Conference in Grantham,Penn. It was an 8 day event and the first night David Chernoff was speaking about the Holy Spirit and asked people to come for prayer. I got in the line and found myself on the floor as G-d healed me supernaturally. It was hard to believe but there was no depression.
It wasn't until many years I that I discovered I needed a good medication and that G-d had just the right one for me. Even though Kerstin had left me and there seemed no hope for us to be together again, Michael spoke a prophetic word that we would be reunited again. In 1992 she returned to Cincinnatti, Ohio and Michael remarried us in his home. We left Cincinnati,Ohio and attended Beth Messiah messianic congregation in Columbus, Ohio with Howard Silverman as our messianic rabbi. 2 years in Columbus led us to return to Israel on August 18th,1994. After returning to Israel it was quite difficult with housing,jobs and just finding the right place to fellowship. We continued to stay in Jerusalem and I worked as a pianist and also cooking in different places to help out with the income and Kerstin worked at the Anglican School both as a teacher and in the kitchen with food preparation. We attended as a family the King of Kings Assembly. We stayed with that fellowship for 7 years.
During the years of 1997-2000 I played piano at the Garden Tomb. It was a great privilege to play and sing at the real sight that Yeshua rose from the dead. I can never forget those experiences and all the people I got to meet. Also during my times in Jerusalem I played piano and sang in many hotels and openly sang and shared about Yeshua.
Many tour groups came and invited us to travel to their countries and share. We started to travel as a team in 2000. Our first tour was in the USA covering 9 states. After coming back to Israel we made trips to Holland, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Bulgaria, England, Wales, Korea sharing both in music and also the Word of G-d. In 1997 I released my first CD called "PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM" This CD is composed of 15 psalms with all verses put to anointed music. In January of 2003 I released a new CD called "HOPE OF ISRAEL" The new CD is a piano instrumental played on the famous Steinway & Sons concert grand piano. It has 10 originals with Hatikvah (Israel's National Anthem) and Hene Ma Tov. Now in 2004 all of the family have moved to Tel-Aviv from Jerusalem.
Presently I am working as a musician and helping various ministries along with my wife Kerstin. Each day I wake up I thank G-d that I can live to serve the King of Kings! Truely the L-rd has been good to me and I have so much to be thankful for. My wife Kerstin has written a book on my life story entitled "THE STOLEN YEARS". You can see a copy on this site.
May G-d bless you in your service to Him.