I am a Jewish follower of Y’shua, married to my beautiful wife Tricia and blessed to have been granted the privilege of raising 5 children.
I was born in Tucson in January of 1964 to Sidney and Georgianna Taiz and lived in the Dodge and River Road neighborhood that is now home to the Tucson Jewish Community Center. I attended Catalina High School and then went on to the University of Arizona where I received a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. After graduation I worked as a professional biologist for a small consulting firm for seven years spending time in remote places in Arizona, California, and Texas. In 1994 I signed on with the USDA Forest Service as a Wildlife Biologist where I am currently employed as the Wildlife Staff Officer in my 25th year with the Service. Among my roles and responsibilities at the FS, I am fortunate to have been elected as Southwest Regional Coordinator of ACROSS (Association of Christians Reaching Out in Service and Support) which is an employee service organization serving approximately 600 Forest Service employees. I sit on the board of this Association and am blessed serve over 60 members in the Southwestern Region of the Forest Service.
Like many Jews in the Diaspora, I was raised with a strong sense of my Jewish Identity, but less strong foundation in Torah. When I look back over my life, I can clearly see how God protected me, guided me, and invited me into relationship with Him, but while I was experiencing it I did not recognize it. In my early 30’s I felt an ever-increasing need to study the scriptures and I spent my spare time reading the JPS Tanach. This was wonderful, but I did not feel a great change. Not, that is, until many years later when I was challenged to read the so-called New Testament. I was astounded to discover that these were Jewish texts written by Jews and about Jews. Before too long I realized that this one the world calls Jesus was the promised one spoken of throughout the Tanach and I confessed that He is the Messiah. It was on Yom Kippur and then the change began. I joined a church of one of the major Protestant denominations, but soon recognized that the teaching about Jesus had taken Him entirely out of his Jewish context and my spirit was very agitated. I was allowed to teach a Men’s Bible study with the purpose to show the faith in its Jewish context and foundation. This was well received, but not a very good fit with the denominational doctrine. For this reason I moved my family to Congregation Beth Sar Shalom in spring of 2013.
Soon after coming to CBSS I was greatly blessed to resume teaching in the Adult Shabbat Class where I teach about Y’shua from Genesis to Revelation placing him back into his first Century Jewish context. The blessings continued to flow and I was asked to join the group of Elders as well as becoming Secretary of the Board of Directors of CBSS. My wonderful family pours themselves into the Congregation that we call home and we look forward to many more happy and blessed years.