Born and raised in New York City of the tribe of Judah, Rabbi Berkson is well grounded in Torah and brings a Hebraic understanding to his teachings. He went to Hebrew school as a child and was Bar Mitzvah at age 13. Rabbi Berkson was also classically trained as a trumpet player and has been blowing the Shofar for more than four decades.

In 1986, Rabbi Berkson came to know Messiah Yeshua through the Worldwide Church of God and eventually ended up in the United Church of God (a splinter from the fragmented WCG) in Clearwater, Florida, where he met and married his beautiful bride Juliana in 1998.

In 1999, they left United Church of God to become a part of the Messianic/Hebrew Roots movement. Later that year the Berksons moved to Knoxville, TN where Rabbi Berkson served as the Torah teacher of a small congregation. In 2000, Rabbi Berkson was ordained by the Messianic Israel Alliance and planted his first congregation in Knoxville, TN and by 2001 he had planted and was serving congregations in Knoxville, Nashville, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In 2003, he was taken on a journey out of the ministry; a journey that would last seven years. In January 2010, Yahweh called him back into ministry and led him to move his family (which now included two beautiful children, Steven and Briana) back to Tennessee in December of 2011. Upon arrival Rabbi Berkson planted Beth Shalom Messianic Congregation in January 2012 where he and his family serve the needs of the Messianic Torah Observant community in the greater Chattanooga/Cleveland areas.

Rabbi Berkson has always made the teachings he shares available free to everyone. Through the Internet and word of mouth, many people from around the United States and worldwide, who have received and been helped by his teachings, started to reach out to him seeking counsel and discipleship, and expressing a desire to have a congregation planted in their areas. To meet these needs, in September of 2013, Rabbi Berkson launched MTOI – Messianic Torah Observant Israel.

The logo for MTOI features a man leading his congregation in praise and worship with the sound of the shofar. This shofar blowing image has come to represent Rabbi Berkson for both his leadership qualities as a Rabbi and as the Shepherd for MTOI, as well as for his exceptional ability at blowing the shofar.

As the Shepherd of MTOI, Rabbi Berkson strives to develop a relationship with each individual and family that becomes a part of the MTOI family. Whether you just want to introduce yourself or need some Scriptural advice, Rabbi Berkson is always willing and able to make time for you. Please feel free to contact him directly at (423) 250-3020.