Each year, two deserving students are awarded the Paul Liberman Messianic Jewish Studies Scholarship who are enrolled in an approved Messianic Jewish Studies (MJS) program. In our last issue, we profiled the first recipient Matthew Temple. This is a profile of Jared Eaton, the second of the two winners this year. Eaton grew up in a Messianic Jewish home in which his father, Rabbi Tony Eaton, is the leader of Simchat Yisrael Messianic Jewish Congregation in New Haven Connecticut. His mother is a Messianic Jewish believer as well, and three of his four grandparents were Jewish. Eaton recalled, “My Jewish grandparents were not believers.
My mother’s parents were very active in their conservative temple and my grandfather served as president, but neither was very personally religious or spiritual. My father’s mother was an orthodox Jew who lost contact with her family after marrying a Gentile, and so my father didn’t have much of a religious life at home.” However, as stated above, both of his parents raised him in a Messianic believing lifestyle. Although he has that family history, Eaton de-scribes his early life and youth as one in which he was a “nominal believer.” He reported, “I was born in Yonkers, New York, but we moved to Danbury, Connecticut when I was very young. I was raised there until we moved again when I was 18, this time to New Haven where I have been ever since. My identity is very much that of a New Englander.”