We have a relatively new category of staff for students who have had significant involvement in our ministry (through witnessing campaigns, internships, or leadership roles in our Camp Gilgal program) and are tracking to serve with us full time when they graduate. Last year we took several new staff under this category; we hope to introduce them to you more fully as missionary trainees in the future.
Melissa Weinisch grew up in a Messianic Jewish home. She has served with the Liberated Wailing Wall; she wrote as well as performed some of the songs on our Never Forget recording. Her parents, Stewart and Shoshannah, are missionaries with our New York branch. Melissa has been working with our children’s and youth ministry—particularly with Camp Gilgal—and is currently attending college in San Francisco.
Isaac Brickner grew up with Jews for Jesus; his father, David Brickner, is our executive director. Isaac has been very involved with our Massah program as well as Camp Gilgal. Some of Isaac’s music (from the CD You Are Home, co-written and performed with two friends who had shared experiences with Massah) is featured on our Flowers of the Son documentary. Isaac is attending Bible school in Southern California.
Dan Tasman, also from a Messianic home, became involved with Jews for Jesus in 2002 when, as a fifteen-year-old, he attended our Camp Gilgal in the Midwest. He has continued to be involved over the past nine years, eventually co-directing our Midwest Camp Gilgal from 2008-2010. Dan was one of the four young leaders of our New York City Witnessing Campaign last summer. He also participated in one of our Behold Your God Israel campaigns. He is attending Bible College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Eli Birnbaum, another second generation Jewish believer, has known the Lord since he was four years old. His family moved to Israel when he was seven. He attended a Christian youth conference as a teenager and God touched his heart; Eli became very serious about his faith, and about reaching others for Jesus. He has been an intern with Jews for Jesus and loves ministering to young adults. He has helped to lead Massah in Nepal, India and South America. Eli is currently attending college in Israel.
Moti Vaknin was born and raised in Israel, but lived in the United States from 2006-2010. In 2009, he came to faith through the witness of several Jewish believers in New York City, including some of the Jews for Jesus staff. He returned to Israel where he now attends Bible college. Moti has been an intern with our Tel Aviv branch. He loves photography and recently designed Shoreshim, a creative way to mesh photography with opportunities for Israelis to consider the gospel.