30 Years of Wailing
Did you know that The Liberated Wailing Wall existed even before Jews for Jesus became an official ministry? The LWW (originally called the Jews for Jesus Presentation group”) began in 1971, and our ministry was incorporated in 1973. Our newest team marks the 30th anniversary for this important mobile evangelistic arm of Jews for Jesus. We’re thankful for friends like you who have helped support our ministry, not only through your love offerings when you’ve heard The Liberated Wailing Wall, but also for praying and for bringing your Jewish friends to hear them—allowing the team to have a part in their coming to faith.
We are also thankful for the beautiful bus (aka: our “mobile billboard”) that God provided through your prayers and gifts. And now, we’d like you to meet the new Liberated Wailing Wall!
This nearly-18-year-old (youngest) member of the team was born in North York, Ontario, Canada. As the son of missionaries—his mom and dad served faithfully with Jews for Jesus for many years—Noah knew all the Bible stories and all the answers in Sunday school from an early age. He occasionally shared his faith with friends, yet never stopped to question or think deeply about what it meant. By the beginning of his senior year in high school Noah realized he was not living the life of peace and joy that he was promoting. He began reading the Bible more, praying more and discussing spiritual issues more deeply with mature believers. The result was a faith that Noah could call his own.
Prior to joining the team in August, Noah worked in the administrative offices of Apple of His Eye, the ministry founded by his father, Steve Cohen. While Noah has been accepted (and offered a substantial scholarship) to a college of engineering, he decided to wait and first spend 18 months serving the Lord in a radical way.
Throughout school Noah has sung in choirs, including a boys’ choir that competed internationally. He sings tenor, plays trumpet, clarinet and bass clarinet.
Born just outside of Tel Aviv, Israel, Rivka is the team member you might very well recognize as Israeli. Yet she is also American. Rivka’s parents moved to the United States when she was four years old.
Rivka had a very Jewish upbringing in terms of celebrating the holidays, participating in Jewish youth groups and taking frequent trips to Israel. She attended various synagogues over the years, but did not find them spiritually fulfilling. By age 15, she was seeking (and not finding) meaning “in all the wrong places.” Around that time, she met a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus), and realized there was something different about him, something positive. While she “knew this couldn’t be true” she listened to what he had to say about the Jewish Bible and God’s purpose for the Jewish people…and the Messiah. This believer prayed for Rivka and her family for two years! As a result, Rivka decided to explore the New Testament for herself, and soon after received Jesus as her Messiah and Lord. Her mother, stepfather and younger sister followed soon after.
Rivka loves Israeli folk dancing and has taught dance workshops in various congregations around the world. She recently lived and studied in Israel for two years to rebuild her fluency in Hebrew. She sings alto and plays percussion. Prior to joining The Liberated Wailing Wall, she participated in a number of music ministries, including Avner and Rachel Boskey’s ministry in Israel.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Joan grew up in a Jewish home-yet throughout her life she wondered why Jewish people did not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. She never received satisfactory answers to her questions…until 1995. That’s when Joan hired a young woman named Michele to help in the group home for handicapped women that she was supervising.
When Michele brought in a box of matzah during Passover, it quickly led to a spiritual discussion. Joan was surprised to learn that she had hired a Jewish believer in Jesus. Michele explained the gospel over time, and Joan found it reasonable…but it took a miracle to convince her.
In 1998, after repeatedly requesting help to make an impossible work load more manageable, Joan found that her job was in jeopardy. She sought help from a union representative, who told her that if Jesus Himself came out of the sky, even He couldn’t save her position since Joan was only a provisional employee with no rights whatsoever. However, when the administration began the paperwork to terminate Joan’s position, they discovered that they could not fire her after all. The director of personnel had decided to grant her status as a permanent employee of the state after Joan had taken a particular exam. The results of the test had not been revealed to anyone, including Joan. Her permanent employee status required her supervisors to assist and adjust her work load. Joan had no doubt that God had given this as a sign. She says, “My job was saved and so was I!”
Joan has a BA in psychology from Trenton State College and an MA in psychology from Pepperdine University. She plays piano and violin and sings soprano.
Born in Belgrade, Montana, Robert Rose was raised in a Christian home. His Jewish believing dad was a pastor, and his mother a strong Gentile Christian. Rob received the Lord at age four. However, it wasn’t until college that a friend challenged him to truly live his life for Jesus.
Robert has enjoyed opportunities to travel prior to joining The Liberated Wailing Wall, having been to Munich, Paris, the UK, Costa Rica, Mexico and Israel. He has also known Jews for Jesus since childhood, having attended our Ingatherings with his parents. More recently (June-August 2000), he led the Jews for Jesus Players (our summer mobile evangelistic drama team).
Rob plays saxophone, guitar, bass guitar, clarinet, banjo, oboe and a few things you won’t see in The Liberated Wailing Wall such as tuba and handbells. He sings second tenor and baritone. Rob is a recent graduate of Whitworth College in Spokane with a BA in philosophy—and he is a newlywed!
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, just four days before her husband, Rob, Sarah also came to saving faith in Christ at age four. However, she began having doubts in junior high school, and after some seeking she announced to her parents that she was converting to Judaism. Her mother explained that Jesus was Jewish and He had made it possible for all people to be close to God. This satisfied Sarah for a time. But in high school she began to fall away again. It wasn’t until she graduated high school (she and her family lived in England at the time) and came to college in the United States that she was alone, and confronted with her need for Jesus. She knew He was calling her to return to Him and she did so.
Sarah met Rob at Whitworth College, where she graduated with a BA in English. The two were married this past June!
Sarah plays piano and clarinet, and sings soprano with the team. (She has sung alto in several choirs, including the All-Europe Honor Choir.)
If you’ve been part of the Jews for Jesus mishpochah (family) for long, Bryon’s face should be familiar. He joined our staff in August 2000, was trained in our New York branch and also served in our Washington, D.C. branch. We introduced Bryon in our November 2000 newsletter. Since we’re a little tight on space, if you didn’t get a chance to see Bryon’s story last November, please check it out on the web. Bryon sings bass, plays alto saxophone and is learning to play bass guitar.
Here’s another familiar face. We introduced team leader R. Cohen in August 2000 as she toured with the previous Liberated Wailing Wall under the leadership of Josh R. She loved ministry with The Liberated Wailing Wall so much that she “re-upped” for another term. Go, girl!
Charles (C.J.) La Cour
C.J. La Cour came to us from Way of Life Worship and Arts Ministries, where he worked as a sound and light technician—they are eager for his return after the tour!
Raised in a Christian home, C.J. received Christ at an early age. After he graduated high school and became involved in a mime/dance ministry he came to understand more about what it means to serve God and be a Christian. C.J. is the team’s bus driver and sound man—two crucial roles that keep him alert and on his toes!