David Brickner is an ordained Baptist minister who has been head of the Messianic Jewish missionary group Jews for Jesus since 1996.Background and familyBrickner was born and raised in Beverly, Massachusetts.Brickner describes himself as a fifth-generation Jewish believer in Jesus.Brickner married Patti Vasaturo in 1979; they have two children, Isaac and Ilana. They divorced in 2011.Education 1981 Graduated Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL Diploma in Jewish and Modern Israel Studies 1986 Northeastern Illinois University in conjunction with Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership B.A. in Judaica, Minor in Music 1994 Fuller School of World Mission, Pasadena, CA M.A. in Missiology, Concentration in Jewish Evangelism/Judaic StudiesCareerBrickner began his career as a missionary with the Chicago branch of Jews for Jesus. He led the New York City branch until May 1996, then was elected by a council of his peers as the organization's second executive director. Brickner has been in ministry for over thirty years and has appeared many times on secular television and radio programs.Controversial statementsOn August 12, 2002, representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Synagogues signed a joint statement that Catholics should no longer try to evangelize Jews because they "already dwell in a saving covenant with God." Evangelical groups, including Jews for Jesus, strongly objected to the statement. A Los Angeles Times article reported that "the controversy has touched a nerve that underlies religious relations." The article went on to say, "And the ever-controversial Jews for Jesus movement, which believes that Jesus is the Messiah that Jews have been waiting for, also stepped in. David Brickner, the group's executive director, said the bishops had 'crossed the line' and betrayed their responsibility to spread the Gospel. 'Jews need to hear the Gospel. Period. Excluding my Jewish people from Christian witness is theologically and biblically untenable, yet this is exactly what American Catholic bishops' did, Brickner said."