by Eli Dorman
I was born in 1976 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I grew up with a strong Jewish identity due to my grandfather who was among the few who kept Jewish tradition, attended synagogue, and celebrated Jewish feasts even at the time of the communist regime. At the age of thirteen my whole family made aliya to Israel where I attended school, learned Hebrew, and gained some basic knowledge of Tanakh.
At the age of eighteen I started my mandatory army service. One day I met a young soldier on the train who was reading a New Testament. He invited me to visit a small Russian-speaking evangelical community. I was given a copy of the New Testament and some additional literature, and through those texts started my spiritual journey. Most of this journey I made alone at the military base. I faced the typical Jewish questions of faith about who is Yeshua, why did our people reject Him throughout the history, how could I become Christian and keep my Jewish identity, etc. By God’s grace after a year the truth about Yeshua was revealed to me and I was baptized in the Jordan River. Some years later I joined another community which is part of one of the largest and fastest growing movements in the land, and since 2009 I am a pastor in one of its local communities located in Karmiel.
In 2006 the Lord started to speak to me and open my eyes to the broader Christian world. I have discovered some beautiful things in the historical (catholic and orthodox) churches such as liturgy and the Eucharist, and I have also met many open and Spirit-filled believers from these churches. I also participated in some conferences organized by the Helsinki Consultation, which were important milestones in my spiritual journey. I have come to a strong conviction that the calling of Jewish disciples of Yeshua is to bring healing and unity to the universal body of the Messiah.
Fostering unity and healing in the Body of Messiah became one of my main passions and goals. I am involved in several initiatives such as TJCII in this direction and hope to further grow and contribute to the achievement of this vision.