Don't Miss The Upcoming StandWithUs Israel In Focus Conference.
Below is just a sample of the wonderful speakers who will be joining us at this year's conference. The list of speakers is in development, so keep checking this page for more information about the dozens of experts who will be sharing their best practices and strategizing with us.
Hussein Aboubakr was born in 1989 in Cairo, Egypt. He was a
self-described reclusive internet nerd, obsessed with comic books and the like.
The ultimate villains in the local lore he was steeped in during his youth were the
“bloodthirsty Zionists”, so Hussein began to study the supposed enemies of his people.
Hussein studied Hebrew at Cairo University but did not adapt to the curriculum which was the official anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric of the regime. Hussein was persecuted by the Egyptian State Police for being the first visitor to check out books and watching films at the Israeli Academic Center of Cairo. He was surveillanced, harassed, jailed and tortured for his studies of Israel. When the Egyptian Revolution swept in 2011, Hussein became an organizer in Tahrir Square. By 2012 the secret police of Mohammad Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood regime again began harassing and persecuting Hussein, and he was sent to a military detention facility where he was tortured for his contacts with Israelis and writings expressing hopes for coexistence and peace between the two peoples. He received asylum in the United States in 2014 and now teaches as an Assistant Professor of Hebrew Studies.
Chelsea Andrews serves as the Director of Strategic Affairs at Passages. After graduating from Liberty University as the Senior Class President and working for a year in Washington, D.C., Chelsea was recruited to Chicago to oversee the post-trip phase of the Passages program. With a growing team, she now focuses on rhetoric and combating polarity, as well as consulting with multiple departments within Passages.
Mike Atkins serves as Interim Executive Director and Deputy Director of the Academic Engagement Network (AEN). Based in Washington, DC, AEN is a national organization of college and university faculty members committed to opposing the BDS movement and Israel delegitimization, to promoting robust conversation about Israel, and to supporting free expression and academic freedom on campus. AEN also seeks to combat antisemitism where it appears. In his role as Deputy Director, Mike has overseen the operations of AEN and has helped expand and service the faculty network, which has grown to more than 650 members on some 220 campuses nationwide. Mike was appointed Interim Executive Director of AEN in February and will serve in this role through mid-May. Prior to joining AEN in early 2016, Mike worked as an associate attorney at a large international law firm in New York where he practiced commercial litigation. He earned his B.A. in History from Yale University, his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University.
Liora is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications. Growing up, Liora was very involved in the Jewish communal world starting at a young age, which is where her passion for Israel came from. She interned in Tel Aviv summer of 2014 during Operation Protective Edge. Being in Israel during this time helped her understand the importance of Israel education. Liora worked in advertising for two years and was a volunteer for many Jewish and Israel organizations.
Jacob is currently the Executive Director at the Israel on Campus Coalition. An experienced public affairs professional and campus organizer, Jacob Baime is an expert on pro-Israel campus affairs. As former National Field Director with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he supervised a team of professional campus organizers, oversaw strategic campus initiatives, and managed AIPAC’s national training platforms for college and high school students. Baime most recently served as Area Director in AIPAC’s New England Region, where he was responsible for political, development and grassroots efforts in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Baime previously served as a political aide and as Campus Coalition Director to the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.
Jonathan Bell is the Assistant Director of the StandWithUs Legal Department, joining StandWithUs in January 2018 with over a decade of Jewish non-profit lay leadership and professional experience. At StandWithUs, Jonathan provides legal resources to pro-Israel students and community activists combating anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity on campus and in communities nationwide. Jonathan graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and earned his undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin. A Chicago transplant, Jonathan enjoys running, playing softball, cheering on the Badgers and spending quality time with his wife and son.
Adam Blue is the Midwest High School Coordinator for StandWithUs. Adam graduated from Indiana University with his B.A. in History and Jewish Studies, and he is currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to attending university, he spent a gap year in Israel where he studied in Jerusalem and volunteered at a boarding school near Haifa. Whether as a teen leader, the President of Hillel at Indiana University, a legislative intern with the Indianapolis JCRC, a youth advisor in Chicago, or an Assistant Director at BBYO Passport, Adam has repeatedly exhibited his personal commitment to experiential education, community engagement, and leadership development.
Liz Brough is the National Associate Director of High School Affairs at StandWithUs. Liz returned from a high school trip to Israel with a desire to share her new found knowledge of the Israeli culture and people with her peers. This motivated her to gain a degree in Jewish Studies and Bible from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. During this time, Liz was very active in the pro-Israel community in the greater Chicago area. Liz also served as the vice president of Kesher, the pro-Israel student organization on her campus, organizing events and actively promoting Israel awareness to her peers.
Somanjana Chatterjee is San Francisco Bay Area based writer, editor, and activist. She serves on the Board of Silicon Valley Inter-Religious Council, representing Hinduism. She promotes religious pluralism, peace, and sustainability through media and advocacy. She is the community outreach coordinator for the Hindu American Foundation. In her career as a journalist, she lived and worked on three continents. She currently is Diversity Ambassador for the award-winning ethnic media publication India Currents, which has been fostering minority voices for more than three decades in the Silicon Valley. Somanjana hosts a TV talk-show on KTSF and NGI Talks. She is a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate, The Examiner, India Currents, and New Global Indian. She is the founder and managing editor of Bengal Bee, a media platform dedicated to the people for whom Bengal matters! She has also been recognized on J-Weekly and Times of Israel for her humanitarian efforts to rescue the Yezidi people when they were under ISIS siege.
Kate Chavez is the Southwest High School Coordinator for StandWithUs. Kate was born and raised in Los Angeles and went to Sonoma State University where she earned a degree in Political Science. Kate has always had a passion for public service, international relations and Israel advocacy causing her to pursue political internships with congressmen and senators, involvement in student government on campus, and participation in advocacy trips to Israel, pro-Israel organizations and political organizations on campus. After graduating, Kate spent a year immersing herself in Israeli society and taught English to children in Bat Yam, Israel. During that year, she fell more deeply in love with the people, culture, religion, and the country of Israel. Kate is very excited to have returned to the Southwest region to share and promote Israel education.
Liri is a fashion lecturer and NYC fashion blogger who holds a Master’s
degree in Global Fashion Management from FIT. Liri also manages the NY- Israel Fash&Tech
Meetup community and is deeply involved in the fashion industry both in NYC and Israel.
Liri has an in-depth understanding of US Jewish community’s culture and interests from her extensive experience as Program Director at Duke University, where she led the effort of bringing Israel to campus from various perspectives. Due to her achievements in this role, she won AIPAC’s Alley of the Year Award and was nominated for Duke’s Star Advisor Award.
She held the external relations position at the Retails and Luxury Goods Club at Fuqua School of Business.
Prior to working at Duke, Liri was ZARA Israel’s Training and Development Department Manager responsible for the fashion, leadership and educational trainings for 1700 employees in over 50 stores. Furthermore, Liri has over 10 years of experience in facilitating educational activities.
Craig Dershowitz is the Chief Executive Officer of Artists 4 Israel and President
of Healing Arts Kits and Healing Ink.
Mr. Dershowitz has worked with over 8,000 artists representing more than 26 different countries on 4 continents showing the power of avant-garde art as a tool for social change and creating a new paradigm in Israeli advocacy. For his work, he was presented the Defender of Israel award, been honored by Prime Minister Netanyahu and has had the Ministry of Public Diplomacy say that Craig is “changing our perceptions of PR and having an impact on our policy and style.”
His most proud accomplishments come from helping people in a real and direct way. Mr. Dershowitz has received the key to the city of Sderot for his work there during wartime as well as been awarded Challenge Coins from the NYPD and the Orlando Police Department.
Before setting trends in the Israel space, Craig was the Editor in Chief for an internationally distributed graffiti magazine and a writer for VICE TV.
Michael Dickson is Executive Director of the StandWithUs Israel office. From Jerusalem, Michael leads an international team at StandWithUs, as well overseeing its huge social media presence. Born in the UK, Michael made Aliyah to Israel in 2006 and lives there together with his wife and five children. Michael has addressed audiences at the UN, in the Knesset, in Europe, the US and the Far East. He broadcasts on issues pertaining to Israel and public diplomacy and is an accomplished writer. Under his leadership, StandWithUs’ operation in Israel has developed exponentially. Michael oversaw the construction of the new StandWithUs Educational Center in Jerusalem, opposite the King David Hotel. The site hosts 30,000 students and tourists a year, participating in educational programs. Michael is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Communication (CIC) of Bar Ilan University, is an Honorary member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, and was appointed to the Spectrum Forum of leading young Israeli Executive Directors. In 2016, he was named as the 14th most influential Jew on Twitter and also one of the “30 Israelis Making a Difference” by Channel 10 TV’s “Hazinur” at a ceremony at the President of Israel’s Residence. Michael was listed in the Top 30 of "The Aliyah 100 List" of British immigrants to Israel, one of the "flag bearers who shape the state of Israel and made a significant contribution".
Rayna Exelbierd is the Southeast High School Director for StandWithUs. Rayna was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with an International Business Degree. Rayna spent a gap year studying in Israel and has continued to travel there and participate in advocacy programs. At FAU, Rayna was a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow and held many leadership roles in various Israel organizations and groups on campus. Upon graduating, her passion became her career.
Jonathan Farrell is the UK Campus Director at StandWithUs. Jonathan attended the University of Exeter in England and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics and Arabic, in 2017. During his time at university, Jonathan co-founded the Exeter University Friends of Israel and became a UK-Israel Leadership program student ambassador for StandWithUs UK in 2016. As a Christian, he led the first Israel Peace Week campaign to counter Israel Apartheid Week and received the `Campaign of the Year` Award by the Union of Jewish Students alongside nominations for two others. He was a strategy development intern for StandWithUs UK in 2017 and joined full time as their Communities Director that same year. He seeks to combat anti-Semitism masking itself as anti-Zionism and is especially passionate about empowering young Christians to stand up for the Jewish people against hatred and misinformation.
Carly Gammill is a seasoned constitutional litigator with extensive experience handling matters involving free speech and religious liberties. She has assisted an array of clients in vindicating their legal interests, including students and professors, nonprofit organizations, and private citizens seeking access to public forums. In her legal work, Carly has been active in fighting anti-Semitism, including the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic BDS Movement, on campuses, in court, and at the United Nations. Carly currently serves as the Interim Director of the StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department and will soon transition to leading a new department within the organization.
Avi D. Gordon is the director of Alums For Campus Fairness, (ACF) a strong partner of StandWithUs. has nearly a decade of experience in the Pro-Israel campus community. He graduated from Binghamton University majoring in Judaic Studies and a minor in International studies. Avi has previously held Director positions at StandWithUs as the East Coast Campus Director and Emerson Fellowship Director, at AEPi- the international Jewish Fraternity- as the Director of Israel Engagement, and most recently as AJC NY's Associate Director. Avi is originally from Harrisburg, PA and currently resides in Manhattan with his wife Rachel.
Gabriel Groisman is a lawyer, writer, speaker, and the Mayor of Bal Harbour, Florida. Active in the Jewish community, he speaks regularly to groups about fighting anti-Semitism and the anti-Israel boycott movement. Most notably, he helped pass the nation’s first municipal anti-BDS ordinance in December 2015 and uniform definition of anti-Semitism in December 2017. A practicing attorney, Groisman is the Founding Partner of Groisman Law, PLLC, which focuses primarily on trademarks and trademark litigation, commercial litigation, and anti-corruption work. Groisman proudly serves on the National Board of Directors at the Friends of the IDF and on the Executive Board of the FIDF Florida. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the National Board of Directors for the New York-based Children’s Tumor Foundation. He is married to Lisa Falic-Groisman, and they have four girls, Yona, Rachel, Alexandra, and Rebecca.
Hali Haber is the Director of Campus Programming and Strategic Relationships for CAMERA. A South Florida native, Hali received her B.A. in Cinema Studies and a minor in Mass Communications at the University of Central Florida, where she served as President of CAMERA-supported group Knights for Israel. Hali manages the CAMERA on Campus team in the and works to advise and educate students. She loves teaching hands-on techniques to help Israel campus groups succeed.
Dr. Michael Harris was one of the founders of San Francisco Voice for Israel, which became the Bay Area chapter of StandWithUs. He has spoken about Israel at synagogues, churches, political groups, and at senior citizen centers, in addition to standing up for Israel against anti-Israel demonstrators on the streets of the Bay Area. He has appeared on radio and television news reports as a local spokesperson for StandWithUs and SF Voice for Israel. In his spare time, he is a pediatrician in Marin County. His book, ‘Winning a Debate with an Israel Hater’ had its second edition published in November of 2018.
Stephanie Hausner is Deputy Director of the Israel Action Network (IAN), a joint project of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Stephanie is responsible for strengthening the capacity of local community professionals in countering the assault on Israel’s legitimacy and is IAN's main point of contact for Federations and JCRCs. Stephanie oversees IAN’s campus, community, and legislative work. Stephanie came to IAN after working in the Federation system in various capacities. A former Councilwoman in the town of Clarkstown, she was named one of Rockland County’s “40 under 40″ in 2010 and in 2013 was included in “The Jewish Week 36 under 36.”
Alma Hernandez, Arizona’s youngest legislator ever, is State Representative for Legislative District 3. A proud Jewish Latina, she and her brother Daniel became the first brother-sister duo elected to serve in the legislature in the same term in 2018. Alma received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Arizona with further public health training from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is also a graduate of the ADL’s Glassman Leadership Institute, former president of CatPac for Israel, and served on Young Democrats of America Hispanic Caucus.
Charlotte Korchak is the Director of International Student Programs at StandWithUs Israel, where she educates and trains students from around the world in Israel activism. Charlotte graduated with a BA in Middle Eastern History from the University of Southern California and has since been working for StandWithUs. Initially serving as the West Coast Campus Coordinator, she then made aliyah and transferred to StandWithUs Israel to become the Diaspora Education Coordinator. In her current role, Charlotte works with over 6,000 students a year from nearly every continent educating them about Israel and training them to be effective activists in their high schools, universities, and communities worldwide. She has quickly become one of the foremost public speakers in her field.
Miri Kornfeld is the Executive Director of High School Affairs for StandWithUs. Miri, originally from Denver, Colorado, immediately found her passion for promoting Israel on college campuses when she began attending UCLA. Her involvement in Israel advocacy remained her top priority, and she became the president of Bruins for Israel, UCLA's pro-Israel organization, in her senior year. Upon graduating, Miri joined the StandWithUs team as the Executive Director of High School Affairs in North America. Miri focuses on promoting education about Israel to high school students, providing them with the support and tools they will need to become leaders and Israel advocates on their future college campuses and in their communities.
Ron is the Executive Director of Campus Affairs at StandWithUs. Ron, the son of two Israelis, is a first generation American and a fluent Hebrew Speaker. He attended Florida State University for a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and continued on for a Master’s in Public Administration and Non-Profit Management. During the two years of attaining his Masters, he worked for Hillel at FSU as their Jewish Student Life Associate. Ron has been to Israel in a number of capacities, as a Birthright Rakaz and staff, city ambassador, and children`s home volunteer. Ron was also the first director of Future Leaders for Israel, a student grassroots movement in Florida. He is currently sitting on the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach`s Young Adult Divisions Engagement committee and works to bring together the local Jewish community through events. Ron is also an expert in public speaking, management, and strategy and applies these skills regularly to his work at StandWithUs. He always strives to use his different leadership roles in the Jewish/Israel community to empower those around him through his passions.
André Lajst, is the executive director of StandWithUs Brazil. He is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor who made Aliyah in 2006, and lived in Israel until 2015. He served as an Academic Officer in the Israeli Air Force Intelligence Unit between 2011 and 2013. André holds a B.A in Government and Diplomacy and an M.A in Counterterrorism from IDC Herzliya in Israel. He co-founded and heads the SWU office in Brazil since 2018 and delivered more than 500 lectures about Israel around the world.
Neil Lazarus is an internationally acclaimed expert in the fields of
Middle East politics, Public Diplomacy and Effective Communication Training.
He is one of Israel's leading keynote speakers. His presentations are motivating,
informative and challenging. Neil speaks to over 30,000 people a year and his
presentations are causing an international sensation.
He is a favored speaker for Jewish Federations, Community Leadership as well as student leadership groups. He is a welcomed guest at many Christian Friends of Israel organizations. Neil Lazarus has helped train a new generation of Israeli diplomats and spokespeople. He is the author of "The New 5 Rules of Effective Israel Advocacy".
His client list is extensive and has included: The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Israeli Ministry of Tourism, Jewish Federations, JCRCs, Sky TV, Russian English TV, Keshet Television, Yad Vashem, Hillel, Hadassah, Birthright, The Jewish Agency of Israel, The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya and many more.
David Levitt, a partner in the Chicago office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, is an experienced trial lawyer who focuses his practice in a number of distinct areas. His primary practice is intellectual property (both litigation and transactional), with wide experience in insurance, commercial litigation, products liability and trucking. A frequent author and lecturer on legal issues, he has served as President of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC), Chair of DRI’s Intellectual Property Law Committee, and Practice Group Leader of Hinshaw’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. He also serves as Chair of DRI’s Task Force on Third Party Litigation Funding, and was the principal author of its recent White Paper on that subject. Within the Jewish community, Mr. Levitt is Past President of Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Deerfield, Illinois. Active in AIPAC, he also serves as co-chair of the Advisory Board of the DePaul University College of Law Center for Jewish Law & Judaic Studies (JLJS), which puts on programs of interest to the Jewish community. Mr. Levitt also publishes articles as a blogger for the Israeli e-newspaper, Times of Israel.
Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)
is one of the foremost authorities on Palestinian media and policy. Since 1996,
PMW has studied Palestinian society by monitoring and analyzing its media and schoolbooks.
PMW’s focus is on the messages Palestinian leaders send to the population through the
institutions and infrastructures they control.
His 2011 book “Deception” which chronicles incitement against Israel in Palestinian media was utilized by the Israeli delegation in their negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, and Marcus was appointed by the Israeli government to represent Israel in peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) on incitement. He has presented analyses of Palestinian media in academic, cultural, and government frameworks, including hearings, lectures, and briefings to members of the U.S. Congress and Senate; the Canadian, British, French, German, Norwegian, Swiss, Italian, and Australian Parliaments; and the European Parliament.
Marcus’ reports on how foreign aid is misused by the PA for the promotion of hate and terror have led to changes in U.S. legislation and U.S. funding procedures. He has lectured at conferences and universities and to senior security officials worldwide and provided analyses on CNN, Fox News, the BBC, among many other international outlets. http://palwatch.org/
Mr. Marcus has an extensive background in Civil Rights Law.
He most recently served as President and General Counsel of the Louis D.
Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. He was previously Staff Director of
the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and, as many of you may remember, was
delegated the authority of Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights
under President George W. Bush. He also previously served as the Lillie and
Nathan Ackerman Chair in Equality and Justice in America at the City University
of New York’s Baruch College School of Public Affairs.
Mr. Marcus is a graduate from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and Williams College. On June 25, 2018, Kenneth L. Marcus joined the Department of Education as Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.
Jessica J. Marzucco serves as the National Director for CUFI on Campus. She studied theology at Regent University where she founded a CUFI on Campus chapter in 2010. She accepted a position with Christians United for Israel in 2013, and currently resides in Nashville, TN with her husband.
Sanaz Meshkinfam has spent a decade passionately advocating for very important issues and causes, such as immigration policy and immigrant affairs, human rights, nuclear non-proliferation, and combating anti-Semitism, hate crimes and BDS. Her passion for Israel advocacy began after her Birthright Israel trip followed by an intensive Israel advocacy training done in conjunction with Birthright Israel Next and the David Project. She served as the Vice President of 30 Years After, a Jewish Iranian-American civic action organization. For the past decade, she has been involved with the ADL and is an alumna of its young leadership institute. She has been on high profile advocacy missions with HIAS and is an alumna of the Jeremiah Fellowship of the PJA and of the New Leaders Project of the Jewish Federation. Prior to attending law school, she served as the Assistant Regional Director of AJC Los Angeles where she focused on advocacy efforts and on building intergroup, interreligious, and diplomatic relations. She has co-led and/or participated on several high profile international diplomatic missions. She received her undergraduate degree at UCLA in multiple disciplines. She is currently a 2019 Juris Doctor Candidate at Southwestern Law School with a concentration in Civil Litigation and Advocacy.
Adam Milstein is an active philanthropist and community leader. He is a co-founder and the National Chairman of the Israeli-American Council, an organization that strengthens the Israeli and Jewish identity of our next generation, the American Jewish Community, and the bond between the peoples of the United States and the State of Israel. Adam also sits on the board of StandWithUs, Hasbara Fellowships, Israel on Campus Coalition, Israeli-American Coalition for Action, PragerU, Turning Point USA and the Middle East Forum. Adam and his wife, Gila, are co-founders of the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, where they provide charitable and philanthropic services to a wide range of organizations to strengthen the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the U.S. – Israel alliance. Adam was born in Israel, joined the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and served during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, graduated from the Technion, Israeli Institute of Technology, in 1978, and received his MBA from USC in 1983. In 1981, Adam and Gila moved to the United States with their two young daughters (their third daughter was born after their move). They now reside in Encino where they enjoy company of 3 grandkids.
Rena Nasar is currently the Tri-State Campus Director for StandWithUs. Her Syrian background has consistently fueled her passion for Israel and has allowed her to engage others in a unique way. In high school, Rena participated in the Write On for Israel Program and was later awarded by the program organizer for her accomplishments on campus. Rena attended Baruch College where she graduated with honors and a dual degree in Journalism and Middle East studies. She also wrote a thesis titled, "Confidence Building Measures: A New Look at an Old Frontier for Peace in the Middle East", and held internships with JCRC-NY, the Israeli Consulate, and Foreign Policy Association. Rena served as founder and president of Baruch`s Israel club, YOFI - Youth Organization for Israel. With her experience on campus, she hopes to inspire students in her region and help them achieve all of their advocacy goals.
Maria Ntourlia is the Northeast High School Coordinator for StandWithUs. Maria was born and raised in Athens, Greece where she got her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Public Administration. She learned about the Arab-Israel conflict by participating in the Model United Nations and was assigned to represent both sides of the issue. Eager to learn more about Israel, she eventually moved to the country, where she studied for her Master’s Degree at IDC Herzliya, focusing on Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution. She has worked as a Legal Adviser to the Greek Permanent Mission to the United Nations and, among others, as a Researcher at the Abba Eban Chair of International Diplomacy, in Israel, under the former Israel Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor. After coming back from Israel, Maria focused on representing Israel and countering misconceptions back in Greece and around Europe.
Nancy Pardo is the West Coast Young Leadership Director of Save a Child’s Heart. Nancy works with students from Elementary school age through college and beyond on developing meaningful educational and fundraising programs which benefit Save a Child’s Heart in Israel. After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Nancy built a career in the advertising industry in New York and Los Angeles building global brands such as Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic Airways and The Ritz Carlton. Born with a heart murmur, Nancy always had a desire to do something related to cardiac care because she always felt very fortunate to be in a country with modern medicine so that her condition didn’t impact her life. Helping children from developing countries receive life-saving cardiac surgery is beyond fulfilling and an incredibly rewarding experience.
Sebastián was born in Colombia, but he and his family were forced to flee to The United States to obtain political asylum in 2006. Sebastián was raised as a devout Christian and loving Israel, but in college, he was taught to hate Israel and became very radical. Over time, Sebastián developed a lot of bitterness towards the Jewish State and hatred towards the IDF. Fortunately, in the summer of 2015, he participated in a StandWithUs program for student leaders in Israel and has been a passionate advocate for Israel since then. Although anti-Israel groups targeted him at Georgia State University, Sebastián finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and currently works as the Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for StandWithUs.
Judea Pearl is a Chancellor Professor of computer science and the director of the UCLA Cognitive Systems Laboratory. He is known internationally for his contributions to artificial intelligence, human reasoning, and philosophy of science. Pearl is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous scientific awards, including the 2012 Alan Turing Award. Dr. Pearl is the father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation www.danielpearl.org. With his wife, Ruth, he co-edited the book "I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl", winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award Pearl writes a regular column in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, focusing on Zionophobia, the Middle East conflict, and Israel's image on campus.
Lauren grew up in a literal cornfield located in a small town in Upstate New York. Graduating from St. John Fisher college with too many majors and minors, she went on to earn her master`s degree in Slavic Studies at The Ohio State University. A summer in Eastern Europe sparked her interest in Jewish life and Israel. When she returned home, she quickly became involved in the graduate student Hillel program. Lauren applies her experiences in college to her work at StandWithUs as she helps design and executes social media strategy, researching numerous questions from community and students, and adding great puns to the various materials we provide. Her interests lay mostly in the intersections of feminist theory, progressive outreach, and Mizrahi history. She has bylines in the Forward and The Times it Israel. Most importantly though, is her great love of tacos and love of long walks with her pup Pici.
With fifteen years at the helm of one of the world’s largest music
publishing companies, Universal Music Publishing Group, and now as Chairman & CEO of one of
the world’s leading independent music publishing companies, Spirit Music Group, David Renzer
possesses the best of major and indie music publishing experience.
As Chairman of Spirit Music Group, Renzer oversees the company’s global music publishing activities, aggressive expansion plans, and its 75,000 song catalog spanning seven decades across every musical genre.
Prior to joining Spirit Music Group, Renzer was Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, responsible for overseeing the activities of the company’s 57 offices in 47 countries.
Major signings/renewals and deals under Renzer include: the catalogues of Elton John/Bernie Taupin, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, U2, Justin Timberlake, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Bon Jovi, Beastie Boys, Jimi Hendrix, and more.
Roz Rothstein is the co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, a 15-year-old Israel education organization, which now has 18 offices and programs on five continents, including Australia, South Africa and China. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Rothstein and her husband Jerry, along with community leader Esther Renzer, sought to strengthen Israel’s image by empowering Israel’s supporters worldwide with innovative educational materials, conferences, fellowships, campaigns, missions to Israel, social media, educational videos, and programs. All the programs of StandWithUs have grown exponentially. Since the inception of StandWithUs, the Forward has twice named Rothstein one of the 50 most influential Jews in America, and the Jerusalem Post has twice named her one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.
Mina Rush is the Director of Community Engagement for StandWithUs. Her career path and personal passions have always been Jewish continuity and Israel. After more than a decade in the field of Jewish education, she became the Director of Outreach for Jewish World Watch, a social justice nonprofit organization. In that capacity, she built community and a movement across political and religious lines using experiential education as a tool for engagement. After 7 years of growing that organization by 80%, she turned her focus to Israel education and joined the staff of StandWithUs. Motivated to change the trend of alienation between youth and Israel, she began the development of the LINK curriculum in 2015. LINK’s direction was informed by the belief that a strong foundation and connection to Israel must be formed and strengthened during the critical developmental stage of early teens. Working with a team of exemplary educators, Mina developed a cutting edge, experiential middle school curriculum. LINK was designed to present an Israel that is not usually encountered in traditional Jewish education. An Israel that deals with topics that are relevant to today’s youth and speaks to their core values. After completing a successful year-long pilot program, LINK is currently being implemented in over 120 schools nationwide with outstanding results.
Joseph Sabag is the Director of Policy and Government Relations at IAC for Action. As an attorney and policy specialist, Joe has been a sought-after consultant for numerous lawmakers at the state and federal levels over the past decade. In just the last 6 years, he has led drafting and successful advocacy of legislation and key policy resolutions supporting Israel and combating anti-Semitism in over two-thirds of the states in America. In Spring 2018, Joe led the way toward South Carolina’s adoption of a first-ever state codification of a uniform definition of anti-Semitism. The prior passage of a similar bill in Bal Harbour, FL was also an initiative he helped lead. In 2015, Joe led the passage of the country’s first anti-BDS law regulating against commercial boycotts of Israel in South Carolina. Since then, similar laws have passed in an additional 25 states. He has been extensively published in national media outlets and the international press. He is an honors graduate of the University of Miami and an all-around nice guy.
Max Samarov is the Executive Director of Research and Campus Strategy at StandWithUs. Max grew up in Boston and is a first-generation American. His parents left the Soviet Union to escape the racism and discrimination Jews faced there, and other members of his family ended up in Israel - a place he has traveled to and lived in for extended periods throughout his life. Max graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, class of 2011, with a degree in Political Science and International Relations. He interned at the Office of Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), before joining StandWithUs in 2012. The focus of his research is Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the discourse about these issues on campus. He has also spent the last six years helping to educate, organize, and empower students and others across North America in the struggle against anti-Israel boycotts and other forms of bigotry. Max has been quoted by many media outlets including the Associated Press, Inside Higher Ed, Haaretz, and Israel`s Channel 10, and his articles have been published in the Huffington Post, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, The Tower, and the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. He also contributed a chapter to The Anti-Israel Agenda: the Political War on the Jewish State, a book published in August 2017.
Erin Schrode is an activist, social entrepreneur, and writer. This leading voice on sustainability, social justice and millennials recently ran an unprecedented campaign for US Congress in California. Since co-founding Turning Green in 2005, she’s developed eco-education and action platforms for millions of students and beyond. Erin speaks and consults internationally, contributes to ABC, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Refinery29, and is featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, CNN, NBC, FOX, Seventeen, Forbes, more. Erin is currently leading #ChefsForPuertoRico, the island’s largest feeding program, serving 3.7+ million meals since Hurricane Maria and investing in local, sustainable agriculture and food systems islandwide. This bold innovator and community organizer champions civic leadership, conscious living, and environmental stewardship on a lifelong journey to inspire and mobilize people to discover and activate their passion for social impact and policy change.
Peggy Shapiro, Midwest Executive Director of StandWithUs, is also co-chair of Protect Our Heritage, the Midwest’s oldest and largest pro-Israel political action committee. She has been instrumental in educating legislators around the country about the dangers the BDS movement poses to both Israel and the U.S. Peggy retired from the City Colleges of Chicago, where she was chairperson of the Foreign Language/ESL Department at Harold Washington College and professor for 31 years. She was the awarded the City of Chicago’s Kathy Osterman prize for excellence in teaching and honored as a “Distinguished Professor” of the City Colleges. Child of teenage Holocaust survivors, Peggy Shapiro was born in a displaced persons’ camp in Lansberg, Germany. She immigrated to the United States as a young child and was raised in Chicago and its suburbs. She was one of the founding members and past president of The Association of Children of Holocaust Survivors in Chicago as well a founder of the International Second Generation Association, which was formed in 1982. In cooperation with Yad Vashem, Peggy collected and documented over 4,000 pages of testimony for Chicago-area residents who had lost families in the Holocaust. She was appointed as special advisor to the President of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council by Elie Wiesel and served as the annual chairperson for the Elie Wiesel lecture series in Chicago for 26 years.
Zach Shartiag is the New England Campus Director at StandWithUs. Zach grew up in Highland Park, IL and attended the University of Minnesota. After coming back from the NATIV gap year program in Israel, he immediately got involved with Israel affairs on campus. As a member of the Minnesota Students Association, Zach wrote and helped passed a pro-Israel bill during Israel Apartheid Week. Zach finished his student government career on the System-Wide Student Senate Consultative Committee. Outside of student government and Israel, Zach was an executive board member of Alpha Epsilon Pi and a board member of Hillel. In 2015 he was awarded the Arnold B Hoffman University Service Award by AEPi International for his significant contributions towards the advancement of his alma mater.
For forty years, Professor Ken Stein has taught Middle Eastern History, Political Science and Israel Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. He is the author of six books and other scholarly publications. His expertise focuses on modern Israel, American foreign policy to the region, and Arab-Israeli conflict negotiations. He is the founding Director of the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel. In 2008, he established the Center for Israel Education (CIE) and currently serves as the President.
Sarah Tagger is the Campus Strategist & Campaign Manager at StandWithUs. Sarah graduated from the Honors program at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016, with bachelor`s degrees in both Cultural Anthropology and Global Studies. During her student years, Sarah was very involved in student government; serving as Chair of Operations in elections, and later as co-founder of a new student government party on campus. Passionate about Jewish life, Sarah held the position of President at both Santa Barbara Hillel, and UCSB`s Israel activism club. In addition, Sarah worked at a Jewish overnight summer camp for four years throughout the university, ultimately as the Director of Staff-in-Training program. At StandWithUs, Sarah helps research, build and implement pro-active and responsive strategies and campaigns regarding Israel on campus. Sarah uses her past experiences as a student activist and current professional experience to educate on coalition and relationship building, campaign strategy, the challenges of the anti-Israel movement, and telling Israel`s story. She regularly speaks at campus and community events around North America.
Eitan Teiger, 26, was born and raised in Herzliya, a suburb of Tel Aviv. As a teenager, his family moved to a town in the Galilee, a region in the north of Israel. At age 19, Eitan began his mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces, serving in the Artillery Corps. In this unit, he became a Squad Commander, Platoon Sergeant, and Deputy Platoon Commander, and he received awards for leadership and team-building. Eitan received his bachelor’s degree in Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya. On campus, he interned for an organization that builds bridges between secular and religious students, and he volunteered for an organization to prevent substance abuse and violence among youth. Eitan also interned for a member from the centrist Yesh Atid (“There is a Future”) party in the Knesset. In his free time, Eitan enjoys hiking, dancing, and spending time with friends.
Professor Gil Troy, an award-winning American political historian, and Zionist activist is the author of The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland – Then, Now, Tomorrow. A weekly columnist for the Jerusalem Post and a regular contributor to the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, Troy also wrote the definitive account on the history of anti-Zionism Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight against Zionism as Racism and has written 10 other books about American presidential history, with books on Ronald Reagan, the Clintons, presidential campaigning, First Ladies and “why moderates make the best presidents.” A frequent commentator in the press, on TV, and on the radio, he has appeared repeatedly as a featured commentator on CNN’s popular, award-winning multi-part “decades” documentaries on the 1980s, 1990s, and, coming this summer, the 2000s. His newest book has been received enthusiastically as a “must read.” The Algemeiner listed Troy as one of its J100 for 2018, one of “the 100 people in the world positively influencing Jewish life – one of many salutes to his work defending Zionism, explaining American history, and seeking to restore civility and championing moderation throughout the United States – and the Jewish world as well.
Dr. Einat Wilf is a leading intellectual and original thinker on matters of foreign policy, economics, education, and Israel and the Jewish people. She is considered one of Israel’s most articulate representatives on the international stage. Her opinion articles are regularly published in international publications and she is frequently interviewed for television and radio programs around the world. She was a member of the Israeli Parliament from 2010-2013 on behalf of the Labor and Independence parties.
One of two Jewish Republicans in Congress, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY-01) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014. A leader on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and now the ranking member on its new Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, he serves also as co-chairman of the House Republican Israel Caucus. He was an original House sponsor of the Taylor Force Act, named for the murdered American serviceman, which has halted US aid payments to the Palestinian Authority until the PA eliminates “pay to slay” stipends to terrorists and their families. Prior to serving in Congress, Mr. Zeldin served on Active Duty with the US Army and, while assigned to the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division, was deployed to Iraq with an infantry battalion of fellow paratroopers in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He continues to serve in the Army Reserves with the rank of Major. Congressman Zeldin resides in his hometown of Shirley, NY with his wife, Diana, and their twin daughters, Mikayla and Arianna.
Rhode Island State Rep. Mia A. Ackerman has served as a
member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives since first being elected
in November 2012. She is a House Deputy Majority Leader and serves as the
First Vice-Chairwoman of the House Committee on Municipal Government and the
Second Vice-Chairwoman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.
In 2016, she introduced a law that prohibits the state of Rhode Island from investing in or contracting with companies that engage in boycotts of allies and trade partners of the United States, including the state of Israel. In 2014, she authored a law that enables Rhode Island to divest from all companies conducting business with Iran.
A Democrat, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Representative Ackerman and her husband Barry are the parents of two children, Samuel, a senior at Columbia University, and Elicia, a freshman at the University of Tampa.
As a top national college activist, Chelsea went to Israel for the first time with the Israel on Campus Coalition in 2014, followed by the inaugural Philos Leadership Institute in 2015. After graduating from Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the world, as the Senior Class President and working for a year in Washington, D.C., Chelsea was recruited to Chicago to head the post-trip realm of a Passages trip to Israel. With a growing team, she now focuses on campus engagement as the Director of Campus Relations, which includes: reunion events, national pro-Israel conferences, campus clubs and more.
An experienced public affairs professional and campus organizer, Jacob Baime is an expert on pro-Israel campus affairs. As former National Field Director with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he supervised a team of professional campus organizers, oversaw strategic campus initiatives, and managed AIPAC’s national training platforms for college and high school students. Baime most recently served as Area Director in AIPAC’s New England Region, where he was responsible for political, development and grassroots efforts in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Baime previously served as a political aide and as Campus Coalition Director to the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.
For the past three years Dustin Biton was with the Israeli-American
Council (IAC) in Los Angeles. He served as the Community Engagement and Public Relations
Currently, he is located in the National HQ at IAC and serves as the Mishelanu Sr. Program Manager and is responsible for the IAC Mishelanu South West region.
Prior to this, Dustin worked for the Jewish Agency for Israel as an emissary in the state of Tennessee. He served as Commander Recruits in the IDF logistic unit, after which he worked for the Israeli scouts movement as Director of Guidance and as a project manager in the city of Bat Yam. He graduated from the Open University Of Israel with a BA in Politics and Public Policy and with a certificate in Social Leadership from Beit Berl College.
Jon Bridge (VCU ’13) is the Chief Programming Officer of Alpha Epsilon Pi. In this role, Jon manages AEPi’s professional team in the fraternity’s Jewish & Leadership Program Departments, including AEPi's Israel Department, and oversees the implementation of AEPi’s core program initiatives and leadership conferences. Jon hails from Baltimore, Maryland and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he combined a Health and Physical Education major with Business Management and Non-profit Management minors, to create his own major: Non-profit Youth Programming. In his free time he currently volunteers as a BBYO adviser in Indianapolis.
Lindsey Clark has worked for the Human Rights Campaign since
2013 and now serves as a Senior Regional Field Organizer based in HRC's
Northeast/Midwest region. As an SRFO, Lindsey engages volunteer leaders, allies,
and partner organizations around political strategies to protect freedoms for LGBT
people at the federal, state, and local levels. Based in Ohio, Lindsey has served
all over the country with campaigns stretching from California to Maine and most
states in between.
Lindsey will address intersectionality as it relates to Zionism as a movement.
Micha “Mitch” Danzig is a partner of the Mintz Levin firm in the firm’s San Diego office and is a member of the firm’s litigation, employment, and Israel business practice departments. Micha served in the IDF and was also a police officer in the NYPD. Micha is the President of the advisory board for StandWithUs in San Diego, he chairs StandWithUs’s national legal committee, and he is active with T.E.A.M., FIDF, and AIPAC. Micha is a regular guest on The Tipping Point on the One America News Network on matters related to Israel, the Middle East and Anti-Semitism. Micha also frequently writes for the Times of Israel blog as well as other publications, including The Forward and Frontpage Magazine. He has written a number of articles regarding anti-Zionism and how it is a proxy for Anti-Semitism and his article “Anti-Semitism in America is Nothing New. Don’t Deny Jewish History and Culture by Calling Us ‘White’” was the number one read and downloaded article for the Forward’s Scribe publication in 2016. Micha also recently led a team of pro-bono lawyers from his office at Mintz Levin in defense of a civil harassment complaint and motion for a restraining order filed against Jewish community activists who were peacefully protesting outside an Oakland bakery that had decided to laud convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh with large mural in her honor. Due to the efforts of Micha and his team, the entire civil harassment complaint was dismissed and no restraining order was ever issued.
Israeli activist attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner has been leading the legal fight
against terror financing, the anti-Israel boycott campaigns (BDS) and combating the
multitude of lawfare tactics utilized against the Jewish State by its enemies.
As the president of the Israel based civil rights organization, Shurat HaDin–Israel
Law Center, she has represented hundreds of terror victims in legal actions against
terror organizations and their supporters. Ms. Darshan-Leitner has successfully
recovered more than two hundred million dollars in compensation on their behalf.
In recent years, Ms. Darshan-Leitner initiated a legal campaign to deprive terrorists
of social media resources such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which they use to
incite violence against Jews and promote terror attacks.
In her efforts to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli activities, Ms.
Darshan-Leitner assisted in blocking the Gaza Flotilla, terminated efforts to indict IDF
soldiers for war crimes, and filed legal actions against those who boycott Israeli
academics and companies in violation of the law.
Staffed by some of Israel's leading activist attorneys, Shurat HaDin–Israel Law Center follows the model of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the famed American civil rights organization dedicated to bankrupting the KKK and other neo-Nazi groups in the United States with the goal to economically destroy the hate groups in the Middle East. Thus, the organization's motto: "Bankrupting Terrorism – One Lawsuit at a Time!" She and her associates specialize in tracking the assets and bank accounts of terror groups and legally obstructing and restraining their funds. They have become known by banks, legal organizations and outlaw regimes around the world as the leading authority and resource on stopping the movement of global terror financing. Today they represent hundreds of terror victims in lawsuits against Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PLO, The Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, Egypt, North Korea, UBS, and the Lebanese Canadian Bank. The cases, being litigated in Israeli, American, Canadian and European courts, allow the victims of terrorism to fight back.
In 2016, Ms. Darshan-Leitner was chosen as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, and named by the Israeli Forbes magazine as one of the 50 most influential Israeli women. A mother of six, including triplets, Ms. Darshan-Leitner is a graduate of the Bar-Ilan University Law Faculty and holds an MBA from Manchester University.
Pnina is the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow to Hillel Milwaukee, in charge of
the entire Israel field including Israel's engagement, education and experiences. She joined
Hillel Milwaukee's staff as part of the Israel Fellows program, a collaboration between Hillel
International and the Jewish Agency for Israel that places outstanding young Israeli
professionals on key North American campuses to serve as peer ambassadors to the campus
Pnina was born and raised in Ness-Ziona, a small town in the center of Israel, and spent the past few years in Jerusalem.
Pnina served in the IDF as an Infantry instructure as well as program developer, and is still serving in the IDF reserves.
After completing her IDF service she arrived to New Orleans, where she did her first Shlichut (emissary position), in the summer of 2011. As she returned to Israel she co-managed a youth movement and dedicated her time working and empowering young people in leadership and advocacy.
Pnina has a B.A. in International Relations, Sociology and Anthropology from the Hebrew university in Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem she found herself connecting to the community, taking part in social movements and student advocacy initiatives, as well as working with tourists in the city. After taking a short break from school, she is now earning her M.A. in Jewish Studies with an educational focus, through the Jewish Agency for Israel.
While having experience in a variety of fields from education to communication and tourism, Pnina feels that working with the Jewish community and especially the students, is the most amazing experience she had, as she is going through a personal journey to re-discover her Jewish and Israel’s identity.
Ethan Felson is Executive Director of the Israel Action Network, a strategic initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America to build a broad base of support for Israel and to counter anti-Israel activity. He has worked to counter BDS in mainline protestant churches since 2004 – and has attended every Presbyterian and Methodist convention for well over a decade. Last year, the teams he works with defeated every BDS resolution at the Methodist convention and helped secure adoption of language at the Presbyterian convention recognizing the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in Israel – a first. He founded Interfaith Partners for Peace which brings rabbis and ministers together for study and travel to Israel. Prior to joining IAN in 2016, Ethan served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs which he joined in 2001. At JCPA he formed several national dialogues with Christian leaders and guided a groundbreaking national initiative to restore civility in Jewish life. He is the author of chapters in several books including Uneasy Allies: Evangelical Jewish Relations and the American Jewish Yearbook (2006-2015), as well as articles in Sh’ma, JTA, and other journals and periodicals. He and his husband Daniel reside in New York City with their twins Hannah and Seth.
Nelson France is the Director of Campus and High School Affairs at Jewish National Fund (JNF). He manages the JNF on Campus trips to Israel, speaker tours, partnerships, national conference and fellowship program. Nelson has worked in pro-Israel campus affairs for over six years. He most recently served as Director of National Initiatives at Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC). Nelson France is a leader in the global Jewish community, having chaired the AJC Access and JDC Entwine chapters in Washington, D.C. A native of New York City, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Public Administration degree from West Virginia University. Nelson lives in D.C. with his wife Lauren and dog Jerry.
Carly F. Gammill serves as Senior Litigation Counsel with the ACLJ, focusing on First Amendment and related issues in courts throughout the country. She has been involved in numerous trial and appellate level cases, both state and federal, including presenting oral argument before the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. A graduate of Regent University School of Law, Carly joined the ACLJ as a law clerk in 2005 and as a full-time litigator in 2007. She has represented clients in a variety of contexts, including individual private citizens and nonprofit organizations in free speech and discrimination cases, as well as public school boards and other local government bodies in Establishment Clause litigation. She has been actively involved in pro-life matters, litigating cases against Planned Parenthood and defending the right of medical professionals to refuse to violate their consciences by participating in abortion and other life-ending procedures. Her experience also includes litigation under the federal False Claims Act. A former educator, Carly has a special interest in constitutional and other legal matters affecting the nation’s school campuses.
Fay is the Managing Director for Hasbara Fellowships, a leading pro-Israel advocacy campus organization. From 2014-2016, Fay was the East Coast Regional Advisor for Hasbara. Prior to that, while on campus, Fay served as the president of her campus Israel club, as the social media manager for a student government political party, and as the Honor's College representative to the university's Board of Trustees. Fay graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Florida International University with an honors degree in International Relations, and minors in Political Science and Digital Media. She has since worked with 95+ campuses, led 25+ advocacy delegations to Israel, and has spoken in multiple forums on Israel, including high-schools, universities, conferences, and most recently, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Rabbi Evan Goodman is the Executive Director of
Santa Barbara Hillel. He loves working with college students and Santa
Barbara Hillel supporters to create a dynamic “Jewish home away from
home” where we explore Judaism, engage our Jewish values in the
community around us, and enrich the lives of our students. He is
proactive in standing up for SB Hillel’s students, building bridges,
and fostering a positive campus climate.
Before arriving at Santa Barbara Hillel in July 2009, Rabbi Evan served for 16 years as a congregational rabbi in San Francisco and San Mateo, California, and in New Rochelle, New York.
Rabbi Goodman’s honors include Hillel International’s 2015 Richard M. Joel “Exemplar of Excellence Award” and AIPAC’s 2014 “Ally of the Year” award for his “Accomplishments on Behalf of the U.S.-Israel Relationship on Campus.”
Rabbi Goodman currently serves as Treasurer of the Executive Board of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, a member of the Regional Advisory Board of Santa Barbara ADL, and a member of the Taubman Symposia Program Committee.
A graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio, Rabbi Evan was ordained in 1993. He received a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters from HUC-JIR in 1991, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988.
Or Greenwald is a Senior Israel Fellow to Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach. Or became a Jewish leader through his involvement with AEPi and the collaborations he hosted with his local Hillel club and student government at the interdisciplinary center, Herzliya. He served for three years in a special unit in the Israeli navy and was released from service with a certificate of excellence. For the past two years Or has focused in building of Jewish leadership through Israel education and engagement at his Hillel and studying for his Masters of Jewish studies and education.
Hali Haber is the Director of Campus Programming and Strategic Relationships
for CAMERA. A South Florida native, Hali received her B.A. in Cinema Studies and a minor in Mass
Communications at the University of Central Florida. During her years in college, she became
increasingly involved in Israel advocacy and later became President of CAMERA-supported group
Knights for Israel, UCF's only pro-Israel organization. Hali spent the summers of 2014 and 2015
in Israel teaching video editing to American students and expanding their knowledge of the
country and the conflict.
Hali manages the CAMERA on Campus team in the US, and works to advise and educate students. She loves presenting on hands-on techniques to help students have successful Israel groups on campus.
Executive Director & Founder of JLens. Julie is inspired
by the use of investment capital and business as a force for good in the world.
She oversees JLens educational, advocacy, and advisory services.
Julie began her career nineteen years ago in investment banking on Wall Street,
and later served as an investment advisor at JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch.
She was on the founding team of a for-profit social enterprise focused on
women's health. Most recently Julie was the Impact Investment Strategist at
a multi-family office where she implemented customized impact portfolios.
Julie received her MBA from Harvard Business School, her BA in Economics from Tufts University, and she holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. Julie is a Wexner Foundation Jewish Heritage alum, an UpStart incubator graduate, a Cordes fellow, and has served on the boards of the Federation, ADL, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.
MK Haskel is the youngest member Member of the Knesset for the Likud party. She speaks fluent French, English and Hebrew. MK Haskel was born in Toronto, Canada to a Moroccan mother and Israeli father and her family immigrated to Israel a year after her birth. At the age of 18, Haskel served in the Israel Defense Forces where she was a combat soldier during the second intifada. She is active on environmental and animal rights issues, with a particular focus on water pollution coming out of areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority. MK Haskel supports decriminalization of cannabis, and is an advocate for medical cannabis usage.
Joe Hyams is London born and educated, with a background in Media & Marketing Communications. He is a former Strategic Planner for Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising in Tel Aviv serving international clients including Ford, Ikea and Proctor & Gamble. Connecting his media know-how to a desire to improve Israel’s image abroad, Joe made Aliyah, joining HonestReporting in 2005. He trains Israel supporters the world over in the identification of media bias and effective responses in the digital age and directs the organization’s growth and operations from Jerusalem. He is a regular guest speaker for Israel Mission delegations, student groups and community leadership seminars. He has lectured to Jewish Federations, AIPAC National Policy Conference, Jewish National Fund (JNF), the Annual Herzliya Conference, as well as school and community events across the USA, South America, Australia, Hong Kong as well as from home base – the Jerusalem Headquarters of HonestReporting. Joe holds a Masters degree and an MBA in non-profit management from the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program & The Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
As State Representative for the 61st District,
Phil King represents the people of Parker and Wise counties in the Texas
Legislature. He has earned a reputation as a principle-driven conservative
who consistently provides key leadership in passing some of Texas’ most
sweeping public policy legislation.
King serves on the National Board of Directors for the American Legislative Exchange Council and was the 2015 National Chair. He also chairs ALEC’s Center for Innovation and Technology and is the Public Sector Chair for the Task Force on Homeland Security. King also serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute. In the Texas House, King chairs the Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee and serves on the Energy Resources Committee.
Phil was a police officer for 15 years and continues to serve in the Texas State Guard. He is a practicing attorney and small business owner. Representative King and his family have been active members of Trinity Bible Church since 1984. Phil and his wife Terry are the proud parents of six children, eight granddaughters and five grandsons.
Avi Liberman's quirky style has made him a favorite
in comedy clubs from Los Angeles to New York. Born in Israel, raised in
Texas, having gone to college in New York, and now living in
Los Angeles, his style is a winning combination of life experiences
and topical issues told through a varied blend of characters and voices
with worldwide expertise.
Avi has performed stand-up comedy on CBS's "Late Late Show" with Craig Ferguson on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" and "Make Me Laugh" as well as NBC's "Friday Night!" His acting credits include "Dave's World" CBS, "Boston Common" NBC and "Andytown U.S.A." Comedy Central. Avi can be seen regularly on E! as one of their frequent guests on their very popular countdown series. He has also guest starred on "Movies At Our House," as well as having shot a pilot titled "Through the Keyhole" both on AMC. He has also been heard on radio stations across the country.
A successful commercial actor, Avi has appeared in spots for "Mercedes," "L.A. Cellular," "Miller Lite" and most recently "Starbucks" and "Net Zero." He has appeared at the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival.Since 2001, Avi has successfully arranged widely acclaimed stand-up comedy tours in Israel to help boost morale while donating all of the proceeds to a charity. The successful "Comedy For Koby" tour is now a bi-annual event, benefiting the Koby Mandell Foundation.
Rabbi Dov Lipman was elected to the 19th Knesset in January 2013 with
the Yesh Atid party, making him the first American born MK in nearly 30 years.
He rose to national and international prominence for his role in combating religious
extremism in Bet Shemesh. The author of seven books about Judaism and Israel,
Rabbi Lipman holds rabbinic ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College and a
Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University. He moved to Israel from Silver
Spring, MD in July 2004 with his wife, Dena, and four children.
Since 2015, former MK Lipman has focused on Israel Advocacy both in Israel and abroad, has been a political commentator for i24 News and ILTV, and a columnist for the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel. He has recently joined the executive team of Innovation Africa, an organization that uses Israeli technology to bring water and electricity to African villages, where he directs government and media relations, as well as outreach to Christian communities.
Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Director of Israel Engagement, Julian Ross Markowitz,
is an expert in Israel affairs, counter-BDS tactics, field management, and campus marketing.
Julian’s diverse professional experience has contributed to his unique and varied skill set.
In 2013, Julian moved from his native Canada to Los Angeles to serve in StandWithUs’ International Headquarters. At StandWithUs, Julian distinguished himself, attaining three increasingly senior roles in his three years of service. In his ultimate role, as strategist, Julian created and executed avant-garde experiential marketing campaigns across the continent. Julian also personally directed StandWithUs’ first successful foray into Central America, conducting a weeklong speaking tour in Panama.
In 2016, Julian was recruited to join the Israel Action Network (the Israel affairs arm of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs), as Senior Associate for Community Strategy.
During the recent presidential election, Julian worked as the Victory Events Coordinator in the swing state of Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining the AEPi team, Julian managed his marketing and public relations consultancy, Julian Ross Strategies, with notable clients such as Prager University.
In the volunteer and philanthropic realm, Julian previously served as a director on the board directors of the NSS Foundation, a Toronto-based educational non-profit, and as a member of the Winston Churchill Society for Parliamentary Democracy. In 2011, Julian was the sole recipient of the annual University of Toronto M.P. Churchill Award. Julian is the author of the acclaimed essay “Partners for Peace”, which was published in the Journal of International Affairs, the Canadian foreign interest periodical released once annually by the University of British Columbia International Relations Society.
Luke Moon is the Deputy Director of the Philos Project. Prior to that, Luke served as business manager for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, and, before that, as a missionary with Youth with a Mission for 12 years. Luke has lived, worked, and taught in over 45 countries, and has advocated on a number of human rights issues along the way. He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations and an MA in Global Politics from Regent University. Luke is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister.
Judea Pearl is a Chancellor Professor of computer science and the director
of the UCLA Cognitive Systems Laboratory. He is known internationally for his contributions
to artificial intelligence, human reasoning and philosophy of science. Pearl is a member of
the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous scientific awards, including the
2012 Alan Turing Award.
Dr. Pearl is the father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation www.danielpearl.org. With his wife, Ruth, he co-edited the book "I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl", winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award.
Pearl writes a regular column in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, focusing on Zionophobia, the Middle East conflict, and Israel's image on campus.
Hadas was born and raised in Israel and just moved to the US. She
finished her bachelor's degree in Cinematography & Film Production in the Sapir college in
Sderot, Israel. During her studies Hadas worked as a student coordinator for Sapir collage
at the Café Gute project- a project that combines work with at risk youth and students.
This project eventually helped the young adults make a change in their careers and their emotional state.
Today, Hadas is the Israel Fellow at Santa Cruz Hillel. Hadas brings her passion for Israel and Zionism wherever she goes and tends to show everyone how amazing it is to be jewish and connected with Israel.
Inbal is currently the Israel Fellow at Penn Hillel where she serves as a
resource and representative of Israel for all students at Penn, offering a personal dimension
to the Israel conversation. In addition to building relationships with individual students
over coffee and advising the student Israel groups, she also initiates new initiatives for
the broader campus community that allow all people to explore and learn more about Israeli
life and culture for themselves.
Inbal was raised in Tel Aviv. She received her BA in Political Science, Strategy and Diplomacy from IDC Herzliya. As a part of her undergraduate degree, she spent a semester in Bordeaux, France, where she studied French and Political Science at Science Po University and fell in love with cheese, wine and French culture.
Inbal served as an N.C.O in the Foreign Affairs Unit in the IDF's Israeli National Defense College and also participated, as an IDF soldier, in a Taglit trip.
Inbal has had a diverse cultural Jewish upbringing, with an American father and Israeli mother. Inbal has visited the United States numerous times growing up and has participated in the BIMA and GENESIS summer programs at Brandeis University.
She worked as the Israeli Culture Guide at Surprise Lake Camp, in upstate New York, and later served as a counselor in the RRIS International School at IDC Herzliya, as well as the translator of IDC Herzliya Student Union.
Michelle Rojas-Tal is the central Shlicha to Hillel International and
Director of the Israel Fellows Program. Michelle grew up in a very different environment
than many in the Jewish world. She is the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Hispanic father.
Michelle had very little connection to the Jewish world. After the tragic events of
September 11, 2001, she felt a greater need to understand Israel and her own personal
connection. During the next few years, she would begin devoting her life to Israel and
the Jewish people. Michelle is a Jerry Seinfeld Family Scholar.
Michelle traveled to Israel for the first time in January of 2004, with Taglit-Birthright Israel and began her work at StandWithUs in the spring of 2005 in Israel, while studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and taking part in a student leadership course at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That summer, she returned to New York to serve for 2 years as the StandWithUs Community Outreach Liaison. Michelle made Aliyah in July of 2007, joining the StandWithUs International team as Diaspora Education Director.
In her position, Michelle established the department for Diaspora Education. Michelle has traveled to Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, Turkey, Greece, North America and Australia in her position being featured as a keynote speaker in numerous conferences and forums. In May of 2013, Michelle was featured as part of the Jerusalem Post's List of Influential Jews, being included as part of the 6 "Women to Watch" in the Jewish world. She is also a proud member of the Schusterman Foundation’s ROI community for global Jewish leaders. Michelle along with her husband and two daughters relocated this past summer to Washington D.C. from Jerusalem.
Asaf Romirowsky PhD, is the Executive Director
of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME). Romirowsky is also
a fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Professor [Affiliate] at
the University of Haifa. Trained as a Middle East historian he
holds a PhD in Middle East and Mediterranean Studies from King's
College London, UK and has published widely on various aspects of
the Arab-Israeli conflict and American foreign policy in the Middle
East, as well as on Israeli and Zionist history.
Romirowsky is co-author of Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief.
Evon Sworesho is an analyst on Middle Eastern
affairs with specialization on Minority Rights and Displacement
Politics. He currently holds three degrees, Bachelor of Arts – double
major history and political science from McMaster University, Bachelor
of Education from Western University and Master of Arts from McMaster
He currently teaches in his hometown of Hamilton Ontario, Canada where he is the first in Canada to initiate and teach a credit course Assyrian Neo-Aramaic course as part of the school board curriculum.
Evon is an alumnus of the philos leadership institute having been selected to participate in Philos Project’s annual institute which sees young Christians engage with Middle Eastern related topics through an immersive month-long trip. The following year he led a bus of Assyrians to Israel through Passages Israel in order to enhance their understanding of their faith as well as the complexities of the region.
Raz was born and raised in Kibbutz Dvir, which is located right next to the
city of Be’er Sheva. As a child, she got the chance to experience the real kibbutz life.
When Raz was 9 years old, she moved to Paris with her family since her father got a job as an
Israeli emissary. They lived there for 3 years. During that time, Raz was exposed to the
Jewish culture and life outside of Israel, which brought her to eventually become a shlicha as
In 2005, Raz joined the IDF as a border observant along the boundaries of the Gaza strip and Israel. She finished her service in 2007 and has since spent the majority of her time involved in the informal education world.
In 2012, Raz started her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Communication at Sapir College (near Sderot). While she was in college, she volunteered at the local Hillel. Being involved with Hillel in College helped Raz decide that she wanted to become a Shlicha/Israel Fellow, where she has been since 2015 at Hillel in Montreal.
Gur Yalon, 29, is the Co-founder of ACT.IL - online community for Israel, where he oversees Training & External-relations. He served in the I.D.F as a combat-fighter and commander in the "Egoz" infantry unit. Prior to his army service, he volunteered for a "Shnat-shiryut" under the Israeli Scouts. Gur is an IDC Herzliya Cum Laude Graduate, holding a B.A from the honors track for Strategy-Planning and Decision-Making in Government. Gur was a competitive sailor & coach representing Israel and an overall die-hard sports fan.
Liel Zahavi-Asa, Director of Jewish Student Life and Israel Engagement at
Liel made Aliyah from California with her family and was raised in Efrat, Israel.
She holds a BS in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University and an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University. She is currently in the 7th cohort of the ICenter's Masters of Concentration in Israel Education. She has extensive experience working as a formal and informal Jewish educator at summer camps, Hebrew schools, and Jewish communities across America. She is also an alumni of the Pardes summer learning program and the Brandeis Collegiate Institute summer program. Liel has staffed approximately 15 Birthright trips, is a graduate of the Sudbury Democratic school system, and is the youngest theater director in Jerusalem to date.