Rena Nasar has been with StandWithUs for five years and started as the tri-state campus director. Her Syrian background has fueled her passion for Middle East affairs and interest in Israel. In high school, Rena participated in the Write On for Israel Program and was recognized by the program organizers for her accomplishments on campus. Rena attended Baruch College, where she graduated with honors and a dual degree in journalism and Middle Eastern 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. The combination of her campus experiences and her growth within StandWithUs inspires her to take the StandWithUs Campus Department to new heights. Rena currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, Jason.
Associate Director of Campus Affairs
Liora has been with StandWithUs for over two years and started off as the StandWithUs Midwest campus coordinator. 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 her Jewish community and has always had a passion for Israel. She interned in Tel Aviv in the summer of 2014 during Operation Protective Edge. Being in Israel during this time exposed Liora to the importance of Israel education. Liora worked in advertising for two years and was a volunteer for many Jewish and Israel organizations until she realized she wanted to make this her life’s work. Liora currently resides in Chicago.
Executive Director of Research & Strategy
Max grew up in Boston and is a first-generation American. His parents fled to Israel from the Soviet Union to escape the racism and discrimination Jews faced there. Although Max now lives in Southern California he has traveled to Israel and lived there for extended periods throughout his life. Max graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 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 campuses. 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, the Jerusalem Post, the 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.
Assistant Director of Campus Strategy
Sarah Tagger 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. At UCSB Sarah was 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 college, ultimately as the director of the staff-in-training program. At StandWithUs, Sarah helps research, build, and implement proactive and responsive strategies and campaigns regarding Israel on campuses. Sarah uses her past experiences as a student activist and current professional experience to educate about 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.
Executive Assistant of Campus Affairs
Brandon works as the executive assistant of campus affairs for StandWithUs. Born in South Florida, Brandon is a senior at Florida International University, where he studies political science with a minor in international relations and pre-law. Brandon’s connection with Israel stems from his grandparents’ aliyah nearly 30 years ago, and he has continued his focus on Israel through his work with NSCY, FIU Hillel, and many other organizations. After graduating high school, Brandon took a gap year and studied at Bar Ilan University. The year he spent learning in and traveling around Israel further fueled his devotion to advocate for Israel in his community. Brandon currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is excited to be a part of the StandWithUs family and empower those around him!
Senior Researcher and Content Manager
Lauren literally grew up in a 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 execute social media strategy, researching numerous questions from community members and students and adding great puns to the various materials StandWithUs provides. Her interests lie mostly in the intersections of feminist theory, progressive outreach, and Mizrahi history. She has bylines in the Forward and the Times of Israel. Most important, though, is her great love of tacos and long walks with her pup Pici.
Elisa Alloul graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts with honors in psychology and public administration. During her years as a student, Elisa served as vice president of programming and outreach for the pro-Israel student group on campus and was a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow and StandWithUs Canada campus liaison. Elisa also became the first ever Jewish and pro-Israel student elected to York's Board of Governors, where she represented and advocated on behalf of 53,000 students. Following graduation, Elisa worked for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and then as a legislative assistant on Parliament Hill. Elisa is excited to be back at StandWithUs to help students combat BDS and anti-Israel activity as well as research and implement proactive strategy for Israel on college campuses.
Southern Campus Coordinator Region: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas
Talia Lerner attended Florida Atlantic University, where she studied Jewish studies and political science. Talia discovered her passion for Israel while on Birthright, and upon return she immediately got involved in Owls for Israel, the pro-Israel group at FAU, where she held many leadership roles throughout her time there. Upon graduation, her passion for Israel led Talia to participate in Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, through which she spent a year teaching English in Bat Yam, Israel. Her experiences in Israel inspired her to continue to educate about Israel and to encourage more students to become leaders and Israel activists on campuses.
Southwest Campus Coordinator
Region: Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado
Eli Zada graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied World History and wrote his thesis on Radical Jewish Movements in Iraq and Israel. Eli has always had a passion for Jewish history but knew he wanted to get involved in Israel advocacy work upon his return from Masa Israel Teaching Fellows, where he spent a year teaching English to elementary school students in Haifa. Eli has staffed multiple Birthright trips and is passionate about experiential Jewish education as a way for people to connect with and continue to advocate for Israel. Eli is excited to work with college students who are enthusiastic about Israel and understand the importance of the country.
Matthew was born and raised as a third generation San Franciscan. Before attending the University of Nevada, Reno and graduating with a degree in criminal justice, he went to Jewish Community High School of the Bay in the City. While in Nevada, Matt was a member of the Hillel along with the local AEPi chapter. He held multiple positions in both organizations, including president. While president of Hillel, he worked with the lieutenant governor and other state lawmakers to help pass Senate Bill 26, an anti-BDS bill. Matt has been to Israel twice, once on a class trip with his high school and the other on Birthright in 2015. Growing up, Israel wasn’t discussed much in his house. However, since his high school trip, Israel has been a passion that he incorporates into his work with college students!
Canada Campus Director
Rebecca graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Social Work and a double minor in psychology and sociology. While attending university, she was the president of Ryerson’s Students Supporting Israel and was also a StandWithUs Canada Emerson Fellow. During her presidency, Rebecca coordinated the passing of a motion for a Holocaust Education Week. She also worked to get the Ryerson Students’ Union to be the first in Canada to adopt the Ottawa Protocol on antisemitism. She received the John Gallivan award for student leadership by fostering a relationship between Jewish students on campus and the Ryerson Students’ Union. From 2017 to 2018, Rebecca worked for the Honourable Candice Bergen, the Opposition House leader in the Canadian House of Commons. She is excited to empower students from all over Canada and help them educate their peers about Israel.
Mid-Atlantic Campus Coordinator
Region: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio
Matthew graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in international affairs and political science and a minor in French. Matthew’s first exposure to Israel was in the spring of 2016, when he studied abroad in Paris. While there, he took an introductory course on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, which ended up becoming one of his favorite classes. Inspired by this course, Matthew went to Israel for the first time with the Paris-Tel Aviv Association, a campus organization at SciencesPo. Upon returning to the U.S., Matthew reestablished the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) chapter at UGA and became president the following year, advocating on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people. After graduating from the University of Georgia, he was selected to participate in the Philos Leadership Institute with the Philos Project, an organization dedicated to promoting positive Christian engagement in the Middle East, and spent 14 days in Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan, learning about issues including the Arab–Israeli conflict, the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crises, the role of Islam in the region, and the status of Jewish–Christian relations. As a Christian, Matthew hopes to build bridges between the Jewish and Christian communities and bring a unique perspective on Israel to college campuses.
New England Campus Coordinator
Region: Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island
During an incident with a professor at the University of Connecticut, Eliza became empowered as a voice for Israel on her campus, thanks to the resources and encouragement she received from the StandWithUs Campus team. She was awarded the 2016 StandWithUs Leaders of Tomorrow Campus Award and went on to represent StandWithUs at numerous events in the Northeast. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism and communications and is using the experience she had as a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow to encourage the next generation of Zionist leaders as the New England StandWithUs campus coordinator. Based in Boston, her goal is to empower students to use their personal and professional skills to build connections to Israel on their campuses and in their communities.
Tri-State Campus Coordinator
Region: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut
Fanya is a first-generation American, born to religious refugees fleeing the former USSR. Growing up in New York City meant being exposed to a wide variety of people of other religions and nationalities. This is especially true regarding her Jewish upbringing, as she was often the only Ashkenazi Jew in her class, surrounded primarily by Sephardic and Mizrachi students. These experiences, combined with her overlapping Russian-speaking and Modern Orthodox identities, have given her the opportunity to engage Jews and non-Jews of diverse backgrounds in a unique, accepting, and unexpected way. Fanya attended Pace University in New York City, where she studied economics. During her time at Pace, Fanya was president of her Israel club and interned at a variety of organizations within the broader Jewish and Israeli communities. Her experiences surrounding campus advocacy inspired her to pursue a career in Israel education. She aims to encourage more pro-Israel students to become effective Israel advocates on college campuses and is excited for the opportunity to empower the next generation of leaders to discover their own voice.