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Michael Gencher appointed new Executive Director of StandWithUs Australia

Sydney, Australia, 1 March 2024

Michael Gencher

StandWithUs, a 22-year-old international, non-partisan education organisation dedicated to supporting Israel and combating antisemitism, proudly announces the appointment of Michael Gencher to the role of Executive Director, StandWithUs Australia. Michael will begin in early April.


StandWithUs has established itself as a prominent presence within the Australian community over the past decade, sending educators to engage with audiences across Australia and hosting students and community members for educational programs in Israel. In his new role, Michael will lead the recently-established office and continue StandWithUs Australia's efforts and outreach to provide enhanced on-the-ground support for youth, students, and the wider community that equip individuals with the necessary tools to confront the antisemitism and the misinformation that often obscures constructive dialogue and debate about Israel.


"As I step into my new role with StandWithUs, I am honoured and thrilled for the opportunity to build upon StandWithUs Australia's impactful initiatives, and to play a pivotal role in advancing the organization's objectives and strengthening StandWithUs's presence,” said Michael Gencher.


StandWithUs Australia Emerson Fellows at Los Angeles Israel in Focus International Conference

Michael is a seasoned professional in Public Affairs & Public Relations and has made significant contributions in Australia and to the Jewish Community since relocating from Canada in the early 1990s.  Michael has held key positions within the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, including Acting Chief Executive Officer and Head of Community, driving initiatives to promote education, dialogue and combat antisemitism. Beyond his professional roles, he actively volunteers with Jewish and Israeli community groups, both in Australia and in Israel. 


"We are thrilled to welcome Michael Gencher as the newest addition to the StandWithUs team," said Roz Rothstein, CEO, and co-founder of StandWithUs. "His expertise, dedication, and passion for our mission make him an invaluable asset as we continue our vital work in Australia and beyond."


In a commitment to fostering leadership, StandWithUs has proudly unveiled the inaugural StandWithUs Australian Emerson Fellowship. Founded in 2007, this prestigious one-year programme selects and trains student leaders from prominent and problematic campuses. These students form a dynamic network of enthusiastic up-and-coming leaders dedicated to championing Israel’s narrative, dispelling misinformation, and confronting antisemitism head-on. Led by StandWithUs Australia National Leadership Programs Manager Adam Marks, the Australian cohort embarked on their journey by attending StandWithUs's annual "Israel in Focus" International Conference in Los Angeles March 1-3, 2024. They will hear from world-renowned speakers, attend breakout sessions with their peers who represent hundreds of universities throughout the world and learn best practices.

StandWithUs Australia Emerson Fellows at Los Angeles Israel in Focus International Conference

With a strong focus on engaging local audiences, StandWithUs Australia has collaborated extensively with various Australian entities, forging partnerships with esteemed organisations such as AUJS - Australian Union of Jewish Students, the Zionist Federation of Australia, the Zionist Council of New South Wales, Israel by Choice (IBC), Bnei Akiva, Y2I – Youth2Israel, Beitar, Hineni, and many others.


Dedicated to education, StandWithUs Australia has conducted informative presentations tailored for schools across Melbourne and Sydney. These efforts extended to organising enriching school trips to Israel, catering to institutions including Moriah, Masada, Emanuel, Mount Scopus, and numerous others. Moreover, the StandWithUs Israel Education Centre in Jerusalem has served as a beacon of knowledge, hosting hundreds of Australians keen on participating in workshops aimed at combating antisemitism, fostering Israel activism, and deepening understanding of the conflict and the broader region.


Adam Marks has addressed thousands of students and young adults across the country utilising SWU resources and presentations.


Established in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, StandWithUs boasts a global presence with programs spanning six continents. With chapters and offices in the United States, Israel, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and now Australia, StandWithUs remains at the forefront of efforts to combat antisemitism and promote education about Israel worldwide.


Through a multifaceted approach encompassing presentations, programs, social media, print and digital materials, films, weekly newsletters, and immersive missions to Israel, StandWithUs fosters informed dialogue and understanding. Crucially, StandWithUs maintains a steadfast commitment to non-partisanship and does not advocate for specific policies in any country.


For the last eleven years, StandWithUs has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator and Guidestar, two charity watchdog groups that assess hundreds of thousands of charities.


For more information about StandWithUs and its initiatives, please visit

Contact: Michael Gencher 0408 602 056


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