Research & Strategy Department
The StandWithUs Research and Strategy Department creates educational materials, provides customized research, and helps pro-Israel activists around the world implement effective strategies on the ground. The department consists of six staff members who offer resources, expertise, and support to nearly every other part of the organization. On the research side, we write, edit, and help design booklets, factsheets, postcards, infographics, videos, and other content. We also manage the TruStory website, and respond to research requests. On the strategy side, we empower activists to educate their peers proactively and overcome anti-Israel campaigns on campuses, in city councils, in churches, and elsewhere. We are also the department responsible for creating and managing the groundbreaking StandWithUs Experiential Israel Programs.
people inspired with experiential programs
video views since 2018
booklets distributed since 2018
BDS campaigns defeated
If you need educational resources or strategic advice, please email us.
The Research & Strategy Department is built on the work of Dr. Roberta Seid, an historian who was the Education & Research Director at StandWithUs from its inception in 2001 until she passed away in 2017. Dr. Seid led the creation of StandWithUs’ vast library of booklets, factsheets, presentations, and other educational materials. Through StandWithUs, her research, writing, and intellect continue to reach countless people around the world.
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.
Senior Writer and Analyst
Before making Aliyah with his family in 2011, Santis served for 21 years at the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council. After the outbreak of the Al Aqsa Terror War (aka “second intifada”) in 2000, anti-Israel activity in the San Francisco Bay Area mushroomed. In response, Santis founded and directed JCRC’s Middle East Project, created to combat the intense anti-Israel activism in the Bay Area, the most challenging environment in the United States with respect to Israel. It was here that Santis first encountered BDS.
While at JCRC Yitz served as lead spokesperson to the general and Jewish media for the Bay Area’s organized Jewish community. He is a prolific writer, published in major publications in the U.S. and Israel. Yitz has presented to hundreds of audiences, including synagogues, churches, public and private schools, and college campuses.
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.
Assistant Director of Campus Strategy
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.
Campus Strategy Coordinator
Ben Shapiro is the Campus Strategy Coordinator at StandWithUs. He received his bachelor's degree from Tufts University, where he was a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow and served for two years as Co-President of Tufts Friends of Israel, the campus pro-Israel community and advocacy group. As a public speaker and moderator, he focuses on areas of expertise such as new student campaigns, the academic boycott of Israel, and other rising campus issues. During his student years, Ben developed a platform of action items to enable his university administration to combat antisemitism, as well as an interactive webinar series and “mini-fellowship” for Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) called YallaLIVE to keep students active during the pandemic. Ben is also currently involved with the Tufts chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), and was formerly a 3-year member of CJP’s Intercampus Leadership Committee and a founding board member of TAMID Group at Tufts.
Assistant Director of High School Education