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.

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booklets distributed since 2018

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If you need educational resources or strategic advice, please email us.

History

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.  

Our Team

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Max Samarov

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.

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Yitzhak Santis

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.

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Sarah Tagger

Director of International Campus Strategy

Sarah received her Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and her Bachelor of Arts in the honor's program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) with degrees in cultural anthropology and global studies. Her research thesis focused on whether opportunities for tourism could serve as a tool for conflict mitigation and diplomacy between Israelis and Palestinians. During her time at university, Sarah was heavily involved in student government, serving as chair of operations in elections and later as co-founder of a new student government party. Passionate about Jewish life, Sarah also held positions as president at both Santa Barbara Hillel and UCSB’s Israel activism club. In her community work, Sarah has served as a Birthright Fellow and staffed two Birthright trips; as a Community Representative and Trip Chair with the Joint Distribution Committee; and as a Jewish Federation Community Building Fellow. At StandWithUs, Sarah oversees the strategy for campuses internationally, directing our responsive work in addressing antisemitism as well as our proactive programming. Sarah uses her experience both as an activist and professional to educate about coalition and relationship building, campaign strategy, and the challenges of antisemitism. She regularly speaks at campus and community events around the world.

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Lauren Post

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.

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Elisa Alloul

Campus Strategist

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.

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Jill Jacobs

High School Research and Programming Associate

StandWithUs High School Department Research and Programming Associate
Jill has worked in the education field helping organizations establish market leadership through innovative programming and experiential learning. As a program consultant for Facing History and Ourselves, she developed and led workshops and recruited educators and schools for the Facing History network. As an educational travel specialist for WorldStrides, a global organization, Jill recruits leaders for educational travel programs. Jill worked for more than ten years teaching Hebrew and Jewish and Israeli Studies to students ranging in age from 8 to 18.  She holds a master’s degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jewish Education and a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, and she studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Melitz: The Institute for Jewish-Zionist Education. She lived in Israel for three years and speaks fluent Hebrew—she even wrote the book on it, Hebrew for Dummies, which has sold more than 85,000 copies.

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StandWithUs (SWU) is an international and non-partisan Israel education organization that inspires and educates people of all ages and backgrounds, challenges misinformation and fights antisemitism.

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