Speakers Bureau

ZOA Campus works with students across the country to bring academics, activists, political figures, advocacy professionals, and more to campuses to engage communities and fight for Israel. ZOA Campus is happy to provide funding for any of the speakers below, and we are open to other suggestions as well. If you would like to bring a speaker to campus, please contact your ZOA Campus Coordinator.

 

Eylon A. Levy

British-Israeli Journalist and Int’l Affairs Correspondent 

Eylon A. Levy is a news anchor and correspondent at i24NEWS. He is a graduate of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and served in the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit after making aliyah from the UK.

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Yaakov Selevan

IDF Officer (res.) and Strategic Affairs Expert

Captain Selavan was born to American olim and grew up in Jerusalem’s Old City. During the Second Lebanon War at the age of 18, he founded a nationwide project to support wounded IDF soldiers. After being drafted into the IDF, Yaakov advanced from tank driver to company leader. He eventually became Combat Operations Officer of the 188th Brigade and served under fire in both of his prior capacities. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Yaakov felt the threat that IDF soldiers faced due to open-fire restrictions brought about by false and unchecked media reporting. Following his discharge, after about a decade in uniform, Yaakov founded Slingshot Israel, which aims to educate by offering a unique insider’s look into the IDF. His work centers on combating media bias by connecting facts and theories to personal stories which shed a light on the moral and ethical challenges faced by IDF soldiers on a daily basis.

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Manny Dahari

Yemenite Jewish Refugee & Advocate

Manny Dahari was born in Yemen and moved to the United States at the age of thirteen. After ten years of not being able to return to Yemen to see his own parents and the rest of his family, this year, he aided the Jewish Agency in Israel in coordinating their escape from Yemen. Today, Manny’s family lives in Be’er Sheva, Israel. 

Manny is a marketing and political science major at Yeshiva University. He is passionate about Israel advocacy in the United States. He is also an advocate for the 850,000 Jewish refugees who were forced out of their ancient homes in the Middle East and North Africa after the re-birth of the Jewish State of Israel. He works with organizations that aim to achieve universal recognition for the Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands. 

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Pandit Mami

Sierra Leonian Zionist, Advocate for Israeli-African Partnerships

Pandit is the CEO and Founder of the Ngoyeaa Back to School Foundation, a need-based initiative that offers financial aid and cross-cultural mentorship to talented, underprivileged students in his homeland. In recent years, he has served as his country’s youth ambassador to the British House of Commons, the One Young World Summit, and the Asian Leadership Summit. He speaks about his journey toward Zionism and how Israel factors into his vision for Africa’s development; and as a survivor of the Sierra Leonean Civil War, Pandit also campaigns against the use of child soldiers by warring factions and terrorist organizations.
He also serves on the board of governors of the Sierra Leone Forum for New Democracy (SLFND), a nation building initiative that is focused on early childhood education, permaculture, and eco-friendly practices. He has conducted seminars, delivered presentations, and organized activities in more than 50 schools across the United State of America.
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Shuki Hasson

Druze-Israeli Zionist
Shuki Hasson is a member of a thriving Arab minority in Israel called “Druze.” He was born and raised in a Druze village in Israel called Daliat el-Carmel and like nearly all Druze-Arabs in Israel, proudly served in the Israel Defense Forces. Shuki speaks on college campuses with the goal of educating students about his unique culture in Israel and how the Druze contribute to Israeli society. He speaks about his community’s pro-Israel views and aims to combat many of the misperceptions about Israel and its Arab minorities.

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Michael Bassin

Author and High-tech Entrepreneur

Michael Bassin is the author of “I Am Not a Spy: An American Jew Goes Deep in the Arab World & Israeli Army,” a memoir about being an openly Jewish exchange student living and traveling in the Arab World and serving in the IDF as a combat Arabic translator.  A graduate of George Washington University, he is a partner in an Israeli high-tech company and regularly provides commentary to news outlets on the Middle East.  You can learn more about Michael at MichaelBassin.com.

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Solomon Geveye

Ethiopian-Israeli Financial Executive and Advocate

Solomon Geveye was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to Israel with his family during “Operation Solomon” in 1991. He graduated from Ariel University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and joined the army as a professional. After completing the officer course, he continued to serve in the IDF as an economist and officer for almost 8 years. His role in the IDF involved planning and managing multi-million dollar budgets for the Israeli military. During this period, he completed his MBA degree and retired from the IDF as a Captain.

Solomon is a highly driven financial executive with a great passion for education, Israel advocacy, and the nonprofit world, and strives to help improve these fields. He currently lives in Los Angeles pursuing his new dreams and serves as a board member on the Friends of the IDF Young Leadership Board of Directors. Solomon is married to Michal and has a small dog.

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Kosha Dillz

Israeli-American Performing Artist

Kosha Dillz, born Rami Matan Even-Esh, is an Israeli American emcee from New Jersey. From winning rap battles and record deals to becoming a playable video game character in NBA 2k, he also toured the world with Matisyahu and debuted on 6 different Billboard charts last summer. His music has always had a taste of Jewish and Israeli pride, combining Hebrew and Spanish in his youth-friendly lyrics as a way of fighting anti-Semitism and educating the general public on the cool factor of his Jewish heritage. His live shows and campus events reflect on his stories from his addiction, DIY lifestyle, and a heavy focus freestyle improv rap, making each show unique. Over the years, he has received press for his work in Billboard, Elite Daily, Huffington Post, LA Weekly, and has played festivals all around the world from Israel to Vans Warped Tour in America.

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Romeu Monteiro

Portuguese LGBTQ Activist & Pro-Israel Advocate

Romeu Monteiro is a Portuguese Human Rights and LGBTQ Activist, Writer, and Engineer. He has worked with at-risk LGBTQ youth since 2008 and collaborated with international NGOs and Parliament to advance LGBTQ rights in Portugal. Romeu’s story of how he came to support Israel is inspirational. He believes that all those who support justice, equality, and human rights must support Israel as well.

He served as the President of his pro-Israel student group at Carnegie Mellon University and has organized pro-Israel events in Portugal as well. His articles have been published in major publications in Portugal, Israel, and the USA, such as Ynetnews.com (Israel), Unidade (Portugal), Público (Portugal), The Algemeiner (USA), The Jewish Press (USA), and Revista MedioOriente (USA).

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Jonathan Elkhoury

Arab-Israeli Human Rights and LGBTQ Activist

Jonathan Elkhoury is a Lebanese Christian Israeli whose family fled to Israel as Lebanese-Arab refugees. His father was a soldier in the South Lebanon Army (SLA) combatting terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Jonathan is passionate about the rights of persecuted minorities in the Middle East and advocating for Israel, which has become a sanctuary for persecuted Arabs and LGBTQ individuals, such as himself, in the Middle East.

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Joseph Levy

Egyptian-Jewish Historian & Former Refugee

Joseph Levy was born in Cairo, Egypt. When he was six-months old, his family left in what he calls the Second Jewish Exodus and arrived in the United States. Mr. Levy grew up in New Jersey and attained a law degree in 1984. For the past thirty-six years, Mr. Levy has been passionate about the subject of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries. In his opinion, they are the forgotten people of the longstanding Arab-Israeli dispute. He has written numerous articles and had his Letter to the Editor in Time magazine published. Over the past several years, he has spoken in more than eighty locations about Jewish history in Arab countries and twentieth-century Jewish life in Egypt.

 

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Chloé Valdary

Zionist Human Rights Activist

Chloé Valdary is a fellow at the Lawfare Project and a recipient of the 2015 Bartley Fellowship at the Wall Street Journal. Her work as a Zionist human rights activist has been featured on Huffington Post Live, Israel Hayom, Jerusalem Post, the Daily Beast, and more. Chloé speaks on college campuses about Zionism as a human rights movement and exposes the hypocrisy of anti-Israel activists on campus.

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Professor Abe Haak

Jordanian-Arab Zionist, Middle East Expert

Born in Jordan, Haak was raised to hate Jews and Israel. However, since moving to the U.S. as a teenager, Haak has conducted decades of research on the Middle East and has realized that the reality on the ground is vastly different than what he was taught. Professor Haak currently teaches at NYU and travels across the country to educate the public about the truth about Zionism and the Middle East. On college campuses, Haak speaks about his life story, conflict in the Middle East and how Israel is the only democracy in a region that is otherwise devastated by war and genocide. He also speaks about how the BDS movement only promotes the destruction of the sole liberal democracy in the region, while it supports those in the Middle East who commit the most atrocious war crimes.

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Dumisani Washington

Civil Rights Activist and Christian Zionist

Dumisani is an African-American Christian Zionist who speaks about the relationship between the Black Civil Rights movement and Zionism. He defends the Jewish state from the perspective of someone who has experienced real racism and discrimination. Dumisani is able to deliver a strong Zionist message to students from a unique and important perspective.

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Leibel Mangel

Lone Soldier & Krav Maga Instructor

At the age of nineteen, Leibel Mangel left his home and family in Cincinnati, Ohio to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces as a lone soldier. As the son of a Rabbi and the grandson of one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz – serving in the IDF was not a matter of if, but rather when? Leibel served as a machine gunner in the Kfir Brigade, where he took part in numerous high profile anti-terror operations including the tragic discovery of the bodies of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrah who were kidnapped from Gush Etzion in 2014. Leibel uses his experiences to continue his service by fighting for Israel in both mainstream and social media and on campuses throughout the United States.

Leibel passes the skills learned in the IDF – to civilians as the head instructor of Cincinnati Krav Maga, so they too can learn to protect and defend themselves and their loved ones. Leibel is also the recipient of a 2017 Jewish People’s Choice Award. 

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Bassem Eid

Palestinian-Arab Human Rights Activists

Bassem Eid is an internationally recognized Palestinian-Arab human rights activist. Originally, Eid was critical of Israel’s policies in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), but as a result of his experiences and research, Eid realized that the Palestinian leadership is the primary responsible party in perpetuating abuse and suffering against its own people. Eid is the founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, and today, he advocates for peace while condemning the Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, since it inhibits peace and leaves many Palestinian-Arabs jobless.

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Dr. Ehud Eilam

Israeli National Strategist & Expert on the Arab – Israeli Conflict

Ehud Eilam (Ph.D) has been involved academically and practically with the study of the Arab – Israeli conflict and Israeli national strategy for more than 20 years. He served in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and he is also a former private contractor for the Israeli Ministry of Defense where he conducted research in different branches of the IDF. Dr. Eilam recently published his second book Israel’s Way of War – A Strategic & Operational Analysis, 1948–2014. He currently resides in New York City.

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Kasim Hafeez

The Transformation from Radical Anti-Semite to Muslim Zionist

As a Muslim of Pakistani descent from the UK, Kasim grew up hating Jews and Israel. He was taught from a young age that Israel is the cause of all problems and that it must be destroyed. After years of research (including attempts to counter pro-Israel claims) and traveling to Israel to see the “racism and apartheid” for himself, he realized that what he had been taught was a lie. Kasim is now a proud Muslim Zionist who works to fight for the Jewish state and to combat anti-Semitism. He speaks on campuses across the country about his journey and what we can do to stand up for Israel and fight the rising anti-Semitism in the West.

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IDF Captain Avner Even-Zohar

IDF Officer and LGBTQ Activist

In addition to holding the rank of Captain in the IDF, Avner is an outspoken human rights and LQBTQ activist in California. He travels to campuses around the country to promote human rights, to stand up for LGBTQ rights, and to combat the myths spread about the IDF. Avner is also a professor at the Military Academy in Monterey, CA and a renowned author of six books about leadership. To learn more about Avner, please visit www.captainavner.com.

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Brian Albert

Former IDF Combat Soldier in Gaza

Brian served in an IDF infantry unit from 2007 to 2009 and fought in Operation Cast Lead, an Israeli operation to halt Hamas’s terrorist activities in Gaza. Brian speaks about his experiences fighting Hamas and what he had to do to avoid civilian casualties while fighting a terror group that uses its own children as human shields. After his military service, he earned his MA in Middle Eastern History from Tel Aviv University. He now works for ZOA Campus as the department’s Mid-Atlantic Coordinator. ZOA Campus is able to fully fund Brian’s presentations around the country.

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Neil Lazarus

Advocacy Training Professional and Middle East Expert

Neil leads educational seminars about Israel and Israel advocacy on campuses around the world. His seminars include Israel advocacy training, Middle East 101, how to fight anti-Israel hatred, and more. Neil specializes in reaching college students by presenting the facts in an entertaining, humorous, and easy-to-understand manner. He is available to train smaller groups of students or lead educational events to larger audiences. Neil has advised the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Jewish Agency, the IDF, and the World Bank on pro-Israel messaging. Please find more information about Neil at www.awesomeseminars.com.

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IDF General Bentzi Gruber

Ethics in the IDF

General Gruber is a start-up entrepreneur and an officer in a reserve armored division of the IDF. His presentation “Ethics in the Field” discusses the way the IDF protects Israeli civilians while maintaining its moral integrity. He discusses what it is like to fight Hamas and how the IDF is the best in the world at avoiding civilian casualties. General Gruber uses statistics and footage from the IDF to which most people do not have access.

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Noam Bedein

Israeli Photojournalist and International Speaker 

Noam, an Israeli photojournalist and international speaker, has over a decade of experience in presenting challenges facing the State of Israel. He is currently focused on the magnificent, magical and endangered Dead Sea – the changes it is undergoing and the healing that is necessary. Based on thousands of photographs taken over 18 months, Noam offers photo exhibitions and multimedia presentations detailing the history and environmental issues facing the Dead Sea.

Noam is also the Director of the Sderot Media Center which is dedicated to raising international awareness of the dangerous reality facing the citizens of Sderot and other communities in southern Israel. Noam discusses what life is like under constant Hamas rocket fire. He has briefed members of Congress and lectured about Sderot at universities around the world.

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Dr. Asaf Romirowsky

Expert in Middle East Affairs

Dr. Romirowsky is a co-founder of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), a pro-Israel community of academics. Dr. Romirowsky served in the IDF as an International Liaison officer in Judea & Samaria. He is an expert on UNRWA, the Palestinian Authority, the Peace Process, and countering anti-Israel propaganda.

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Dr. Emmanuel Navon

Expert in Middle East Affairs and International Relations

Dr. Navon is a French-Israeli author, news commentator, and public speaker specialized in foreign affairs. He is the Director of the Political Science and Communications Department at the Jerusalem Orthodox College, is a Senior Fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum, teaches International Relations at Tel-Aviv University and at the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, and is an international news analyst and commentator for I24News. He earned his MA and Ph.D. in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Professor Michael Leitner

Peace Activist & Israeli Culture Expert

Professor Leitner works as a peace activist with numerous sports organizations that aim to bring Israeli and Palestinian-Arab children together in an effort to make peace. Through his experiences, Professor Leitner has documented effective measures to create peace and has shown that hostile techniques, such as BDS, only lead to trouble. Professor Leitner speaks about Israeli society and the measures Israel takes to coexist peacefully with its Arab neighbors. He speaks about his new book, “Israeli Life and Leisure in the 21st Century,” which discusses the diversity and uniqueness of Israeli culture and what Israelis must go through to make peace. Professor Leitner’s events on campuses counter the myth that Israeli society is racist and close-minded; his events show students the true face of Israel and help students better understand the Jewish state beyond the media.

 

 

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Dr. Daniel Mandel

Historian & Middle East Expert

Daniel Mandel heads the ZOA’s Center for Middle East Policy, has published widely on the Middle East in the U.S., Israel, Britain and Australia, and is the author of H.V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel. He served previously as Associate Director of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia) and was a Fellow at Melbourne University, where he taught history. Daniel has spoken at campuses and rallies in numerous states and successfully countered anti-Israel and anti-American propaganda in innumerable television, radio and campus debates.

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Jonny Daniels

War Archeologist and Israel Policy Expert

Jonny runs an initiative in Poland called “Matzevah,” which excavates Holocaust sites around the country and uncovers aspects of the Holocaust that were still unknown. Through this initiative, Jonny educates the public about the horrors of the war and about the importance of a Jewish homeland today. On campuses, Jonny speaks about his work and how it relates to fighting for Israel to ensure another Holocaust never happens again.

In addition to his work with Matzevah, Jonny served in the Paratroopers brigade in the IDF. He has also served as an advisor to top Members of Knesset and has appeared on dozens of news shows on CNN, Fox News, the BBC, and more.

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Sami Steigmann

Holocaust Survivor and Israel Activist

Sami survived the Holocaust as a young child in Eastern Europe, where he was the subject of numerous Nazi medical experiments that still affect him today. He now speaks on campuses and at community events around the world about his experiences and the importance of a strong Jewish state. Sami enjoys spreading his positive message of hope to students to encourage them to be proud of who they are and to fight for the Jewish people and Israel.

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Dan Gordon

Hollywood Producer, Career IDF Soldier

Dan Gordon is the screenwriter of 15 Hollywood feature films, has more than 200 hours of television programming as a writer, director and Executive Producer, and has authored seven novels. Gordon has also served in the IDF since 1973. He has served in the Air Force, as a sniper, as a squad leader in an armored infantry reserve unit, and as a Military Spokesperson.

In the Pre-Oslo period (1980’s), Gordon co-authored a Peace Plan endorsed by the Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee. He traveled to meet the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, as well as Israeli leaders Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu. On campuses, Gordon speaks about numerous topics, including his experiences as a Zionist in Hollywood, his experiences in the IDF, and more.

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Dr. Gil Ribak

Fulbright Dissertator and Expert on US – Israel Relations

Dr. Gil Ribak is an Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona. He served as the Director of the Institute on American Jewish – Israeli Relations at the American Jewish University (Los Angeles) as well as a Schusterman Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Arizona, and a Lewin Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to his arrival in 2000 to the U.S. on a Fulbright Fellowship, Dr. Ribak served as an analyst for the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel.

Dr. Ribak has spoken at numerous distinguished forums in the U.S. and abroad, including the American Freedom Alliance’s “Oslo at Twenty,” Hebrew Union College, the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and PBS Television, among others. Dr. Ribak has analyzed and presented on the the dynamics of the various delegitimization movements against Israel and how the Israeli Far Left helps to delegitimize the Jewish State. Dr. Ribak is the author of the book, Gentile New York: The Images of Non-Jews among Jewish Immigrants (2012), and published numerous articles in various publications.

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James Russell

Harvard Professor (ret.) Specializing in Iranian & Armenian Studies 

Professor Russell is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University. He has taught and lectured in many countries (and languages), including Israel, Western Europe, Russia, Armenia, India, China, Pakistan, and Iran. A longtime pro-Israel activist and observant Jew, he now lives in Fresno, CA and is writing a book on the evolution of the Hebrew Ashrei prayer and the Sermon on the Mount. In addition to his many acclaimed scholarly works, Professor Russell’s Hebrew and Kabbalistic paintings and calligraphy have also been published. He rides a motorcycle, plays really bad guitar, loves cats, horses, and of course, California.

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Dr. Joshua Muravchik

Expert in Middle East History and Anti-Israel Propaganda

Dr. Muravchik is an International Relations expert who has held teaching and research positions at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the Institute of World Politics, and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has written extensively on the spread of democracy in the Middle East. His most recent book is Making David into Goliath: How the Left Turned Against Israel.

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Ryan Bellerose

Native American and Pro-Israel Activist

Ryan is an indigenous peoples’ rights activist and a member of the Metis nation, an indigenous nation from western Canada. He speaks to the commonalities of indigenous people, the struggle for indigenous rights, and how various struggles for indigenous rights impact the struggles of indigenous people, including the struggles of the Jewish people to gain self-determination in their ancestral homeland. He approached this topic from the viewpoint that Zionism is the ultimate indigenous rights struggle, as it has been successful and is a blueprint for indigenous people everywhere.

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Kay Wilson

Terror Survivor and Motivational Speaker

Kay Wilson is a British-born Israeli tour guide, jazz musician, and cartoonist. She is the survivor of a brutal terror attack that occurred while she was guiding a trip in December 2010. Since the attack, she is in demand as a motivational speaker and also speaks to audiences on issues of human rights and justice for victims of terrorism.

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