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.
Sierra Leonian Zionist, Advocate for Israeli-African Partnerships
Director of UK Lawyers for Israel
Natasha Hausdorff is a barrister in London and a Director of UK Lawyers for Israel. She holds law degrees from Oxford and Tel Aviv Universities and was a Fellow in the National Security Law Programme at Columbia Law School. Natasha previously worked for Skadden Arps, in London and Brussels and clerked for the President of the Israeli Supreme Court, Chief Justice Miriam Naor, in Jerusalem. She speaks frequently on international law, foreign affairs and national security policy.
Nicole “Kiki” Hausdorff is a graduate of the University of Oxford Law School where she led the Oxford Israel Forum. She has created J-TV videos entitled “Palestinian Loss of Land: The Myth of the 4 Maps” and “The Myth of Israeli Apartheid.” She speaks about the status of Israel under international law, the rising crisis of anti-Semitism in the UK and Europe, as well as how to effectively debunk myths about Israel.”
Commander of Operation Good Neighbor
LTC (Ret.) Eyal Dror served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces for the past 24 years in a variety of positions in the frontline as a coordination and liaison officer in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and in the previous 3 years. Dror founded and served as the commander of the “Good Neighbor” unit – the Israeli aid to Syrian civilians in the Syria-Israel border area, which executed 700 humanitarian mission aid and collaborate with Jewish, Christian and Muslim NGO’s. He lives in in Kibbutz Sde Nehemia with his wife and three children.
Military Expert – COGAT
Grisha Yakubovitz is a policy and strategic adviser for Israeli-Palestinian relations. He served as a Colonel in the IDF in the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit as well as in Operation Protective Edge and Pillar of Defense. As such, Grisha served as the military mayor of Gaza City and coordinated Israeli military and civilian authority as well as international organizations, diplomats and the Palestinian Authority. Grisha is an expert in the politics, economy, media, and history of Israel, Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
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.
Rabbi, Peace Activist
Rabbi Yehuda HaKohen is a West Bank Jewish peace activist and teacher at several Jerusalem institutions. Born and raised in New York City, he moved to Israel in 2001 to enlist in the IDF at the height of the Second Intifada. He has since assumed leadership positions on three national election campaigns and has worked for over a decade on North American university campuses to generate an understanding of Jewish identity and connection to the Land of Israel. HaKohen’s educational work focuses on inspiring young adults to become active characters in Israel’s story by helping to define the next goals of Jewish history. As a leader in the Alternative Action movement, he organizes grassroots dialogue sessions for Palestinian and Israeli activists seeking to transcend competing one-sided narratives in favor of a more scientific analysis of the factors forcing both peoples into conflict.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ohad Roisblatt led a scouts unit within the Golani Brigade into battle in the Sajyea neighborhood during Operation Zuk Eitan (“Protective Edge”). On July 20, 2014, during one of the most difficult battles in Gaza, his unit was hit by RPG anti-tank missile. Ohad was severely wounded and lost 7 of his recruits that day, including Max Steinberg, a lone soldier from LA. After two surgeries and intense rehabilitation, Ohad returned to work as an officer in the Military Command and Leadership boarding school in Haifa. He is now pursuing his law degree and a career in diplomacy as well as continuing to work with organizations that treat those afflicted with PTSD.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The Path from Radicalism to Zionism
Kasim grew up in the UK in a Muslim family of Pakistani descent surrounded by hatred of 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.