Our Staff

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For general inquiries please email info@hasbarafellowships.org

Elliot Mathias

Executive Director

Elliot Mathias is the Founder and Director of Hasbara Fellowships, a leading pro-Israel campus activism organization working with over 100 universities across North America. Elliot founded Hasbara Fellowships in 2001. Hasbara Fellowships trains and supports students on universities to defend and promote Israel, providing them with information, tools, materials and motivation to stand up to the wide range of anti-Israel activism and propaganda prevalent on university campuses. Elliot frequently speaks both on and off campus about topics relating to Israel, Israel activism and Jewish education. Elliot graduated from Northwestern University in 1997 with a degree in Communications and received his Rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem in 2007.

Ephraim Shore
Israel Director

Ephraim Shore received ordination at Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem. As a student, he founded the Jerusalem Fellowships program, which has become the most popular study program for college students in Israel. He founded Aish HaTorah's successful branch in South Florida, then became the Executive Director of Aish HaTorah Toronto, overseeing the building of two major community centers, and the expansion into 4 separate Aish centers. He co-founded Hasbara Fellowships and works at Aish HaTorah Jerusalem in new projects, fundraising and public relations.

Amanda Gratz
Program Coordinator

Amanda is a graduate of the University at Albany where she received her B.A in Communications.  As a student, she became involved in Aish Albany during her junior year, ultimately serving as Vice President.  She is very proud of the role she played in helping Aish to become a recognized club on campus.  Prior to joining the Hasbara Fellowships family, Amanda was an event coordinator for Bring Israel Home.  The year she spent helping to develop and implement this program was very rewarding for her.  Amanda is very excited to take on her new position as Program Coordinator for Hasbara Fellowships.

Elana Lichtenstein

Development Executive

Elana Lichtenstein is no stranger to Hasbara Fellowships. As a student at Brandeis University, Elana was a Hasbara Fellow in 2002 and upon graduating in 2005 with a double major in Politics and Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, joined the Hasbara Fellowships professional staff as East Coast Campus Coordinator. Elana then spent 9 years at AIPAC, most recently as the Southern Connecticut Director, where her responsibilities included training and engaging community members to serve as citizen lobbyists, and developing resources for the organization. Upon making aliyah in the summer of 2015, Elana rejoined Hasbara Fellowships to help grow our program and to expand organizational resources to continue our critical work.


Robert Walker 
Canadian Director

Robert Walker, Canadian Director, has taken his past experience in the private sector to good use for Hasbara Fellowships. Robert studied Journalism at the University of Ottawa, and has worked for nearly 10 years in communications consulting and digital marketing, but his passion was always Israel advocacy. In the summer of 2014, during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, he launched a grassroots public rally for Israel which attracted more than 3,000 people, and was the first public show of support for Israel during the conflict. In March 2015, he organized a 9-hour long Israel advocacy training workshop, which attracted more than 400 attendees. In addition to working with students, Robert leads Hasbara Fellowships' Canadian development, including fundraising, marketing, and brand-building.

Yael Steinberg

Regional Director, West Coast

Yael Steinberg is a graduate from University of California, Davis, where she majored in English and Art Studio. While in college, she was actively involved in the UCD Jewish Community; working as a Hillel intern, Sunday school teacher, and as the President of the Jewish sorority (Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi). She became involved in Israel Advocacy after attending "Israel Amplified," which inspired her to become a founder and executive board member of "Aggies for Israel." Yael attended Hasbara Fellowships as a student in Winter 2010, and loves being a member of the Hasbara Fellowships team as West Coast Regional Director.

Fay Goldstein

Regional Advisor, East Coast

Fay is a recent Florida International University honors graduate who majored in International Relations, and minored in both politics and art. Upon graduation, Fay completed her year-long term as president of Shalom FIU, the pro-Israel student organization on campus. She is a proud Hasbara Fellowships alumni, having gone on the Summer 2011 Israel trip and continued since then to be active with the Hasbara family. She is beyond excited to start working with fellow Hasbara Activists!


Eitan Rosenfeld
Regional Advisor, New England

Born and raised in Cleveland OH, Eitan Rosenfeld studied Shakespeare and Drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, UK before spending a gap year in Israel as a participant on Aardvark Israel.  It was during his first year in Israel that he developed his passion for Israel Advocacy and for the Jewish People. Eitan went on to study Communication and Psychology at American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA where he was President of The Israel Action Committee and attended Hasbara Fellowships in the winter of 2011-2012.  Following his time at AJU he studied Talmud at Yeshivat Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, Israel.  Eitan is incredibly proud to be Hasbara Fellowships’ new Regional Advisor for New England.  He is based in Boston, Ma.

Lara Schewitz

Regional Advisor, Midwest

Lara Schewitz is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where she majored in Political Science and Sociology. She devoted her college career to Israel advocacy efforts, serving as the President of Hillel's Dawgs for Israel. She later founded the Students Supporting Israel chapter at UGA, where she assisted in the passing of a pro-Israel resolution. She is so excited to be apart of the Hasbara Fellowships family and can't wait to begin working with the Midwest Hasbara Fellows!


Riki Franco
Innovation Fairs National Coordinator

Riki Franco is holds a B.A in business and finance from The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and a Masters in business and International management from Columbia Southern University. She is a financial controller turned tech-entrepreneur and has years of experience in business development, operations and finance from her various roles. Riki was born and raised in Israel and had lived in Mexico, San Francisco and New York City in the past 9 years. She is also a 5th generation cheese maker from the Galilee Mountains. Riki is very excited to perform a leading role in building goodwill for Israel by showcasing Israeli innovation on college campuses.  

Itzik Yarkoni
Social Media Consultant

Itzik earned his BA in Communications at Sapir College in Sderot, Israel and is currently finishing his MA in International Conflict Resolution at Bar Ilan University. In order to raise awareness about the intolerable situation in Sderot, Itzik joined the Sderot Media Center as the Director of Marketing and New Media. After more than three years with the SMC, he became the Israel Fellow at UC Irvine where he launched the first social media team to effectively help students tell their personal stories of the skewed media coverage on campus to the world at large. Itzik is the founder of BOMAH- The Brand of Milk & Honey an organization that positively re-brands Israel by identifying why Israel is important and demonstrating how to share personal stories through social media.  His focus is to help Hasbara Fellows translate their personal Israel experiences into inspirational messages for others.


Danielle Freedman
Social Media Coordinator

Danielle Freedman is originally from South Africa and is currently a senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is enrolled in the honors program, double majoring in Film & Media Studies and Global Studies. Danielle attended the Hasbara Fellowships Israel program in the summer of 2011 and was the Social Media Coordinator for Hasbara Fellowships last year. Danielle is an executive member in Gauchos for Israel and also serves as the founder and president of Jews in Greek Life (JIGL) at UCSB.

Chananel Weiner

Director of New England Region

Rabbi Chananel Weiner is the director of both the Hasbara Fellowships' New England Region and Aish Campus Boston. Rabbi Chananel's passion is to develop leaders while engaging students on important issues relevant to their lives. His personable and approachable style and ability to connect to people of all backgrounds makes him a much sought after leader for Boston's Jewish students. Rabbi Chananel earned his B.A. from the University of Maryland, his rabbinical training was conducted at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem, Israel and he was a visiting contributor to Harvard’s ILR program in a course on Israel and the Middle East conflict.    Rabbi Weiner has spoken on topics pertaining to the Jewish future and Israel issues in North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East.Rabbi Chananel lives in Boston with his wonderful British born wife and three "enthusiastic" children, all of whom enjoy shabbas guests.