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Upstart Activist offers a number of dynamic and interesting speakers to present to your pro-Israel campus group or community organization. Upstart Activist's speakers have delivered hundreds of lectures, workshops, and seminars on over 50 North American campuses and in communities since 2001. Upstart Activist speakers have been sponsored by Caravan for Democracy, Hillel groups, AIPAC chapters, Hasbara Fellowships, Hadassah groups, synagogues and Jewish Federations.

Upstart Activist is featured on the Hillel Speakers Bureau and has been sponsored on campus by Caravan For Democracy a project of the Jewish National Fund.

Please email for more information on dates, pricing and other details. Subsides and grants are available.

Upstart Activist Israeli Speakers List

Click on name and take you directly to the bio and topics list.

Eric Esses -Co-Founder Upstart Activist > topics > invite Eric to your campus

Eric is a veteran Israel activist who lived activism first hand on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin during the days of the first 'Intifada'. After graduating, Eric served as regional coordinator and then director of one of North America's premier Israel activist organizations, the University Student Department of the World Zionist Organization (USD). USD's objective was to educate students about Israel through campus educational programs, high-level seminars and extensive stays in the country. Under Eric's management, the USD flourished to become a powerful and persuasive pro-Israel voice on campus, even during the challenging days of the first 'Intifada' and the 1991 Gulf War. Eric initiated the creation of the acclaimed Israel Activist Primers on various subjects that provided students with fully packaged and actionable information.

Eric made Aliyah in 1992, at the end of four years of work at USD. After serving in the IDF, he was appointed the director of Project Otzma, a prestigious 10-month volunteer fellowship for North American college graduates. As director, Eric was responsible for managing a professional staff as well as supervising the activities of the program's 90 participants. Eric initiated and implemented several significant improvements in the program's structure and educational component designed to increase the program's long-term sustainability.

In 1998 Eric left Otzma and assumed a senior marketing position in an educational technology venture associated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Eric has also worked in the electronic publishing and knowledge management fields in recent years. Eric has a BA in biological psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He lives in a Jerusalem with his family. See related article about Eric's presentations and lectures, which appeared on campus.

Michael Eglash - Co-Founder Upstart Activist > topics > invite Mike to your campus

Michael Eglash has worked professionally as a Jewish educator for well over a decade both in Israel and the United States. Michael's expertise in and dedication to pro-Israel activism began as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During that time he was successful in creating an active organization that trained dozens of students in promoting and defending Israel and Zionism on campus.

He made Aliyah in 1993 and founded and directed Machon Masa, a project of the Jewish Agency. Masa became the premier activist training initiative for American students in Israel interested in helping Israel upon return to their campuses. In 1996 he became the Director of Hamagshimim in Israel, a Hadassah sponsored young adult Zionist movement in Jerusalem. As such, he helped create an absorption/community center for English speaking olim. Michael also hosted a weekly show on a local Jerusalem radio station, featuring guests and focusing on topics related to Israel and Aliyah. He also worked in the booming Israel and US technology sector between 1997-2001 as President of Marketing and Sales for Eclipse Media and as Senior International Sales Director of Adero a software provider based in Waltham, MA. Michael is co-founder of Upstart Activist.

Michael continues to travel to the US on speaking engagements at university campuses. He has lectured extensively to student groups, adult organizations, churches, synagogues, and university classes in Israel and the U.S. He has made numerous appearances on television and radio shows both in Israel and the U.S. Michael has written many articles addressing Middle Eastern politics drawing on his BA in Middle Eastern History and extensive time in Israel. He and his family currently reside in Mevasseret Zion, Israel. See related article about seminars and presentations and Michael's visits to campus.

"On behalf of the students who were present, I want to express my deepest appreciaton for joining us on campus several weeks ago. Your presentation was wonderful - educational, eloquent, and engaging. It was refreshing to have someone speak to us about Israel from a different viewpoint. Students really enjoyed the evening, and the feedback was very enthusiastic."
Rabbi Meir Mitelman Executive Director, Hofstra Hillel

Jacob Dallal - > topics > invite Jacob to your campus

I was born in Chicago and graduated the University of Chicago, concentrating in political philosophy. Following college, I was with CBS News in New York (at Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt and the weekend news) and at ABC News in Paris (with Jim Bittermann as bureau chief).

I then moved to Israel and worked as a reporter for the Jerusalem Post and then as editor of the Post's weekly magazine on Jerusalem affairs, In Jerusalem

In January 2001, I joined the IDF as a career officer in the International Press office of the Spokesperson's Unit. I served as deputy head of the office, responsible for North American media, as spokesperson and liaison for the army with the press. I have appeared on television as a spokesperson for the army on CNN, Fox, Sky, BBC, ABC's Nightline, and in reports from Israel on the evening news on the major networks; in the print media, on AP, in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times and others.

I served as acting head of the international press office during the summer of 2006, and headed the army's PR effort to the international press during the war in Lebanon.

Since taking up my post in 2001, I was involved in all the dramatic events of the last four years: among these, during Operation Defensive Shield, I took the first pool of reporters into the West Bank city of Jenin, following the intense fighting there; I was in Bethlehem during the siege at the Church of the Nativity and on the day that the siege ended; throughout the conflict, I escorted journalists on arrest missions in the West Bank, and in Gaza, along the border with Egypt near Rafah, as weapons smuggling tunnels were discovered; I took journalists to the war room as large-scale operations were taking place, and I have taken journalist up and down the security fence throughout the West Bank. I was closely involved in coordinating press coverage of the army evacuation of Israeli settlements in Gaza in August.

I finished my service in 2005, but returned to the army as acting head of the international press office in the spring of 2006, replacing the head of the office who was on maternity leave. The war in Lebanon broke out and I headed and coordinated the IDF's foreign press effort during the conflict. I was involved in explaining the army's position on major incidents throughout the war and interviewed frequently on television. I worked with senior members of the press who came to Israel to cover the war, including senior US and international news anchors such as NBC's Brian Williams, ABC's Charles Gibson.

When I completed my service at the end of August, I was promoted to the rank of Major.

Dr. Jonathan Spyer - > topics > invite Jonathan to your campus

Currently a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Research in International Affairs, at the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herzliya, Dr. Jonathan Spyer is a former official of the Israel Government Press Office, and has served as a Special Adviser on international affairs to Israeli cabinet ministers. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and his MSc in Modern Politics of the Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Born in Britain, he has lived in Israel for the past 13 years. Dr. Spyer's analysis of Israeli and broader regional events and processes has been published in major journals in Israel and abroad. He acts as a consultant to a wide variety of bodies in the academic, non-governmental, media and lobbying fields. Dr. Spyer is a lecturer of long experience. His specialization is in the field of Israeli foreign policy, the Arab-Israel conflict, and the political history of Israel. He also lectures on the new anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East, Islamist ideologies and movements and political trends in the modern Middle East.

"I want to tell you how much I appreciate that Upstart Activist sponsored Jonathan's visit. It says a great deal for your organization that you sponsor such intelligent speakers who do not resort to polemics, who make their points then allow the audience to draw their own conclusions". Megan Nesbitt Assistant Director The Brown Hillel Foundation

Click here to read about Dr. Spyer's recent lecture at Georgetown University.

Sergeant Kenny Sachs > topics > invite Kenny to your campus

Made aliyah in 1997 from New Jersey and quickly settled into life in Jerusalem. He served two years in an IDF reconnaissance unit from 2000-02 rising to the rank of Sergeant.

During his tour of duty, Ken served six months in Lebanon, nine months in the Gaza Strip and two months in both Jenin and Tulkarem. Following completion of his army service he worked in security for the Ministry of Education and played semi-professional basketball.

Sergeant Ken Sachs was called to his first reserve duty in May 2003. Stationed at a base in Gaza, he was placed on the first response team due to his familiarity with the area having previously served on the base during his mandatory army service. In the early morning of June 8th he was relaxing when he heard gunfire. Three terrorists dressed in IDF uniforms infiltrated the base and over the course of the next twenty-two minutes four soldiers lost their lives. Ken Sachs encountered one of the terrorists in a face-to-face gun battle. He was shot three times in the knee and lost large quantities of blood prior to arriving at a hospital.

After months of recuperation and physical therapy, Ken now is able to walk and lead a normal live. He is currently in North America awaiting a cartilage transplant for his knee, an operation that will improve his mobility. He looks forward to returning to Israel and studying at the Wingate Sports Institute.

Kenny will be in USA from October 5 - November 4th, 2006 and available to speak on your campus and or community.


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