The Maccabee Task Force was created in 2015 to combat the disturbing spread of Antisemitism on college campuses. We believe the BDS movement is at the forefront of this troubling trend. We maintain that BDS is an Antisemitic movement that crosses the line from legitimate criticism of Israel into the dangerous demonization of Israel and its supporters. We are determined to help students combat this hate by bringing them the strategies and resources they need to tell the truth about Israel. These attacks on Israel and its supporters won’t be going away any time soon. Neither will we.
David Brog is the executive director of the Maccabee Task Force, an effort launched in 2015 to combat the anti-Israel BDS movement. He previously sat on the Board of Directors of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), were he served as executive director for its first ten years. Before CUFI, Brog worked in the United States Senate for seven years, rising to be chief of staff to Senator Arlen Specter and staff director of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has also worked as an executive at America Online and practiced corporate law in Tel Aviv, Israel and Philadelphia, PA.
Brog is the author of Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State (2006); In Defense of Faith: the Judeo-Christian Idea and the Struggle for Humanity (2010); and Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace (2017). In 2007, the Forward newspaper listed Brog in its “Forward 50” most influential Jews in America. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
Benjamin Sweetwood has spent the better share of his academic and professional life involved in pro-Israel advocacy. A graduate of Columbia University, Ben holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and is keenly devoted to bettering his understanding of geopolitics – specifically pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – by interpreting the field through the lens of political philosophy. The security and prosperity of Israel is of utmost importance to Ben and amidst a conflict that has engendered ubiquitous cynicism in all parties given to it, he maintains that solutions are possible because at the ground level good-faith interlocutors are in abundance.
Shian Knuth grew up in the southeast where she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Florida. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History with a focus on Jewish Studies and Civil Rights. Shian previously worked in Marketing and Public Relations at a Fashion PR firm in New York City. She also developed a large online following as a fashion blogger, serving as press and media for several New York Fashion Week fashion shows. She co-founded her own marketing firm, working with clients all over the globe. She met her husband at the first Maccabee Academy, and both she and her husband are proud to work for organizations that support Israel. They passionately work to educate about and defend Israel every day.
Sgula Dershowitz was born and raised in Tel Aviv where she served two years in the Israeli Air Force and graduated with a degree in economics and management from Tel Aviv Academic College. Immediately after graduation, Sgula moved to New York City and served as the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at Baruch College.
For the past 3 years, Mrs. Dershowitz was the StandWithUs Director of Campus Programming for the Southwest. Sgula worked with more than 20 campuses and thousands of students to counter anti-Israel narratives and educate the students about Israel’s history, present and future.
Sgula met her husband, another activist for Israel, when they partnered on a project to support peace through art at Baruch College. Since then they have continued to work together on behalf of Israel and they are raising a dog and a baby boy in sunny LA.
She is excited to begin her newest adventure with the Maccabee Task Force as the Northwest Campus Director.
Edaan Goldstein is originally from Norman Oklahoma. She spent 2 years in Tulsa, Oklahoma then transferred to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management in December, 2017.
While in Las Vegas she has spent countless hours working with clients of all ages to hone her hospitality skills. During this time, she began focusing on her passion, Israel. One year after visiting Israel for the first time with Taglit in 2016, she began a hospitality internship in Tel Aviv, Israel working for Onward Israel.
Gary was born and raised in Atlanta Georgia, where he was actively involved in the Jewish community and Israel advocacy. While on a two-week trip with “March of the Living” visiting the concentration camps in Poland and then flying to Israel, Gary became even more inspired to stand up for Israel. After completing high school, he moved to Israel and served in the IDF between the years of 2013 and 2016. Upon honorary discharge he began his studies at IDC Herzliya, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Government with a focus in Counterterrorism and Homeland Security from the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy. He served as a Team-leader in IDC’s Greenbiz Entrepreneurship club and was a participant in the Ambassadors club on campus. After living in Israel for seven years Gary decided to move back to America and join the Maccabee Task Force to continue his passion for standing up for Israel.
Oti was born and raised in Ramat Gan, Israel until the age of eight. Her parents relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where she was actively involved in the Jewish community and Israeli scouts for 10 years. Oti always felt passionate about Israel, her home country, and at the age of 17 she moved back to Israel and served in the IDF for two years. Upon honorary discharge, she began her studies at Reichman University receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Political Communication and Marketing. During her senior year, Oti also took part of the Honors Public Diplomacy program and the ACT.il internship. After living in Israel for seven years, Oti decided to move back to America and join the Maccabee Task Force to continue her passion for standing up for Israel from abroad.
Daniel Andresen was born and raised in Fresno, California. He attended California State University Fresno where he received a degree in Finance and Business Administration. After college, he remained in California for 5 years working as a Financial Software Consultant. In 2017 Daniel moved to Tampa, Florida to pursue a role as the Senior Financial Analyst primarily focused on the Agriculture and Fresh Produce industry.
He accepted a job as the South Central Director for the Maccabee Task Force in 2019 and continues to serve as Director of this region to date.
Omri was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel and from a very young age was passionate about Israel education and advocacy. Following his army service as a commander in the Combat Engineer Corp, he led and participated in numerous cultural exchange programs and graduated from Ben Gurion University with a degree in Israel Studies and Geography. Omri continued to advocate for Israel as the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at Tulane Hillel where he was able to turn his passion into a career. Omri holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Innovation from the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management and still lives in New Orleans with his wife Alexis and their dog Milky.
Omri is excited to begin his newest adventure with the Maccabee Task Force as the Upstate Campus Director.
Curt MacNeill was born in Bellingham Washington and moved to Fresno, California when he was nine years old. Since then, he has lived in various cities in the Central Valley of California. He graduated from California State University Fresno with a BS in Biology. He spent seven years working in education at a private junior college initially as a faculty member and later as an administrator. Curt came on staff at Maccabee Task Force in March of 2022 to pursue his passion for Israel advocacy on college campuses.
Enrico was born and raised in Israel and spent his teenage years as a professional cyclist competing both nationally and abroad. At age 18 he joined the Israeli military and served in The IDF’s Intelligence Special Forces as a combat soldier and Krav Maga instructor. Enrico is an Israeli Italian American and moved to the United States in 2014 after living in Italy and working with the Jewish Community of Milan.
Enrico began his professional career in America working as an in-house Private Investigator and Security Advisor for an investment firm and graduated from Georgia State University in 2021. Moreover, Enrico opened his own Krav Maga and firearms safety company and worked with many Israeli/Jewish organizations teaching Krav Maga seminars and promoting Israeli awareness on university campuses and within the community. Before joining the Maccabee Task Force, Enrico worked as the Southeast Activism Manager at the Israeli American Council – IAC.
Enrico lives in Atlanta with his wife Jasmine and their 14-year-old Yorkie, Tess, and he enjoys traveling, playing guitar, cooking, reading, and riding his bicycle.
Sylvia Coopersmith is originally from Philadelphia, PA and graduated with a BA in Individualized Study from the Gallatin School at NYU. There she built a concentration around Developmental Psychology, Genetics, and Performance Studies. Sylvia currently resides in NYC and often performs her original music around the city. Over the last year, Sylvia has been volunteering with a service-learning fellowship called Project TEN in Israel, where she ended up co-leading a Co-Existence theater troupe for Jewish/Arab Israeli teens. Sylvia has been deeply involved with Israel Advocacy from a young age and is excited to share her experiences with campuses on the Northeast in her new position.