The Maccabee Task Force was created in 2015 to combat the disturbing spread of anti-Semitism on America's college campuses. We believe the BDS movement is at the forefront of this troubling trend. We maintain that BDS is an anti-Semitic 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 also sits 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) and In Defense of Faith: the Judeo-Christian Idea and the Struggle for Humanity (2010). 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.
National Field Director
Bryan Griffin is a lawyer, writer, and specialist in American foreign policy in the Middle East. Born in Florida, Bryan received a Masters of International Affairs with a specialty in the Middle East from Columbia University in New York City. He holds a Juris Doctorate, Masters of Management, and Bachelors in Classical History and Political Science from the University of Florida. On November 15th, 2013 Bryan was sworn in as an attorney by United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court. From 2010-2013 Bryan held the elected office of Soil and Water Supervisor of Alachua County. At Columbia, Bryan was named the Editor in Chief of the Journal of International Affairs. As a lawyer, Bryan has experience in both civil and criminal work, including a trial in front of the Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York, the nation’s oldest federal legal venue. Bryan is the author of the widely popular book The Encyclopedia of Militant Islam, published in 2015. Bryan has been named a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.
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.
Southwest Campus Director and Events Director
Ariel Barrett is a cultural anthropologist hailing from from Missoula, Montana. She graduated with honors from the University of Montana, was designated a University Scholar and completed her undergraduate studies through the Davidson Honors College in Cultural Anthropology. Ariel received her Master of Arts degree in Applied Cultural Anthropology from the University of Montana where she focused her research on women's rights in the Middle East and the the practice of honor related violence and honor killing among Muslim immigrant communities in western countries.
Growing up in Montana Ariel spent much of her high school and college years promoting and organizing interfaith education and cross cultural dialogue opportunities within the local community. She served as President of the local Hillel and co-founded Interfaith Missoula in addition to volunteering with the Missoula Interfaith Council and a number of other non-profit organizations. Ariel also worked for the European Foundation for Democracy, a Brussels based policy institute that focuses on issues including human rights, integration, and radicalization in Europe.
Before joining the Maccabee Task Force, Ariel worked for several years in University settings providing student programming and advising as a certified DSO and immigration advisor to international students coming to study in the United States.
Northeast Campus Director
Benjamin Sweetwood recently graduated with honors from Columbia University in the City of New York. While at Columbia he majored in political science with a focus on international relations and Chinese foreign policy. He has provided research for some of Columbia’s leading political science professors. Ben has worked at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, providing research for various scholars. He also worked as a personal research assistant to noted author, columnist, and pundit Jonah Goldberg. At Columbia University he chaired the American Enterprise Institute’s Executive Council, was President of Christians United for Israel, and was the Vice President of Students Supporting Israel. In 2015, Ben was awarded the Roger Pilon Fellowship, a yearly scholarship honoring a student of high academic achievement who works to advance the ideals of classical liberalism. Ben also blogs on political issues and world affairs, and his writing has appeared in such publications as The Times of Israel and The Tab.
Midwest Campus Director
Lea Speyer is a former journalist responsible for breaking stories that uncovered antisemitic and anti-Israel activity plaguing universities around the world. Her work has been picked up and featured in media outlets such as Fox News, Daily Mail, Algemeiner, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Washington Free Beacon, the Forward, the Observer and College Fix. Prior to her campus reporting, Lea served as the founding editor in chief of Breaking Israel News, which connects the global Christian Zionist audience to reporting about Israel.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Lea holds a Master’s degree in Government from IDC Herzliya, where she specialized in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security studies. She focused her research on the influence of religion on ideological formations. Her work on Islamic radicalization has been published by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. Lea received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Yeshiva University. During her time as an undergraduate, she interned for prominent think-tanks in the areas of international relations and the promotion of women in politics. You can follow Lea on Twitter at @LeaRSpeyer.
Northwest Campus Director
Derryck Green is a writer, speaker and a former contributor to The National Center for Public Policy Research, a small think tank in Washington D.C. At the National Center, Derryck’s research focused on economic policy, cultural and race issues, social policy, religion, immigration policy and politics in general.
Derryck is also staff writer for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a faith-based organization of Christians who follow, highlight, and provide commentary on current political and religious issues involving the Church.
Derryck has earned a B.A. in Humanities and Religious Studies. He earned a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and Comparative Theology with a concentration in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. He also earned a doctorate in theology and ministry at Azusa Pacific Seminary, where his research focused on the theological implications of racial, ethnic, and religious identity formation.
Southwest Campus Coordinator
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 West Coast Campus Coordinator.
Southeast Campus Coordinator
Maya Glick was born in Israel and at the age of seven moved with her family to Seattle, WA. After six years she moved back to Ness Zionna, a small city, in central Israel. Maya served two years in the IDF in the Foreign Affairs Unit of the Intelligence Corps.
Maya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Government Diplomacy and Strategics from IDC Herzliya, where she specialized in Public Diplomacy and was an active member of Act.IL, an online community supporting Israel. She also holds a Diploma in European Studies, focusing on their Foreign Relation Policies.
During these years Maya worked at Israel Experts and as a Kindergarten teacher. She was active on campus in various fields, volunteered with several Israeli causes, was a counselor for 25 foreign students, and interned with Ness Zionna’s Deputy Mayor.
After graduating, Maya and her husband Noam moved to Fairfax, VA where she fulfilled a dream, working as the Israel Fellow (“Shlicha”) for the Jewish Agency of Israel at George Mason University Hillel. Together they are very passionate Zionists, wishing to help better Israel’s perception on campuses and around the world.
South Central Campus Coordinator
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.After returning to the U.S, Edaan worked with Onward Israel aiding in recruiting students world wide to intern in Israel in over a dozen different industries. She is eager to continue working with students in her role as Campus Coordinator, and energized about helping to defend and further educate about the state of Israel.
Midwest Campus CoordinatorNicole Gorelik is a recent honors graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She studied public relations and digital arts & culture.Nicole founded and served as president of Students Supporting Israel at UWM for two years. She was also an active board member of Hillel Milwaukee, and worked diligently on promoting interfaith conversation. She worked for various organizations like TEMPO Milwaukee, a professional women’s organization, and MalamaDoe, a women’s co-working community.In addition, Nicole traveled to Israel on multiple occasions on Birthright, an Onward internship, and a leadership mission through her university. She is excited to begin her career as a passionate Israel advocate.
Northwest Campus CoordinatorBen Roumimper recently graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a focus in Behavior and Strategy and a minor in Electrical Engineering.Born and raised in Santa Cruz County, California, Ben grew up with close Jewish and Israeli-American friends that introduced him to the Jewish community at UC Davis, where he soon found himself amongst very close friends and allies. Also involved in Student Government and Greek life, he was invited on a trip to Israel where he found a connection to Israel and many reasons to defend Israel on campus. Following the trip, he interned for The David Project for 3 years- working as an Outreach Intern building relationships between the Jewish community and other student groups on campus. After participating in a Fact Finders Mission to Israel with with Davis Hillel in his Senior year, Ben decided to join the Maccabees to continue to help students build relationships on campus and send campus leaders to Israel.