IEC Israel Educators and Professionals

With a wide breadth of expertise and knowledge, IEC Educators and Professionals bring a wealth of experience to all of IEC's initiatives and overall vision.

White, Emily

Emily White is Director of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago’s Israel Education Center (IEC). Emily oversees the IEC's programs, strategy, and educational resource development all geared toward increasing student and communal capacity to address anti-Zionism, antisemitism, and anti-Israel activism. Her driving goals are to inspire pride in and commitment to the Jewish community, Israel, and Zionism for Jewish students and young adults. Jewish and non-Jewish students all deserve the chance to understand Israel and Jewish peoplehood and Emily strives to provide those opportunities through IEC programs and resources. Those tools include public policies, strategic planning, curriculum development, and consulting. Emily earned a BA from DePaul University and a Master of Social Work from University of Michigan. 


Yogev Ben-Yitschak is the Engagement Director of the Jewish United Fund’s Israel Education Center (IEC), where he oversees the IEC’s Israel intern program as well as a variety of campus workshops and fellowships around Israel education, student leadership, and civic engagement. Yogev attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison class of 2020, studying marketing and international business management. At Madison, he served as Student Body Vice President and was an IEC intern for all 4 years, where he focused on connecting Hillel to the broader campus community. He currently also serves as a Global Ambassador for the United Nations Foundation and is obtaining his Master's in business management from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. 

lea speyer

Lea Speyer is the Program Director of JUF’s Israel Education Center and oversees the formation and implementation of Israel programming and strategy for high-school, college and young adult communities. She also serves as the Director of Write On for Israel. Lea previously served as the Midwest Director for the Maccabee Task Force, where she helped create and implement policies and programming to combat BDS on college campuses around the world. She recently completed a fellowship through the ADL’s Glass Leadership Institute. Lea is also a very happily retired journalist responsible for breaking stories that uncovered antisemetic and anti-Israel campus activity. 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 was 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. 

michael adato 2

Michael Adato is the Program Associate at the JUF's Israel Education Center, a role in which he manages the JUF's Onward Israel summer internship program and develops and implements educational curriculum for the Write On for Israel (WOFI) program. Michael graduated from DePaul University in 2021 with a degree in History and Political Science, and did so with a personal focus on Jewish history, Israeli history, and the history of antisemitism. During his time at DePaul, Michael conducted award winning research on American antisemitism, served as an IEC intern for all four years on campus, as President of DePaul Hillel, and as Jewish Heritage Chair for DePaul AEPI.  Outside of the JUF, Michael is a Tour Manager for Battle Guide Virtual Tours, with a particular interest in First World War battlefields. 

Nordmeyer, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Nordmeyer is the Israel Education Center's Director of Operations. She oversees the daily operations of the Israel Education Center and the Write On for Israel program. Elizabeth began working at JUF in 2012 within the administration department and joined the IEC team in 2014. She comes with many years of diverse administrative and operational expertise, customer service experience and design implementation know-how through her work within the start-up sector and non-profit industry. 

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"Every effort that is made on campus goes a long way toward winning the war of public opinion. College students are going to be leaders of tomorrow. It’s very important that they understand what’s really going on in Israel."

— Guest Lecturer

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