We're so happy you found us.

This is a page designed for Portland area teachers. Here you can find information about Israeli Educators who are available to come to your classrooms and share information about their home countries.

Aviv Attia, 25, was born in Tel Aviv and raised in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv. Like many Israelis, Aviv’s family had centuries of history in the Middle East before moving to Israel.

Your high school students are best positioned to become active, critical thinkers when they are exposed to a range of viewpoints on complex world issues. One of the most complicated current situations, a culmination of historical events, is the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
  
Jewish Federation of Greater Portland has partnered with StandWithUs Northwest, a nonprofit organization focusing on Israel education to provide your students with an exciting opportunity this academic year-a young Israeli speaker.
 
Since 2009, over 190,000 Pacific Northwest high school students have learned about Israel from our Israeli guest educators, and we are ready to accept bookings for the upcoming school year. We can cover a wide array of topics, but the most common presentation is Israel 101. This lively talk brings history to life by telling the story of Israel - from ancient to modern – through the eyes of a native Israeli. Our current speaker, Aviv Attia, has family roots in Iraq and Tunisia.
 
While we offer an Israeli perspective, we endeavor to stay sensitive to, and to accurately convey, the history and reality of Palestinians. 
 
You can meet Aviv and hear from teachers and students in the video at www.bit.ly/IsraelEducator. There is no charge for a visit either in person or via Zoom; just contact us.
 
In addition to the guest educator program, we offer a monthly teacher resource webinar series, and virtual field trips to Jerusalem.
 
New: Virtual Field Trips!
 
StandWithUs interactive virtual field trips are a great way to experience Israel. Your class will be led on a personalized Zoom tour in real time through Jerusalem’s most famous sites. All tours are guided in private groups of up to 50 and combine history, storytelling, and trivia for a unique experience that brings Israel to life. While the other programs we offer are free, there are costs associated with virtual field trips. Check out some examples here. 
 
 
Teaching Israel – with its complex history and dueling narratives – can be a challenging task. We can make it easier and more engaging for you and your students. We look forward to hearing from you.
To learn more, or to book a visit to your school, please contact us at oregon@standwithus.com.
 
To reach Aviv directly, email aviva@standwithus.org.
 
We hope to hear from you!
 
About Aviv
 
Aviv Attia, 25, was born in Tel Aviv and raised in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv. Like many Israelis, Aviv’s family had centuries of history in the Middle East before moving to Israel.
 
His father’s family lived in Spain for centuries but was expelled and went to Tunisia following the Alhambra Decree in 1492. After centuries in Tunisia, they were forced to flee to Israel in the early 1950s.
 
His maternal grandparents were Iraqis from a very wealthy family in Baghdad. In the early 1960s, they fled to Israel because of terrible antisemitism against them and their business. They were forced to leave all their property behind and begin a new life in the land of Israel.
 
Aviv had a typical suburban upbringing. At age 18, he began his mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces, serving in the C4I corps (Command & Control, Communications, Computers and Information corps). In this unit, he became a communication technician, operations manager and commander. He received awards for leadership and earned an early promotion. Aviv’s military service was spent in the north of Israel along the border of Lebanon.
 
After his IDF service, Aviv enrolled at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, where he was selected for the Rabin Leadership Program, a prestigious program that prepares participants to take leadership roles in shaping Israel’s future. Aviv recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy & Sustainability.
 
During his studies, Aviv took part in StandWithUs tours around the United States and South Africa, sharing his story of the real Israel, and combating BDS and antisemitism on campuses and in communities. He also represented Israel for four months in Melbourne, Australia. Through these experiences, he has helped thousands of people gain a perspective on Israel that is often not shared in the media.
 
StandWithUs supports Israel and fights antisemitism through education. With our speakers and materials, we help people understand the complex issues facing Israel and the Jewish people, through the lens of real people and real stories.
 
Examples of Feedback on StandWithUs’ Speakers:
 
 
From Teachers:
 
“Thank you for coming into our classes. Your presentation was very useful for the students and you provided a lot of information which I am hopeful that they use in their essay. Even if the kids do not use the information now - I am sure that when they mature they will understand what an excellent opportunity they were presented with. Students at our school are very sheltered from the much larger world - because they don't see themselves as participants. They are truly blank tablets not knowing the geography nor the history. I believe your presentation did both and provided a very good picture for the students. It will be up to them as they mature to put your presentation in context and realize that the world is much larger than just Beaverton. Personally, I believe you did an amazing job!  I am in the process of reading about the conflict - and your presentation only strengthened my resolve to continue to find books that helps me understand the differing opinions regarding your nation”.
 
-Social Studies Teacher, Aloha High School, Beaverton, OR
 
“It was a joy and pleasure to have you share your journey with my students and me today. I'll forward to you their reflections on Monday. I have applied for a program that will take me to Israel in July. I'll let you know if I am selected!”
 
-Social Studies Teacher, De La Salle North Catholic High School, Portland, OR
 
“Thank you so much for sharing your life with my students yesterday. You did a great job! I learned so much as well! I am sharing your information with other colleagues who are enthusiastic to have you come to speak in their classes as well.” 
 
-Social Studies Teacher, La Center High School, La Center, WA
 
 
"[Your Israeli speaker] was everything you would want – knowledgeable, incredibly authentic, genuine, sincere, humorous and passionate about the subject. Everything he discussed resonated with the students. [He] also has a very positive sense of delivery that is both humorous, entertaining and powerful."
 
-Social Studies Teacher, Central Kitsap High School, Silverdale, WA
 
"It was a terrific presentation. The students became much more aware of the immediacy of the situation and how important this conflict is for real people."
 
-Social Studies Teacher, Mercer Island High School, Mercer Island, WA
 
"Big thank you to [your speaker] and the StandWithUs organization for coming to visit my classes. [Your speaker] spoke to around 180 students in two days. Based on my students’ feedback, he really had an impact on their understanding. He is a great speaker and he connected with the kids. He was funny, and hip, and provided emotional, relevant information, which is the best way to educate. He taught them about bias and perspective, especially in the media. He showed them it’s better to seek firsthand information. Here in Federal Way, there’s not a large Jewish community, so many students are naive about the culture and religion. [Your speaker’s] presentation showed students how much they don’t know, and, based on their reflections, they now want to change that. Many later pointed out that their textbook, as well their past classes, have little to no coverage concerning Judaism and Israel. He also helped me to see that I have some preconceived ideas as well.”
 
-Social Studies Teacher, Federal Way, WA
 
From Students:
 
“I thought it was super interesting and it was a big eye opener about how Israel really is. It was super nice to get a perspective by someone who actually was born and raised there. And you could tell she really cared about her country.”
 
-Student at Albany High School, Albany, OR
 
My opinion of Israel changed after her speech...I think it is amazing how small Israel is and how much they have built from basically nothing.”

-Student at Albany High School, Albany, OR
 
"There were a lot of prejudices I had of countries in the Middle East, like they were always starting wars and trying to get more land and power but after hearing what the speaker had to say I learned that I was wrong about Israel." 
 
-Student at Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA
 
“It was a complete delight to hear all about your culture. I was completely captivated as you spoke about the problems in the Middle East. I now know so much more about your country. Please keep telling people about your country.”
 
-Student at Stadium High School, Tacoma, WA
 
“Your love for your country could be felt throughout the entire classroom. I enjoyed listening to Israel’s constant quest for peace and about their giving nature. I thank you for sharing with us your culture and your history.”
 
-Student at Stadium High School, Tacoma, WA
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q. Who is StandWithUs?
A. We are a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that focuses on Israel education. Founded in 2001, we operate 18 offices in five countries, including a Northwest regional office based in Seattle.
 
 
Q. Why do you offer speakers to the community?
A. We believe that it is important for people to have a balanced understanding of the history of Israel and the Jewish people, and frankly, there is no better way to educate people than to have a knowledgeable native who can share his or her story and answer questions. When people are misinformed, it can result in them taking actions that actually make peace less likely and harm all of the people in the region, Israelis and Arabs alike.
 
 
Q. What would Aviv speak about if he comes to our school?
A. Our speaker has a standard presentation called “Understanding the Middle East.” It is about him and his personal family history, then shares some basic facts about Israel and Jewish history, helping to drive home the point that Jews are indigenous to Israel and have a 3,000+ year connection to that land. He goes into the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict, discusses the history of the peace process from 1992-present, and ends with a message of hope for a brighter future for all.
 
 
Q. Is his presentation biased?
A. Every human being has his or her unique perspective on issues. Our speaker will tell his personal story and present many facts which are not in dispute. He will also present opinions, particularly in answering questions from students, but will make clear that these are his opinions. He intends to deliver a fair presentation that is factual and as free from bias as possible. He will also take questions from the class, so anything requiring further clarification can be addressed.
 
 
Q. Can he speak about other issues, or just what’s in his presentation?
A. Our speaker can speak about a wide range of issues relating to Israel, Judaism, or the Middle East in general. For example, he can speak about music, culture, politics, minority rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, sports, military issues, and much more. If you have a particular topic of interest to your class, please let us know and we will ask our speaker to address it.
 
 
Q. Is there any cost to our school?
A. No.
 
 
Q. Will you speak to multiple classes?
A. Absolutely. In fact, most of our engagements span multiple classes at one school.
 
 
Q. Sounds interesting! How do I book an appointment to have your speaker visit our school?
A. Please contact us at oregon@standwithus.com, or call us at 206.801.0902. The details we require are the contact name(s) at the school, specific times that the speaker should be there, detailed location, where to park, school phone number, cell phone of primary contact, and notes on any specific things you would like for him to cover in his talk.

Contact Us to Book An Israeli Educator for Your Classroom

Call us

206.801.0902