A family operation that started off as a local effort to support Israel during the second intifada has turned into a $4 million operation under the energetic leadership of Roz Rothstein.
With 15 branches and a growing presence across the country, StandWithUs, founded by Rothstein, 60, a family therapist by training, celebrated its 10th anniversary in January. The group has grown to become one of the most significant players in the pro-Israel advocacy scene. After starting in Los Angeles, it now has offices around the country as well as in Israel, Australia and Britain, but is especially effective on the West Coast where the organization is based.
Rothstein has led StandWithUs to confront campaigns aimed at boycotting Israeli products by conducting a counterdrive to encourage purchase of products from Israel. She has also forged strong ties with the Israeli government and its representatives in the United States.
Rothstein maintains that StandWithUs does not have a right-wing agenda, although she refrains from stating her support for a two-state solution. But while registering unquestioned success in making pro-Israel voices heard on university campuses and in other settings critical of Israel, Rothstein’s organization has not made it into the heart of the American Jewish consensus, engaging in public quarrels with J Street and other left-leaning Jewish organizations.
In recent years, StandWithUs has increased its work within Israel with a fellowship program geared at training young Jews and Israelis as public speakers and as future advocates for the Jewish state.