Israel Policy Forum and IPF Atid, its young professional-led community, are pleased to announce the members of the inaugural cohort of IPF Atid Undergraduate Policy Fellows. 

The IPF Atid Policy Fellowship is a yearlong, paid fellowship offered to undergraduate students who are committed to promoting nuanced, informed, policy-based discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a peaceful resolution to the conflict based on two states, to  Israel’s future as a secure, Jewish, democratic state, and are passionate about Middle East policy and building relationships with fellow students locally and nationally. Fellows will be part of an intimate national cohort of campus leaders who will learn together and support each other throughout the year while growing the IPF Atid community. 

Coming from top universities across North America and Israel, the six fellows will spend the year training with Israel Policy Forum experts to better understand the conflict and increase their knowledge of relevant security issues impacting Israelis and Palestinians. They will be offered unique opportunities and receive valuable support to develop their own analysis of key issues. Additionally, they will build relationships with other leaders on campus and plan programs to educate their communities on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the goal of elevating and enriching the campus discourse.

This year’s fellows are Elijah Kahlenber (University of Texas), Sam Harshbarger (Princeton University), Tamar Lerner (Indiana University), Dov Factor (The George Washington University), Ori Tal (Tel Aviv University), and Maya Waldman (Northwestern University).

Meet the Inaugural Policy Fellowship Cohort

Elijah Kahlenberg, University of Texas

Elijah Demetrios Kahlenberg is a rising sophmore at the University of Texas at Austin where he majors in both government and international affairs/foreign relations (with an emphasis of study on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict). He was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Being of Ukrainian-Ashkenazi and Greek-Sephardi (and some distant Romaniote) ancestry, he is fiercely proud of his Jewish heritage. At UT, he is the president and founder of Atidna at UT, an organization dedicated to bringing together Jews and Arabs/Israelis and Palestinians to have a progressive and civil dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is also the chair of the University Democrats Jewish Caucus, where he advocates for liberal-Jewish causes on campus. He looks forward to utilizing IPF Atid to create new bonds with a host of different individuals to further develop his insights on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sam Harshbarger, Princeton University

Sam is a rising third-year undergraduate at Princeton University studying history with a focus on modern Russia and Turkey. Outside of class, he is a researcher with the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He’s previously worked for Evergreen Strategy Group, the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation), and the Syrian Emergency Task Force.

Tamar Lerner, Indiana University

Tamar Lerner grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating high school, she spent a year living in Israel, and is now a rising senior at Indiana University. She is majoring in international studies and minoring in both Hebrew and Spanish. Her main focus in her studies is diplomacy in the Middle East.

Dov Factor, The George Washington University

Dov Factor is a college student who recently took a gap year in Israel during last spring’s flare-ups and was present during the Meron incident. In high school, he played baseball and served on BBYO’s International Board as Grand Aleph Moreh or international Vice President. He currently attends the George Washington University where he serves as director of political affairs for GW for Israel.

Ori Tal, Tel Aviv University

Ori Tal is a senior at Tel Aviv University where she is majoring in Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on the Israel/Palestine conflict. Growing up in Israel, she was instantly immersed in the cultural and political sphere that became prominent to her identity after moving to the United States as a child. Her personal proximity to the conflict sparked an interest in peacemaking and the pursuit of a diplomatic settlement to the Israel/Palestine conflict. To reconnect with her Israeli identity and to experience the realities of the conflict firsthand, Ori moved back to Israel to study at Tel Aviv University. She is fluent in Hebrew and is currently studying Arabic. Ori hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy and conflict resolution, concentrating her work in Israel and the Middle East. During her free time, she enjoys drawing and dancing ballet.

Maya Waldman is a senior at Northwestern University majoring in political science with minors in business and international studies. Growing up in Boston to Israeli parents, Maya learned Hebrew as her first language and spent her summers visiting her family in Israel. Through her professional and academic work, she has continued to develop her connection with Israel. She previously served as the JUF’s Israel intern at Northwestern and co-president of J Street U Northwestern. In addition to hosting events at Northwestern to encourage dialogue regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Maya is also learning Arabic as part of her coursework. She is very excited to be a part of the 2022-2023 IPF Atid Policy Fellowship cohort.