Educational charity StandWithUs UK has appointed René Anisfeld as its new Chairperson. She will replace Lana Saffrin Betesh, who has been Chairperson for almost three years and who will remain on the Board. During Saffrin Betesh’s tenure, the charity grew rapidly to meet the growing needs of students in secondary schools and at university as it increased its output many times over, especially since October 7.


StandWithUs Israel Executive Director Michael Dickson said: “We are very lucky in the calibre of lay leadership we have attracted and this transition is indicative of that. We have been blessed to have Lana at the helm of our Board, bringing creativity, leadership and passion to the role. During her tenure, our fundraising campaigns in recent years have grown to ensure our work can grow apace. Lana has ensured that we grew our support in the community, built vital coalitions with allies outside of the Jewish community and were positioned to give a huge amount of support to people – and especially young people – facing antisemitic attacks while providing innovative educational initiatives that impact a strong sense of identity with the State of Israel. Lana will now play a role in helping us grow international relationships, particularly in Europe. We are excited to welcome René to this new position. She has been a staunch champion of StandWithUs UK for many years, is highly respected and we are thrilled she is taking that commitment even further.”


A long-time Board member and Trustee of StandWithUs UK, René Anisfeld has held multiple roles in the non-profit and Jewish community space including at The Jewish Helpline, HGSS and school councils. A keen student of Modern Jewish history, StandWithUs became a passion for her many years ago and she views the cause to be more important than ever.


Lana Saffrin Betesh said: “I’ve been working with StandWithUs since my mentor and StandWithUs board member, Newton Becker z”l introduced me to the formidable co-founder Roz Rothstein, in 1990! I am grateful to have chaired StandWithUs UK at this critical time and warmly congratulate our new Chair René, who I’ve had the pleasure of working on the Advisory Board for many years. I remain on StandWithUs UK’s Advisory Board and remain dedicated to our shared mission: to utilise education to support Israel and counter global hatred towards Jews, an objective which has only grown in importance.”


René Anisfeld said: “I have big shoes to fill and am clear about my role in working to support our UK professional team, encouraging students and all those associated with StandWithUs and building the UK Board. I believe hugely in the incredibly important work of StandWithUs and have spent years building relationships with the fabulous StandWithUs team both in the UK and internationally.”


StandWithUs UK Executive Director Isaac Zarfati added: “At these challenging times, our dedicated staff are working around the clock and around the country. Our programming, including our Emerson Fellowship and our movement has grown hugely in recent years. We are so very appreciative to Lana Saffrin Betesh for her commitment over so many years and I am looking forward to working with the talented René, our trustees and Board to ensure we grow from strength to strength.”