Our Team

The team leading the US efforts for ELEM/ Youth in Distress in Israel is small, but mighty. Together, we have years of experience in the fields of fundraising, nonprofit, event planning, grant writing, community engagement, and marketing.

Liora Attias (she/her/hers) – Chief Operating Officer

Liora joined the ELEM family right after graduating from New Jersey City University, where she was a psychology major. Liora first came on board as an Administrative Assistant, and her passion and years of commitment to ELEM allowed her to climb the ranks quickly, and become the Chief Operating Officer. Additionally, she has a certificate in the field of event planning from NYIAD which is a great asset to the organization. ELEM’s mission statement is incredibly close to Liora’s heart, as she herself was a homeless youth when she was a teenager.

Chen Drachman (she/her/hers) – Manager of Communications

Chen is an Israeli-American actress and award winning filmmaker. She became a permanent resident through an application of excellence in the field of production. Her work has been presented in numerous festivals around the world. Her writing was also featured on websites such as AfterEllen. As a production consultant she helped produce theater, films and a variety of events of different scales. She was part of a 3-person team producing the yearly gala of the Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York, at the Alice Tully Hall, for three years. She also consults different conventions around the country and is a certified translator with the NY court system. 

Scott Harkey (he/him/his) – Development Officer

Scott is a philanthropy professional with expertise in the areas of fundraising, development, marketing, and grassroots campaigns. His diverse background includes work within alumni chapters, capital campaigns, pediatric hospitals, academic healthcare systems, and nationally ranked medical schools. Scott completed his Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Benjamin Behrend (he/him/his) – Development Officer

Benjamin is a philanthropy professional with expertise in fundraising, development, marketing, event planning, and arts and culture management. His diverse background includes working with theater companies, film productions, academic healthcare systems, and nationally ranked medical schools and undergraduate institutions. Benjamin is a proud graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He is thrilled to advance ELEM’s vital mission through philanthropy and outreach.

Alan Frent (he/him/his) – Southeastern Regional Development Officer

Alan has over twenty years of experience as a philanthropic professional in nonprofit and education. Most recently as the Southeastern Regional Executive Director for American Friends of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv. He created awareness and was able to raise significant funds for the hospital especially during COVID and grew the board from two to eighteen in a period of two years. Alan enjoys opening doors that have been previously closed, and as well as thinking “outside the box”. His fundraising and development mantra has always been to provide a lifeline for a lifetime. A passion for helping those that cannot help themselves, Alan is a lay-leader in South Florida and is a member of the board of directors for several nonprofit organizations.

Miriam Wazeter (she/her/hers) – Grants and Research Analyst

Miriam is a committed philanthropy professional primarily in the field of Jewish Philanthropy. Born in Shanghai, China, Miriam’s background as a “Shanghai Jew, and having lived three years in a D.P. camp, has forged her commitment to helping the displaced and homeless. Prior to joining ELEM, Ms. Wazeter served as Director of Foundation Relations at the American Friends of Hebrew University and she then transitioned to part-time Research Manager. Her previous experiences include Hadassah and the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Ms. Wazeter also served as Director of Research at Pace University and had the pleasure of serving as Manager of Research at the Ms. Foundation for Women.  Miriam completed her B.S.W. at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Rotem Weizman (she/her/hers) – Marketing and Outreach Associate

Rotem is dedicated to issues at the intersection of environment, peacebuilding, development, and aid. She has been involved with several organizations promoting peace between Israelis and Palestinians and environmental initiatives. She obtained a B.A. in International Relations, Journalism and Communications from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and holds an M.A. in Global Affairs from Yale University. 

Kaya Miller (she/her/hers) – Operations Associate


Kaya is an administrative professional based in San Diego. She has a background in grassroots fundraising and office management. Kaya received her BA in Political Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst and hopes to continue her education in California. After working in the apparel industry for several years, she is thrilled to be back in the nonprofit community. 

Emily Huang (she/her/hers) – Intern

Emily is an American-born Chinese from Southern California. Her multicultural background in languages includes studying Spanish at The Webb Schools, where she will be graduating in 2023, Hebrew at LA Hebrew High School, and practicing Chinese at home. She explores her curiosities through traveling – journeying from the Himalayas to the Dead Sea and venturing to Israel for two summers, reading women’s literature, and watching movies. After watching Schindler’s List and Yentl at a young age, Emily developed an academic interest in Jewish culture. She hopes to contribute to a diverse community through ELEM.

Neria Spence (she/her/hers) – Intern

Neria has a deep connection to Israel as she has been rooted in her Jewish heritage throughout her life. She enjoys immersing herself in other cultures from learning French for 10+ years and taking Hebrew courses. After becoming a Bat Mitzvah, Neria looked for ways to give back to the Jewish community and help those in need. She hopes to further these efforts during her time with ELEM and learn more about Israel. In addition to these interests, Neria also enjoys reading, making/learning about art, and listening to music.