After bemoaning for years that little had been done to bring balance to the debate regarding the Middle East conflict, Rita Heller and Jean-Jacques (a.k.a. "J.J.") Surbeck decided to do something about it and created T.E.A.M. in 2008.


J.J. was Executive Director or T.E.A.M., gave lectures, workshops and seminars on demand until January 2016 when he stepped down to retire. He is still passionate about Israel and remains available as a resource when needed.


Rita Heller, co-founder of T.E.A.M. and Chair of the Board, is originally from Los Angeles but has lived in San Diego since 2003. As a student at U.C.L.A. she was active in the Student Zionist Alliance in 1975-76 during the "Zionism is Racism" resolution at the United Nations.  A child of two Holocaust survivors, she is acutely aware of the need to support Israel's existence.


Alan Alpert is T.E.A.M.'s Outreach Manager. He has been working at Congregation Beth Am since 2002 as an Educator, Congregational Leader and has also worked for many years with Jewish youth in summer camps. Recipient of the Advanced Pedagogic Award since 2004, he was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was actively involved in the Jewish community there. Alan is very passionate about education and is very grateful for the opportunity to further the organization's mission.


Micha (Mitch) Danzig is a practicing attorney in San Diego and Board member of T.E.A.M. (Training & Education About the Middle East). He is also on the Stand With Us board and a former soldier in the IDF. Micha speaks on television, radio and writes articles.