Our Team

Leah Soibel, Founder & CEO

Leah Soibel, a Hispanic American and Israeli, has more than a decade of experience on the ground in Israel, the U.S, and Latin America working with hundreds of global Latino journalists. In 2012, she founded Fuente Latina (FL), the only organization of its kind engaging global Latino media covering Israel and the Middle East in their language and in real-time. The Algemeiner named her on the “Jewish100” list in 2014.

Leah launched Fuente Latina in response to a growing demand from Latino media for greater access to information about Israel and the Middle East in Spanish. She has been bringing millions of Spanish speakers an accurate image of the region through international media events, expert interviews and briefings, as well as helicopter tours. Leah is the go-to expert in Israel on Latino media, due to her access to hundreds of journalists and Latino leaders. She is regularly published in Miami’s El Nuevo Herald and Univision.com, and is frequently interviewed by Spanish media about regional security issues and Iranian influence in Latin America.

She established FL after seven years at The Israel Project; her last two as years there she was TIP’s Spanish Media Program director. Previously she served in intelligence. Leah is a National Security Education Program Fellow and received an Arabic language certificate from the American University of Cairo’s Arabic Language Institute. She has a BA in Middle East History from Dickinson College, an MA in Security Policy Studies from George Washington University, and has completed coursework for a doctorate in political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Leah speaks English, Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic, and reads Portuguese and Farsi.

She splits her time between Jerusalem and Miami. Besides running FL, Leah runs after her two-year old son Zack Pedro.

To contact Leah Soibel, please send her an email: leah@fuentelatina.org

Gloria Garcés, Media Outreach Director, Miami Office

Gloria is Fuente Latina’s Miami Office Media Outreach Director. She is responsible for all media outreach, communications, and programing in South Florida.

Prior to joining Fuente Latina, Gloria worked as Executive Producer, On-Air Talent and Director of Public & Community Relations for Mira TV (formerly CNN Latino); and the co-owner of EVENTERS, an event management company in Miami.

She began her journalism career as the TV host of “A Todo Dar” with the Enlace network, which reached more than 70 million viewers throughout the U.S. and Latin America. She also worked in radio, hosting two different segments: “Saliendo del Rojo” that aired on more than 300 radio stations in Latin America, and Haciendo el Bien,” which aired in South Florida for three years.

Garcés has also worked at CreatAbility, one of the first advertising agencies in the United States focused on the Hispanic market, working with major brands such as Universal Studios and NBC. She later became one of the youngest executives in the Spanish music industry as Vice President of One Voice Records, a record label and distribution company, where she is credited with convincing the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to include categories for Spanish Christian music, first added during 2001 Latin GRAMMYs awards.

In 2014, Garcés received the “Hispanic Woman of Distinction” Award and in 2012, the organization Mujer de Conquista presented her with the “Award to the Extraordinary” in the area of Government.

Gloria graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Miami’s School of Business with a degree in Marketing. She studied International Journalism at Florida International University and is an alumna of Lifework Leadership.

Garcés was born in Guatemala, of Cuban descent, and lives in Miami with her daughter.

To contact Gloria Garcés, please email her: gloria@fuentelatina.org

Hamutal Rogel Fuchs, Executive Director, Israel Office

Hamutal Rogel Fuchs is Executive Director of Fuente Latina’s Israel Office based in Jerusalem.

Rogel Fuchs is responsible for all of Fuente Latina’s strategic and operational activities in Israel including management of Israeli staff, media programing including fellowships, events, partner relations, and donor stewardship.

Hamutal joined the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2004 and has had several posts in her short diplomatic career. She served in Dakar, Senegal as Deputy Chief of Mission; in the Netherlands as Counselor for Public Affairs and Academy; and she recently returned after serving as Media Spokesperson at Israel’s Embassy in Madrid, Spain (2013-2018). In addition to her missions abroad, Hamutal also worked on U.S.-Israel relations from the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem as First Secretary for Congressional Affairs in the MFA’s North America Department.

Before joining the MFA, Hamutal was an educational manager at Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem. She also previously worked with the Jewish Agency’s recruitment and training programs for summer shlichim and as a youth counselor with UJC delegations.

Hamutal has a BA at International Relations, Anthropology and Sociology and an MA in Conflict Resolution from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She was born and raised in Kibbutz Gvat (one of the first Kibbutzim established in Israel).

She is married to Yair and a very proud mother to 3 boys. Hamutal speaks Hebrew, English, Spanish and French.

To contact Hamutal Rogel Fuchs, please email her: hamutal@fuentelatina.org

Rafael Aníbal, Communications Director, Madrid Office

Rafael has over a decade experience working with media in Spain, Israel, Latin America and the U.S. He has reported for major newspapers, radio and TV stations and worked on communications campaigns for various media outlets.

As Communications Director, Rafael overseas all of Fuente Latina’s global Hispanic media outreach, press relations, interviews and production, as well as content. He has lead and organized dozens of media missions to Israel as well as numerous international media tours with newsmakers to the U.S. and Latin America; facilitating hundreds of interviews with top global Hispanic media outlets.

 

He has produced dozens of TV, radio and print news stories about Israel and the Mideast.

Rafael has a BA in Journalism from the University Carlos III of Madrid, an MA in Television Journalism from the Antonio de Nebrija University in Madrid, as well as an MA in Diplomacy and Security from Tel Aviv University. He also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Journalism from the Open University of Catalunya.

Rafael is based in Spain. His work frequently takes him to Israel, the U.S. and across Latin America.

To contact Rafael Aníbal, please email him: rafael@fuentelatina.org

 

Bertha Merikanskas, Executive Director, Los Angeles Office

Bertha Merikanskas is Fuente Latina’s Los Angeles Office Executive Director. She is responsible for managing of all Fuente Latina’s new Los Angeles operations including Latino media and influencer relations, follow up programs, events, Media Fellowship recruitment, FL’s LA Advisory Council, partner and community outreach.

She joins the FL team with over a decade experience in communications, marketing and public relations in top agencies stretching from Mexico City to Miami to Los Angeles.

Prior to FL, Merikanskas was at Saatchi & Saatchi where she led PR efforts for a global Olympic/Paralympic campaign as Earned Media Director.

In between her agency roles, she managed Diageo’s Latin America Corporate Social Responsibility Buchanan’s Forever program and was Marketing Communications Manager for LAN Airlines’ North America Operation based in Miami.

Merikanskas holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Boston University, a Masters in Liberal Arts from the University of Miami and has taught college-level Public Relations at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

Her idea of happiness is traveling, riding horses and spending every moment she can with her husband and three children: 11-month-old son Eitan and her two 5 yr-old black lab daughters, Layla and Laika.

To contact Bertha Merikanskas, please email her: bertha@fuentelatina.org

Reut Shuker, Media Coordinator, Israel Office

Reut Shuker is Fuente Latina’s Media Coordinator. She is responsible for organizing and coordinating media tours, visits and programing for journalists. Reut also assists with Fuente Latina’s social media network, developing social media content and airing it live from the field for the organization’s different platforms.

She has a BA and an MA in Latin American Studies and Film from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and completed coursework towards a PhD at Tulane University in New Orleans. During her academic career, Reut studied at the University of Granada, Spain, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Brown University.

Reut is Israeli and speaks Hebrew, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

To contact Reut Shuker, please email her: reut@fuentelatina.org