Our Team

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Leah Soibel

Founder and CEO of Fuente Latina

Leah Soibel, a Hispanic American and Israeli, has more than a decade of experience on the ground in Israel, the U.S, Latin America and Spain working with thousands of Spanish-language journalists and opinion leaders from around the world.

Leah established Fuente Latina in 2012 after recognizing a void in the Latino media market and in response to the growing demand by global Hispanic journalists for factual information about Israel and the Middle East in their language and in real time.

Since then, she has brought millions of Spanish speakers an accurate image of Israel and the region through international media events, expert interviews and briefings, as well as helicopter tours and many other initiatives.

Fuente Latina has grown quickly under her leadership and today is recognized as the only media organization that breaks down geographical, cultural and linguistic barriers for Spanish-language media covering Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world.

Leah is the go-to expert for Spanish-language media covering stories about Israel and the Middle East. She is regularly published in influential outlets such as Infobae and Univision.com, and is frequently interviewed by Spanish-language media about regional issues.

Leah established Fuente Latina after seven years at The Israel Project where she was among the original core staff in Jerusalem. Previously she worked in intelligence. She 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 mainly splits her time between Miami and Jerusalem and is mom to toddler Zack Pedro.

Rafael Aníbal

Chief Communications Officer | Madrid Office

Rafael has more than a decade of 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 several media outlets.

As Chief Communications Director, Rafael oversees Fuente Latina’s global Spanish-language media outreach, press relations, and interviews as well as production, content, and more. He has led 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 Spanish-language media outlets.

His production work for Fuente Latina has resulted in two TV Emmy awards for two major U.S. Hispanic networks.

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, but he is a citizen of the world.

Bertha Merikanskas

Executive Director | Los Angeles Office

Bertha is responsible for managing Fuente Latina’s California operations including Latino media and influencer relations, follow up programs, events, Media Fellowship recruitment, FL’s LA Advisory Council, and partner and community outreach initiatives. 

She has more than a decade of experience in communications, marketing, and public relations in top agencies stretching from Mexico City to Miami to Los Angeles.

Prior to Fuente Latina, Bertha 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.

Bertha has a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications 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.

She loves spending time with her husband David, son Eitan and daughter Lia.

Andrea de Vivar

Communications Associate | Madrid Office

Andrea, who works closely with the Chief Communications Officer, is responsible for defining communications strategies, pitching and packaging stories, as well as maintaining media relationships.

Andrea has more than 10 years of experience working in communications and marketing.

After graduating from San Pablo CEU University of Madrid with a degree in journalism, she worked at Aleph Communication where she developed marketing strategies for different tech companies. After her time at Aleph, Andrea made the leap from tech marketing to tourism public relations, working at Idealmedia Communication Platform. During her five-year career at Idealmedia, she was a regular contributor to Paralelo20, a travel and tourism radio program of Radio Marca. Before joining Fuente Latina, Andrea worked at Globally as a public relations account manager.

Maya Siminovich

Video Producer and Editor | Israel Office

Maya Siminovich produces videos and written content for Fuente Latina that are viewed by millions of Spanish speakers worldwide. 

She researches stories in the field, working with editors, and assists visiting journalists with filming and production in Israel. 

Maya previously worked with EFE, the #1 Spanish-language news agency in the world, Israel’s KAN Radio, and has worked for more than  20 years as a freelance journalist for a variety of global print, television and radio outlets. 

Maya was born in Jerusalem and raised between Barcelona and Madrid. She has a BA in Information Sciences from Complutense University, Madrid, an MA in Audiovisual Journalism from New York University and a PhD in Philosophy from Carlos III University, Madrid. 

She speaks Spanish, Hebrew, English, and Portuguese.

Daniella Schwartz

Media Outreach and Community Development Manager | Los Angeles Office

Daniella is responsible for planning media outreach, programming, and content as well as cultivating Fuente Latina relationships in the California community. 

Before joining Fuente Latina, Daniella was part of RAZE, a Latin digital media company launched by actress Sofia Vergara, where she was instrumental in launching their first mobile platform with original content that celebrates the voices and perspectives of Latinos through production and premium video content distribution. Before RAZE, she developed communication strategies through content creation for personalities such as the Kardashians, entrepreneurs, and government figures such as Vicente Fox.

Working in both the United States and Latin America has given Daniella a great cultural and inclusive understanding of brand development, entertainment production, public affairs, corporate communications and public relations in Hispanic and non-Hispanic markets. 

The Mexico City native received a BA in International Relations from The University of California, Los Angeles.

Steven Senft

National Director of Development and Community Outreach | Miami Office

Born in Bogota, Colombia, Steven has traveled around the world for his career and studies. Most recently, he was the Southeast Development Director for the Israeli American Council (IAC). 

Steven lived in Israel for almost 6 years, traveling throughout the country. He finished his studies at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and has been involved with many Jewish and Israeli organizations around the world.

Steven brings a wealth of experience in development and community building.

Before joining Fuente Latina, he worked at Judaism Your Way in Colorado as their first Director of Development where he helped to establish a $3 million-dollar endowment fund and expand their fundraising efforts to include legacy giving.

He lives in Boca Raton with his wife Daniela Loebl.