Sondra Oster Baras was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio in an Orthodox Jewish home. She was educated at a Jewish school through high school and upon graduation, studied Bible at the Jerusalem College for Women in Israel. She completed her B.A. in history and English at Barnard College (Columbia University) and obtained her J.D. at Columbia University’s School of Law. In 1984, after practicing law in New York for a short time, Sondra moved to Israel. Sondra continued her legal career in Israel, after being accepted to the Israeli bar.
In 1985, Sondra became an active member of the governing board of a group that was establishing a new neighborhood in Samaria, where she moved with her family in 1987. Shortly thereafter, the first Intifada began, and Baras was drawn into activities advocating for the settlement movement. Since then, Baras has been an active spokesperson for the communities of Judea and Samaria.
Baras founded CFOIC Heartland in 1998, after working with a Christian family initiative to connect Christians with Judea and Samaria since 1995. From 1998 until her retirement in 2023, Sondra was the director of the Israel office, heading up the activities of CFOIC Heartland world-wide.
CFOIC Heartland is the only Christian organization to focus exclusively on the communities in the heartland of Biblical Israel. CFOIC Heartland raises funds for the communities and encourages tourism to biblical sites in these areas as well. They are the primary resource for connecting Christians from all over the world to the people of Biblical Israel. In addition to the main U.S. and Israel offices, there are CFOIC representatives in Germany, Holland, the UK and Australia.
In September 2023, Sondra Oster Baras assumed the position of International President of CFOIC Heartland, remaining a key voice in educating Christians all over the world about the Biblical Heartland. She and her husband Edward, a computer programmer, raised five children in Karnei Shomron, where they still reside today. In her spare time, Baras enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, and studies and teaches Bible, her greatest passion.