Prof. Uriel Reichman
Prof. Uriel Reichman was born in Tel Aviv in 1942 to Gerda and Alfred, refugees who fled from Nazi Germany to the Land of Israel.
Prof. Reichman served in the paratroopers of the Israel Defense Forces from 1960 to1963, earning the rank of lieutenant. As a commander in the IDF Reserves, he fought in the Six Day War, War of Attrition and Yom Kippur War. After his brother, Gad, fell in battle in the Yom Kippur War, he was transferred to a non-combat unit and served as the president of a military land tribunal, with the rank of major.
Prof. Reichman received both LL.B. and LL.M. (1967) degrees with honors from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He earned his doctoral degree in law (J.S.D.) at the University of Chicago Law School (1975). He went on to serve as a lecturer, senior lecturer and tenured professor at the Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University. In addition, he was a visiting professor and researcher at American and German universities. His academic publications, which have been published in Israel and the U.S., dealt with property law.
From 1985 to 1990, he served as the dean of the Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University. In 1990, he founded (and led until 1995) the Ramot Mishpat Law School; the first private college of its kind in Israel which was not subsidized by the government.
In 1994, Prof. Reichman founded Reichman University (IDC) in Herzliya, the first non-profit private institution of higher education in Israel. He has served as its president from its establishment to date, with the exception of only one year (2006). From a small college with only 240 students operating in the barracks of a former military base, Reichman University has developed into one of the leading academic institutions in Israel under his leadership. Some 2,000 from its 8,000 students come from abroad, from 87 different countries, making Reichman University a truly international institution of higher education. Reichman University is today internationally recognized, has active collaboration with over 60 leading universities worldwide, and consists of eight schools which provide undergraduate and graduate programs as well as international conferences that attract experts from around the globe, such as The Herzliya Conference.
In the mid-1980s, Prof. Reichman initiated and led the team which formulated a proposal for an Israeli constitution. The proposal (1987) included reforms such as the direct election of the prime minister, constituent elections, a Bill of Rights, and a new definition of the relations between religion and state. He subsequently chaired the Movement for a Constitution in Israel and led the campaign to have the proposed constitution accepted and implemented. As a result, the Knesset passed legislation in 1992 that turned part of the proposed constitution into Basic Laws.
After the Yom Kippur War, Prof. Reichman had joined Prof. Rubinstein to establish the Shinui Movement for Change. In 2005, he rose to the challenge that then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented to him and became the newly established Kadima Party’s candidate for Minister of Education. Prof. Reichman was elected and became a member of Israel’s Knesset (Parliament). After the elections, when then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave the education portfolio to one of the parties that was Kadima’s partner in the governing coalition, Prof. Reichman resigned from the Knesset and turned down an offer to become Minister of Justice. He returned to Reichman University since his only interest was trying to help the country face its educational challenges, not to pursue a political career. Upon his return, Prof. Reichman was reelected Reichman University’s president.
In 2010, Prof. Reichman was awarded an honorary doctorate by Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany. Prof. Reichman has served on the board of directors of the First International Bank and Bank Hapoalim. He also has chaired the Israel Bar Association’s Committee for Human Rights, headed and served as a member of several public committees, and proposed reforms in the real-estate laws and in the professions of real-estate surveying and brokerage.
Prof. Reichman Currently serving as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Reichman University. He is married to architect Nira Reichman and has three children and five grandchildren.
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