Oudi Recanati


Mr. Oudi Recanati, a member of one of Israel’s most prominent families in the business and philanthropic world, is a true friend and valued partner of Reichman University. He was one of the most important driving forces behind the establishment of Israel’s first private university.


Oudi Recanati was born in New York in 1949. He is the grandson of Leon Recanati, the leader of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki, who immigrated to Israel in 1935 and founded the Israel Discount Bank, as well as settlements and neighborhoods in pre-state Israel.


He is the eldest son of Raphael Recanati, who ran the Israel Discount Bank’s branch in New York and later served as the bank’s Managing Director. Mr. Recanati came to Israel at the age of 16. He studied at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium in Tel Aviv and served as an officer in the IDF’s artillery corps.


He holds a BA in Humanities from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MBA from Tel Aviv University.



Mr. Recanati joined the Israel Discount Bank in 1973 and was appointed Deputy Director in 1974. In 1981, he was named Executive Vice-President and became responsible for managing the bank’s securities portfolio and international operations. He left the bank in 1986 and was appointed Co-CEO, together with his cousin Leon, of IDB Holding Corporation Ltd, which was established by the family.


In 1990, Oudi Recanati left IDB and founded the brokerage and investment firm YLR Capital Markets, which was acquired by IDB five years later. As a result, Mr. Recanati returned to take on management positions in the family holding company and in 1997, upon the retirement of his father, he was appointed Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of IDB. He later served as Chairman of Discount Investment Corporation Ltd, and at the same time was a member of the Board of Directors of the international shipping company OSG.


Upon the passing of his father Raphael in 1999, he was named Chairman of the Swiss bank DBTC.


Mr. Recanati retired from IDB in 2002 and a year later founded Naftali Investments, in which his two children, Shai and Shira, took on managerial positions. The company invests in various areas in Israel, including media and high-tech. Among its most notable investments are Mobileye and the media content provider RGE, which operates the Sports Channel, the Knesset Channel and the Kids’ Channel. In addition, Naftali is an investor in Channel 13.


Oudi Recanati is strongly connected to the world of sports. He and his children are part owners of Maccabi Tel Aviv, the most successful basketball team in Israel’s history and one of the top teams in Europe, having won six European Championships. Mr. Recanati also served as Chairman of Maccabi World Union and today serves as Chairman of the Maccabi World Union Board of Trustees.


Oudi Recanati carries on his family’s tradition of extensive philanthropic activity, especially in the areas of health, education, culture and art, and he has supported Reichman University since its early days.


He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Reichman University for many years and is currently Reichman University’s Chancellor. Together with Prof. Uriel Reichman, Mr. Recanati crafted the vision for an international school that would attract Jewish youth from all over the world, and, along with his mother Dina, has generously supported the school ever since.


The international school is named in honor of his late father, Raphael Recanati. Towards the end of each academic year, the Raphael Recanati International School’s graduating seniors are invited to a celebratory gala event hosted by Oudi and his wife Staci at their home. This year, the new student dormitory tower, named for Mr. Recanati's late brother Michael Recanati, was dedicated in a festive ceremony.