Richard Bernstein Steps into New Role as UIA Chair December 7, 2012
The Jewish Federations of North America has named Richard N. Bernstein as chair of the United Israel Appeal (UIA). Bernstein will lead the UIA, an independent entity of JFNA that operates in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel, to help American Jews fulfill their ongoing collective commitment to the building of the State of Israel. Bernstein succeeds Bruce Arbit of Milwaukee, who led the UIA as its chair since 2008.
“I am honored to take on this role at the United Israel Appeal,” said Bernstein. “There is incredible passion and commitment in the American Jewish community to help grow and sustain Jewish life in Israel. I look forward to leading Jewish Federations in our efforts to ensure a vibrant future for the Jewish state for generations to come.”
Bernstein has long been active in the Jewish Federation community and has worked on behalf of many Jewish causes. An alumnus of the Young Leadership Cabinet (a predecessor to JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet), Bernstein serves on the board of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and chaired the Negev Funding Coalition, an initiative of the JFNA Negev Work Group that inspires and supports the development of the Negev. He is also a member of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, and serves on the boards of the American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, One Laptop Per Child Association, Inc. and the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund.
Bernstein is a senior counsel with the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, PA in Miami. He has specialized in corporate transactional law, mergers and acquisition, international law and private and public financing matters. Bernstein has been listed in the prestigious The Best Lawyers in America for each year from 2005 through 2012.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a law degree (cum laude) from the University of Miami School of Law. Bernstein earned his certificate as a CPA in the State of Florida (currently inactive).
“Richard is a passionate leader who has dedicated so much of his time and energy to improving the lives of the people of Israel,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the Board of Trustees of JFNA. “I look forward to working alongside him in his new role at the UIA, and know he will make an incredible impact on the Israel of tomorrow.”
Immediately after taking on the role of UIA chair, Bernstein joined a leadership mission to Israel in the midst of Operation Pillar of Defense. During the mission, he had the opportunity to see firsthand the impact of Jewish Federation programs and initiatives during times of crisis. “It was a reminder of how critical the American Jewish community is in enhancing the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Israel,” he said. “The resiliency, courage and strength of the Israelis was inspiring. I was proud to represent the UIA.”