Individually Israel

Tags: Leadership, Inspiration and Hope, Activism, VCI, Zionism


Many people have great ideas, but the sign of a great individual is being able to implement them. A longtime leader in the Jewish world, a dedicated advocate for Jewish community, Jewish identity, Jewish rights and Jewish pride, Richard Heideman has influenced many lives.

Students, colleagues and fellow leaders in both the Jewish and non Jewish world attest to the talents and vision of a man whose dedication to the Jewish nation is an inspiration.

Like Herzl before him, like Label Katz and Philip Klutznik, and yes even a bit like Henrietta Szold, Richard Heideman is the quintessential Virtual Citizen of Israel.

Richard Heideman joins Ambassador Ron Dermer in the streets of Jerusalem, along with BBYO and MOTL. Photo credit: Yossi Zeliger

Heideman launched his tenure in Jewish communal service as a young lay leader in the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization. He quickly rose in the ranks and found his voice, dedicated to the exhilaration and pride that this Jewish identity gave to his life. Moving on to become President of Bnai Brith International, the American Zionist Movement, and the co-founder of Israel Forever Foundation along with his wife Phyllis, now celebrating nearly 54 years together.

Courtesy of Detroit Jewish News Digital Archives, originally published March 2003

An acclaimed Washington, D.C. lawyer who defends victims of terrorism and has successfully won or settled cases worth billions of dollars against Libya, Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran and banks accused of funding terror, named Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year for 2016, and a published author with a new book coming out in this summer.

When Richard and Phyllis Heideman founded The Israel Forever Foundation, they showed just how impressive the power of vision is. Their continued expression of connection and responsibilities to the future of the Nation of Israel is an inspiration. Those who know them have seen it, have felt it. This dynamic duo has spread their passion to circles far and wide, touching on the many dimensions of what it means to be a Jew, to be a member of the Jewish people, and to serve as an example for others.

“Zionism Forward” was Heideman's vision as AZM President. Wanting to re-energize Zionism, he imbued in his presidency the same values with which he and Phyllis founded the Israel Forever Foundation 18 years ago.

Photo credit: Michelle Claire Gevint

"We must return to the basics of Zionism, that which unites us all in this hall here today, and make it relevant to our families, our communities, our synagogues, our schools and beyond.” - Richard Heideman

As Richard ends his second term as President of of American Zionist Movement, we invite you all to join our celebration of one of today's great leaders, and our founding father here at Israel Forever, Richard Heideman.

Tags: Leadership, Inspiration and Hope, Activism, VCI, Zionism