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 to 1963, 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.
Prof. Reichman received both LL.B. and LL.M. (1967) degrees with honours 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 the Ramot Mishpat Law School, the first private college of its kind in Israel not subsidized by the government, and led it until 1995.
In 1994, Prof. Reichman founded the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, the first private institution of higher education in Israel. He has served as its president for 12 years.
In the mid-1980s, Prof. Reichman initiated and headed the team which formulated a proposal for an Israeli constitution. The proposal (1987) included reforms such as the direct election of the prime minister, constituency 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 joined Prof. Amnon Rubinstein to establish the ShinuiMovement for Change. In 2005, he accepted a challenge by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to become the newly established Kadima Party’s candidate for minister of education. When Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave the portfolio to a coalition partner, Prof. Reichman resigned from the Knesset and returned to IDC Herzliya since his only interest was to try to help the country face its educational challenges, and not to serve in another portfolio. Upon his return, Prof. Reichman was re elected IDC Herzliya president