Joel Landau is an ordained rabbi and executive director of “Israel Up Close Productions” (IUC), a non- profit film production company which he founded. He was born in a religious Zionist family in Queens, New York, and spent most of his childhood years going back and forth between New York and State of Israel. In 1974, he and his family moved to Israel. At first they settled at a youth village, but after some time they moved to Jerusalem in the Jewish quarter of the Old City. Moving there made a huge difference in his life.
From 1983 to 1988, Joel Landau studied with the Rav of the Old City and assisted him in editing one of his first publications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Empire State College, a teaching credential from Lipshitz College, ordination from the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and a post graduate degree in Judaic Studies issued by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
In 1988, Joel Landau became the Associate Rabbi of Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue in Charleston, South Carolina, and four years later, he became the Rav of Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine, California. Apart from his congregational responsibilities he also used this time to help his community members in any way he could. In 2004 he returned to Israel and became involved with several organizations that provided help to the poor. Determined to change the public’s perception of Israel, he founded his company IUC that identifies, researches, and reports on Israeli innovations, and how they improve the lives of people.