Professor David Harman was inducted as a member of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and as Chair of the HUC-JIR Jerusalem Board of Overseers at the Academic Convocation on campus on November 2, 2007.
In announcing Harman's new leadership role, Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, said, "Dr. David Harman is one of the foremost educators in Israel, and has long been an outspoken advocate of pluralism and tolerance in Israel. Raised in both Israel and the United States, Professor Harman has enjoyed a distinguished career at the Hebrew University and has been a creative educational visionary for decades. He has been a foremost advocate of the advantages modern technological advancements possess for education, and his commitment to a strong relationship between Israel and the Diaspora has allowed him to contribute significantly to the creation of a strong sense of Jewish identity and unity among Jews throughout the world. Dr. Harman has long been appreciative of the role that Hebrew Union College does and can play in these areas, and the College-Institute is extremely fortunate to have him serve as Chair of our Jerusalem Board of Overseers at this time of possibility for the growth of Jewish identity and religious creativity in Israel. He will surely facilitate the role HUC-JIR can play in forging a strong sense of Jewish peoplehood and shared Jewish destiny among Jews wherever they dwell."
Barbara Friedman, Chair of the HUC-JIR Board of Governors, noted, "As a longtime member of the Board of Overseers, David Harman is an advocate for our Jerusalem campus and he will bring dedication and creativity to his new role."
Professor Harman has been a member of HUC-JIR's Jerusalem Board of Overseers since 1991, and succeeds Dr. Yoram Dinstein as its Chair. Born in Jerusalem, he pursued his undergraduate studies at Hebrew University, where he majored in History and Middle Eastern Studies, and proceeded to Harvard University, where he earned his doctorate at the Graduate School of Education. He has served on the faculty of Hebrew University, Harvard University and Columbia University's Teacher's College.
Harman's distinguished career in education and Jewish-Diaspora relations includes a seven-year term as Director-General of the Joint Authority for Jewish Education of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for Israel, Chief Scientist of the Joint Distribution Committee; Special Advisor on Educational Planning at the Israel Ministry of Education; and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Jewish Education in the Diaspora. He has served in top-level consultancy capacities on educational planning and literacy in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Liberia, and Kenya for the World Bank and USAID, and the Harvard Institute for International Development. He is currently the President of TeachLink, Ltd., which specializes in the development of technologies and distance learning systems for education, teaches at the Hebrew University, and has been a Visiting Scholar at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education. Harman has published twelve books and monographs, including Illiteracy: A National Dilemma (1987) and On Jewish Peoplehood (2002), and over sixty articles and chapters in edited volumes.
He is the son of Avraham Harman, z'l, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and President of the Hebrew University. He and his wife Dorothy, who serves as Chair of the Board of the Jerusalem International YMCA, have three children who are engaged in the academic and cultural life of Israel and the Jewish people.