Richard S. Hirschhaut – Press Release Announcement

January 30, 2017

CONTACT: Samantha Kupferman, West End Strategy Team; Office: 212-498-9300; Cell: 202-215-9260


Jewish Communal and Humanitarian Leader Tapped to Lead
American Friends of the Rambam Medical Center

Richard Hirschhaut to apply experience in strategic development and philanthropic partnerships as chief of U.S. support affiliate of Israel’s Rambam Health Care Campus


NEW YORK – American Friends of the Rambam Medical Center (AFORAM), the U.S. philanthropic arm of Haifa’s premier medical institution, Rambam Health Care Campus, today announced the appointment of Richard S. Hirschhaut as its national executive director, effective February 1. Hirschhaut is a prominent Jewish communal and humanitarian leader who has served in senior executive roles with the Anti-Defamation League, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and, most recently, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

In announcing Hirschhaut’s appointment, Adam O. Emmerich, AFORAM board chair and a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in New York, commented, “We are thrilled to welcome Rick as our chief executive. He is a visionary and transformative leader who has served both the Jewish community and the broader American public with passion and integrity for over three decades. AFORAM is poised for growth in our capacity to support Rambam Health Care Campus to lead the way in Israel, the Middle East and globally in providing medical excellence and leadership in scientific research. We look forward to Rick elevating Rambam’s admired name and expanding AFORAM’s growing family of supporters across the United States.”

Hirschhaut has built a career in the Jewish communal world. He comes to AFORAM from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, where he served as senior director of external relations, developing strategic partnerships between JDC and Jewish communities and donors supportive of JDC’s humanitarian mission serving vulnerable Jews around the globe. He has led major philanthropists on humanitarian missions to Ukraine, Ethiopia and Cuba.

Before joining the JDC, Hirschhaut led the creation and establishment of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, as its founding executive director from 2004-14. The museum opened in 2009 to international acclaim and the participation of President Bill Clinton, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, and an audience of 13,000. Under his leadership, the museum hosted more than half a million visitors, including heads of state and other dignitaries, and spearheaded a myriad of public programs.

Previously, Hirschhaut enjoyed a 21-year tenure with the Anti-Defamation League, including a decade as Midwest regional director. His accomplishments included  building bridges between Jewish and African-American communities, and working closely with law enforcement on issues of anti-Semitism and extremism. He has led numerous fact-finding missions to the Middle East and Central Europe.

Said Hirschhaut of his new role, “I am humbled by the trust that has been placed in me to lead AFORAM, and excited for the opportunity to contribute to elevated awareness and support for the medical innovations and advancements happening at Rambam. I am also honored to lead an organization dedicated to bringing Israel’s unique strengths and many gifts, especially the power of healing and hope, to the world. Together with AFORAM’s team on the ground in the United States and Rambam’s network of doctors, scientists and other medical professionals, we will strengthen our capacity to support the remarkable clinical care and scientific advances that are being achieved daily at Rambam.”

The vision behind Rambam Health Care Campus places both patients and health care professionals at the center and emphasizes a combination of medicine, science and engineering to create the future of medicine. Among its most significant recent achievements, Rambam dedicated the largest fortified underground emergency hospital in the world, a cornerstone of Israel’s security preparedness. Within 72 hours, a functioning 1,500-vehicle parking garage can be transformed into a fully functioning underground hospital with 2,000 beds.

Rambam’s campus is situated in a unique academic and industrial environment, collaborating on education and medical research with the Technion, and in nursing and health sciences with the University of Haifa. As part of its efforts to introduce innovative new technologies, the medical center is engaged in ongoing collaborations with the medical industry regionally and globally.

Prof. Rafi Beyar, CEO and director of Rambam Health Care Campus, and a renowned cardiologist, commented, “Rambam is undergoing unprecedented capital infrastructure growth and leadership, and professional enhancements, that will continue to transform our campus into one of the most advanced medical centers in the world, and among the top hospitals and research facilities in the Middle East. Our quality healing environment is a bridge between peoples, cultures, and religions, building a better world for humankind. We are truly excited that Rick Hirschhaut will be leading AFORAM’s efforts to help advance these cherished objectives.”

Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, said of Hirschhaut, “Rick Hirschhaut is a phenomenal professional who values relationships and builds upon them to ensure success. His leadership, fundraising and management skills, combined with a personal warmth and humor, make him both incredibly well-qualified and a pleasure to work with. He is committed to education, youth and Israel, so taking the helm of AFORAM is an ideal role for him.”

Hirschhaut lives in New York with his wife Susan and their two children. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Judaic studies from Tulane University, and has studied at Hebrew University’s Rothberg School for Overseas Students. He grew up in upstate New York and Knoxville, Tenn.

About American Friends of the Rambam Medical Center:

American Friends of the Rambam Medical Center is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established to promote and support the Rambam Health Care Campus – the premier medical institution located in Haifa, Israel. With its headquarters in New York, AFORAM has a growing base of supporters in communities across the United States. More information is available at, on Twitter at @AFORambam, and on Facebook at @AmericanFriendsOfRambamAFORAM.

About Rambam Health Care Campus:

Rambam Health Care Campus is a unique institution in Israel and the entire world. Located in the beautiful city of Haifa, Rambam is the principal referral medical center for all of Northern Israel and the Northern Command of the Israel Defense Forces, United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, and United States 6th Fleet. Rambam’s talented and harmonious staff serves a diverse population in Northern Israel, regardless of ethnic or religious background, including Jews, Muslims, Christians, Baha’is and Druze. Rambam is a leading academic medical center in Israel collaborating with the Technion on education and research. Rambam’s physicians participate in cutting-edge research to bring new therapies and treatments not only to their patients, but to the greater world community.