Joel Landau is an ordained rabbi and an active member of the Jewish community. He was born in Queens, New York, in a Zionist family, and spent a lot of time traveling back and forth to Israel during his formative years, until his family finally decided to move there in 1974. They made their first aliyah to a youth village next to Kibbutz Lavi, and after a few years spent there, Landau and his family moved to the Jewish quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. There he played an active role in the reclamation of Jewish-owned property in the Moslem Quarter. Landau holds a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the Empire State College, a teaching credential and a post-graduate degree in Judaic Studies, and was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem. Once he became an ordained rabbi he went to serve in two communities. First he served in Charleston, South Carolina, as the Associate Rabbi of Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue, and later became the Rav of Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine, California. Over the course of 16 years, Landau did so much for both communities. He provided community members with personal and spiritual counseling and represented Israel and Judaism to the community at large. Actively involved with many facets of the Jewish community, today Landau serves as the executive director of “Israel Up Close,” a non-profit film production company that identifies, researches, and reports on how Israeli innovations improve the daily lives of people throughout the world.