Joel Leyden – Biography

By | April 23, 2019

JOEL LEYDEN – Biography

Joel Leyden, a native of New York, has practiced international public relations, public affairs, crisis communications, journalism, social media and digital marketing for over 20 years.

Joel Leyden, whose Zionism goes back to working for HIAS, UJA-Federation, served as an Israeli war volunteer, has served as a senior media and cross-cultural communications consultant to the Israel Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism and Defense and the US State Department. Leyden served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces International Spokesperson’s Office, in addition to serving in the MAGAV Anti-Terrorism Unit, Combat Engineers, IDF Liaison Officer to the United Nations and co-created the IDF Cyber and Social Media Unit.

As an Internet and digital public relations pioneer, Leyden co-created Israel’s first commercial Website – NetKing in 1995.
In addition, Joel Leyden produced the first Website for an Israeli prime minister, established the first condolence Website for assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin[2], co-created the Israel Defense Forces Website, was the first SEO – search engine optimizer in Israel and serves today as both commercial PR / SEO and publisher of the Israel News Agency, Israel’s first on-line English news organization, Jewish News Agency and the United States News Agency.

Leyden has worked as an international media consultant for the Israel Prime Minister’s Office, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel [4], Shimon Peres, the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Israel Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Israel Ministry of Tourism and the Israel Defense Forces [5][6] where he was awarded a commendation for his crisis communications work during Operation Defensive Shield.
When Israeli Astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon perished in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003, Leyden prepared the first communications to the media from the IDF.

Leyden, a political centrist, has also served as a humanitarian officer at several IDF security check posts and promoted the concept [7] of improving relations with the Palestinians at one of the very few points of contact between Israelis and Palestinians – Israeli security checkpoints. Today, Leyden serves as the Executive Director of the Center Against Anti-Semitism and Jews Against Hate.

Joel Leyden also served as senior media advisor to the International Coalition for Missing Israeli Soldiers [8]where he succeeded in having former PA / PLO leader Yasser Arafat admit that he knew where the IDF soldiers were and provided the dogtag of Zaharia Baumel to then Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

On Facebook, Twitter and Google getting the word out (using a gas generator)
in Haiti 
on the humanitarian work that the Israel Defense Forces rescue
and medical teams were performing in saving lives.

Joel Leyden, who is a professional cross-cultural consultant and served as Director for Berlitz’s Middle-East Cross Cultural programs, has created dozens of local and international community and professional social media forums in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

During the IDF Operation Grapes of Wrath Leyden provided free Internet service to the hundreds of Israeli children who were confined to air raid shelters in northern Israel.

Joel’s professional social media work has a reach over 5 million worldwide.

Covering AIPAC for the Israel News Agency.

Joel Leyden, the father of three children, is a leading father’s and children’s rights activist in Israel advocating equal access and reforms in Israel’s gender bias family court custody laws and public child welfare departments for children of separated and divorced parents in Israel.
In 2008, Joel created the Family First party and ran for mayor of the city of Ra’anana, Israel.
He was not interested in securing the office, but as stated in the Haaretz newspaper, wanted to make father’s rights, children’s rights and the practicing of gender bias discrimination in Ra’anana’s Child Welfare department a campaign issue.

In the States, Joel Leyden was a media advisor to former New York Mayor Ed Koch, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator Ted Cruz and today provides President Joe Biden with social media reach.
Joel Leyden coordinated several national media events with personalities including former President Ronald Reagan, Nixon adviser Henry Kissinger and holocaust survivor Elie Weisel.

Leyden served on the first board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association in New York City.
As a former ski racer and licensed ski instructor, Leyden has promoted the Israeli Mt. Hermon ski resort. Joel Leyden was also responsible for coordinating the first marathon run through the streets of Jerusalem.

Joel Leyden has worked with HIAS, the United Jewish Appeal, the Israel Forum, the Israel Chamber of Commerce, the Association for Missing Israel Soldiers and the Israel Export Institute, served as a senior editor at the Jerusalem Post [16] and as a media adviser to the Israel Government Press Office.

Joel Leyden covered the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks from New York City for the Jerusalem Post, Israel TV, Israel Radio English news and the Israel News Agency ([17]).

Leyden reporting for the Israel News Agency on the historic visit of
US President George W. Bush to Israel for her 60th birthday.

Joel Leyden founded the IsraelPr Internet discussion group. This group brings together over 200 public relations and public affairs consultants world wide who are able to provide various Israeli governmental ministries with real-time advice. He is also credited for creating and operating several non-profit on-line community support groups on Facebook for Israel’s Anglo community such as NewRaanana, Israel Anglo Singles, Israel Children , Israel Anglo Homes and Doing Business In Israel.

Leyden created the first global SEO political contest in response to the Holocaust cartoon contest sponsored by Iran’s best selling daily newspaper Hamshahri. [18] There were over 40 million Internet page views indexed by Alexa for this non-profit, SEO contest Website that Leyden built and mass marketed.

Joel Leyden is the Director of Jews Against Hate which confronts
anti-semitism and all forms of racism off and online.

Joel, a pioneer in Web 2.0, lectures on the development of Internet, digital marketing, digital diplomacy, crisis communications, reputation management, global security threats to Israel and the Jewish community in Israel and North America.

Leyden’s most recent project from January 2021 is, the largest, most successful Covid-19 vaccine advocacy organization in New England with a membership of over 25,000 reaching hundreds of thousands throughout the United States. Leyden is also the director of Israel Humanitarian Aid, providing food to homeless shelters and food pantries in the New York and Connecticut region.

Joel Leyden, who has university degrees in journalism, psychology and mass communications, resides in Ra’anana, a suburb north of Tel Aviv, Israel, Connecticut and New York.

Joel Leyden is available for speaking engagements –

contact Joel at

=== Global Media Talk About Joel Leyden ===

TIME Magazine

New York Times

Washington Post

Online Media Daily

FOX News

McClatchy Newspaper Group (30 newspapers in North America)

Jewish Week

Jerusalem Post

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Journal Enquirer

Hartford Courant


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