News & Events

Mandel Foundation Celebrates the 2016 Graduation Ceremony

On November 2, 2016, the fellows of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and of three programs of the Mandel Leadership Institute gathered at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem to mark the completion of their studies. The event took place in the presence of Mr. Morton Mandel,  chairman and CEO of the Mandel Foundation,  and MK Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs. 
In his address to the graduates, Education Minister Naftali Bennett emphasized the need to reduce the gaps in education between the center of the country and the periphery: “A child born in Ofakim goes out into the world at age 18 with much lower chances of success than a child born in Ramat Hasharon, even in Israel in 2016,” he said. “All of you, together with all of us, must correct this situation.”  Turning to Mr. Mandel, he added:  “You, Mort, did just that. You imagined something different and you made it happen.  You created a long term impact on Israel’s future, and it’s already self-generating. You’ve built a machine here, an organization that has its own life and will continue lighting for years and years to come.”

In his address to the graduates​, Prof. Jehuda Reinharz, president of the Mandel Foundation, emphasized the Mandel Foundation’s commitment to values-based leadership training. This commitment to values is what explains the Mandel Foundation’s “unique contribution to the advancement of the study of humanities as the foundation of human aspiration and human experience,” he said. “There are plenty of leadership training programs that will provide tools for effective management, in almost total detachment from the sphere of ethical values,” he continued.” The connection between these two is the core of what we do.”

Twenty graduates of Cohort 23 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, a joint initiative of the Mandel Foundation and the Ministry of Education founded in 1991, marked their completion of two years of study, during which they grappled with central issues in education, leadership, and Israeli society. “We all hope that the many seeds you planted during the two years you spent with us will sprout, grow, and bear fruit. We hope that your ability to do good has only expanded and improved,” said Danny Bar Giora, the director of the School.

Also concluding their studies were 50 graduates of three programs of the Mandel Leadership Institute.  These included 20 senior officers from a variety of corps of the Israel Defense Forces who completed their studies as fellows in Cohort 10 of the Mandel IDF Educational Leadership Program. “This is my third time here,” said IDF Chief Education and Youth Officer Brigadier-General Avner Paz-Tzuk, “and like the first time, I’m very moved. I can already picture the coming decade and see how the seeds that were sown here will influence the State of Israel, the IDF, and Israeli society.”

The ceremony also marked the graduation of the fellows of Cohort 2 of the Institute’s Mandel Program for Leadership Development in the Haredi Community, a unique program with separate tracks for men and women that develops public leadership for the Haredi community from within that community itself. The 11 women who completed the program this year are activists and entrepreneurs in the fields of education, community, and society.  The ceremony also marked the graduation of the first cohort of the Mandel Program for Youth Leadership, whose 19 fellows are all senior leadership figures in Israeli youth movements.

“There is so much diversity in one place, and yet so many similarities,” said Dr. Eli Gottlieb, director of the Mandel Leadership Institute and vice president of the Mandel Foundation–Israel, noting the diversity that characterizes the Institute. “People come from different places, with different hopes and dreams, but they all share the same aspiration of creating a future that is better, fairer, and more just for all Israeli children.”
Mr. Morton Mandel, chairman o​f the Mandel Foundation, addressed the graduates in English. ”From the very first cohort,” he said, “we did manage to do one thing, I think with extreme succ​ess: to recruit fellows or participants of very high quality. And the reason so many people, including me, are as enthusiastic as I am about what the Mandel Foundation does and what we stand for is because from the very beginning – and some of you have referred to this – we knew that it’s all about who​, that the secret is in the people.” 

Mr. Mandel concluded by congratulating the graduates, wishing them every success, and instructing them “I hope that you will remember for the rest of your days to thank Mort Mandel by making the world a better place.”

Mandel Graduation_Ceremony
Mandel Graduation_Ceremony

Mandel Graduation_Ceremony
Mandel Graduation_Ceremony
​​ ​​

Watch the Mandel Graduation Ceremony ​​​​