The twenty-fourth academic year at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership was launched on September 2, with 20 new fellows of cohort 24 joining the 20 fellows of cohort 23 who are beginning their second year at the school. The new fellows hail from a wide range of sectors in Israeli society, among them school principals, social activists, heads of educational organizations, academics, and others with backgrounds in the IDF, in music and in sustainability.
“The new year in Jewish tradition is connected to personal reflection,” said Danny Bar Giora, director of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. “The ability to reflect on one’s actions and behavior, and to ask difficult questions, while at the same time retaining an optimistic outlook, is a very important ability for anyone to have, but far more so for educational professionals.”
The opening lecture was given by Rabbi Jeremy Stavisky, the principal of the Himmelfarb high school in Jerusalem. Rabbi Stavisky described the work of the school principal and the community leader and the choices and decisions they face, especially in an environment in which leading change is often fraught with religious and social tensions.
Each year, the Mandel School for Educational Leadership accepts around twenty fellows with proven management skills, strong intellectual capabilities and the commitment to lead change for the better in Israeli society and education. The school, a joint venture of the Mandel Foundation and the Ministry of Education, offers a unique two-year program of study through which it helps fellows develop their personal and professional visions, deepen their knowledge and strengthen their ability to contribute to the field of education in Israel.
In his remarks, Moshe Vigdor, the director-general of the Mandel Foundation-Israel, noted the importance of the school’s role in honing the fellows’ personal and professional visions: “In this special place, there is an opportunity to step back from the bustle of the day-to-day, to examine issues in depth from different perspectives, and to nurture the imagination, which is where vision comes from. Albert Einstein himself said that the imagination is stronger than knowledge.”