The American Jewish Archives Announces Online Digitization of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation’s Work in Jewish Education

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) — located on the historic Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR)—is pleased to announce that the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation Records have been digitized and are available online. This digitization project was made possible by a generous grant from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation. The collection, spanning the years 1980–2008, can be accessed at:

The AJA’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation Records document the work of the Foundation through two of its innovative initiatives launched during the 1980s: The Commission on Jewish Education in North America and the Council for Initiatives in Jewish Education.

“Thanks to a generous $140,000 grant to the AJA in 2015 from the Mandel Foundation to digitize this monumental collection, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation Records are now online. These materials—including photographs, conference papers and proceedings, and press releases— illuminate the Foundation’s extraordinary contributions to Jewish education and Jewish communal leadership,” said Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of the AJA, and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History at HUC-JIR. “The materials in this extraordinary collection tell the remarkable story of how the Foundation engaged North American Jewish community leaders in the critical tasks and challenges of Jewish education for the next century – including those of developing high quality personnel for Jewish education at the national and communal levels.

The AJA, with its state-of-the art facility and preeminent professional staff, is world-renowned for its attention to both preservation and access. In the modern age of archival science, digital access to the AJA’s most important collections has become imperative. The AJA has been on the cutting edge of presenting these digital assets in a way that meets the needs of all those who utilize the AJA as a world-class resource for the documentation of the American Jewish experience.

“For the first time, scholars, researchers, students, and documentarians will have access to source materials that reveal the story of the evolution of Jewish philanthropy and Jewish education in the latter part of the 20th century,” Zola continued. “That era saw a tremendous shift in the public agenda of America’s Jewish community from concerns about post-World War II America and Israel to Jewish continuity and meaningful American Jewish life experiences. It was the Mandel Foundation which convened a major commission comprised of some of the most influential leaders of the day—representing every ideology and approach— to address these emerging uncertainties.”

“We are very pleased and honored to entrust the care and preservation of our records to the American Jewish Archives, which has now made our collections easily accessible by scholars, students and researchers throughout the world,” concluded Mr. Morton L. Mandel, Chairman and CEO of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.

About the AJA

The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, founded in 1947 by its namesake on the historic campus of the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, is committed to preserving a documentary heritage of the religious, organizational, economic, cultural, personal, social and family life of American Jewry. The Marcus Center contains over 15,000 linear feet of archives, manuscripts, nearprint materials, photographs, audio and videotapes, microfilm, and genealogical materials.