|The Jack, Joseph and Morton Supporting Foundation has gifted $12.75 million to Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School (Mandel JDS) to complete the final phase of the school’s capital campaign. This significant gift coupled with additional funds the school will raise over the next year will transform what was originally a shared building with the Siegal College of Jewish Studies into a completed modern educational institution that is fully equipped to fulfill the academic and spiritual needs of all Mandel JDS learners and families for years to come.
With this transformational lead gift, Mandel JDS will commence its final phase of renovations projected to cost a total of $17.5 million. The renovations will include a brand new kosher kitchen and family-style dining hall, a state-of-the-art Makerspace, a newly remodeled Beit Tefillah (sanctuary), a new greenhouse, a renovated lower school science lab, and a new sensory room.
Another component of the project will be constructing a new and enlarged Early Childhood Center with an innovative large muscle space. The Early Childhood Center at Mandel JDS has grown by 60% over the past couple years and currently has a lengthy waitlist. The renovation and expansion of the Early Childhood Center will allow Mandel JDS to meet the high demand for its program and provide Early Childhood families with modern Early Childhood facilities.
This final phase of the capital project will add an additional 8,000 square feet to the current building and will include updating all hallways, restrooms, and older classrooms which were not a part of previous renovation phases.
Noam Magence, President of the Board of Directors is thrilled to lead the completion of the final chapter of construction and renovation at Mandel JDS. “I believe that Jewish education is the most important way we can ensure the continuity of the Jewish people. Mandel JDS has been providing an amazing education for more than fifty years and this transformative gift will ensure that we will continue to provide it for another fifty years and beyond. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the Mandel Foundation for investing in our future.”
Prior to this final phase, improvement projects included renovating the auditorium in 2014 followed by doubling the size of the gymnasium in 2017. A year later, the school expanded and renovated its middle school, front entrance and lobby, parent lounge, administrative offices, library, band room, and 4th and 5th grade wing and commons.
Jay Leberman, Head of School at Mandel JDS looks towards a bright and promising future for the school. “This transformational gift from the Mandel Foundation ensures that Mandel Jewish Day School continues to be at the forefront of offering the best Jewish day school education in North America. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once wrote, “Jews became a people whose passion is education, whose heroes are teachers and whose citadels are schools.”
The Mandel Foundation has supported many organizations locally and nationally and Mandel Jewish Day School is the Foundation’s most recent recipient. “Providing an outstanding Jewish education and developing future Jewish leaders is at the core of Mandel Jewish Day School’s mission and these are priorities that are important to the Foundation.” said Dr. Jehuda Reinharz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.
“The Mandel Foundation looks forward to the continued success of Mandel Jewish Day School and the positive impact it has on the Cleveland Jewish community,” said Stephen H. Hoffman, Chairman of the Board of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.
Construction will commence in spring 2023 by Bialosky Architects and John G. Johnson Construction.
Founded in 1969, Mandel JDS is Cleveland’s first Jewish day school accredited for educational excellence by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). Established as The Agnon School, the name changed to Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in 2015 in appreciation of a $17,050,000 grant used to increase teacher salaries and expand programming. Blending superior general academics and Jewish studies remains central to the school’s mission, as does teaching to a broad spectrum of learners. Open to the entire Jewish community, Mandel JDS enrolls more than 350 students, 18 months – 8th grade, from diverse Jewish backgrounds.