'He left a huge legacy as a lover of Israel'

Jewish Agency for Israel expresses condolences over death of Jewish philanthropist Morton Mandel, who passed away at the age of 98.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Isaac Herzog
Isaac Herzog
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The Jewish Agency for Israel said on Wednesday that it is deeply saddened by the passing of Jewish philanthropist Morton Mandel, who passed away at the age of 98.

Mandel was a loyal supporter of The Jewish Agency and many Jewish and Israeli causes, creating an enormous impact on shaping Israeli society and on the Israel-world Jewry relationship. Mandel was particularly interested and invested in developing the next generation of Jewish leaders and educators.

“I truly loved Mort. He was a great friend to me and my parents Aura and President Chaim Herzog,” said Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Isaac Herzog.

“He left a huge legacy as a lover of Israel, as a Jewish leader, as a philanthropist making change. He will be remembered for his leadership, innovative thinking and his passion for Israel and the Jewish people. The Jewish Agency sends our deepest condolences to his wife Barbara, his children and entire family, and the leaders and staff at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation,” he added.

Mandel believed passionately in developing Jewish Agency Shlichim (Israeli emissaries) upon their return to Israel that he created a program in tandem with The Jewish Agency called the Mandel Program for Excellence. In addition, Jewish Agency Director General Amira Ahronoviz is a graduate of the Mandel School for Education & Leadership.

"As a leader in the Cleveland community for decades, Mort’s love of Israel and the Jewish people will be felt by generations to come. The opportunity to listen and learn from his experience was an inspiration to all of us,” said Jewish Agency Chairman of the Board Michael Siegal. “He was a great man and we will miss him dearly.”

Mandel, a philanthropist, entrepreneur and businessman, passed away at his home in Florida earlier on Wednesday.

Mandel was well-known to many Israelis because of his many donations to institutions across the country, a leadership institute named after him, and his book, which was translated into Hebrew and became a bestseller.

William Daroff, incoming CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, wrote on Twitter, “A great leader of the Jewish people has passed: Morton Mandel dies at age 98. May his memory forever be for a blessing.”

Dani Dayan, the Consul General of Israel in New York, tweeted, “Deeply saddened by the passing of Morton Mandel, a leader, a philanthropist whose contributions to the Jewish People and to the State of Israel are immeasurable.”

Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, wrote, “Morton Mandel was a visionary and leader who empowered others and made our world a better place. May his memory be a blessing.”