The 100 chairs positioned within the entrance of the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day College in Beachwood weren’t sufficient to carry the mother and father, neighborhood members and alumni who gathered for the Nov. 24 unveiling of its newly renovated college constructing.
Initially scheduled for Oct. 20, the occasion was postponed after Morton L. Mandel died on Oct. 16. Simply three days earlier than the Nov. 24 debut, Morton Mandel’s widow, Barbara A. Mandel, died on Nov. 21.
“I need to word that we’re assembly as we speak solely days because the passing of Barbara Mandel,” Eliana J. LeVine, president of the Mandel JDS board of administrators, stated on the Nov. 24 occasion. “Barbara was a nationwide chief on this planet of philanthropy and schooling and we be a part of the Mandel household, in addition to everybody who knew her and benefited from her imaginative and prescient and generosity, in remembering her with gratitude. I prolong my condolences to her household and provide my heartfelt sympathies. The household requested that we honor her reminiscence as we speak by celebrating the dedication of this glorious new constructing.”
Noting her household moved to Cleveland in 1979, LeVine recalled getting into what was then referred to as The Agnon College as a second grader.
On the time, the constructing was a lot smaller.
“A enjoyable sport I prefer to play with myself is to stroll by way of the varsity now and attempt to orient myself, determining how the hallways and lecture rooms in as we speak’s constructing relate to the rooms I used after I attended Agnon again within the late ’70s and early ’80s,” LeVine stated.
Noting the newly renovated fourth- and fifth-grade lecture rooms was once a car parking zone, LeVine stated even the brand new upstairs workplace house holds fond recollections “as the key, upstairs library.”
Describing herself as a “fairly sentimental individual,” LeVine admitted, “I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be blissful about all of the adjustments to the varsity I grew up in.”
Wanting again on these recollections, LeVine stated picturing the varsity’s earlier format and seeing what it has now change into brings her pleasure.
“I really like the concept all of the completely different iterations and makes use of of rooms and hallways change into recollections layered on prime of one another,” LeVine stated. “In order that the constructing is rising in the identical method that our kids are rising, including a layer of information – or within the constructing’s case, a layer of performance – all contributing to the house we have now as we speak.”
Thanking Morton Mandel, the Joseph and Florence Mandel Household Basis and all the Weinberg household, LeVine stated the $2 million seed cash Mandel JDS acquired from the inspiration expanded the varsity’s progress past only a new entrance entrance to incorporate a brand new fitness center, center college wing, decrease degree media middle, workplace house “and really quickly, new fourth- and fifth-grade lecture rooms.”
“One other spherical of fundraising will present related upgrades to the early childhood space, the rest of the kindergarten by way of third-grade lecture rooms and can renovate our kitchen and cafeteria,” LeVine stated. “Our objective is for all the college’s bodily house to be worthy of the spectacular educating, studying and nurturing that takes place inside it.”
Jewish Federation of Cleveland President Erika Rudin-Luria requested for a second of silence in reminiscence of the Mandels – Joseph and Florence, Jack and Lilyan, and Morton and Barbara Mandel.
“It’s becoming that we come collectively as we speak to have fun their reminiscence and this treasure that Joseph and Florence Mandel and the Mandel household and Weinberg household have enabled,” she stated. “A good looking constructing that homes a thriving Mandel Jewish Day College.”
From project-based studying to Hebrew immersion on the youngest grades, Rudin-Luria described Mandel JDS as a number one, progressive Jewish day college with an unimaginable neighborhood supporting it.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the dedication of Mandel college students, mother and father, alumni and management in the remainder of our neighborhood,” Rudin-Luria stated. “One small instance is that, this morning, I used to be at a gathering that was led by a Mandel JDS mum or dad after which left that room to stroll right into a dial-a-thon, the place a number of latest Mandel graduates had been collaborating in their very own staff text-a-thon. However that is actually no shock, as a result of participation and neighborhood is modeled and taught right here on the Joseph & Florence Mandel Jewish Day College.”
Penni Weinberg, daughter of Joseph and Florence Mandel, addressed the group on behalf of her mother and father.
“They might be so proud to have their identify on this lovely constructing,” stated Weinberg, holding again tears.
Describing herself because the proud grandparent of three Mandel JDS alums, one former scholar and two present college students, Weinberg famous that, whereas her father by no means had a proper schooling, he understood the worth of a Jewish schooling.
“He was past proud that his great-grandchildren attended this college,” Weinberg stated. “He can be so proud that his descendants had been so instrumental in making doable this glorious constructing. My father had nice model, youthful power and plenty of creativity and Mandel displays this. So whereas we’re all right here as we speak to have fun this glorious new constructing, we’re additionally taking time to understand the worth that Mandel JDS holds in our lives, and in flip, the idea that Mandel will proceed to have such worth for generations to return.”
Head of College Jerry Isaak-Shapiro, who’s in his 16th and final year, inspired Mandel JDS households, employees and neighborhood members to dedicate themselves to a vibrant future through which new generations of lecturers will train and new college students will study their historical past and their connection to those that got here earlier than them.
“We stand, all of us, on the shoulders of giants,” he stated. “Giants who’re not right here, however whose efforts enabled us to face right here as we speak. On the identical time, we must always all think about not simply those that got here earlier than us, however those that will come after us. The board members who might solely be in school now, the scholars who haven’t but been born, the lecturers who haven’t but chosen their occupation, however who already know their ardour.”