Ground broken for future home of Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

From left: Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, Barbara Mandel, Morton Mandel and Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat at the groundbreaking ceremony June 12, 2012: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday to launch the construction of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities on the Mount Scopus campus. The ceremony took place in the presence of Morton and Barbara Mandel and the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.

The Mandel School will spearhead a revival of the humanities across Israel and at the Hebrew University in particular, where it will anchor the Faculty of Humanities’ efforts to strengthen its five new disciplinary schools of History, Philosophy and Religion, Literatures, Arts, and Language Sciences.

The school was made possible by one of the largest gifts in support of the humanities worldwide. Demonstrating its strong commitment to advance the study of humanities in Israel and around the world, the Mandel Foundation approved an $18 million grant for the building to house the new school, as well as a grant of $2.5 million for programs. The Mandel Foundation was established by Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel of Cleveland, Ohio in 1953.

''Our investment in the humanities at The Hebrew University is an investment in the future of Israel and her people,'' said Morton Mandel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Mandel Foundation. ''The humanities classroom is where ancient meets modern, history touches modernity, and new ideas and ways of thinking are born.”

''This gift is transformative and signifies a major step towards the restoration of the humanities to their rightful place within higher education,'' said Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson.

The new graduate school will coordinate with the five schools in order to help attract top students who will be rewarded with attractive scholarships. This graduate school for outstanding master’s and doctoral students will select, train and nurture honors students who demonstrate particular excellence, host the most prestigious postdoctoral programs, and serve as a home to collective and interdisciplinary research programs such as the Scholion - Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies and the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities.

The Mandel School will be located on the northern edge of the Mount Scopus campus, next to the Yitzhak Rabin Building, which houses the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies. Construction of the School is expected to be completed in 2014.

The architects of the 43,000 square foot building are Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects of Boston, in association with A. Lerman Architects of Tel Aviv. The prestigious American firm is responsible for designing numerous academic structures across the US, including Brandeis University’s Mandel Center for the Humanities. The new building will be constructed in accordance with the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) system.

The Mandel Foundation was founded in 1953 by Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel. The hallmark of their philanthropy is their commitment to invest in people with the values, ability, and passion to change the world. The Mandel Foundation’s commitment to the Hebrew University is manifested in its support for many projects and initiatives, among them the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, and the Scholion - Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies.

Source: Dept. Media Relations, Hebrew University