$12m Mandel Gift Completes Israel Museum’s $100m Capital Campaign

Campaign represents the largest collective philanthropic effort ever undertaken for a single cultural institution in the State of Israel

12erla.xlarge1The Israel Museum in Jerusalem today announced a $12m gift from Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel through the Mandel Supporting Foundations. This gift marks the completion of the Museums’ $100m capital campaign to support the comprehensive transformation of its 20 acre campus. The Mandel gift supports the reconstruction, reinstallation, and endowment of the Museum’s Jewish Art and Life Wing, housing the world’s preeminent collection of Judaica and Jewish Ethnography. The Wing will be named the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life in honor of the family’s generous support, and it will present objects from sacred and secular Jewish traditions together for the first time in a newly combined permanent display.

The Israel Museum also announced that its expanded and renovated campus will open to the public on July 26, 2010.

“A central goal of our campus renewal project is the complete reworking of all of our collection galleries, so as to enable our visitors to navigate intuitively through the history of world culture, from prehistory to contemporary times,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “Our newly reconstructed Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life presents objects from secular and religious traditions in an integrated display, offering a comprehensive view of the practices of Jewish communities from around the world. We are tremendously grateful to the Mandel family for its support for this endeavor.”

Of the Mandel Foundations’ $12 million gift, $7 million will support the reconstruction and expansion of the Jewish Art and Life Wing, which traces the diaspora of sacred and secular Jewish cultures worldwide, from the Middle Ages to the present. The reconfigured and reinstalled Mandel Wing will lead visitors through the daily and ritual markers of the Jewish life cycle and calendar, with installations that explore the aesthetic value of the objects as well as their religious, social, and historical contexts. A noted feature of the Wing is its newly organized “synagogue route,” which includes four original synagogue interiors from European, Asian and American cultures.

The additional $5 million from the Mandel Foundations is being dedicated to endow and support the Wing’s future programming, operations, and acquisitions. The gift brings the Museum’s ongoing institutional endowment campaign to a new total of nearly $50 million, two-thirds of its goal toward doubling its endowment from $75 million to $150 million. It also marks the completion of the endowed naming of the Museum’s three collection wings, which also include the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archaeology Wing and the Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing.

Campus Enhancement Project

The Israel Museum has grown ten-fold since the 1965 opening of its original landmark campus as a modernist reference to Jerusalem’s Mediterranean hilltop villages. The current capital project transforms the Museum’s terraced campus to create a clear and logical flow that will enhance visitor experience while maintaining the architectural essence and metaphorical intent of the Museum’s original design. The project, which broke ground in June 2007, encompasses 80,000 square feet of new construction and 200,000 square feet of renovated and expanded gallery space within the Museum’s existing 500,000 square foot architectural envelope.

For the first time, visitors will be welcomed to the Museum through three newly constructed glass entry pavilions – housing ticketing and information spaces as well as retail, restaurant, and special event facilities – at the traditional northern entrance to the campus.

Beyond these entrance pavilions, visitors will either ascend the Museum’s Carter Promenade or enter a newly designed route of passage, situated directly below the promenade. The walkway will be flanked on one side by a translucent glass wall with a water feature running along its top edge, also visible from Carter Promenade above. Visitors in the passageway will also have access to outdoor courtyards that extend to the adjacent Billy Rose Art Garden.

Capital Campaign for the Renewed Campus

At $100 million, the capital campaign for the Israel Museum’s renewed campus represents the largest collective philanthropic effort ever undertaken for a single cultural institution in the State of Israel. It has benefited from the generosity of individuals, families and foundations around the world and in Israel, with more than $80 million raised from some 20 donors worldwide. An additional $17.5 million in matching support has been provided by the State of Israel.

The international donors who have contributed with individual gifts ranging from $1 million to $10 million include: Herta and Paul Amir, Los Angeles; Judy and Michael Steinhardt, New York; the Estate of Dorothea Gould, Zurich; the Nash Family Foundation, New York; the Marc Rich Foundation, Lucerne; the Bella and Harry Wexner Philanthropies of The Legacy Heritage Fund, New York and Jerusalem; and Linda and Harry Macklowe, New York.

Donors in Israel, whose contributions total $10 million, include challenge grants from the Schusterman Foundation – Israel and Yad Hanadiv, the Rothschild Foundation in Israel, and matching grants from: the Federmann Family, Tel Aviv; Debbie and Erel Margalit, Jerusalem; Dina, Michael, and Oudi Recanati, Tel Aviv; Rivka Saker and Uzi Zucker, New York and Tel Aviv; and Judith and Israel Yovel, Herzliya.

The renewal of the Fine Arts Wing is supported by the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. The Archaeology Wing, originally built in honor of Samuel Bronfman through the generosity of his children, is being renewed by Charles Bronfman and his family, in memory of Saidye and Samuel Bronfman, with additional support from the Harvey M. and Lyn P. Meyerhoff Fund, Inc., Baltimore, and the Wolfson Family Charitable Trust, London.

Endowment Campaign

Launched in 2007 in memory of Israel Museum Founder Teddy Kollek, the endowment campaign has raised nearly $50 million to date toward its $75-million goal, with gifts ranging from $250,000 to $5 million from more than 40 Museum friends. Once completed, the campaign will double the Museum’s existing institutional endowment to a total of $150 million, comprising the largest endowment for any cultural institution in Israel.

about: The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections ranging from prehistory through contemporary art, and includes the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls. In just over 40 years, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects through an unparalleled legacy of gifts and support from its circle of patrons worldwide.