“Absolutely transformative” is how Jerry Isaak-Shapiro, Agnon’s Head of School, described the gift of just more than $17 million from the Joseph and Florence Mandel Family Foundation. In recognition of this gift, the school will be renamed the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School.
“We recognize how truly fortunate we are to be the recipients not only of a gift of such magnitude – but to know that Joseph Mandel and his family share the vision of a school that reaches out to the breadth of the Jewish community,” said Issak-Shapiro.
While gifts of this size are certainly rare, the manner in which the funds have been allocated may be unique to the Jewish Day School world. The vast majority of this “mega-gift” will go to an endowment for personnel and programs – increased compensation and professional development for faculty; the addition of a Gifted and Talented Specialist to the school’s Learning Enhancement Team; and an expanded Hebrew Immersion Program.
The gift also provides funds for facility improvements including a new central entrance, upgrades to the building’s facçade and an expansion to the lobby. A capital improvements campaign will support additional physical enhancements, including the development of a state-of-the-art science lab and a library/multi-media center, an expanded cafeteria and other facility improvements. Funds raised during the 2014 Spring Auction will ensure that an expanded gymnasium will be part of the initial renovation phase.
The Agnon School, founded in 1969, is an independent, coeducational day school located in Beachwood, Ohio.