Mort Mandel: We Want to Change the World

from Cleveland Jewish News:

From modest start, Mandels now major force in Jewish philanthropy

… Brothers Jack N., Joseph C. and Morton L. Mandel have long supported Jewish and non-Jewish causes. Starting with nothing 70 years ago when they scraped together $900 to purchase their uncle’s business in August 1940, they formed their first charitable foundation in 1953.

… In 2007, the last year for which tax reports are publicly available for several family and supporting foundations from which they make grants, their philanthropic assets totaled more than $2 billion, and they made grants of more than $74 million. The foundations, though technically separate grant-making sources, comprise the Mandel Foundation, among the largest foundations founded by Jews in the country.

During the recent economic crisis, Morton Mandel noted, “We were negatively impacted, but it didn’t impact our giving pattern. In our case, our giving has gone up.”

The Mandel name stands for significant philanthropy in the Jewish world: the $16 million gift for the new Federation building and $13.5 million for JCC renovation are two of the largest donations ever made to local Jewish agencies. The Mandels provide ongoing support to the Mandel Leadership Institute-Israel. They also support leadership training efforts in the national Federation and JCC movements, in which Morton Mandel has had top leadership roles.

… But the brothers’ strong identity with their Jewish heritage has resulted in their giving a larger proportion of their grants to Jewish causes than do most other Jewish foundations. In “A Study of Jewish Foundations” in 2007, authors Gary A. Tobin and Aryeh Weinberg found 21% of the total dollars from the 56 largest Jewish foundations went to Jewish organizations. The report listed the Mandels’ foundations as giving more than 75% of their total dollars to Jewish organizations, a higher percentage than all but six other foundations.

For more on the Mandel’s philanthropy, including an interview with Morton L. Mandel, read the complete Cleveland Jewish News article.