Jun. 15, 2014

Mort Mandel and BGU President Rivka Carmi lay the cornerstone for the new Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Institute for Social Leadership Building at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva on Wednesday. [Shay Shmueli photographer]

A cornerstone laying ceremony for the new Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Institute for Social Leadership building was held on the Marcus Family Campus of BGU on Wednesday in the presence of Morton L. Mandel. 

“My driving concern is to improve the quality of life for everyone in this country – of all backgrounds and all religions,” declared Mandel, Chairman and CEO of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio, explaining his decision to fund programs that develop a cadre of professional leaders in the non-profit sector. The Institute will be building upon the success of the Mandel Social Leadership MBA at BGU. “My dream is to have more fighters who care about the quality of life in Israel,” he said. 

BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi said “There are many shared values between the Mandel Foundation and BGU and we have managed to attract faculty and students who have that extra sense of responsibility to better Israel. Our goal is to train the best MBA students to become leaders, so that the next generation and the one after that will be better than us.” 

Vice President for External Affairs Prof. Amos Drory added, “This is the sealing of a bond between the Mandel Foundation and BGU. A few months ago, we saw the first fruits of our labor - the young graduates of the first cohort of the Mandel Social Leadership MBA at GGFBM. We will train a generation of leaders and NGO managers who will devote their lives to making Israel better and making people happier.”  

GGFBM Dean Prof. Oded Lowengart  [Shay Shmueli photographer]​

Dean of the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management Prof. Oded Lowengart noted the appropriateness of the location of the new building, between the advanced technology departments on one side of the campus, and the social sciences, humanities and management on the other. "The location of the Mandel Institute symbolizes the vision of our university: two pillars of advanced and rigorous research and teaching in all academic fields and social commitment and responsibility to Israeli society.”    

Earlier this year, the University announced a gift of $13,106,700 from the Foundation. The gift is comprised of a capital grant of $10 million to construct the new building; the remaining more than $3 million will establish the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors Program in Social Leadership, which will be housed in the new building. 


The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors Program in Social Leadership will incorporate the current academic MBA program in social leadership, the Israel Center for Third-Sector Research and the eventual executive programs that will all be under the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Institute for Social Leadership. The purpose of the Mandel Honors Program in Social Leadership is to teach students within the Guilford Gl​azer Faculty of Business and Management, including students enrolled in other business programs, relevant business administration, social responsibility, and social leadership skills. 


The new building will be located adjacent to the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management. The 40,000 square foot building, designed by Plesner Architects of Tel Aviv, will house classrooms, studios, offices, auditoriums and research facilities, addressing BGU’s academic needs to further develop the area of social leadership. 

About the programs


Social leadership requires the integration of advanced management knowledge, leadership skills and a deep commitment to social improvement. The objective of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel MBA Program in Social Leadership is to train and develop top leaders for the nonprofit and public sectors in Israel. The MBA Program in Social Leadership is unique – it is the only master’s degree program of its kind in any Israeli university. The curriculum includes standard MBA courses in management and courses that focus on the special challenges of leadership in the nonprofit and public sectors. 


Established in 1997, the Israel Center for Third-Sector Research (ICTR) conducts policy-relevant research on Israel’s nonprofit sector. Composed of an interdisciplinary team, ICTR works in close cooperation with research centers and associations around the world. 

The Mandel Foundation was established by Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1953. Its primary mission is to invest in people with the values, ability and passion to change the world.  The Foundation supports leadership education programs in its own institutions and at selected universities and organizations. The Foundation believes that exceptional leaders are the critical factor that enables organizations to contribute most significantly to society.  The priority areas of activity include leadership of nonprofit organizations; higher education; Jewish education and continuity; urban neighborhood renewal; and strengthening the State of Israel.