The Passing of Morton L. Mandel, z”l

Morton L. Mandel, z"l, died the morning of October 16, 2019, at the age of 98. Among the many leadership roles Mort played in the world of business, across the Jewish world and in his home community of Cleveland, he served as the President of the Council of Jewish Federations from 1978 to 1981.

Mort was a brilliant businessman whose analytical skills were matched only by his passionate commitment to the Jewish people. His book, It's All About Who You Hire, How They Lead...and Other Essential Advice from a Self-Made Leader, described the philosophy that fueled his achievements – an understanding that smart, creative, hardworking personnel are the key to the success of any venture.

Mort and his brothers, Jack and Joe, built their business literally from the trunks of their cars into the powerhouse that became the Premier Industrial Corporation. Alongside growing their business, they focused on building and strengthening the Jewish community in Cleveland and beyond. Their generosity sought to make the world a better place. Their philanthropy was widespread, and yet strategically focused on growing and nurturing leadership.

The Jewish Federations of North America is proud to be the home of the Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence. We are grateful for the Mandel Foundation’s extraordinary support of the Jewish Federations and will continue to strive to meet the high standards set by Mort and his family. He was an inspiration to all.

Our sympathies go to his wife Barbara, his three children and seven grandchildren.

May his memory be for a blessing.

Mark Wilf is Chair of the Board of Trustees of JFNA and Eric D. Fingerhut is President & CEO.