An inaugural ceremony for the start of construction for the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Institute for Social Leadership took place on Wednesday with philanthropist and entrepreneur Morton L. Mandel presiding.

The event, which took place at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Marcus Family Campus, was commemorated by laying the cornerstone of the building where students are to be able to take part in social leadership programs upon completion.

The Mandel Foundation began in 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio, and its stated mission is to provide leadership education programs at universities and organizations around the world.

The purpose of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel MBA program featured at the BGU campus focuses on training leaders for the nonprofit and public sectors in Israel and providing enrichment to students already enrolled in business, business administration and social responsibility programs.

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.”

The university announced a donation of $13,106,700 for the foundation earlier this year, $10 million of which is going to the construction of the building.

The 3716 sq.m. structure is to be located across from the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management.

“My driving concern is to improve the quality of life for everyone in this country – of all backgrounds and all religions,” said Mandel, chairman and CEO of the foundation. “My dream is to have more fighters who care about the quality of life in Israel.”

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