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Cleveland philanthropists Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel have donated $12 million dollars to the Israel Museum, marking the completion of its $100-million capital campaign to transform its 20-acre campus.
The announcement by the museum this week added that the its multi-year renovation will be completed and open to the public on July 26, 2010. The project includes the creation of new facilities as well as a comprehensive reconfiguration of the museum's three collection wings. The project, which broke ground in June 2007, encompasses 7,500 square meters of new construction and 18,500 square meters of renovated and expanded gallery space.
The Mandel gift through the Mandel Supporting Foundations will provide for the reconstruction, reinstallation, and endowment of the museum's newly named Jack, Joseph and Morton Jewish Art and Life Wing, housing the world's preeminent collection of Judaica and Jewish Ethnography. The wing will present objects from sacred and secular Jewish traditions together for the first time in a newly combined permanent display.
At its completion, the wing will trace the Diaspora from the Middle Ages to the present, and include four original synagogue interiors from European, Asian and American cultures. Five million dollars of the gift will go to endow and support the wing's future programming, operations, and acquisitions, the museum announced in a statement this week.
"A CENTRAL GOAL of our campus renewal project is the complete reworking of all of our collection galleries, so as to enable our visitors to navigate intuitively through the history of world culture, from prehistory to contemporary times," said museum director James S. Snyder. "Our newly reconstructed Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life presents objects from secular and religious traditions in an integrated display, offering a comprehensive view of the practices of Jewish communities from around the world. We are tremendously grateful to the Mandel family for its support for this endeavor."
The three Mandel brothers founded Premier Industrial Corp. in Cleveland in 1940, selling the company in 1996 for nearly $3 billion.
"My brothers, Jack and Joe, and I are committed to enhancing the quality of Jewish education in Israel and around the world," Morton L. Mandel, chairman of the Mandel Foundation, said in a statement. "We view the collections of the Israel Museum - particularly in the fields of Jewish art and life - as a unique treasure, illustrating the world legacy of Jewish life and enhancing the understanding of world Jewish heritage. We are honored to support the renewal and endowment of the Museum's Jewish Art and Life Wing as a meaningful component of our mission."
The Mandels also support Jewish life in the Cleveland area, recently donating $16 million to move the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland from Playhouse Square to Beachwood. They also donated $13.5 million to fund the continuing expansion of the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood.
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