The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has honored Jewish businessman and philanthropist Morton Mandel with a special award for his lifetime of charitable work and public service.
“This unique award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society and public service, and who share the vision of public service set out by the founders of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” a spokesman for the Mandel Foundation in Israel said in a statement.
The prize has been awarded to such figures as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the late US senator Edward Kennedy.
Mandel, the 93-year-old co-founder of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, is a major investor in Israeli companies. He donates directly to a variety of Israeli causes primarily linked to education and leadership training. In late 2014, he announced that he intended to invest in further Israeli companies as a way of building up the Jewish state.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post at the time, he stated that he planned to “buy more companies that are not doing well, and fix them up. The driver is, I want a better, stronger, healthier Israel.”
Discussing one of the firms he owns here, he said: “I own this company because I want to create jobs in Israel, and I am going to expand this company to create more jobs. I’m a billionaire; I didn’t come to make more money. I’ve given millions away.”