Prominent philanthropist Barbara Mandel dies at 93
Barbara Mandel P’73, H’19, one of the University’s most generous benefactors and a Board of Trustees vice-chair, has died.
In his Nov. 22 email to the Brandeis community announcing the loss, University President Ron Liebowitz described Barbara Mandel as “a remarkable woman … who gave of her time and resources to improve the lives of others” and who was “committed to our faculty, staff, and students.”
A Trustee since 2005, Barbara Mandel served on the Board’s Executive and Nominating and Governance Committees and co-chaired the Institutional Advancement Committee. Independent of Brandeis, she led the National Council of Jewish Women, directing the 100,000-member-strong organization, per a Nov. 22 Cleveland Jewish News article.
Barbara Mandel was married to Morton Mandel for seven decades, up until his recent death in October. Her husband helped found the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, which has donated $45 million to the University, per a Nov. 22 BrandeisNOW article. A $22.5 million Foundation gift made possible the creation of the Mandel Center for the Humanities, the auditorium of which bears Barbara Mandel’s name.
In 2019, Barbara Mandel was one of seven honorary degree recipients at the 68th Commencement exercises, receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters. She also received an honorary degree from Hebrew University, per the CJN article. The Cleveland native was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1985 in the Religion and Community Service category, according to its website.
Two of the Mandel Foundation’s gifts to Brandeis carry Barbara Mandel’s namesake: The Barbara and Morton Mandel Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities and the Barbara and Morton Mandel Graduate Fellowships in English and American Literature, according to an Oct. 17 BrandeisNOW article.
She is survived by her three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“We will forever be grateful,” Liebowitz wrote in his email.