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Jerry Isaak Shapiro, head of school at Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School, stands in front of the newly renovated school. | CJN Photo / Jane Kaufman

A building dedication at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School is being postponed due the to death of Morton L. Mandel, who died Oct. 16 and whose memorial service is taking place Oct. 20.

A $17.050 million gift to the Agnon School from the Joseph and Florence Family Foundation in 2015 resulted in the changing of the school’s name.

The $5.8 million project includes a new entrance, parent lounge, offices, library/media commons and computer lab. Offices for @akiva are included in the project as well.

The school is now converting its administrative offices into fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, scheduled for completion in January 2020. That part of the project is projected to cost $1.8 million.

The unsigned letter to the community states, “Mort was a veritable force of nature; along with his brothers, Jack and Joseph, he profoundly impacted the lives of dozens of organizations throughout the U.S. and in Israel.

“More than the generosity of his monetary gifts – which were truly transformative – Mort changed the way Jewish communal professionals and the entire community thought about the Jewish future,” the letter reads.”His oft-repeated question was, How do we change the landscape? – how do we make lifelong changes in what we do, so that we can truly touch even more lives….”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mort’s wife Barbara and to their children and grandchildren. To the Weinberg and Miller and Dinner and Kahn families, we extend our deepest condolences.

Baruch Dayan ha-Emet – and may Morton Mandel’s name forever be a blessing.”

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