The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation in Cleveland has created a matching gift program, known as the “Mandel Match,” for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland 2021 Campaign for Jewish Needs.

Every new or increased gift to the Federation’s annual campaign will garner a matching donation from the Mandel Foundation toward the Federation’s Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund.

Mandel Foundation Chairman Stephen H. Hoffman told the Cleveland Jewish News Aug. 10 the Mandel Foundation initially committed $4 million to the Federation’s Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund, which aids people who are newly vulnerable due to the pandemic.

Hoffman said the Mandel Foundation also agreed to match every new or increased gift up to $1 million.

“Let’s say they give $25 more or a 5% increase to their annual gift,” Hoffman said. “If they give $25 more to the annual campaign, we will give $25 to the COVID campaign. So the $500 donor increased their gift by $25 for the annual campaign, but also caused a gift to occur for the COVID campaign.”

Hoffman explained the donor is contributing to the success of the Federation’s annual campaign while making sure there will be additional money for the COVID-19 fund.

He noted some donors’ financial circumstances might be strained this year.

“By creating this match, we are helping to ensure that the agencies and institutions that are so critical to meeting the needs of individuals and families throughout Jewish Cleveland are able to serve the community during this time of crisis,” Mandel Foundation President and CEO Jehuda Reinharz said in a news release.

Federation board chair J. David Heller expressed gratitude in the release for the “generous support and leadership” provided by the Mandel Foundation to the Federation over the years.

“I cannot thank Jehuda, Steve and the entire Mandel Foundation board enough for their generosity at this critical time in our community’s history,” Heller said.

The Mandel Foundation was started in 1940 by brothers Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel. Jack Mandel died in 2011 at age 99; Joseph Mandel died in 2016 at age 102; and Morton Mandel died in 2019 at age 98. Their foundation has gifted more than $900 million as of October 2019.

“Cleveland is known as one of the most caring Jewish communities in the world and actions like this by the Mandel Foundation make it easy to see why,” Bradley A. Sherman, general chair of the Federation’s 2021 campaign, said in the release. “Through the Mandel Match, we are now in a position to overcome a once-in-a-generation challenge without having to sacrifice the future potential of Jewish Cleveland.”

The 2021 campaign will run from Aug. 27 through Dec. 9.

“I’m hopeful that by that point they’ll have exhausted our match and made us pay every penny,” Hoffman said.

For more information about the Campaign for Jewish Needs and the match, visit jewishcleveland.org.

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