May 16, 2011
Jewish philanthropist Jack Mandel dies
Jack Mandel, a leader in Jewish philanthropy in the United States and Israel, has died.
Mandel died May 12; he was 99.
He and his brothers, Morton and Joseph, started Premier Automotive Supply in a small storefront in Cleveland and built the business into one of the largest distributors of auto parts and electronic components in the United States.
The Mandel brothers are internationally known for their donations to support Jewish causes. Their Mandel Foundation is among the largest foundations founded by Jews in the United States.
Active in many organizations, Mandel served on the national board of directors of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and on the board of the Negev Foundation. After visiting the Negev Desert, he became very knowledgeable about the Negev and brackish water farming, and he provided support for the Israelis’ agricultural efforts in that region.
Mandel was a longtime resident of Hollywood, Fla., where he supported the Chabad of South Broward and the Broward Chai Center for 30 years.
In a 2010 interview, Morton Mandel said of his brother, “Jack is the wisest person I’ve ever met in my life. I define wisdom as intelligent people learning from their experience. I would go see him and say, ‘You know, we’ve got this problem over here,’ and he would say, ‘Well, why don’t you do such and such?’ And, I’m not kidding you, that would be the answer.”