The Mandel Leadership Institute launched its 23rd academic year on September 2, with the new fellows of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership (the 23rd cohort), second-year fellows (the 22nd cohort) and the new fellows in the fifth cohort of the Mandel Scholars in Education Program.
Mandel Foundation-Israel Director General Moshe Vigdor noted the Mandel Foundation’s areas of activity: leadership development, Jewish education and Jewish continuity, higher education, nonprofit organization management, and urban renewal.
Mandel School for Educational Leadership Director Danny Bar Giora referred to the weekly Torah portion, Shoftim [Judges], and to the educational issues arising from it, relating to the question of responsibility. Bar Giora highlighted the commitment of the school’s fellows to educational endeavor and community involvement, especially during this difficult period.
“What is the role of education during a war?” asked Dr. Eli Gottlieb, director of the Mandel Leadership Institute and vice president of the Mandel Foundation-Israel in his opening remarks. Dr. Gottlieb surveyed the different meanings of the term “inspiration.” He wished the fellows a meaningful and stirring encounter at the Mandel Institute with a range of outlooks, worldviews and abilities.
The lecture marking the opening of the academic year was delivered by Dr. Meir Buzaglo and focused on the importance of a leader’s ability to adapt and not merely to bring about change in others. Buzaglo, a member of the Mandel Leadership Institute’s Academic Advisory Committee and a senior lecturer in philosophy at the Hebrew University, argued that a leader’s greatness is measured by his ability to change personally, through ongoing ideological clarification and a continuous process of refining and sharpening perceptions. In the lecture, Dr. Buzaglo surveyed the skeptical attitude toward leadership in Jewish tradition, where leadership lacks the glory associated with it in other traditions. He also pointed to what he felt to be essential traits for a contemporary leader: independence – financial and ideological, a restrained need for recognition, and being satisfied with achieving one's defined goal.