Jewish Federations Receive $9.5M Talent Grant from Mandel Foundation


Jewish Federations of North America are proud to announce a new three-year $9.5 million grant from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation to build out a comprehensive talent strategy across the Federation system. This talent strategy, housed in the Jewish Federation of North America’s Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence, will focus on strengthening the professional leadership pipeline across the Federation system and provide high-level multi-functional training and tools to grow and support professional development at all levels, from early career professionals to C-Suite roles.  

The grant will support the recruitment of top talent from across the Jewish communal field, the development of a mid-career training platform, and a focus on professional development in fundraising and management. 

“Our investment in talent across the Jewish Federation system reflects a core belief of the Mandel Foundation, that at the heart of the Jewish communal field are professionals whose vision, talents and skills carry our communities forward,” said Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation President and CEO Jehuda Reinharz.  “We are certain that this grant will fuel the highest level of excellence across the Federation system and allow for even greater levels of impact, which will in turn benefit the entire Jewish community served by the Federations.” 

“The great needs of our Jewish communities demand great professionals who are equipped to lead our communities with vision, intent, and state-of-the-art professionalism,” said Jewish Federations of North America Chief Talent Officer Liz Fisher. “This generous grant will enable us to make an unprecedented investment to support the professionals across our Federation system so that they can best serve the field and help our communities flourish.” 

The Federation system employs approximately 3,500 full-time employees, and an additional 2,500 part-time, seasonal and temporary staff.  Post-pandemic changes in the labor force have made it increasingly challenging to recruit and retain top-level talent. 

A 2022 Leading Edge survey found that only 59% of over 12,000 professionals surveyed across 257 Jewish communal organizations indicated that their organization provides them with sufficient opportunities for professional development. Only 37% of respondents indicated that they plan to stay at their current organization for five or more years.  The 2022 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report found that companies have a higher retention rate with employees who have learned new skills in their role, and a 2019 report by The Execu|Search Group found that 86% of professionals said that they would change jobs if the new company offered them more opportunities for professional development. 

As the professional talent strategy grows, Jewish Federations will also continue to invest in lay leadership development, recognizing the unique and essential relationship between professional and lay leadership in advancing our communal goals.  

About the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation 
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel established their first foundation in 1953 in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.  Their philanthropic legacy is continued through the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Supporting Foundation.  The work of the Foundation is grounded in the belief that exceptional leaders, inspired by powerful ideas, are key to improving society and the lives of people around the world.  The Foundations have identified five areas of engagement that receive support, which include:  leadership development, management of nonprofits, humanities, Jewish life and urban engagement.  For more information, please visit

About Jewish Federations of North America 
Jewish Federations of North America are the backbone of the organized Jewish community in the U.S. and Canada, representing over 350 Jewish communities. They raise and distribute more than $2 billion annually, including through planned giving and endowment programs, to build Flourishing Jewish Communities domestically, in Israel, and around the world. 


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