The beginning of September saw the launch of the 25th academic year of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. The event was marked by a celebratory ceremony attended by the 21 fellows of Cohort 25 who are beginning their studies at the School, along with the 19 fellows of Cohort 24 , now entering their second year. The new group of fellows have a diverse range of professional backgrounds—including education, hi-tech and business entrepreneurship, work with youth at risk, environmental activity, the IDF, and academia—and hail from different sectors of Israeli society.
Moshe Vigdor, the director general of the Mandel Foundation–Israel, gave a welcome address to the fellows, and described the Foundation’s main areas of activity: leadership of non-profits, management of non-profit and public sector institutions, humanities in education and the arts, Jewish education and Jewish studies, and urban renewal and community development.
The opening lecture of the academic year was given by Dr. Meir Buzaglo and focused on the topic of leadership. Buzaglo, a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Mandel Foundation and a senior lecturer in philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, argued that the greatness of a leader lies in his or her ability to change, coupled with an unceasing exploration and assessment of ideas, and a continual process of vision refinement. He surveyed the characteristics required of a leader: independence, both economic and philosophical; curbing one’s need for recognition, despite this being a basic human urge; and being satisfied with pre-defined achievements.
Danny Bar Giora, director of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, described the uniqueness of the School’s curriculum, and the tensions it contains between renewal and tradition, and between theory and practice. “Our aim is to make the world a better place through our work in the field of education,” he said. Bar Giora also spoke in memory of Bambi Sheleg , a member of the School’s faculty who passed away in mid-August.
Each year, the Mandel School for Educational Leadership accepts approximately 20 fellows with proven managerial capabilities and a high intellectual ability, who are committed to leading change for the betterment of Israeli society and education. The program of studies at the School, which is a joint venture of the Mandel Foundation and the Ministry of Education, is conducted over two years. During this time, fellows develop their personal and professional visions, deepen their knowledge, and improve their ability to contribute to the field of education in Israel.