The Mandel Scholion Center aspires to facilitate, and encourage, research at the highest level in all branches of the humanities. It provides scholars with a supportive multidisciplinary framework that both allows them to broaden their horizons and learn from conversations and encounters with colleagues in other fields. Each fellow receives an office, budgetary support and other optimal conditions for their work.
The Center was opened in 2002/3 as the joint project of the Hebrew University and the Mandel Foundation, embodying the visionary plan of Prof. Menahem Magidor (then president of the University) and Mr. Morton Mandel to open a multi-disciplinary and cross-generational center for scholars of the humanities. During the Center’s first decade, under the academic leadership of Prof. Israel J. Yuval, the basic modes and structures of the Center were formed and developed, and the model was further refined under the direction of Prof. Daniel Schwartz, the Center’s second head. Each year the Center’s academic committee chooses, in competitive processes, ten scholars: two postdocs (“Mandel Fellows”) and one eight-member research group (composed of four senior scholars [at least three from the Hebrew University] and four doctoral students). All scholars come for a three-year period, ten rotating in and out each year, so at any given time there are thirty scholars in the center: twelve doctoral students, six postdocs, and twelve senior scholars—a mixture that allows diverse topics and cross-fertilization.
The generous and stable support of the Mandel Foundation allows Mandel Scholion to supply its fellows with an extraordinary level of support. They are accompanied by the Center’s devoted and experienced staff, research assistants and technical and financial support. The faculty in residence at Mandel Scholion enjoys a reduced teaching load during their three years as fellows.
Mandel Scholion strives to allow each member the peace and quiet they need to complete their projects but at the same time to create conducive models for collaborative scholarship. The members of the Center whose research spans the Humanities and Social Sciences have regular meetings and seek ways to bridge disciplinary borders, enhancing both group and individual research. To judge by the unwillingness of fellows to leave after three years, and by the number of past fellows who compete for the possibility of returning for another three years, it seems that this model works well.
As for the postdocs, who as a rule are not members of research groups: for them Mandel Scholion is something of a greenhouse, allowing them the time and the other conditions they need to complete their publications, gain experience in teaching, and compete for tenure track positions. The results, to date, are very gratifying: more than thirty past Fellows have been appointed to regular tenure-track positions in Israel and abroad.
The Mandel Scholion Center occupies the second floor of the Mandel Building on Mt. Scopus, and we invite members of the public and of the University community to visit us and learn more about us. Some of our activities are open to the public, and are announced on our website and that of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, of which our Center is one of the central elements.