Educator and Service Leader
Andrew K. Mandel has spent his career dedicated to developing leaders for social change. Originally from Rockland County, New York, Andrew earned his bachelor's degree in American history and literature at Harvard College, his master's degree in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and his doctorate in adult learning and leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. After serving as a seventh-grade English teacher in South Texas, Andrew spent 16 years designing the national leadership programming at Teach For America, a non-profit focused on ensuring all children have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. He partnered with the Schusterman Foundation in 2009 to create and facilitate the annual REALITY program, which has brought hundreds of Teach For America corps members to Israel for a 10-day values-based leadership development experience exploring how to address inequity. In 2014, he co-founded Strong East Ramapo, a volunteer advocacy organization seeking to address educational inequity in his hometown and the tensions between the families of color who use the public school system and the large ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, whose members run the school board and severely restrict the district’s budget to keep taxes low. Seeking to grow Jewish communities that live out the Biblical call for justice, Andrew entered rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College in 2018. An alumnus of the New York Wexner Heritage Program, the Froman Fellowship with the New Israel Fund, and the year-long Hartman Institute Rabbinic Seminar, Andrew is also a member of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the LGBTQ synagogue in Manhattan that warmly opens its doors to straight people.