Gandel Philanthropy will continue to support the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) efforts to send young people on a “pilot tour” to Israel.
John Gandel, long recognized for his support for Israel as well as Jewish youth throughout Australia, has declared that his philanthropic trust will be making a series of significant grants to the ZFA to be channeled into the Taglit Birthright Israel program.
Gandel’s contributions will allow three groups, each comprising forty young people between the ages of 18 to 26, to set-off on a ten day intensive tour of Israel. The tours which will be held at different stages during the next twelve months, usually during University holidays, are geared towards helping young Jewish people whom may never have visited Israel, or at least not as young adults to get to know as much as possible about the country.
The aim of Taglit Birthright Israel program is to help foster Jewish identity and continuity, with many of the participants having become largely unaffiliated with the Jewish community.
Since the first Birthright trips began in 1999, close to 350, 000 young people coming from 62 countries have taken part in the program. By the end of this 2013, more than 3600 Australians will have taken part in a Taglit Birthright sponsored tour to Israel.
Announcing his contribution John Gandel AO, Chairman of Gandel Philanthropy expressed his satisfaction at being able to contribute stating that evidence shows that Taglit-Birthright Israel program has been a major contributor to strengthening Jewish continuity right around the world and we are very proud to be associated with it.
Acknowledging Gandel Philanthropy’s contribution, Phillip Chester president of the ZFA pointed out that the birthright program has been witnessed to have the direct ability to engage many young Jewish adults, and help them to build a powerful connection to Israel, Judaism as well as other young Jewish people from all over the world that they meet during the program. In a number of instances that connection continues, with many young Jewish people have decided to make Israel their home, during the thirteen years that Taglit Birthright has been in operation.
Gandel is ranked among the top ten wealthiest Australians by the influential Forbes magazine.
John Gandel was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. After completing high school, John joined his parents in their family lady’s fashion business, which, working in conjunction with Marc Resen, his brother-in-law, he expanded into a nationwide chain which grew into more than 200 outlets.
In the early 1980s Gandel began to diversify into property development, eventually, selling his share in the family retailing business to Marc Resen in order to focus on expanding his real estate interests, developing a number of shopping centers throughout Australia.
Typically John Gandel’s philanthropic efforts have been based around causes relating to medical research and treatment as well as in the arts.
John Gandel was awarded an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Tel Aviv University in May 2006, the highest honor the university can be stored in recognition of his “business standing, broad leadership roles and philanthropic support in Australia and Israel.” During the same visit to Israel John Gandel was the guest of honor at the inauguration of the Gandel Institute for Adult Jewish Learning situated within the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.