Mandell Education Campus

History of the Mandell Education Campus

In 1985, the Mandell Education Campus was founded through the vision of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the then Solomon Schechter Jewish Day School, local synagogues, Gratz College and local community members. The vision of these founders was to develop a campus devoted to Jewish education spanning from early childhood through graduate school and adult learning. This effort was supported by the need expressed by several Jewish agencies whose services were expanding and in need of housing.


The original Motherhouse of Melrose Academy.

Melrose Academy, a Catholic school under the auspices of the Order of Gray Nuns, was seeking to sell the campus. They accepted an offer made by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia to purchase the campus as an educational anchor for the Jewish community.

The agencies that joined the family of educational institutions that would establish themselves on the campus included Gratz College, Federation Early Learning Services (formerly known as Federation Day Care Services), Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education, The Forman Branch of the Solomon Schechter Day School (now known as Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School), Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Because We Care, a women’s support group of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and a summer day camp of the Jewish Community Centers. The Jewish Outreach Partnership of Greater Philadelphia (formerly known as the Community Hebrew Schools) moved its main office to the campus in 1994.

The Mandell Education Campus was named in recognition of the lead gift made by the Mandell Family through the leadership of Dr. Morton Mandell


The Ann Newman Building of Gratz College on the Mandell Education Campus.

to the Jewish Federation’s Capital Campaign for the acquisition of the campus. Several agencies renovated already existing facilities on the campus. Gratz College, while occupying the existing high school building, began a Capital Campaign followed by the construction of a major new facility specifically designed for the College Division and Graduate School and the Stanley and Edna Tuttleman Jewish Public Library. The new facility was made possible by a lead gift from the Milton and Ida Newman Family in memory of their daughter, Ann.

By attracting students to the physical campus from other areas of the United States and beyond, as well as developing a burgeoning distance learning program, Gratz College has transformed itself into a leading career oriented professional education program provider on both the regional, national and international stage.

The Jewish Community High School of Gratz College, in response to the needs of a vibrant Jewish community, has expanded to include 12 branches throughout the Delaware Valley. In turn, this has enabled Gratz College to offer housing to a newly established Robert Saligman Middle School, under the auspices of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day School.

Additional agencies currently housed at Gratz College include the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia and the Jewish Outreach Partnership of Philadelphia. Seasonal programs housed on the Mandell Education Campus include the Ramah Day Camp and the PRAMUS Day Camp of the JCCs.