Testimonials

Avram was named the 2016 RHSOE ALUMNI-IN-RESIDENCE Educator for the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.

Avram Mandell was named a Greater Los Angeles Jewish Federation PresenTenseLA Fellow, and recognized as a dynamic social entrepreneur for the launch of Tzedek America.

“After a month at my internship, I knew I wanted to major in Women’s Studies next year when I go to college”

-Tzedek America Fellow 2017

“I never thought I’d feel confident enough to make a hot meal for 10 people”

-Emily Heaps, Tzedek America Fellow 2017

“Through Tzedek America, I have real world experiences that will be valuable in college and beyond and also make an observable impact in the local community”

-Gabe Melmed, Tzedek America Fellow 2017

“The thought and care put into creating the communal living situation has produced positive changes in my son that we didn't expect.”

-Parent of Tzedek America Fellow

“On his first trip home, he was palpably more self-assured and connected.”

-Parent of Tzedek America Fellow

“His communication style more direct and his manner generally more mature and engaged.”

-Parent of Tzedek America Fellow

“I strongly suspect that he will enter his Freshman year in college more self-aware, less distracted with the novelty of being out of the house for the first time, and as a result better able to focus on his studies, and better able to manage his time.”

-Jacki Cooper, Parent of Tzedek America Fellow

“Through Tzedek America, we have seen an amazing blossoming of a teenager into a young adult. “

-Dr. Ari Melmed, Parent of Tzedek America Fellow

“We’re so grateful to Avram for leading by example and teaching you and the Tzedek Americans to pray with their feet and remain open to new ways to practice your beliefs.”

-Beth Solomon, Parent of Tzedek America Fellow

"Avram Mandell is a visionary, creative, charismatic educator. He thinks deeply about the problems of Jewish life and Jewish education, bringing in his own unique perspective, which turns out to be both engaging and effective. Tzedek America is a good example — a way to combine young adults' interest in making the world a better place and exploring their Jewish identities.

Hebrew Union College students who have served as interns under Avram have been inspired by his example and his ideas. I expect this will be true of the Tzedek America fellows as well."

-Dr. Isa Aron, HUC-JIR

"Avram Mandell possesses a combination of gifts that can rarely be found in any educator, no matter how exceptional he or she may be. He demonstrates both the passion for and command of the Jewish textual tradition that any great teacher must display. However, Avram’s real magic can be seen in how he utilizes Jewish learning as a tool for opening the hearts of teenagers and inspiring their emotional and spiritual growth. Teens naturally flock to Avram. They can see immediately that he is a kid at heart and that he is deeply invested in their self-discovery both as young adults and as Jews."

-Rabbi Ken Chasen, Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles

"The time is now for a program like Tzedek America. With the recent research which shows that Millenials are the most distanced and least affiliated from Judaism, a gap year that teaches this generation to define their own unique brand of American Judaism is essential. As gap years become more popular for graduating high school students, Jewish teenagers should have the choice of participating in Tzedek America."

-Dr. Bruce Powell, PhD, Head of School, New Jewish Community High School

"Avram Mandell is the most influential teacher of Judaism and overall mentor I have ever had. I wish I had taken the time between high school and college to mature fully and come to grips with my Jewish identity. Tzedek America would have given me the flexibility to explore my Judaism in a structured environment."

-Matthew Schulman, Emerson College Class of 2015