It is with a heavy heart that our family bids adieu to Rabbi Marc and Jackie Mandel and family. Faithful stewards of the Touro Synagogue in Newport for over a decade, the Mandels touched the lives of every member of the congregation with their caring and compassion. In addition, they spearheaded many educational initiatives, invigorated the Hebrew School, and made social action an important part of their agenda. Also, their children and grandchildren were a welcome addition to the community, gracing us with their talents and warmth.
On a personal level, the Mandels left an indelible imprint on our family during their tenure. Rabbi Mandel presided over many lifecycle events – the aufrufs (engagement ceremonies) for my daughters Rachel and Shoshana, and officiated at Rachel’s wedding. Our family spent many Shabbats and High Holy Days at Touro Synagogue, where the rabbi encouraged our participation in synagogue life. Moreover, he was an important role model and mentor for my son Samuel, offering him ample opportunities to hone skills required for a congregational religious leader. These experiences helped propel him forward to complete his studies for rabbinic ordination last year. We valued his good counsel and appreciated his interest in our spiritual growth. I shall cherish the memory of our liturgical partnerships, and his involvement in my Judaic art projects.
We wish the Mandel family every success in the their future endeavors. They will be sorely missed.
Dr. Henry and Felicia Spencer