Pearl Mantell



Pearl Mantell was a trailblazer. Her life story is such an interesting read in fact, one wishes her memoir would never end. So it is fitting that Pearl’s adventure carries on through a fund she created at the Jewish  Foundation of Greater New Haven to benefit a number of Israeli causes that were especially meaningful to her. Pearl’s nephew Charles, who was appointed to manage the estate, remembered his Aunt with great fondness and admiration. “Pearl took great care of me and was a major influence on my life and many others. She was a selfless woman, devoted to family and her many causes.  I can’t remember her ever spending a dime on herself. “

Charles also recounted other aspects of Pearl’s legacy, painting a vivid picture of a life worth the admiration of many. Following some of her siblings, Pearl emigrated from Canada and enjoyed a long, productive life.  Pearl returned to Montreal to look after her sister and her sister’s ill husband and lived there for 30 years until her passing in 2011.  Pearl outlived all her siblings and passed away at age 100. However, longevity seemed to be a family birthright.  Pearl’s mother and sister were also centenarians.

A vegan before it was fashionable, Pearl Mantell believed in natural healing more than traditional medicine. Although, ironically, she worked for a doctor, excelling as a typist and office manager.  Her employment however came with conditions. The biggest of which was there would be no smoking allowed on the premises. Nephew Charles explained. “Aunt Pearl was convinced cigarettes were a cause of cancer and heart disease long before it was a widespread belief. She was among the first crusaders to spread that message and change office smoking policy.”

In addition to her fervor about health, Pearl was equally passionate about creating a better world. She always sought and promoted peace, often taking to pen and paper. She sent letters to Mosques, imploring them to look inward for peaceful solutions after riots followed a speech by Pope Benedict.  Pearl wrote about a perfect world in her “A Vegan Dreams” and “Return to Eden”, the latter being published in 1979 in Dr. Shelton’s Hygenic Review.

Pearl was a dedicated Zionist, in the family tradition.  Her one trip to Israel was a real eye-opener for her and she spoke often of a possible follow-up trip.  Her Zionism led to some correspondence (rather one-sided) with Israel’s prime minister.

Her mother, “Bubbie” Mantell, had a particular interest in the General Israel Orphans Home for Girls, and Pearl continued her concern for Israeli orphans.

Pearl also maintained an interest in Beit Halochem, the worldwide organization that looks after Disabled veterans of the Israel Defense Forces. 

In recent years she was disturbed by reports in the Jewish press of the rising anti-Israel activity on university campuses and that led to her interest in CIJR—the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. CIJR sponsors, among other things, an effective training program for pro-Israel students on campus and that seems to have struck a chord for her.

Although her life was untraditional by many of today’s measures, Pearl did inspire a tradition of giving back according to her nephew. “She was so frugal that her Trust Fund just continued to grow and grow. As a result it can now make an even greater difference in the lives of others. She taught me a lot by that and helped me realize what is really important. She has honored me by allowing me to manage the estate and ensure her wishes are carried out.”

The Pearl P’nina Mantell Fund at the Jewish Foundation was established by Pearl through her estate. It will continue in her name in perpetuity. Pearl appointed her nephew, Charles, as the donor advisor of this fund and as requested by Pearl, he will recommend distributions from the fund to the causes that were important to her—providing for orphans in Israel, wounded and sick Israeli soldiers, and supporting programs that educate people about Israel and fight anti-Semitism.

Type of Fund/Area of Need: Donor Advised/Philanthropic Funds 

< Back to Previous


Let's Start a Conversation

The Jewish Foundation can help you explore charitable opportunities that work for you. 

The Jewish Foundation is a trusted and expert resource for charitable gift planning and endowments and serves as a partner and resource for synagogues, local Jewish agencies, professional advisors and donors.

When you make a current gift or leave a bequest to the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, you not only benefit our community, but you can also support the causes that are important to you.  You can designate that your gift be used to provide unrestricted funds to help meet community needs now and in the future or to endow a permanent fund to aid identified programs, your synagogue, agencies, organizations, or initiatives (Jewish or not Jewish, in Greater New Haven, Israel or beyond) that are of particular interest to you and your family.

Lisa Stanger, Esq., Executive Director
Tiberius Halai, Grants and Gift Manager
Beth Kupcho, Scholarship and Philanthropy Manager
Stephanie Licsak, Controller

Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven
360 Amity Road
Woodbridge, CT 06525
203-387-2424, ext. 382
203-387-1818 (fax)

I'm Interested!

These are the ways to give that interest me the most

3 + 14 =


With the Jewish Foundation, you can establish a named Restricted/Designated Fund for your synagogue, for Jewish education, for the needy, for Israel, for the arts, or for any charitable program or organization that is important to you.

These funds can be established in honor of a family member, or in memory of loved ones, and will provide annual distributions, in perpetuity, to the designated organization(s). The Jewish Foundation will make annual distributions to the designated charitable organization and, in the fund agreement,  you can provide for a contingent beneficiary organization should the designated organization cease to exist, lose its tax-exempt status or substantially alter its mission.  Restricted/Designated Funds can be established with a minimum gift of $10,000.


ENDOWING YOUR JEWISH FEDERATION ANNUAL CAMPAIGN GIFT Designated/Restricted Funds for the benefit of the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign are called “PACE” (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment) or “LOJE” (Lion of Judah Endowment).

A PACE fund is a designated/restricted fund which endows a donor’s UJA-Federation annual campaign gift. A LOJE fund is a type of PACE fund which provides a permanent endowment to perpetuate a woman’s annual Lion of Judah campaign gift.

PACE and LOJE funds allow our community, through permanent endowment funds dedicated to the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign, to insure that we have funds available that will continue to provide for vital programs and services both in Greater New Haven, in Israel and overseas… for present and future generations.

A named PACE fund can be established with a minimum commitment of $10,000 or a LOJE fund with a minimum commitment of $100,000. Commitments of under $10,000 are pooled together in the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven’s Community PACE Fund.


DONOR ADVISED/PHILANTHROPIC FUNDS For individuals and families seeking active involvement in philanthropy, a Philanthropic Fund (also called a donor-advised fund) allows the donor to create a named fund that provides flexibility in charitable giving. A Philanthropic Fund allows the donor to recommend distributions to any qualified tax-exempt organization-think of it as a charitable checking account. The Foundation administers the fund, invests the assets, and the donor receives quarterly statements describing their fund’s activity. These funds are a wonderful way to involve the family in giving---the donor and his/her family can sit around the dinner table and decide to which charitable organizations they want their fund to distribute. These funds can be established with a minimum gift of $10,000.

Download Info Sheet


The Foundation administers and promotes the Build a Tzedakah program which enables young adults to establish their own Foundation endowment fund and also, in conjunction with the Center for Jewish Life and Learning, includes local programs, classes and projects on philanthropy.

The Build-a-Tzedakah program allows young adults to engage in charitable giving by contributing $600 from their Bar or Bat Mitzvah gifts, with a match of $400 from a community donor. With this, the young adult now has a $1000 named charitable fund at the Jewish Foundation—they, or others, can add to the fund at anytime and in honor of special occasions- and, every December (Hannukah time), they will be given the opportunity to choose to which charity(ies) they want to make a distribution (distributions are based on the Jewish Foundation’s spending policy and must follow IRS regulations which include that they must be charitable and can only be made to US based public charities).


As part of its Build a Tzedakah program, the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven held a Pop-up Jewish teen giving circle. The teens, part of JTE (Jewish Teen Education) program, invited local organizations to present concerning funding needs. The program included discussion of philanthropic values, why people give, and how to give. The Jewish Foundation provided monies to the teens for their allocation process. The teens awarded the following grants: IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) for a teen civil rights travel program this summer; Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven for their Stars of David program providing post-adoption social support to adopted Jewish teens; JCC of Greater New Haven for their Makerspace.


Individuals or families can establish a named Unrestricted Fund at the Jewish Foundation with a minimum donation of $1,000. Unrestricted Funds allow the Foundation to meet the changing needs of the Jewish community through our grants process and community initiatives. Many community members have established such funds in honor of a special anniversary or birthday, or in memory of a loved one.


The Foundation’s professional staff and its centrality to the Jewish Federation insure continuous, permanent, and secure fund management and enhance donor confidence and prestige. In addition, placing endowment assets with the Jewish Foundation can serve to insulate financial management of an organization’s endowment from the vicissitudes that can occur through the organization’s own corporate governance. Many local Jewish organizations have entrusted endowments to the Jewish Foundation for administration and management--these include: The Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater New Haven, Congregation Beth Israel (Wallingford), Beth Israel (Orchard Street Shul)Cemetery Assocation, Congregation Mishkan Israel, Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel, Temple Beth David, Ezra Academy, the JCC, Jewish Family Service, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Congregation Or Shalom, Congregation B’nai Jacob and Temple Beth Tikvah.