Mendel Kaplan (philanthropist)

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Mendel Kaplan (1936–2009) was a South African Jewish industrialist, philanthropist and community activist.[1]

Mendel Kaplan was born in South Africa. After graduating from Wynberg Boys' High, he received a degree in law from the University of Cape Town in 1958 and an MBA from Columbia University in 1960.[2]

Kaplan was the honorary president of Keren Hayesod and a former chairman of the Jewish Agency's Board of Governors. He financed numerous philanthropic projects in South Africa, Israel and Jewish communities around the world.[3] In 1980, he founded the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town. In 2000, he established the South African Jewish Museum.[1]

Kaplan was an Israeli citizen and owned two homes in Israel.[2]

He was a keen rugby union fan, and helped set up the South African Jewish Museum.[1]

Kaplan died of a stroke on 19 November 2009.


  1. ^ a b c Jessica Elgot (20 November 2009). "Mendel Kaplan dies". The Jewish Chronicle Online. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Mendel Kaplan dies[dead link]
  3. ^ Milton Shain (22 November 2009). "Mendel Kaplan, 1936-2009/Jewish leader, philanthropist, family man". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 

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