Kalman Mann

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Kalman Mann
Born 5 July 1912
Jerusalem, Palestine
Died 14 March 1997(1997-03-14) (aged 84)
Jerusalem, Israel
Years active 1951–1981
Organization Hadassah Medical Organization
Title Director General
Predecessor Eli Davis
Successor Shmuel Penchas[1]

Kalman Jacob Mann (Hebrew: קלמן יעקב מן‎‎) (5 July 1912 – 14 March 1997)[2] was an Israeli physician specializing in pulmonology, and the eighth and longest-serving director general of the Hadassah Medical Organization. During his three decades at the helm of the Hadassah HMO, he was credited with the renovation of the hospital campus on Mount Scopus after the Six-Day War, and the construction of a new Hadassah medical center at Ein Kerem.[3] He also sat on 14 different government committees, influencing Israeli health-care legislation. Following his retirement from Hadassah in 1981, Mann shepherded the development of the Yad Sarah medical equipment lending organization, serving as its chairman until his death in 1997.

Early life and education[edit]

Tachkemoni School, Jerusalem, in the early 20th century

Kalman Jacob Mann was born in Jerusalem to Yitzhak David Mann and his wife, Chaya,[4] both Orthodox Jews.[2] He was the eldest of five children.[5] On his father's side,[4] he was a seventh-generation Jerusalemite.[3] He received both a secular and a Talmudic education during his youth, studying in the Tachkemoni School and earning a teacher's diploma at the Mizrahi Teachers Seminary.[4] His father then sent him abroad to study economics at the London School of Economics in 1931. Although Mann wanted to study medicine, he acceded to his father's wishes. Though he could barely speak English, he passed the entrance exam, but three months into the term he realized that economics was not for him and asked his father if he could switch to medicine.[2] His father agreed, whereupon he completed his preliminary studies at Chelsea Polytechnic and, that same year, entered University College Hospital Medical School. In 1937 he received a double degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, and was accepted as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.[2]

House physician[edit]

After graduation, Mann was named a house physician at the University College Hospital and spent two years attending to patients in the pulmonology department of various London hospitals. In 1939 he received his Doctor of Medicine degree as well as a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the University of London. He also qualified as a member of the Royal College of Physicians.[2] He married his first wife, Sylvia Gamse, in 1940.[4] He was drafted into the emergency medical corps in World War II and served as a resuscitation officer at RAF Hendon, where he tended to pulmonary cases.[6] Post-war, he worked for two years as a research physician at the Pneumoconiosis Research Unit in Penarth, Wales.[2]

He became involved in Zionist activities as chairman of the Friends of the Jerusalem University in Cardiff and chairman of the Zionist organization in Queensbury, London.[4]

Hadassah Director General[edit]

Hadassah Ein Kerem campus

Mann returned to Jerusalem with his wife and two children in 1949[4][7] to accept a medical post at Hadassah Hospital. That year, however, the campus on Mount Scopus was cut off from the rest of Jerusalem by the 1949 Armistice Agreements, and hospital departments and clinics had taken up residence in a series of derelict buildings in western Jerusalem.[7] Mann was instead offered an administrative position as deputy to the director general of Hadassah, Eli Davis, which he accepted.[8] The hospital sent him to Rochester, New York to receive training in hospital administration from Dr. E. M. Bluestone, former medical director of Hadassah.[9] In early 1951, when Davis announced his resignation to return to general practice, Mann was named his successor.[2]

Mann proved to be a visionary director and successful fund-raiser, turning Hadassah from an institution crippled by war to one of the world's leading centers of medicine, teaching, and research.[2] One of his first efforts was to locate a new campus for the hospital and raise the millions of dollars necessary to build it. The 600-bed[2] hospital at Ein Kerem opened in May 1961.[10] Mann also opened four out of the eventual five professional schools on that campus: pharmacology, dentistry, occupational therapy, and public health.[2][11]

On June 6, 1967, a day after Israel gained Mount Scopus in the Six-Day War, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek called Mann and told him, "If you want your hospital, come and get it".[12][13] Over the next eight years, Mann supervised the renovation of the Mount Scopus campus into a 300-bed medical center.[2] He also developed a "community based outreach health centre" at Kiryat Yovel.[2]

Over his three decades of leadership, Mann managed a budget that increased from $2.3 million to $93 million.[11] He collected most of the funds for his projects from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.[2]

Yad Sarah[edit]

Mann retired from Hadassah on September 1, 1981, making him the longest-serving director general of the HMO; he served under ten presidents.[1][3] He immediately undertook a full-time position as chairman of the Yad Sarah medical equipment lending organization, with which he had been involved on a volunteer basis since 1977.[2] Mann's advice and expertise helped grow Yad Sarah from a neighborhood gemach into a nationwide home care equipment-lending organization with 72 branches and 4,200 volunteers by 1995.[7] (As of 2013, the organization has over 100 branches and 6,000 volunteers, and saves the government an estimated $400 million annually in hospitalization expenses.[14]) After his death, Mann's son, Professor Jonathan Mann, became a member of the Yad Sarah presidium.[15]

Other activities and affiliations[edit]

Mann was a member of 14 government committees convened on various aspects of health care, serving as chairman of five of them – thus wielding significant influence on health care legislation.[7] Among those committees were the Supreme Medical Council and the Advisory Council for Matters of Preventative Medicine.[4]

In 1970 Mann was accepted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.[2]

In 1994 Manfred Wasserman conducted an oral history project with Mann, taping the former director general for more than 17 hours and compiling his memories in the book Kalman Jacob Mann: Reflections on a life in health care (Rubin Mass).[7]


Mann married his first wife, Sylvia, in London in 1940. They had four children.[2][4] He married his second wife, Bluma, on January 16, 1995.[16]

Kalman and Bluma Mann were seriously injured in two automobile accidents, one on April 24, 1996 and a second on February 28, 1997.[16] Mann died of his injuries from the second accident on March 14, 1997 at the Hadassah Medical Center at Ein Kerem.[2][16][17]



  1. ^ a b Levin (2002), p. 365.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Godfrey, Simon (2009). "Munk's Roll: Kalman Jacob Mann". Royal College of Physicians. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Paid Notice: Deaths, Mann, Kalman Jacob". The New York Times. 16 March 1997. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Tidhar (1952), pp. 2294-2295.
  5. ^ Tidhar (1947), p. 988.
  6. ^ Levin (2002), p. 260.
  7. ^ a b c d e Elliman, Wendy (4 August 1995). "A Man With No Enemies". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 27 April 2014.  (subscription)
  8. ^ Levin (2002), pp. 259-261.
  9. ^ Levin (2002), p. 261.
  10. ^ Levin (2002), p. 271.
  11. ^ a b Levin (2002), p. 366.
  12. ^ Levin (2002), p. 289.
  13. ^ Mor-Yosef, Prof. Shlomo. "June 6th: A date to remember". Hadassah.org. Archived from the original on 2014-11-02. 
  14. ^ Kloosterman, Karin (1 April 2013). "Yad Sarah – Lending a hand to those in need". Israel 21c. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Siegel, Judy (9 February 2001). "Yad Sarah Volunteers Strike Gold". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 27 April 2014.  (subscription)
  16. ^ a b c פסק-דין [Legal Ruling] (in Hebrew). Supreme Court of Israel. 6 August 2006. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  17. ^ Levin (2002), p. 367.


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