At a moving event held at the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev (MCLN) on Tu B'Shvat, January 16, 2014, the center bade farewell to Adv. Yankale Steinberg, who served as its director from 2009 to 2013. The evening focused on the two areas that Yankale introduced and developed in MCLN’s training programs - mapping and introspection as the key to leadership training.
Steinberg, a graduate of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, joined MCLN as co-director shortly after its founding in 2004 and became the director in 2009. Previously, he practiced law, focusing on capital markets and the ethics of governmental and economic systems, and helped design and develop technological platforms in these areas.
A majority of the approximately 100 people at the event were graduates of MCLN programs and friends, who expressed their profound appreciation for Yankale’s activities during MCLN’s growth period. In her opening remarks, Adi Nir Sagi, Yankale’s successor as director, noted that he had “cultivated a place, community, faculty, and incubator.” Dr. Eli Gottlieb, director of the Mandel Leadership Institute and vice president of the Mandel Foundation-Israel, thanked Yankale “for what you taught us bravely, modestly and without posturing.” Israel Budik, director of the southern district of the Ministry of Social Affairs, thanked Yankale for his unflinching friendship and for “creating new ways of thinking and powering the wheels of thought.” Sultan Abu Obaid, the southern region director of Shatil, expressed his gratitude to Yankale for having turned MCLN into a second home for Shatil and for the Arab-Bedouin community in the Negev. Dr. Hefzi Zohar, deputy mayor of Beer Sheva and holder of the municipal education portfolio, also thanked him.
The study segment of the evening comprised two sessions. The first topic - introspection - was addressed by Shani Bar-On and Israel Sorek, both MCLN faculty members, and by Yousuf Abu-Medigam, who participated in the first cohort of the Mandel leadership program in Rahat. Participating in the evening's second session on mapping were Dr. Itzhak (Kiki) Aharonovich, an MCLN faculty member, and Dr. Varda Shiffer, the founder of MCLN, who spoke about the subjectivity of the concept of mapping and surveyed the development of the term’s use at MCLN. Pnina Elal Barnea, a graduate of the first cohort of the Mandel leadership program in Beer Sheva, also spoke at the session.
Yankale, who was very moved by the event, thanked all those who took part in the evening and said that he intended to continue to be active in the field of social action. He also hopes to make good use of the bicycle helmet he received as a gift from the graduates of the first cohort of the Mandel Beer Sheva leadership program as he returns to his love for mountain biking.