Annual Benedictine College Discovery Day Set For April 9

Annual Benedictine College Discovery Day Set For April 9

Keynote Address to Feature Secrets of the Vatican Library

Published: Monday, March 24, 2014

Rabbi Herbert Mandl, senior rabbi of Kehilath Israel Synagogue in Overland Park, Kan., and the first rabbi ever to gain access to the heavily guarded, 500-year-old Apostolic Library inside the Vatican, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Discovery Day at Benedictine College.  Each year, the school cancels its classes and meetings to allow for student presentations and the special keynote event.  The 2014 Discovery Day, set for Wednesday, April 9, will run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the featured presentation from Rabbi Mandl, “Secrets of the Vatican Library,” set for 1:00 p.m. in the school’s O’Malley-McAllister Auditorium.

Thousands of students have participated in Benedictine’s Discovery Day events since its inception in 1996.  In that time, most faculty members and academic departments have taken an active role in sponsoring student projects.  This year’s event includes more than 80 presentations featuring the works of over 150 students and 23 academic departments.  Projects include A Capella singing groups to Viking clothing and everything in between, including a hovercraft and a concrete canoe!  All Discovery Day events are free and open to the public.  Learn more about Discovery Day here.

Mandl was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in German and Semitics from the Johns Hopkins University in 1965.  He attended Baltimore Hebrew College at the same time, earning degrees in Bible and history.  Upon completion of his college courses, he entered the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York with a program leading towards a Masters Degree and Rabbinical Ordination.  He was ordained ‘Rabbi’ and graduated from the seminary in June 1969.  In 1974, Rabbi Mandl received his Orthodox “Smicha” ordination.  He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Medieval Philosophy and Law from the University of Montreal and a Doctor of Divinity degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

He was rabbi of several congregations in Alberta and Ontario before coming to the Kansas City area in 1980.  He has served twice as president of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City and in 1987 he was appointed by Kansas Governor Mike Hayden as the first chairman of the Kansas Holocaust Commission and as liaison to the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Council.  He spent 10 days exploring the Vatican’s library in October of 2013.

Rabbi Mandl has been an adjunct lecturer in Judaica in the Department of Theology at Rockhurst University since the fall of 1989.  He is married to the former Barbara Toltzis and they have four children and eight grandchildren.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.