MEET DINIE MANGEL…
“How does she do it?”
That’s the question most people ask about Dinie Mangel, wife of Chabad Rabbi Mendel “Mendy” Mangel, mother of eight, educator, administrator, manager of the Chabad’s mikvah and—well, human dynamo.
“I’m lucky—I don’t need a lot of sleep,” confides Dinie, who is known to the Jewish community, and especially the Chabad community, as the woman who does it all, graciously and well.
Dinie Mangel arrived in South Jersey in 1994, knowing a handful of people, and dedicated to the same principles and mission as her husband: “We wanted to spread awareness of Yiddishkeit and educate the Jewish community in a meaningful way. It was as simple—and as complicated—as that! There’s always more to do.”
There certainly would be with eight children who range in age from 19 down to two—but that’s only part of the story of Dinie Mangel, who always remembers what her grandmother told her: “With each child, your heart grows bigger.”
Raised with five siblings in Morristown, NJ by her Russian-born father, a prominent educator in the Chabad community, and an American-born mother who was a passionate teacher, Dinie never wanted any other kind of life than the one she is living. “My parents were beautiful examples of the kind of life I wanted with my husband, and the kind of work we would do.”
Dinie Mangel can tell you that the Chabad’s first “synagogue” was a donated space at a Voorhees storefront with about 20 worshippers. Fifteen of them are still with Chabad Lubavitch of Camden and Burlington Counties.
Over the years, Dinie and Mendy Mangel have seen the creation of a complex on Kresson Road, complete with a freestanding synagogue, a Hebrew school, a summer camp, and a large array of programs, seminars and celebrations.
Also on the site is Mikvah Mei Shifra, the first mikvah on the east side of Cherry Hill.
“Yes, we’ve grown,” acknowledges Dinie, “but we also feel that our mission will never be complete because there’s always more to do. We never rest on our laurels.” continue reading...