Born in Hungary to Holocaust survivor parents, Mendy grew up in New York. Demonstrating his grit and determination at a young age, he launched a successful taxi business when he was just 22. After moving to Cleveland, he ran a produce business for more than a decade, ultimately going into property preservation, a venture that finally gave him the opportunity to realize his dream of being able to give and give and give.
Mendy’s wife Ita was the driving force behind all he accomplished, both professionally and communally. With Ita at his side, Mendy utilized all of the resources at his disposal to help those that who were suffering in any way, always flying below the radar and never taking no for an answer.
Mendy supported communal institutions all across the globe. More than just making financial contributions, he became intimately involved in the many causes he championed– brainstorming ideas, identifying solutions and challenging others to become leaders themselves. Unable to tolerate the idea of anyone suffering in silence, Mendy’s work was hands-on and he spent hours in one on one conversations with at-risk teens at drop-in centers and visiting hangouts frequented by homeless youth, trying to understand what had gone wrong in their lives and how he could help.
Mendy was the driving force behind the creation of Amudim. Because he understood the importance of Amudim’s work, Mendy went out of his comfort zone and accepted the position of Chairman of the Board, rallying others to the cause and doing whatever it took to get them involved. His passion for Amudim was legendary, spending sleepless nights sharing in the pain of others, giving 24/7 to help those who were struggling, and inspiring everyone around him to follow his lead. Having witnessed Amudim’s success in the United States and seeing firsthand that so many were suffering similarly in Israel, Mendy spread his wings even further, this time championing the creation of an Amudim office in Jerusalem.
After Mendy’s untimely and devastating passing in May 2018, Ita proudly accepted the role of Amudim’s Board Chair, continuing Mendy’s legacy and propelling Amudim to even greater heights. Mendy’s sons Nati and Yoni Klein have taken on leading roles on Amudim’s board of directors and his sons-in-law Amir Jaffa and Michael Halpern are both active members of Amudim’s board of governors.
Despite his passing, Mendy’s fingerprints continue to remain evident in all that Amudim does. His vision guides Amudim’s staff daily as they carry on his legacy, giving 110 percent to those who are struggling with abuse and addiction and putting shattered lives back together with the utmost sensitivity. Mendy’s trademark passion and unparalleled devotion remain the driving forces at Amudim, pushing the entire team farther than anyone ever dreamed possible.
Amudim will forever serve as Mendy Klein z’tl’s–a giant of a man whose foresight, caring and compassion made him one of our generation’s greatest visionaries– living legacy.
Full length Amudim tribute video, in honor of Mendy Klein Z”L