Gala Marks 100-Year Anniversary of ORT in America
Pictured left to right: Judy Menikoff, Howard Lanznar, Dan Green, Barbara Birch, and Dr. Conrad Giles. Photo credit: Brett Deutsch, www.deutschphoto.com
ORT America marked its 100-year milestone with a celebratory Gala, on November 20 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. With nearly 150 in attendance, more than $600,000 was raised for transformative education in Israel, Ukraine, and more than 30 other countries. Ophira Eisenberg, radio and television personality, served as the master of ceremonies for the event.
The guest of honor was Dr. Conrad Giles, president of World ORT since 2016, and an ORT leader who also served many major Jewish organizations. ORT America Chairman of the Board Howard Lanznar described Giles as “showing by example what it means to be a Jewish communal leader.” Dan Green, World ORT’s Director General and CEO, added, “I believe there is no parallel to Conrad’s ability to share the ORT story and inspire others to learn more about our work.”
“I am humbled to be chosen to be honored in our 100th year. It has been my personal mission to continue the work of my predecessors and help our beneficiaries around the world receive life-changing education, leading to meaningful and self-sufficient lives,” Dr. Giles said.
Since 1922 and through the decades, ORT America has become a successful fundraising organization thanks to the dedication and generosity of thousands of men and women who worked tirelessly to promote ORT’s life-changing programs.
ORT has traditionally played a key role in developing and sustaining Jewish communities through vocational training, education, Judaic studies and Jewish cultural activities. Today the organization has evolved to provide 21st-century skills that empower individuals and strengthen communities and Jewish life worldwide. ORT bridges the gap between ability and opportunity by providing science and technology education to those who would otherwise not have access to those studies. The ORT network today reaches more than 200,000 people a year in schools, universities, and vocational training programs in 39 countries.
As part of ongoing work to reach out and offer support where it’s needed most, since last February, ORT has provided emergency relief for ORT Ukraine students, teachers, and their families, covering a range of needs, including security, food, and accommodations. As conditions deteriorated, educational institutions across Ukraine have been forced to close or switch to remote learning as needed. This is just one example of how ORT is committed to supporting young students, wherever they live, to remain safe as they receive the education they need and deserve.
According to Barbara Birch, ORT America President and CEO, funds raised from the gala will propel ORT into the next 100 years by supporting innovative educational programs that enable people to lead successful lives and investing in global Jewish communities so that they can thrive.
Click here for more information on ORT America’s 100 Years.
Photos courtesy of Brett Deutsch.
Click here to view a recording of the ORT America 100th Anniversary Gala program.