Celebrating 100 Years
Ever since its founding in Tsarist Russia in 1880 and later in the United States in 1922, ORT has been intimately bound up in the story of the Jewish people. Born out of necessity, the organization has played a key role in developing and sustaining Jewish communities across the globe through vocational training, education, Judaic studies, and Jewish cultural activities.
The practice of awarding ORT pins for donations or milestones was very popular from the 1950’s to the 1980’s, especially within regional ORT chapters. Since the merger of American ORT (Men’s division) and Women’s American ORT in 2006, and as individual chapters have disbanded, the pins no longer play a part within ORT.
The significance of the pins is varied. Some, such as the Golden Circle, designate a level of individual giving (specifically $1,000). Members who served as chapter presidents were awarded a President’s pin, and there were pins for each year of involvement. For those who gave a significant amount to the 1880 Society, there was the Baroness (De Gunzberg) ORT Society pin, shaped with a stylized infinity symbol.
Click here to read about some of our members' recollections.