President’s Message

I moved to Coral Springs, Florida while pregnant with my daughter Harper over 30 years ago. Since I knew no one there, I went to a Welcome Wagon Meeting where someone suggested I go to an ORT gathering to mingle with other Jewish women. I dropped in on a membership tea and signed up for everything! And no one called me for anything! Obviously I was proactive and in no time became Programming Chair of the chapter. I loved the program as we had many activities and I made wonderful friends. Years later we started the first evening region in the country where I became the first President of the Palmward Evening Region. It was a fun and productive time and we were successful in meeting many goals. I was selected to go on a mission to Israel, England and France to see the ORT program at that time and I shall never forget a young boy at our school in Strasbourg thanking us – he called it an army of American women supporters. There was not a dry eye when a mother got up at our school in Tel Giborim and thanked us for saving her son and taking him off the streets. We do make a difference in the world!

Those moments and many more motivate me to continually support ORT. Certainly in these troubling times support of Israel is imperative and helping ORT is a way to help Israel.

Here in Atlanta, I am proud of our volunteers who further our successful projects, with Honey from the Heart and ORTBuy as shining examples. Fundraising throughout the year for our adopted school in Israel, the Hodayot Youth Village, brings us closer to our programs and students.

While we have had many successes in the past, ORT Atlanta faces a number of challenges as we move into the future and I would prioritize two right now. First, it is important that we replace ourselves with new faces on the board and in committees. This will create excitement, bring new ideas, new members and new money to ORT and will ensure our ongoing success. Second, we must try to develop and execute an active plan to bring in younger members. By creating appealing and stimulating actives that will entice the next generation to join ORT, we can ensure the future of our organization.

Thank you to our current and past boards, our chairmen and members who have devoted time and energy to our success. And of course special thanks to Jay and Evan for absolutely everything!

Please take pride in your membership in ORT and share that pride with family and friends by helping us move forward. Our program is so relevant in the fast paced world we live in – Education that works! Be proud of your involvement and invite your friends to join us on this great adventure as we make a difference in the world today.

Rhoda Gould
ORT Atlanta Region President