About the ORT 1880 Society


The 1880 Society was created in June 2004 on the occasion of ORT’s 125 anniversary, to attract, recognize and nurture donors who were able to support the organization and its vital programs at the highest levels. Thanks to the generosity and vision of the 1880 Society members, ORT has been able to extend new opportunities to new generations.

The 1880 Society takes its name from the year of ORT’s founding when influential Russian industrialists Samuel Poliakov and Baron Horace de Gunzburg wrote to 10,000 Jews throughout the Russian empire asking them to contribute funds to help alleviate the poverty of millions of Jews by providing them with the tools and training to make a decent living. Within a short time more than 200,000 Roubles – the equivalent today of about $10 million – had been raised. This mission is as relevant today as it was then.

The 1880 Society ensures consistent stewardship of ORT’s most generous donors. By making donors feel valued and informed, we hope to inspire them to continue their support and encourage others to join.


The 1880 Society consists of four membership levels:

  • Bronze Membership for a minimum contribution of $100,000

  • Silver Membership a minimum contribution of $250,000

  • Gold Membership a minimum contribution of $500,000

  • Platinum Membership a minimum contribution of $1 million or more

Gifts may be paid over a four-year period. To remain a member of the 1880 Society, renewal of a member’s Silver or Bronze membership is required every four years. Gold and Platinum level supporters receive lifetime membership.

Traditionally 1880 members names were inscribed on a commemorative parchment scroll that has been specially designed in Jerusalem. They also were presented with Coins (Bronze, Silver or Gold according to their giving level) specially minted for World ORT by the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation featuring portraits of ORT’s founding fathers on one side and the name of the Israeli capital in 12 languages on the other.

Current Benefits

Membership of the 1880 Society entitles donors to:

  • 1880 Medal: Members are presented with a platinum, gold, silver or bronze medal

  • Concierge service: ORT will arrange visits to our programs, including VIP briefings, for members traveling to any location where ORT has a presence

  • 1880 Receptions: Exclusive activities and events are held for members at the annual Board of Representatives and quadrennial General Assembly, as well as on ORT missions

  • Briefings: Members receive regular updates about ORT activities, including hearing from guest speakers, lay leaders and key figures

  • Meeting ORT leaders: Members are invited to meet ORT leaders and key figures when they travel around the world

  • Wall of Honor: Members are recognized on both a physical and virtual Wall of Honor to thank them for their support and commitment to ORT