Actor Tom Conti signs up for ORT


9 June 2005 Oscar-nominated actor Tom Conti has continued his support for British ORT by addressing The Friends of ORT Summer Luncheon in London. Mr Conti and his wife Kara have given their time and talents to help British ORT raise money on other occasions but chose to do so privately. This time, the press joined 125 women at the lunch in the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel, which raised thousands of pounds for ORT projects around the world. ORTs mission of educating children is absolutely vital, Mr Conti said. Loving ones own children is easy. But whats wonderful about ORT is that its about loving other peoples children in whatever country. Its not a small minded organisation. Mr Conti fielded questions from the luncheon guests about his glittering film, stage and television career, a highpoint of which was an Oscar nomination for his performance as a drunken poet in the film Reuben, Reuben. Particularly famous for his starring roles in the films Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and Shirley Valentine, it was his performance as a Holocaust survivor in Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story that earned Mr Conti a Golden Globe nomination. The actor makes no secret of his admiration for the Jewish people. You have a great tradition, Mr Conti, who lives in north London, said. I like the way people in your community treat each other. You wont find Jewish children getting into trouble on a Friday night and you probably cant say that of any other community in this country. After the luncheon, Mr Conti signed copies of his novel, The Doctor, which he described as a love story about a man trying to atone for things he had done earlier in his life. Friends of ORT co-chair Ros Morris said she was overwhelmed by Mr Contis kindness and generosity. Tom moved heaven and earth so he could be in London to help ensure that our luncheon would be a success, Ms Morris said. He has been in Rhodes shooting a new film called O Jerusalem and rearranged his schedule in order to join us. I cant think of a kinder, more generous person without him the luncheon would not have been as splendid or as successful as it turned out to be. Outside the USA, British ORT is the principal source of funds raised for ORT programmes around the world.