Bollywood fundraiser for ORT Switzerland


24 November 2006 Bollywood adds spice to ORT event in Geneva ORT Switzerlands growing reputation for innovative and successful fundraising has been boosted with a glittering Bollywood event in aid of ORT India projects. As is becoming customary, the cr me de la cr me of Geneva society attended the ORT event at the luxurious harbour side Beau Rivage Hotel. The evening featured Indian-style food and a floor show of dancing and singing made famous by the success of the Mumbai-based, Hindi language film industry known as Bollywood. Some of the 315 guests dived into the spirit of the evening by also dressing in Indian-style clothes. The event raised some 320,000 Swiss Francs ($264,000) for ORT projects in India and other countries. Addressing the guests, ORT Switzerland President Robert Equey said: ORT is perhaps the leading Jewish organisation helping Indias Jewish community to expand and develop their Jewish values. Based on these values and on our success in providing high quality education and vocational training we are also respected and sought out by the wider Indian community. Robert Equey, Eliza Cook, Max Namani, Adina Adler and Catherine Gentillini. ORT Switzerland Director Vanessa Cholat noted that a significant number of the guests were people who had attended ORT Switzerlands Next Generation event in May. This is a sign that were doing something right, she said. People are coming back for more, to have fun and to contribute to a cause with which they are forging strong links. We are very happy that our guests not only enjoyed themselves at this latest event but also learned more about ORT generally and about our much-needed activities in India in particular. Among the new faces at the event was Srichand P. Hinduja, of the renowned Hinduja family of India. The family founded the Amas Bank in Geneva in 1978 to manage the funds of high net worth individuals. However, the Hinduja Group of finance companies, of which Mr Hinduja is Chairman, also includes the Hinduja Foundation. The ethos of this international philanthropic organisation is similar to ORT in that it favours projects that encourage self help. It was an extraordinary opportunity to be able to host members of the Hinduja family, Ms Cholat said. They expressed a real interest in ORTs work and how they could help. Indian dancing at the Soiree Bollywood. Among the other big names attending were the CEO of Piaget watches, Philippe Leopold-Metzger, whose father Jean-Hugues is Vice President of ORT France and World ORTs representative at the Council of Europe; Gerard Wertheimer, co-owner of Chanel; and Guy de Picciotto, Chairman and CEO of the dynamic UBP private bank. An auction was held during the dinner with luxurious prizes including an all expenses paid trip to join training aboard Switzerlands entry for the Americas Cup and an Indian 17th century gold bracelet, which was donated by ORT Switzerland Immediate Past President Philippe Nordmann. I am very happy with the enthusiastic support shown by the Swiss people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, for ORT, said Mr Equey. The money raised by this event will be very useful to maintaining and improving ORTs work in India and other countries. Both Mr Equey and Ms Cholat paid tribute to veteran ORT Switzerland staff Catherine Gentillini and Gisele Vieillevy, who worked with Ms Cholat to put the Bollywood extravaganza together. Catherine and Gisele are leaving ORT Switzerland in the coming weeks after devoting a combined total of some 20 years service to ORT. Their contribution is inestimable and they will be sorely missed, they said. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation with some 200,000 beneficiaries in 58 countries.