Canada ends the year on a high


18 December 2006 ORT Canada ends the year on a high. ORT Canada has rounded off the year with two glittering fundraising events in Montreal and Toronto. ORT Montreals 23rd annual Benefit Gala attracted 1,000 people to the citys Place des Arts for an evening of fine food, top line entertainment and the chance to recognise the extraordinary contribution made by Stella and David Gelerman. The Benefit Gala brings together people bonded by two common interests a commitment to support worthy causes and a desire to share in an enjoyable evening, said ORT Canada President Arthur Silber. Honouring the Gelermans, who set such a great example of community service, allows us to do just that. Dida Burku and husband, ORT Montreal President Jacob Kincler, with Stella and David Gelerman. Mr and Mrs Gelerman arrived in Canada from Ukraine in 1981 and set up Advantech AMT Inc, which is now a world leading designer and manufacturer of satellite and wireless telecommunications products with facilities in the USA, Europe and Canada. The special presentation to Mr and Mrs Gelerman was made by Anthony Broccolini, on behalf of his family who were last years honourees. We are proud to be associated with the Gelerman family and grateful for their continued and generous support, said ORT Montreal President Jacob Kincler, himself a graduate of an ORT school. ORT Montreal continued its tradition of providing the best entertainment with locally born illusionist Alain Choquette and 12-year-old singing sensation Nikki Yanofsky, who received three standing ovations. Honouree Shane Baghai addresses ORT Torontos Local Hero reception at Torontos elegant Dominion Club. Meanwhile, in Toronto, one of the citys leading businessmen, Shane Baghai, was named ORT Torontos Local Hero in a Global Village, the second recipient of this annual award. Mr Baghai, a graduate of the ORT educational network that existed in Iran before the revolution, repeatedly stressed how honoured he was to be the recipient of the award. This modesty was, said ORT Toronto President Carrie Katz-Lehman, one of the many qualities that led to his being nominated. Shanes connection with ORT, his commitment to education generally, his affinity to Israel and Jewish life are all reasons why he is such a fitting recipient of this award, Mrs Katz-Lehman said. Mr Baghai arrived in Canada 23 years ago with a young family and only $1,500 in his pocket. He founded Shane Baghai Homes, which has become known as North Americas largest custom-home builder. His developments rely increasingly on alternative energy sources such as wind turbines and solar power and are located close to public transport hubs all part of Mr Baghais vision of green solutions for better living. In a message sent to the Local Hero reception, World ORT Director General Robert Singer said it was deeply gratifying that this years honouree was an ORT alumnus. In an age when the vacuum created by ignorance and underdevelopment is so often filled with destruction and aggression, the success of ORT graduates in building careers and contributing to society is a beacon of hope, he said.