June 20, 2006 Head of Conference of Presidents pays tribute to ORT Malcolm Hoenlein, who is regarded as one of the most influential private citizens in America, gave a private briefing to selected guests at ORT House, London yesterday. Mr Hoenlein, who has been Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations since 1986, presented a personal analysis of contemporary issues from geopolitics to globalisation. I believe that this is the most critical time in Jewish history since the Shoah, he said. The decisions we make now will affect us, our children and our childrens children. Mr Hoenlein recalled a reference, made by Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl in the videotape recorded just before his murder at the hands of Islamist terrorists, to the street in Bnei Brak named after his grandfather, Chaim Pearl. He was sending us and his unborn son a message, that no matter how bleak the situation is you have to choose life, he said. Your involvement in ORT, Mr Hoenlein added, is choosing life: its a statement that you care about the world and that you care about the world your children will grow up in. Mr Hoenlein, who serves as an advisor to many public officials on international affairs and regularly meets heads of state around the world, paid tribute to ORT. I really do believe that ORTs work is of singular importance, he told the gathering of major ORT supporters, senior management and staff. Im proud that I made the shidduch (match) between ORT and The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, on whose board I sit: this has brought wonderful results for the people you serve and shows the efficiency that can come about by bringing resources together. Malcolm Hoenlein with Sir Maurice Hatter. World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter said after the meeting: I think Malcolm has a phenomenal grasp of world Jewrys needs and the threats against us. He agrees that the best investment we can make is in the education of our kids. British ORT Executive Director Ivor Levene OBE said: We were delighted to have had the opportunity to co-host this event. Malcolms reputation as a spokesman for the Jewish people is well deserved; his incisive comments about the current challenges facing Jewish communities around the world made for a fascinating evening.