Medals awarded to members of The 1880 Society


28 September 2004 Four of World ORTs most prominent office holders have become the first recipients of medals specially minted to mark their membership of World ORT’s new elite major donors group, The 1880 Society. Londoner Sir Maurice Hatter, the President of World ORT, received a gold medal as did World ORTs Deputy President, research scientist Dr Jean de Gunzburg. World ORT Board of Directors Chairman Robert Sill and World ORT Executive Committee Chairman Mauricio Merikanskas both received bronze medals at a ceremony held at ORT House, London, on 28 September. From left: World ORT Deputy President Dr Jean de Gunzburg, World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter, World ORT Board of Directors Chairman Robert Sill, World ORT Executive Committee Chairman Mauricio Merikanskas. The 1880 Society takes its name from the year that ORT was founded in St Petersburg by Nikolai Bakst, Samuel Poliakov and Baron Horace de Gunzburg the latter being the great-great uncle of the current Deputy President Dr Jean de Gunzburg. Now, just months away from its 125th anniversary, ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-profit organisation with nearly 300,000 beneficiaries every year in some 60 countries. I joined British ORT more than 25 years ago, said Sir Maurice. I joined because I was successful in business and I wanted to give something back; its a clich but its true. And ORT having children as its forte theres nothing better; education is everything. And Im terribly excited about the creation of The 1880 Society. It gives fund raisers something warm to offer. Its a winner! To join The 1880 Society at a bronze medal level, donors must commit themselves to giving at least $100,000 to ORT over three consecutive years. Those donating $250,000 receive a silver medal while $500,000 entitles the donor a gold medal and life membership. World ORT Director General Robert Singer said more than 60 people had made the necessary commitment to join The 1880 Society since its launch in May this year. It had become so popular, he said, that an extra platinum level had been added for people who donate $1 million or more. In fact, Mr Singer added, Sir Maurice has challenged us that if we reach 100 members within the next 12 months he will become a platinum member himself. The medals were specially designed and minted by the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation with portraits of the three founders on one side and the lion of Judah and the name of Jerusalem in 12 languages on the other side. The coin will become part of the Corporations official collection. In addition to the medals, members of The 1880 Society will receive regular, personalised reports on the projects they fund, annual invitations to participate in missions to ORT operations, and conference calls and briefings featuring renowned personalities. The 1880 Society is a chance for ORT to recognise the immense contribution of our major donors, said Mr Singer. We hope that these donors will enjoy the social benefits of membership as well as feeling an integral part of the ORT family.