11 February 2009 New members welcomed into The 1880 SOCIETY An intimate dinner was held last week to welcome new members into The 1880 Society, World ORTs elite donors group. Members of The 1880 Society from Mexico and around the world were invited to the dinner in the Merida Room of the Four Seasons Hotel on Saturday night to see specially minted medals presented to representatives of the Moshinsky, Shein and Moscona families and recognition given to Claire and Robert Mazer. Chairman of the World ORT Board of Trustees and 1880 Society Member Mauricio Merikanskas paid tribute to the new members. ‘The 1880 Society is a wonderful organisation because it raises awareness of ORT’s origins in St Petersburg 129 years ago,’ Mr Merikanskas said. ‘Much has changed since then but the generosity and vision which gave birth to the organisation continues unchanged. These new members of The 1880 Society have together contributed millions of dollars for the best of reasons: to give new generations the education and skills they need to build productive and independent lives.’ Mr and Mrs Mazer, minority owners of the Chicago White Sox baseball team in Chicago, were recognised for their $1 million donation to Kadima Mada, World ORT’s programme raising the level of science and technology education in peripheral and underprivileged communities in Israel. However, their platinum medal will be awarded at a future ORT America event.
Mr Merikanskas, together with Abe Kahan and World ORT Director General Robert Singer, presented a gold medal – given for donations of at least $500,000 – to the Moshinsky family for their backing of the Moshinsky Seminar series, which for the first time is being held in Mexico this week.
However, the family’s contributions to World ORT programmes stretch back decades. The late Lazar Moshinsky, who lost an arm in a Russian pogrom before making his way to Mexico, funded the creation of the Moshinsky Pedagogical Centre in Tel Aviv. His children (pictured), renowned scientist Professor Marcos Moshinsky, Ruth Rosenhaus and Estella Klip, have continued the tradition with their support for the Moshinsky Seminar. And their own children, who were also at the dinner, declared their commitment to the ORT mission.
World ORT President Dr Jean de Gunzburg, ORT Mexico President Ary Kahan and Kiryat Yam Mayor Shmuel Sisso – who, together with Sha’ar HaNegev Mayor Alon Schuster, has become a member-at-large of World ORT’s Board of Representatives – presented a gold medal to Roberto Shein and family in the name of his late grandfather, Max, for their support for ORT projects in Israel and Mexico. These include the building of the Max and Ambaro Shein Technical Centre in Mexico City and the ORT Max Shein College in Rehovot, Israel.
World ORT Treasurer Judy Menikoff presented a silver medal – for donations of at least $250,000 – to Isak Moscotel on behalf of the Moscona family and in particular the late Alberto Moscona for their support for an ORT Mexico project with the National Academy of Science.
Guest speaker at the event was the Israeli Ambassador to Mexico, Yossef Livneh, who recognised the immense contribution ORT Mexico and World ORT were making to human welfare and progress locally and internationally.