New presidency aims to put ORT Canada on the radar


13 June 2008 New presidency aims to put ORT Canada on the radar ORT Canada is looking forward to new challenges and achievements with the election of Carrie Katz-Lehman and Shelley Lederman-Klein as co-presidents of the organisation. The dynamic duo are renowned for their networking and organisational abilities and are seen as perfectly placed to spearhead ORT Canadas two-year strategic plan which will take the organisations membership, image and fundraising forward into the 21st century. ORT Canada Vice President Sheila Collin, a member of the board which elected the presidential team, said: Carrie and Shelly have a unique skill set; they are a unique, synergistic team. Im confident that people will be hearing more of ORT Canada in the next few years. Ms Katz-Lehman (pictured, right) identified basic principles that she and Ms Lederman-Klein (pictured, left) wanted to realise during their term of office. We want to get ORT Canada on the radar screen, to build a stronger sense of national identity among the chapters, and to raise the level of fundraising, she said. Its about romancing people so that they understand more about World ORT. After spending 10 days with World ORT in Warsaw and Israel we have a better understanding of where exactly our money is going and who the children are that benefit. There are also plans to reach out to ORT alumni and to fly to regional centres to help ORT supporters there to build their networks. Although both the co-presidents live in Toronto Mrs Katz-Lehman is Past President of ORT Toronto they have very different, but complementary, backgrounds, Ms Collin said. Carrie is a businesswoman born and raised in Montreal, which has been the centre of ORT activities in Canada, and so has good contacts and experience there, Ms Collin said. Shelley is Israeli but has been living in Canada for about 40 years. She lived primarily in Vancouver so she is very familiar with the west coast. Together, they cover the entire country in terms of relationships and experience. It was Ms Lederman-Klein who initiated ORT in Vancouver, with the support of former ORT Canada President Ruth Druxerman, and created four new ORT chapters there to make the ORT Vancouver region. More recently Ms Lederman-Klein has co-chaired the ORT Toronto Golden Circle Lunch with Ms Druxerman and has sat on the ORT Toronto Board of Directors. The co-presidents mission will build on the momentum at ORT Toronto, which is making great strides under the skilled and enthusiastic leadership of Madam Justice Sandra Chapnik. Were expecting to raise more money in Toronto this year as ORT Toronto has raised its profile, Ms Collin, an ORT Toronto Board member, said. This means that ORT Canadas co-presidents can focus their efforts on other cities and help them to build because theres no need to worry about ORT Toronto. And with this new team at the top we can go to our new donors and show that were not only credible but were a vibrant community-based organisation. Ms Collin was appreciative of the support given ORT Canada in its reorganisation process. One of those involved was World ORT Trustee Judy Menikoff. The election of Shelley and Carrie signifies renewed growth and an expansion of supporters throughout Canada, Ms Menikoff said. They really are wonderful women who are extremely dedicated to seeing ORT progress in Canada.