20 December 2007 ORT America honours top supporters ORT Americas lay leadership, management, supporters and staff have joined the organisations Atlanta Chapter in celebrating the enormous contribution made to ORT by Joe Cohen. Mr Cohen who as President of American ORT was instrumental in engineering the merger with Womens American ORT, then led by Judy Menikoff, to create ORT America was named ORT Man of the Year at the annual Tribute Dinner held in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. In an open letter signed by ORT Americas President, Doreen Hermelin, Executive Committee Chair, Shelley Fagel, and Executive Director, Hope Kessler, tribute was paid to Mr Cohens dedication, passion, integrity and purpose. We are happy to add our voices to the large chorus celebrating your many accomplishments, they wrote. We offer our heartfelt appreciation and affection for the vitality, hard work and ardent support you have given over a lifetime of service to ORT. Joe, you are a man for all years and all seasons.
More than 300 people attended the function at the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead raising more than $500,000 for ORT projects.
In receiving the award, a gratified and humbled Mr Cohen, told the audience: Tonight is not all about me. Tonight is about the various ORT programmes we all support around the world. The more we invest in education now, the stronger our society and economy will be in the future It is finally, mostly, about you, each one of you. We value you, our supporters. We know that you believe in ORT and its mission to educate, train and enable students worldwide to have a better life. We thank you for caring and for your contributions.
Standing, from left: President and CEO of Georgia Power Company Michael Garrett, Honorary Dinner Co-Chair Linda Selig, Event Chair Hilly Panovka, Corporate Chair Doug Hertz, Eliot Arnovitz.Seated, from left: Doreen Hermelin, Bill Linginfelter, Liane Levetan, Joe Cohen and Judy Menikoff.
World ORT Director General Robert Singer said Mr Cohens contribution to ORT was second to none.
This award is fitting recognition for a man whose vision and dedication have resulted in a stronger ORT organisation in America and that means that ORT as a whole is on a stronger footing to face the future, Mr Singer said.
Mr Cohen, who is a member of World ORTs Executive Committee, was one of three Atlanta community leaders honoured at the ORT Atlanta Annual Tribute Dinner.
Bill Linginfelter, the outgoing Georgia State CEO of Wachovia Bank, was presented with the ORT Atlanta Community Achievement Award. On receiving the award, Mr Linginfelter said: Tonights theme has been banking on the future. Weve seen that ORT has the power to ensure that the future for students blossoms with boundless opportunity. So tonight I leave here with an inspired spirit and strengthened commitment to helping others.
And Liane Levetan whose 20 years of public service ranged from teaching developmentally challenged students to becoming the first CEO of Atlantas Georgias second largest county and serving in the Georgia Senate was named ORT Woman of the Year.
Ms Levetan said: We know that ORT has a proven track record around the world and its mission is more relevant today than ever. Those communities with ORT programmes know that ORT also provides quality non-sectarian education and humanitarian support when terror or disaster strikes. ORT gives people the tools to help themselves ORT truly banks on the future.