ORT family values


Investing in ORT is very much a family affair for American ORT activist Doris Levin.

Ms Levin was joined by three generations of her family at the ceremony dedicating a new World ORT Teacher Empowerment Centre (WOTEC) at the Rogozin Educational Campus in Kiryat Ata, Israel recently.

The Centre, a staff room fully-fitted with high-tech and standard office equipment to allow teachers to prepare lessons efficiently, has been opened in the name of Ms Levin’s late husband, Morton, who died last year aged 86.

Through its operational arm in Israel, Kadima Mada, World ORT has provided WOTECs at most of the more than 30 school campuses it supports significantly improving teachers’ working conditions, improving their preparedness for and effectiveness in class, and so raising their morale and productivity. “When my husband passed away, I asked that any donations in his memory be made to ORT,”? Ms Levin told the New Jersey Jewish Standard. “Our family made a substantial donation, and the ORT regional director suggested using it to dedicate something in his name. My husband was a staunch supporter of Israel and I knew ORT has projects in Israel, so I decided that’s where it should be.”?
She chose the Kiryat Ata campus, near Haifa, which has 743 students in two middle schools and 1,287 students in a high school and a junior college, because her late daughter, Jackie Levin Shani, had moved to a kibbutz not far from there in 1972.
“I had memories of passing through Kiryat Ata when my grandchildren were young,”? said Ms Levin, who used to visit several times a year with her husband.
She saw for herself how needed the WOTEC was. “The teachers had to plan their lessons at home before this,”? she said. “So it serves a good purpose.”?
Her daughter, Frayda Levy, accompanied her to Israel for the unveiling of the memorial plaque at the WOTEC. Also present were her Israeli granddaughters Advah, Sigal and Shachar Shani, her son-in-law Arieh Shani, and her three-year-old great-granddaughter Maya.
“This event brought our whole family together,”? said Ms Levin, who started volunteering for ORT after her retirement two years ago. She is now vice president for public relations for the Englewood & Cliffs Chapter of ORT, which has some 350 members.
Kadima Mada PR and Projects Manager Sherrie Gazit said she had been delighted to organise the dedication ceremony for Ms Levin.
“She’s a lovely lady and a perfect example of the generosity and commitment of our supporters across the United States and around the world,”? Ms Gazit said.
World ORT’s Chief Development and Public Affairs Officer, Sonia Gomes de Mesquita, added: “Just as this donation involved several generations of the Levin family so will their investment benefit generations of Israeli schoolchildren. World ORT values every donation and provides a lean and efficient structure to ensure that our supporters’ money goes to where they want and where it’s most needed.”?