ORT Switzerland going from strength to strength


23 May 2005 ORT Geneva committee member Didier Hagger has literally sung the praises of ORTs Bridges of Hope Programme. Mr Hagger, a countertenor, gave a baroque recital in the historic Athenee Museums Room of the Bees accompanied on the harpsichord by Lise Settimo. The Bridges of Hope Programme, through which Arab and Jewish students at ORT Israel schools work together on research and development projects, is a favourite of Mr Haggers. More than 130 people packed into the recital room for the event that also formed part of ORT Switzerlands commemoration of World ORTs 125th anniversary. President Robert Equey told the guests that the highlight of the 125th anniversary year would be the gala dinner in November. The event at the 119-year-old Batiment des Forces Motrice exhibition centre and concert hall will feature a performance by the internationally renowned Bejart Ballet Lausanne. Some 800 guests are expected to attend. ORT Switzerland consists of four committees: Geneva, Basel, Berne and Zurich all but Geneva being purely volunteer operations without professional staff or office space. The committees effective support for World ORT operations means that ORT Switzerland is a growing and increasingly influential fundraising organisation. Recently, the president of the Berne committee, Mrs Denise Loeb, organised a bridge tournament to raise money for the School Plus programme, which is designed to give at-risk students in Israel a time and space in which to leave the harsh realities and worries of their home lives behind them and focus their energies on learning. The programme provides them with a holistic environment in which they can study and prepare homework as well as eat and relax at the end of the school day.