ORT Switzerland raises money for Latin America Campaign


November 20, 2007 ORT Switzerland raises money for Latin America Campaign More than 200 people attended a stylish ORT Switzerland dinner in Geneva recently to support World ORTs Latin America Campaign. The guests, who included aristocrats and commoners, Jews and non-Jews, pledged a total of 288,000 Swiss Francs ($256,000) for projects in Latin America. This year, World ORT launched a four-year, $9 million campaign to support Latin Americas struggling smaller Jewish communities and boost the success of ORTs major operations in the continent. Each of the major beneficiary countries Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay will match international donations through local fundraising. A central feature of the ORT Switzerland dinner, which was held in the exclusive Hotel Beau-Rivage by Lake Geneva, was an auction conducted by the Senior Vice President of Christies Switzerland, Eric Valdieu. Top of the list of exhibits was a two-time-zone watch specially designed for ORT by leading watchmaker Raymond Weil. The timepiece, crafted with 380 diamonds, attracted a top bid of 30,000 Swiss Francs. Among other items put to auction were a black Valentino dress and a luxury package for two to the Montreux Jazz Festivals Brazilian night. ORT Switzerland President Robert Equey displays the Raymond Weil watch while the Senior Vice President of Christies Switzerland, Eric Valdieu, conducts the auction. ORT Switzerland President Robert Equey told guests that ORT exhibited, in its own way, the characteristic light, warmth and dynamism of Brazil: the illumination provided by ORTs education is matched by the warmth generated by the generosity of ORT supporters. Finally, the dynamism is reflected in the careers followed by our students once they have graduated, Mr Equey said. One of the beneficiaries of the Swiss dinner will be ORT Brazils Science and Technology School in Rio de Janeiro. The President of ORT Brazil, Armando Klabin, said the money would motivate our people to increase their efforts toward enlarging the number of students and updating the school laboratories and other facilities. ORT Switzerlands contribution would, he added, offer a new chance in life to young Brazilians Jewish and non-Jewish through a high level technological education that will assure their future. World ORT Director General Robert Singer said he was delighted that ORT Switzerland had chosen to support World ORTs Latin America Campaign. It is symbolic that the community of Geneva, where World ORT is legally headquartered, has had such a wonderful event to help the highly regarded operations that ORT has in Latin America. This annual event has become a fixture on the social calendar and has helped to raise awareness among the citys business and banking elite. Kol hakavod to Robert Equey and ORT Switzerland Director Vanessa Cholat for this ongoing achievement, Mr Singer said. When it began in 1945, the ORT school in Rio de Janeiro offered courses in mechanics. Now, its 250 students enjoy a high quality general, scientific and Jewish education including specialisations in biotechnology, computer science, communications and electronics that enables them to pursue a university degree while working in their professional field. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation and has benefited more than 3 million people Jewish and non-Jewish in 100 countries since its foundation in 1880.