01 October 2007 ORT Torontos Golden Circle raises money for Cuba The tributes came thick and fast for the Grande Dame of ORT Toronto, Ruth Druxerman, at this years Golden Circle luncheon, the 33rd such event. The event raised money to fully fund ORT Cubas programme to link the islands fragmented Jewish community by intranet, a move that will boost communal cohesion and allow for expanded IT and distance learning courses. The project is part of the World ORT Latin America Campaign, which aims to raise $9 million for all communities across the continent between 2007 and 2011, with half of the funds coming from the Latin American countries. However, guests were delighted to have the opportunity to honour Mrs Druxerman for her 46 years of wholehearted commitment to ORT. Past President of ORT Canada, Kathleen Crook, spoke for all when she noted Mrs Druxermans committed, active and tireless leadership a leadership that has resulted in her being known fondly as Mrs ORT. Mrs Crook referred to the Biblical book of Ruth, which, she said, had two themes redemption and loving kindness that applied perfectly to Mrs Druxerman. What could better describe Ruth and her commitment to ORT than her strong sense of responsibility to protect and care for young people through providing them with an ORT education and all the attendant benefits she said. All of us fortunate enough to know Ruth and to have worked with her, know that all she undertakes, whether with her family or in the community, is done with loving kindness. Ruth Druxerman with her sons Bruce, Harold and Peter A message from World ORT Director General Robert Singer was read out at the event in which he praised Mrs Druxermans extraordinary and inspirational vitality and enthusiasm and her leadership in the international fundraising campaign to found the ORT Braude College of Engineering in Israel. Hailing from one of the founding families of World ORT, Ruth, your long-time dedication and support are greatly appreciated. On behalf of all the ORT students around the world who have benefited from your work, I would like to thank you for all that you have done and all that you will continue to do, Mr Singer wrote. Mrs Druxerman was presented with an award recognising her life long commitment to ORT but, in her own address, the former Vice-President of World ORT focused on the project that the Golden Circle was supporting. Once again we see ORT playing a vital role in the survival of the Jewish people, this time in the six small communities on the island of Cuba. The fine reputation that ORT enjoys for high level and proven excellence has made the difference and opened the doors for Cuban Jews to the Diaspora, she said. She also paid tribute to leading Canadian fashion designer Robin Kay, the daughter of a former Winnipeg ORT lay leader, and who was the recipient of the ORT Toronto Golden Circle Award. ORT Torontos new President, Sandra Chapnik, spoke of Ms Kays successful fashion business, a chain of shops throughout North America which she sold in 1999 before joining the Fashion Design Council of Canada. In this capacity, Ms Kay works to promote Canadian fashion in general and new, young, talented Canadian designers in particular. ORTs motto is educating for life giving students in Canada and elsewhere the necessary tools to succeed in our increasingly complex world, Madam Justice Chapnik said. In her own way, Robin Kay honours and exemplifies those goals. According to initial figures, the event, which attracted some 150 of Torontos leading professionals and prominent community figures, raised enough to fully fund the ORT Cuba project. 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.