12 September 2006 Strong support for British and South African ORTs Strong support for ORT projects has been shown at two fundraising events held last night (Monday) in London and Johannesburg. Some 200 people attended the British ORT Annual Dinner at The Savoy, an event that doubled as the organisations 85th anniversary, while 1,000 people attended a concert organised by ORT South Africa that featured a pioneering blend of Central African and Jewish music. In a specially prepared video address by Israels Tourism Minister, Isaac Herzog, whose late father, Chaim Herzog, was President of World ORT between 1980 and 1983, stressed the importance of ORT in his country. ORT is part and parcel of our effort to rehabilitate and strengthen the northern part of Israel and the Galilee, Mr Herzog said. Weve gone through a very difficult period Now its our duty to recover and recoup and go forward. In his welcoming remarks, British ORT Chairman Alan Goldman said: From the outset, ORT has played and continues to play a vital role in helping to maintain the morale of our students, their families and the teachers as well as provide for their physical needs. Entertainment was provided by an outstanding group of 11- to 16-year-old students from the ORT Vilnius Shalom Aleichem school who showed the breadth of ORTs worldwide work through song and dance. In addition, students Maryna Moldavanska, from ORT Odessa, and Jonatan Gioia, from ORT Argentina, told guests how ORT had helped them, not only by providing them with a quality education but also by enhancing and developing their Jewish identities. British ORT Chairman Alan Goldman (centre) flanked by British ORT Executive Director Ivor Levene OBE and Trustee Simon Freeman with ORT students and staff from Argentina, Ukraine and Lithuania. Making the appeal to guests to support ORT projects worldwide as well as its Israel Emergency Campaign, British ORT Trustee Simon Freeman said: I have met a number of former ORT pupils and the overriding message they send is What if What if I had been unable to attend ORT What if my local ORT school had not had the funds available to find a place for me They know that without the chance in life we give them their lives would be far less rich than they are today. ORT South Africas concert in Johannesburg raised money for the Masilakhe Childrens Feeding Scheme, a part of the organisations Dikhatole Community Development Programme. The scheme provides a safe and positive environment for 40 vulnerable children in an after-school centre. ORT South Africa receptionist Karabo Simango with English volunteer Abi Weinberg. Michael Sieff, National Director of ORT South Africa, said: The concert was a tremendous success on three levels: firstly, the funds raised will go a long way in assisting the underprivileged community, which is in dire need of aid; secondly, ORT South Africa and its valuable projects were introduced and showcased to the 1,000 people who attended; and last but not least, it was a fantastic johl (party). World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation with some 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries.