ORT UK held its Centenary Annual Dinner yesterday at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London. 175 guests attended the charity’s first in-person fundraising event in over two years.
ORT UK’s There Then. Here Now campaign was the focus of the Dinner, exploring the history of ORT UK and highlighting present projects.
There Then – Mother and daughter, Jo and Belle Davison, spoke about their grandfather/great-grandfather Sydney Sadler, who was one of 106 boys rescued from Nazi-occupied Berlin by British ORT in 1939. A temporary ORT technical school was opened in Leeds to offer training to the boys and Sydney, now 101, still resides in Leeds and remains forever grateful to ORT.
Here Now – ORT JUMP participants – Amit Kalley (Deputy Head at Lammas School and Sixth-Form), mentor Sonia London, former mentee Zack Isaacs and mentee-turned-mentor Bethany Ross, spoke about their involvement and the benefits of the ORT JUMP Mentoring Programme.
The dinner was also in celebration of Simon and Julia Alberga’s contribution to ORT UK since 2009. Simon was ORT UK Chair 2009-2021 and is now Deputy President of World ORT and still an ORT UK trustee. Julia created the ORT JUMP Mentoring Programme in 2009 and is now PaJeS Schools Wellbeing Project Manager. Trustee Mark Mishon paid tribute to the couple and there were video messages from some familiar faces including Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Lord Young.
Simon and Julia Alberga said: “We are both thrilled and honoured to receive this recognition. ORT UK has been an important part of our family for the past dozen or so years, and we are privileged in having the opportunity to work so closely with ORT in helping young people achieve their potential in life.”
Entertainment at the Dinner was provided by Israeli mentalist Marom Mor who wowed the crowd with his mind-reading skills.
The event raised over £350,000 which will go towards life-changing education in schools and training programmes across ORT’s global network.
ORT UK Chair, Annette Kurer said: “It was wonderful to celebrate 100 years of ORT UK with so many of our long-term supporters. We are so grateful for the loyalty & generosity ORT UK has enjoyed over the years. Together with the next generation, we will continue to support ORT’s education network, providing 21st century workplace skills to enable students to have meaningful and self-sufficient lives.”
ORT UK CEO, Dan Rickman added: “We had an incredible evening celebrating ORT UK’s centenary, showcasing our There Then. Here Now campaign and highlighting the remarkable contribution of Simon and Julia. We look forward to an exciting year ahead with the expansion of ORT JUMP and the relaunch of our NXT Lay Leadership programme, as we continue to make an Impact Through Education across ORT’s global network.”
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography