The 1880 Society

Investing in children's future
The 1880 Society – investing in children so they can build a better future

In 1880, a group of wealthy businessmen and financiers in St Petersburg saw that Russia’s Jews desperately needed education and training to make a living in their industrialising society. They spearheaded the raising of $10 million in today’s money to create ORT and the rest,as they say, is history.

Since 2004, scores of major philanthropists with a similar belief in the power of education have joined The 1880 Society, World ORT’s elite donors’ group, contributing tens of millions of dollars to World ORT projects in Jewish communities across five continents.

Thanks to their generosity and vision World ORT has been able to open opportunities for new generations. Among the major projects realised or enhanced by 1880 Society members are

The Alex and Betty Schoenbaum Science, Educational, Cultural and Sports Campus, which revitalised the heart of Kiryat Yam and made it into a Science City, contributing to increased educational performance by local children.

The Schulich Canada Smart Classroom Initiative which transformed the face of Israeli education with the installation of 1,000 Smart classes in schools throughout underprivileged communities in the Negev and the Galilee.

The renovation and equipping of a centrally located site in Vilnius to house Lithuania’s only Jewish school and enable it to build on its position as one of the city’s best performing high schools.

The Anieres Elite Academy, which is on track to giving hundreds of talented children from the Diaspora and Israel a pathway to studying engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

SASA Setton Kav Or, which provides formal and informal education to tens of thousands of hospitalised children in Israel, ensuring they keep up with their friends at school.

Judy Menikoff,driving force behind the 1880 Society

Judy Menikoff, driving force behind the 1880 Society

They say that there are only two lasting bequests we can leave our children – one of them is roots, the other wings. Through their generous investment in ORT’s work the members of the 1880 Society are helping tens of thousands of children every year to become whatever their hearts, minds and capabilities will allow.

The 1880 Society has a diverse membership but, like World ORT’s founders, they all share a belief in the power of education to change lives for the better. For further details,please contact us.

Thousands of young people around the world benefit from the support of our generous donors, members of the 1880 Society. They wanted to say thank you.

How to become a member

The 1880 Society was established in 2004 to mark ORT’s 125th anniversary year. Since then over 100 members have been inducted into the Society, based on the following membership levels (payable over three years):

  • Bronze Membership for a minimum contribution of $100,000.
  • Silver Membership a minimum contribution of $250,000.
  • Gold and Lifetime Membership a minimum contribution of $500,000.
  • Platinum and Lifetime Membership a minimum contribution of $1 million or more.

What do I get as a member

Membership of the 1880 Society entitles major donors to:

  • Special briefings about ORT and its activities.
  • Invitations to exclusive missions to see first-hand how members’ contributions have helped to improve the lives of ORT students all over the world.
  • An exclusive commemorative medal specially minted in Jerusalem for World ORT by the Israel Government Coins and Medals Authority and a framed certificate.