In 2015, ORT Mexico celebrated its 50th anniversary with a cultural extravaganza attended by 20,000 people.
The National Auditorium in Mexico City was packed to capacity for two nights running to enjoy a monumental staging of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Each night’s performance began with a five-minute video describing the history, evolution and contributions of ORT Mexico and World ORT.
ORT, one of Mexico’s most important non-profit organisations
“The event cemented ORT Mexico’s position as one of the country’s most important non-profit organisations,” said ORT Mexico President Arturo Merikanskas. “It was an opportunity to show thousands of people what a Jewish institution has done for some of our most vulnerable people in the fields of education and training. And it raised $100,000 which will help us to continue our work.”
ORT Mexico National Director Jimmy Salinas added: “This is exactly the way in which ORT Mexico should celebrate 50 years of success… the most amazing artistic event that an ORT organisation has ever staged. May we continue to celebrate the work of such an amazing institution all over the world.”
World ORT President Mauricio Merikanskas praised Mr Salinas, Arturo Merikanskas and ORT Mexico Chief of Operations Edith Fiszman for their organisation of the event.
“The anniversary turned out to be a memorable, successful and magnificent celebration. Everyone from the Jewish and wider communities congratulated us for the cultural event and for the work that ORT Mexico is doing, particularly our new university,” Mr Merikanskas said.
The University of Social Entrepreneurship and Responsibility, which opened last year, is believed to be the first tertiary institution in Latin America devoted to preparing a new generation of leaders with the skills needed to design, develop and manage social sector non-profit organisations. World ORT Director General and CEO Shmuel Sisso toured the university as well as ORT Mexico’s Jewish school, Colegio Israelita de México ORT (CIM-ORT), while in Mexico City for the anniversary celebrations.
“See these superb institutions, meet the professionals and lay leaders whose devotion and skill are making them such a success and you appreciate how much there is to celebrate. ORT Mexico has come a long way in 50 years; it’s exciting to think how much it will achieve in the next 50,” Mr Sisso said.
ORT Mexico’s roots lie in helping Jewish refugees from Nazism
Formally constituted in 1965, ORT Mexico can actually trace its roots back to 1935, when an ORT committee was organised to provide support for an influx of Jewish refugees. ORT Mexico is now recognised as a major force in the modernisation and improvement of Mexico’s education system. In partnership with the Latin American Association of Educational Innovation, ORT Mexico trains teachers and principals, organising the annual International Conference on Educational Innovation through which it brings world best practice to the country’s schools. And it has initiated the annual Iberoamerican Summit for Institutional Development which aims to provide third sector professionals with new schemes and perspectives on the role and impact within a system where they interact with business, government, academia and society.