ORT America Raises $124,000 for Science Education in Israel
Pearl Swidler of Wilmette (from left), Brooke Hoffman of Glenview and Carol Jacobson of Wilmette | Photo courtesy of Steve Donisch
EVENT: ORT America’s “Lunch With an Artistic View”
BENEFITING: Science education & state-of-the-art science labs at Sha’ar HaNegev High School, Israel
DATE: April 22, 2012
LOCATION: Bryn Mawr Country Club, Lincolnwood
ATTENDED: 315 women
Updated: June 15, 2012 11:41AM
Drawing on the past to shape the future was the theme of the day when 315 women gathered to support education with a purpose at ORT America’s “Lunch With an Artistic View,” Sunday, April 22 at Bryn Mawr Country Club in Lincolnwood. Featuring author/artists Andrew Winer and Mindy Weisel, the event raised $124,000 to enhance science education and state-of-the-art science labs for students at Sha’ar HaNegev High School in Israel.
The afternoon began with a reception and viewing of lavish raffle packages. The event menu featured a southwestern theme of grilled salmon and colorful sides of guacamole, pico d’gallo, tomato salsa, black beans and roast corn, followed by an array of desserts headlined by ancho-chocolate mousse. Raffles included a deluxe private party in a White Sox Sky Box, a Cy Frederics bracelet, a diamond necklace, and packages brimming with hotel weekends, restaurant dinners, theatre and sports tickets, beauty and spa treatments, professional services and more.
Gwen Heyman of Highland Park and Dora Jaeger of Lincolnshire co-chaired the luncheon. Debbie Miller and Holly Ginsburg, both of Highland Park, served as raffle co-chairmen. Lori Kahn of Deerfield is Executive Vice President of ORT America Metropolitan Chicago Region. Judy Rosen of Long Grove is Midwest Director of ORT America.
“Even beyond computer skills and academics, an ORT education teaches the importance of social responsibility, Jewish continuity and giving back to the community,” said Karen Fine of Northbrook, president of ORT America Metropolitan Chicago Region.
Following a gourmet luncheon, book-group leader Judy Levin of Riverwoods moderated the program featuring multi-media presentations by the guest speakers, both of whom are painters as well as novelists.
Set to a sonata by Gustav Mahler, Andrew Winer (“The Marriage Artist”) projected photographic images of a bygone world and shared insights gleaned from 19th century authors who inspired his novel -- about art, love and history -- that affirms an “art of meaning,” epitomized by the Jewish marriage contract. Known in Hebrew as a “ketubah,” the wedding contract is embellished into a work of art, but at its core, illuminates responsibilities that exemplify love and marriage.
A child of Holocaust survivors who was born in a displaced persons camp after World War II, Mindy Weisel (ed., “Daughters of Absence: Transforming a Legacy of Loss”), explored the connections between life and art as she showed images of paintings she had done that were inspired by her father’s prayer shawl and tattoo number and the cobalt blue of a dress that belonged to her mother. Included in the National Museum of American Art, the Israel Museum, and other major collections, the paintings chronicled the artist’s journey to embrace life despite her parents’ wartime experiences and to celebrate her passion for beauty. Following her moving presentation, Ms. Weisel revealed that as a child she attended an ORT-sponsored school for immigrant children in New York when she and her parents moved to America in 1949, and she expressed personal gratitude to luncheon guests for supporting ORT’s work.
ORT was founded in 1880 in St. Petersberg, Russia to teach job skills to millions of impoverished Jews who were barred from schools and professions. Today ORT helps people of all faiths and backgrounds through a global network of schools – in America and around the world -- that provide leading-edge training in technology, science and more. ORT America’s 2012 project aims to help train Israel’s future scientists and improve the lives of people in remote, economically disadvantaged areas of the country. Sha’ar HaNegev High School’s Science and Technology Center, located in a region of southern Israel vulnerable to missile attack, provides training that will help students compete with peers from the center of the country and prepare for education in Israel’s top universities.
Barb Statland of Wilmette is Director of Operations and Events of ORT America, Metropolitan Chicago Region. ORT America is located at 3701 Commercial Avenue, Suite 13 in Northbrook. For further information, call (847) 291-0475 or see ORTamerica.org.