KATZ TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HER MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER
SPECIAL FOR THE AJT
The Southeast region of ORT America, which includes Atlanta and Charleston, recently named Kerri P. Katz as its new president for a two-year term. Combining both American ORT (former men’s division) and Women’s American ORT, Katz will serve behind nearly one hundred past presidents of this historical organization.
Katz, age 51, became involved in ORT in 2010, in part to carry on her family’s tradition by following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother who were both ORT members. Katz, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native, believes her family’s commitment was due to the fact that “ORT is a vibrant, active organization that has modernized education. I want to continue that unique heritage,” says Katz.
As a longtime advocate of education, being nominated as President of ORT is especially meaningful to Katz. With a Bachelors of Arts degree in English from Emory University, Katz taught at the Epstein School in Sandy Springs for a number of years. “I am making it my mission to ‘get the word out’ about what ORT has accomplished. It is important that the Jewish community knows how much good ORT does. I’d like to see more people get involved,” Katz continues.
Katz has always been a volunteer. Since the birth of her children, Jordan, a recent graduate of University of Michigan and Talia, a rising senior at The Weber School, she was involved for years at the Epstein School. As avid supporters of Israel, she and her husband, Erez, CEO of Lucena Research, an investment research technology firm, have also been longtime supporters of AIPAC (American- Israeli Public Affairs Committee), most recently co-chairing their 2012 Community Event. They are also active in their synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom in Dunwoody.
In 2012, Katz Chaired ORT’s online auction, ORTbay, to help with fundraising for ORT’s many worldwide projects and programs. Now in its third year, ORTbay will be held from Dec., 1- 7, auctioning off a wide array of interesting items such a sports tickets, jewelry, vacation packages, gift certificates to renowned Atlanta restaurants, artisan’s crafts and collectible art, massage gift certificates and more — enabling ORT to raise more than $30,000 in total thus far.
As the largest non-governmental, education organization worldwide, ORT educates students with technological training and rehabilitation programs. With a presence in over 56 countries and spanning five continents, ORT educates more students than any other not-for-profit educational organization. ORT schools in the U.S. alone boast an 80 percent success rate at placing graduates in careers within their field of study.
ORT began in Europe in 1880 and has grown to be the global organization it is today. Over 300,000 students are educated by ORT each year and there are over 3 million ORT graduates to date. An ORT education is in demand because it makes an immediate and enriching impact on the lives of children, their teachers and the local communities.”
ORT originally stood for a long Russian phrase, which translates literally to ‘Society for Trades and Agricultural Labor,’ but in the 1950’s, the American acronym became known as ‘Organization for Rehabilitation through Training.’ No matter what you call it, — simply put, ORT is oppORTunity,” says Jenna Shulman, Region Director of ORT Atlanta.
Editor’s note: For more, please visit www.ORTAtlanta.org or email Atlanta@ ORTamerica.org; (404) 327- 5266