ORT Toronto Gala 2015 – Design Exchange

Last night, artists, collectors, and philanthropists alike all gathered at the Design Exchange for the ORT Toronto Gala 2015, a fundraiser to support ORT and to honour outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts and the cause.

ORT’s mission is to provide “Education for Life” to disadvantaged individuals across the world. ORT believes that the key to civilization and to a better world lies in education. Through ORT’s vibrant programs, children from underserved communities will have access to the best education possible, which leads to a successful and productive future.

Proceeds from this year’s ORT Toronto Gala will support the United Israel Appeal of Canada and the Beer Sheva College of Technology in Israel.

This year’s ORT Toronto honouree was Paul E. Bain, a partner at Dickinson Wright LLP who practices intellectual property and entertainment law to protect artists’ rights.
Paul was honoured for his successful career and his dedication to several non-profit arts organizations such as the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).

An ORT Recognition Award was given to Janis Finkelstein and Kenny Finkelstein for their many years of dedication and commitment to ORT and the community.
Janis is ORT Toronto’s current president and Kenny is the former president.
Kenny’s relationship with ORT Toronto dates back to the 90’s, from a board member to president.
Janis and Kenny are also involved in many charitable communities such as the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the UJA (United Jewish Appeal).

This year’s event was entitled “Unfinished Business of the 20th Century Restitution of Looted Art”.

Keynote speaker Donald S. Burris, senior partner in the L.A. firm Burris, Schoenberg & Walden LLP, showed incredible pieces of historic paintings by Austrian symbolist artist Gustav Klimt, a collection that was stolen by the Nazi authorities during and before World War II.

After Burris’ fourteen years of hard work and his successful argument before the Supreme Court in Altmann v. Republic of Austria, 541 U.S. 677, these priceless artworks are now back in the right hands.
It was a moving moment to be able to meet the man behind this incredible story.

A great collection of other artworks was available for bidding at the silent auction area prior to the awards show, where guests enjoyed wine and food stations serving Asian fare, smoked turkey, corn beef, and delectable passed around d’oeuvres.

(photos by Terrence)

ORT Toronto Gala 2015 – Design Exchange

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