The 11-year legal battle in the lawsuit filed by ORT Israel against World ORT to receive funds raised abroad has come to an end. The funds awarded to ORT Israel amount to some 28 million shekels.
This week Israel’s High Court issued a verdict rejecting the appeal by World ORT against the verdict of the District Court in the lawsuit ORT Israel filed against ORT America to receive funds raised from overseas contributors. The counter-appeal was also rejected.
ORT Israel operates the largest educational network in Israel, with over 200 institutions spread across the entire country. ORT Israel was formerly a member of the ORT organizations around the world that dealt with fundraising in various countries for technology education, mainly for Israeli children. In 2006, ORT Israel left the umbrella organization of World ORT, because of claims of lack of transparency within the organization. World ORT refused to transfer donations that had been raised for ORT Israel in the period prior to the separation, claiming that they had not received these funds from ORT America.
In response, in 2007 ORT Israel filed a landmark lawsuit with the Tel Aviv District Court in five different claims amounting to some 18 million shekels. The hearing in the District Court ended with the acceptance of four of the five claims, two of which in a compromise and two in a verdict handed down in 2017. During the hearings ORT was awarded a total of 28 million shekels, some as a compromise, including funds claimed in an additional related suit.
In response. Zvika Peleg, Director-General of ORT Israel told eJP: “We did not agree to compromises we were offered during all those years; we insisted on receiving what had been donated to us and what the children in Israel deserve by right. To our delight, during the hearings and the examinations more and more donations were discovered and ORT Israel students will be only too happy to benefit from these funds.”