Founded in 1980 by Don Boris Furman.
To understand the importance of this nonprofit organization, owner of the Cerro Otto Resort, is essential to know who Mr. Boris Furman was, ideologist and mentor of this great work intended to help the neighbor.
At the age of 14, Boris began working as a cadet in a tailor shop and two years after as a sales assistant. His determination and perseverance were the vital ingredients so that, with only 22 years, he mounted his own tailor’s shop in Santa Fe, his home town, and later moved to Capital Federal, where he installed one of the most renowned tailoring houses in the country: Rocha Casimires.
During the ‘60s, Boris travelled to Bariloche along with a dear friend of his. It was there where he met and fell in love with cerro Otto (Otto Hill) and its surroundings. His business vision helped him to quickly detect the possibility to acquire the lands and set a lifting gear as a starting point of something he had already been outlining.
With fifty years old and a rich history of successful commercial experience, he bought the lands, owned until then by the Argentine Army, and began to make his long-awaited dream come true: a TELEFÉRICO (CABLE RAILWAY) to reach the top of the hill which had captivated him. Once the topographic survey was done, Mr. Boris travelled to Vienna, Austria, to acquire the infrastructure needed in the place with the major expert body. He brought engineers from Rudolf Kienast’s firm, specialized in this system type, and, in 1967, began the construction of a work that, in those days, was considered as one of the most important in Latin-America, in terms of tourism.
In 1974, the TELEFÉRICO (CABLE RAILWAY) became a reality.
But his dreams had no limit, neither his perseverance. Through constant work, Boris knew he was achieving what he wanted.
So, shortly after, he faced the construction of a CONFITERIA (CAFETERIA) on the top. But with a special characteristic that would make it, not so very long ago, in the only one of its kind in Southamerica: a CONFITERÍA GIRATORIA (ROTATING CAFETERIA). Something that to Bariloche, as a tourist destination, would be a distinctive mark.
At the rate of growth of the city and tourist demand, also grew his projects. In his intention of creating a genuine recreational resort where different activities were gathered, there could be found other works of great scope. During a journey to Italy, he was impressed by three of the most important sculptures by Miguel Angel Buonarroti, so, Furman ordered exact duplicates of The David, La Pietà and Moses to the art gallery Pietro Bazzanti and son (Florence), obtaining not only the appropriate authorization, but also the Italian Government’s certification. Once achieved his objective, he built an Art Gallery, also unique of its type at the top of a mountain, where these sculptures are permanently housed.
When the economy was fully recovered, and always bearing in mind the teachings of his childhood, he decided to create a foundation to help the neighbor, and he named it FUNDACIÓN SARA MARÍA FURMAN (SARA MARIA FURMAN FOUNDATION), in honor to his mother –Sara- and his sister –María-, the one which would become the owner of the Teleférico Cerro Otto Resort. Since the formation of this, the total amount of profit obtained is divided equally among the Cooperator Association from the Zonal Hospital of Bariloche, and two entities for social purposes from the Buenos Aires Jewish community.
That’s why one of the slogans that characterize the resort from where the millionaire amounts emanate is: CERRO OTTO RESORT, WHERE PLEASURE HAS A SOLIDARY AIM!
But his spirit of solidarity did never find frontiers and, in 1980, also created a BAKERY INDUSTRY in the working-class neighborhood, Santa Rosa de Lima, in Santa Fe, to freely supply with 2645 pounds of daily bread, for 1200 families in need. For this purpose, he had constructed a two storey of 500 m2 building, with all the necessary equipment. Unfortunately, in the face of the Argentina’s great social, economic and politic crisis, the Bakery Industry was forced to close.
Undoubtedly, at the moment of Mr. Boris’ passing, on April 13th in 2007, this dream remained unconcluded; nevertheless, at the precise moment the urn with his ashes was deposited in the lower station of the resort, as he wished, the general manager of the place, Mr. Oscar Borrelli, announced that they were working “for the reopening” because, ‘that,’ he said ‘is going to be the best tribute to him from us, who follow his example of work and aid to the neighbor.’
On April 15th, 2009, two days after the second anniversary of Boris Furman’s physical disappearance, the Caring Bakery Company reopened its doors in the same antique building, but entirely renewed and with up-to-date machinery, under an agreement that Sara María Furman Foundation made together with the government of Santa Fe province. Since then, bread has been prepared daily and intended to community kitchens in Santa Fe, Mr. Boris’ home town, and also bread is commercialized to locals at affordable rates.
That’s why, to talk about Sara María Furman Foundation, it’s indispensable to talk about its creator: Mr. Boris Furman. Each of his works talks about a visionary man par excellence, but who was characterized by, mainly, his immense spirit of solidarity, which transcended frontiers of every kind to realize his dream of helping those who most need it, and because destinies of the Sara María Furman Foundation and the Teleférico Cerro Otto Resort.
AMOUNTS DONATED BY THE SARA MARÍA FURMAN FOUNDATION DURING THE LAST YEARS:
Son of immigrants
On June 24 in 2016, was the 100th anniversary of Mr. Boris Furman’s birth, a man of a strong social commitment and philanthropist by nature, from that philanthropy which does not seem to be fully understood if it’s not by his actions. Actions that are visible and observable, and which deserved that, in the Ordinary Sessions of the Legislature of Río Negro, during the past June 1st this year, has been approved unanimously by all the presents the Declaration nº104-2016, which considers “of social, cultural and tourist interest, those activities performed in benefit of the community and strengthening tourism, by Sara María Furman Foundation, based in San Carlos de Bariloche, in recognition of his creator Boris Furman.”
Boris Furman was born on June 24, 1916, in Santa Fe city. Son of immigrants of Jewish descent, he knew extreme poverty in his own home, condition that, instead of taking him down, forced him to find the ways to help those in need.
Undoubtedly, the teaching of his mother, Sara, remained branded on his personality and intentions: “There is always someone more needed than oneself,” used to say the mother to her son.
The life he led, in a tight-knit family, but with needs, encouraged Boris to embark a labor path at the age of 14, when he began as a cadet of a tailor shop, till he became the owner of the most important good-dress house in Buenos Aires: ROCHA CASIMIRES, where suits and shirts were tailored for those who chose the finest designs.
It was in 1970 when Boris decided to travel to San Carlos de Bariloche, and made the ascent to the top of the Otto Hill, which, those days, consisted only of a small 5x5 glazed cabin, used for surveillance by the forest keepers, but with such a majestic landscape that he fell in love at first sight. Back in Buenos Aires, captivated by what his own eyes had registered, he decided to start the necessary arrangements to obtain the permit that would allow him to build a resort including a rotating cafeteria at the top, and the one which could be reached by a modern cable railway. Nevertheless, the objective was foreseen different to what we know nowadays and, for some time, even enigmatic: “Cerro Otto SA: a different commercial partnership, with a different objective…”
Barely four years after, the dream of a teleférico (cable railway) was a reality and, six years later, when his investing was fully recovered, instead of accumulating winnings -here is one of his magnificent acts of philanthropy-, he decided to build the Sara María Furman Foundation, what clearly made a difference in that objective. Since 1980, the accrued income has been donated to two entities of public good: the Cooperator Association from the Zonal Hospital of Bariloche, and two entities from the Buenos Aires Jewish community: Nuevo Hogar Foundation (New Home Foundation) and the Senior Center LeDor VaDor, and the Civil association Ory for disabled children. It’s worth recalling that the last donation, done in 2015, reached a record of 9.000.000 pesos.
Teleférico Cerro Otto quickly became the traditional excursion par excellence in San Carlos de Bariloche, condition that continues till today, at the mercy of constant efforts and dedication of a team led by general manager Oscar Borrelli, and by the Management Board of the Furman Foundation.
To the cable railway work, to which has been added different attractions and activities over the years till becoming what we define today as a true recreational resort, it must be added various works of good such as, to mention just a few: multiple donations of lands and buildings; contribution of intermediate organizations, and the creation of the Caring bakery Company in the working-class neighborhood, Santa Rosa de Lima, in Santa Fe, which, in its early days, donated 2645 pounds of daily bread to people in need, and nowadays works not only producing baked goods, but also training people in a conflict with the law under the regime of temporary exit, what facilitates their social reinsertion.
After years of constant work and effort, always thinking about good deeds to benefit the most humble people, Boris Furman ceased to exist on April 13, 2007, at the age of 90, leaving an immense teaching legacy that is applied today by those who work in the continuity of his good deeds.
One of the most important works of the Sara Maria Furman Foundation, together with the Teleférico Cerro Otto Resort, was the installation of the Bakery Company in the working-class neighborhood in Santa Rosa de Lima, Santa Fe city, to supply 1200 families from one of the most deprived areas, with 2645 pounds of bread, in Mr. Boris Furman’s home province.
The bakery opened in 1988, but, because of the great politic, institutional, and social crisis faced in Argentina, the company had to close its doors at the end of year 2000. In addition, as a result of the floods provoked by the rising of the Salado River, the place where it was working was left dilapidated; consequently, the government of Santa Fe province granted funds for the Sara Maria Furman Foundation for an amount of $40.000, invested in the restoration.
Although the longing of the reopening was to be soon completed, unfortunately, Mr. Boris Furman ceased to exist at the age of 90, in the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, on April 13, 2007.
To fulfill the dream of its promoter and engine of many good deeds, members of the Sara Maria Furman Foundation, Teleférico Cerro Otto Resort, and the Bakery Company itself, acquired the commitment to make the dream come true and, on April 15, 2009, to honor that great man, the Bakery Company reopened its doors.
Thanks to the signature of a letter of intent between the Sara Maria Furman Foundation and the government of Santa Fe province, through its Ministry of Social Development, from the Secretariat of Prison Affairs, on behalf of the Autarkic Provincial Institute of Prison Industries –dependent upon the Ministry of Security-, and the Control and post-Penitentiary Assistance Department, on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Caring Bakery Industry “Sara Maria Furman” reopened its doors for the purpose of providing with some bread to “welfare institutions, and institutions agreed by the sides,” promoting, in addition, the reinsertion of persons deprived of their liberty.
To achieve this, the Furman Foundation contributed as a gratuitous loan to the Autarkic Institute of prison Industries of Santa Fe, the installations, the furniture, tools, and the necessary machinery for the bakery industry. As soon as the Secretariat of Prison Affairs and the Control and post-Penitentiary Assistance Department assumed the responsibility to choose persons deprived from their liberty in position to obtain the regime of relative liberty, accordingly to the National Law nº24.660, to train them in the bakery office and reach the labor reinsertion.
The Ministry of Social Development of Santa Fe, on its part, provides the necessary funds for the payment of relevant social programs, provides advice and provision of technicians, administrative, flour, and supplies needed for the proper functioning of the program, while the program management is supervised by personnel from the Prison Affairs Department, through the IAPI (Spanish initials).
New office in Santa Fe.
The human working group in the Bakery Industry daily produces a variety of bread, sponge cakes, pastries, pizza crust, and bread crumbs. A great part of this food is destined to various community kitchens in the city, and the rest is commercialized to locals at affordable rates.