Since 2007, World ORT has operated in Israel as World ORT Kadima Mada, implementing programs that have raised standards of STEM education in underprivileged communities throughout the country’s northern and southern peripheries.

Long before the declaration of Israeli independence, ORT was devoting expertise and resources to help Jews make new and better lives in their ancient homeland. For over seven decades, ORT has been helping the most vulnerable people in Israel to transform their lives and be a part of the country’s success.

World ORT Kadima Mada (WOKM), ORT’s operational arm in Israel, provides a path to advancement for socially and economically challenged communities in the country’s geographic and socio-economic periphery.

Israel’s periphery lacks the educational and career-related resources available in central parts of the country. Without high-quality education, children in these areas face significant obstacles to succeeding in school and in their future careers.

WOKM bridges the educational gaps – especially in STEAM education – to help students develop critical skills such as digital literacy, problem-solving, leadership skills, independent learning, and teamwork. These are skills students will need to compete in academia and in the job market.

Visit the World ORT Kadima Mada Website

Kfar Silver Youth Village

Kfar Silver Youth Village, located near Israel’s border with Gaza, is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the ORT network. Since World ORT took ownership of the village and its operations in 2016, the Village’s wide range of educational and extra-curricular opportunities have impacted, empowered, and transformed the lives of students.

About one quarter of the growing body of 1,000 students live on campus, many from challenging backgrounds, including who have fled the conflict in Ukraine.

In addition to attending classes, they receive counseling, tutoring, and other social services to help overcome any learning or emotional challenges, including specialized therapeutic activities on the Village’s farm. Students engage with the farm animals, and learn about their needs and how to take care of them – all of which help develop the student’s sense of responsibility, confidence, and self- esteem.

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Thousands of young people have benefitted from WOKM’s YOUniversity programs, which level the playing field for students. Some schools incorporate these programs into their formal curriculum and also provide after school enrichment opportunities to advance their education. In addition to acquiring knowledge and new skills, students build their self-esteem and confidence to help them grow and succeed in life.

The D. Dan and Betty Kahn STEAM Center in Kiryat Yam, is an example of how investment in the YOUniversity program can make a real impact. Having developed an innovative space at the school, where students can develop 21st century skills, WOKM has provided teaching staff with extensive training in relevant technological education. Students are now able to build their knowledge in areas including 3D printing, coding, and robotics, opening their eyes to new possibilities for their future education and employment.

In other parts of the country, YOUniversity is providing resources to advance students’ capabilities in tech subjects. In Dimona, a development town in Israel’s south, students have embraced the ORT-supported FIRST robotics program and produced winning teams that have taken top prizes at international competitions.  In Tzfat, young Ethiopian immigrants are also learning robotics and at the same time building social skills and learning the Hebrew language.

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In addition to leading Israel-based programs, WOKM’s instructors are increasingly recognized as leaders in teaching STEAM subjects and providing essential training for the modern workplace. For example, teachers in countries such as Ghana and Ethiopia are learning new skills, resulting in building their confidence and providing new opportunities for employment.

WOKM continues to be in demand. The success of its investment in Israel’s marginalized youth is making an impact for both the students as well as the country. Looking to the future, these programs are projected to grow, resulting in the greater good for all.