Ambassador praises ORT as new multimedia lab opens at ORT House


9 November 2004 Israels recently appointed ambassador to Britain praised ORTs continuing achievements at the inauguration of a refurbished, state of the art multimedia laboratory at ORT House, London yesterday. ORT has become more energetic, more effective and more active over its 125-year history, Ambassador Zvi Heifetz said. Our existence is based on education, education and education, he added. We dont take your support for granted On behalf of the State of Israel I extend deep and sincere thanks for your support and your friendship. The multimedia laboratory was made possible through a $250,000 donation from Grace Mendelson, a member of the Womens American ORT (WAO) Board of Directors, who attended the ceremony together with a WAO delegation led by the organisations National President, Judy Menikoff. In recognition of her generosity, Ms Mendelson was presented with a silver medal representing her membership of World ORTs elite donors group, The 1880 Society. I believe in ORT and I am thrilled and proud to have been able to put up a plaque here in the name of Womens American ORT, Ms Mendelson said. The 1880 Societys bronze medal was presented to Judy Menikoff for her $100,000 commitment to the organisation. The multimedia laboratory features 13 computer terminals in a closed network and is used by ORT and a variety of outside agencies to provide training on hi-tech subjects. Among those who have used the facility are the Jewish Care Employment Resource Centre and the Electronic Immigration Network, a voluntary sector organisation specialising in the provision of information on immigration and refugee law via the Internet. Unveiling the plaque outside the multi media lab (from left): Grace Mendelson, WAO Executive Director Ina Green, World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter, and Judy Menikoff. WAO mission chair Joan Wendroff (left), Israels Ambassador to the UK Zvi Heifetz, Edward Wendroff, and businesswoman Barbara Blair. Womens American ORT National President Judy Menikoff (left) with WAO Board of Directors member Grace Mendelson, who funded the multi media labs refurbishment. World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter welcomed the group of 23 ORT educators and administrators from 12 countries who were the first group to use the multimedia laboratory this week as participants in the annual Hatter Technology Seminar. The Seminar represents ORTs and my personal commitment to the importance of teaching technology as a discipline in schools, Sir Maurice said. Its an opportunity to ensure that ORT remains a world leader in teaching the subject. Love it or hate it but no-one can escape technology today, he added. In the modern world were dependent on technology for everything and this dependence makes us vulnerable. The only way to reduce peoples vulnerability is to increase their education and understanding of the subject. ORT believes its our duty to educate our youngsters to understand the technological world in which we live as well as the social, ethical and human issues that flow from it. This, the third Hatter Technology Seminar has attracted a record number of participants. The professionals from ORT establishments in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, France, Israel, Mexico, Moldova, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruguay and the USA, will leave the Seminar with a comprehensive knowledge of the design process. The Seminar features lectures by esteemed technicians in the field of design technology including Professor Richard Kimbell of Goldsmiths College, University of London, will lecture on the subject of design with a focus on design assessment. Tony Lawler, also of Goldsmiths College, will share his theory about gender, design process and the use of the terms Big Picture and Small Steps. There are also applied workshops and presentations by participants focusing on local knowledge specific to their country of origin. Design process is vital to the development of man made products, said Sir Maurice, the Chairman and owner of IMO Precision Controls Limited, which supplies control components to British industry. By ensuring that our students understand and master the concepts were preparing them for the production lines of the future. Having such an advanced teaching facility as the multi media laboratory meant that ORT had the infrastructure necessary to train a wide range of people, said World ORTs Acting Head of Education and Technology, Judah Harstein. For ORT, this means we can provide the professional training of staff which is critical to maintain the standards of our teachers throughout the world, he said. But it also means that theres a heart beating in this building. Theres a lot going on here: its living, its pulsating. This is not just an administrative office with funds going in and out.