Anieres alumni raise money for Vilnius school


19 April 2007 ORT Anieres alumni raise money for ORT school in Vilnius Graduates of the Central Training Institute for the Training of ORT Instructors have had a glittering reunion in Geneva. Some 200 people travelled from across France and Switzerland to attend the event, which raised money for the ORT Shalom Aleichem Jewish School in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. The celebratory dinner was organised by LAmicale des Anciens Eleves dAnieres (also known as the 3-A), the association for graduates of the Central Training Institute that operated in Anieres, near Geneva, between 1949 and the early 1990s. Hundreds of students from 19 European countries, Africa, Asia and America passed through Anieres to learn the latest techniques in vocational education as well as general and Jewish studies. Students included non-Jews from developing countries in which World ORT ran non-sectarian International Cooperation programmes. The current Director of the International Cooperation office in Geneva, Randy Grodman, addressed the event. In your capacity as graduates of ORT Anieres, youre aware of the importance of strengthening Jewish communities and of transferring to these communities the intellectual and practical tools necessary for them to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, Mr Grodman said. By devoting your time and your energy to supporting the Shalom Aleichem School in Vilnius you are demonstrating your commitment and belief in the values and the mission of ORT as well as your support for the Jewish population of Lithuania. Students at the Anieres Institute during its heyday. A message from World ORT Director General Robert Singer was read out at the dinner. Few groups in the world can understand the importance and the significance of ORTs work as well as the graduates of the Anieres Central Training Institute, Mr Singer said. When the Institute opened in 1949 its raison detre was clear to create a new corps of highly qualified instructors who would then go out and help to rebuild Jewish communities, so many of which had been destroyed during the Holocaust. You are the products of that dream and your presence at this event demonstrates your belief in its continued relevance and its continued importance. The Patio Andaluz flamenco company performing at the 3-A event. President of the 3-A, Michel Malka, said he was very happy with the reunion, which marked the 20th anniversary of the alumni organisations founding. Mr Malka, who went on to teach science subjects after graduating from Anieres in the 1960s, said the Institute had made a great impact. All the people who studied there went on to have good careers and have done well as teachers, professors and in many other fields, he said. When Anieres opened, the curriculum was designed to be sufficiently elastic to accommodate students from different backgrounds and cultures; the two- to four-year programmes included theoretical studies and practical work in Swiss factories. An arrangement was made with Ecole Technique Superieure of Geneva whereby selected students took courses leading to the degree of engineer-technician. In 1975, 19 students took their fourth year courses at the Ecole Technique Superieure and received diplomas as engineer-technicians, six of them graduating as nuclear engineers. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation and has benefited more than 3 million people Jewish and non-Jewish in 100 countries since its foundation in 1880.