Australian ORT goes from strength to strength


26 November 2007 Australian ORT goes from strength to strength Australian ORT is going from strength to strength, its flagship business mentoring programme winning it greater public recognition and grassroots support. ORT JET, the Jewish Entrepreneurial Training programme, which was pioneered to tremendous effect by ORT South Africa, was formally launched in Sydney this year by Australian ORT and local partner the Jewish House. Since then, Australian ORT has built up a stable of scores of experienced and successful businesspeople who volunteer their time to bring personal assistance to struggling entrepreneurs and those seeking to realise their full potential in the Jewish community. ORT JET CEO and Australian ORT National Director Natalie Laifer told the Jewish House Gala Dinner last week: Since we launched ORT JET in March, 88 highly skilled businesspeople have registered as consultants. Over the same period, 31 Jewish businesses have sought support through ORT JET and 16 are currently benefiting from the programme. The success of ORT JET has resulted in an off-shoot: JETJobs, a free networking service for people looking for work or career advancement. Applicants send us their CVs, we summarise the information focusing on their skills set, experience and career aspirations and then pass it on to our growing list of ORT JET consultants, who may then forward it to their peers. Anyone who sees someone of interest comes to me and I put them in contact, Ms Laifer said. Australian ORT Director Michael Elkaim SC, ORT JET CEO and Australian ORT National Director Natalie Laifer, and Ravi Simons, whose childrens entertainment company has benefited from ORT JET. Among those impressed by Australian ORTs initiatives is Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence of Sydneys historic Great Synagogue. Rabbi Lawrence has written to his community urging them to support ORT JET. Tzedaka is described as the gift of life and therefore amongst our holiest enterprises. Turning around a struggling business into a viable or a flourishing company is good on a financial level for its staff, the balance sheet and the economy. In gritty terms, though, it is a security for a businessman who was floundering; it is the emotional support to make necessary decisions. It is his or her self-respect and the way he or she is seen or feels with family and friends. ORT JET creates hope in life, not just life-support, he wrote. Ms Laifer, who officially launched Australian ORT in January after more than two years working at World ORTs administrative offices in London, said that putting ORT on the communal map had been made possible by the warmth and interest of local people in what ORT had to offer. I feel very positive about the future of ORT in Australia, she said. The support we have built to date and the relationships we have developed mean than continuing our growth will be a natural progression. Knowledge of ORT and its good work is really permeating into every sector of the community. The Jewish House provides round-the-clock emergency accommodation, self-help programmes, education and counselling services for families and individuals undergoing severe emotional and social stress and crisis. 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.