The only Jewish school in the city of Barcelona, Spain, has signed an affiliation agreement with World ORT.
Colegio Hatikva joins the ORT family with immediate effect. The agreement will give the Catalan college access to ORT’s leading educational expertise and encourage the further development of knowledgeable and engaged graduates who can go on to leadership positions in their Jewish communities.
ORT will also provide Colegio Hatikva with access to its educational programs, opportunities to join international exchanges and competitions, and support on pedagogical, management and school development issues.
The school will promote ORT’s values and provide students with STEM skills to succeed in higher education as well as strengthening their respect and love for their Jewish heritage.
Two staff members, including the principal, will take part in the World ORT LEAD Program – which covers aspects of educational leadership – in December, giving an immediate opportunity to link up with around two dozen new colleagues around the world.
Welcoming the signing of the affiliation, Dan Green, World ORT Director General and CEO, said it was an opportunity for the Barcelona school to make worldwide connections, help students and teachers develop their language skills, and to benefit from being part of the world’s largest Jewish education network.
He said: “We know how diverse the Colegio Hatikva community is, and we hope everyone there will find something of interest to them in our ORT network. I am sure that by taking advantage of the new opportunities available to them they will have great experiences in the years to come.
“And of course for all of us at ORT, this affiliation offers chances to welcome Catalan students to our programs and competitions. ORT students and teachers globally will benefit from learning more about another culture, another school and another country.”
The school has around 330 students, ranging from kindergarten age up to 16. Around half are from local Barcelona Jewish families. Children from Israeli families living in the city also attend, as do a number from non-Jewish local Catalan families. Barcelona’s Jewish community numbers around 3,000 people.
Yael Klein, Principal, said: “As the head of the school, I am honored that we are joining the global ORT network. We are confident that as part of this network our school will be academically and ethically rewarded. Our ambition is to use this opportunity to enrich our students and teachers so that we can continue to develop in the direction we have set.
“Being a part of the ORT network will help us to expand the learning, research and technological processes already in place at Colegio Hatikva.”
Colegio Hatikva already has excellent technology provision, with a dedicated computer room, laptops in the primary classes and options for older students to bring their own devices. Teachers use a range of online tools in classes, including learning games and quizzes which are hugely popular with students.
While progress has been made in these areas, school leaders hope to make technology ever more prominent at the campus – which includes a pre-school, a primary school and a secondary school – and believes joining the ORT network will help develop the curriculum thanks to ORT’s expertise in this field.
Gabriel Mops, President of Colegio Hatikva’s Executive Committee, said: “We are extremely honored to join the World ORT network and look forward to building together a mutually benefiting partnership.
“We are convinced that, as part of the ORT family, Colegio Hatikva will continue strengthening its academic programs, building on its core values of excellence, Jewish traditions and multicultural diversity.
“As an alumnus of an ORT school in Buenos Aires, I benefited directly from the value that World ORT provides students. The emphasis on science and technology, combined with academic excellence and a Jewish education, prepared me to face the real world with a critical and open mind and enthusiasm for continuous learning.
“I am extremely happy that we will be able to provide these same critical skills to my own children and the entire Hatikva student community.”
Previously funded by the Jewish community, Colegio Hatikva is now fully funded through tuition fees and scholarships are provided according to need. The college relocated to new, purpose-built premises in the Sant Cugat suburb, around 15km from the city center, 12 years ago.