26 April 2004 Passionate about social justice, Beatrice Spilky Wand-Polak, a former President of Women’s American ORT’s Chicago Region, travelled extensively on behalf of ORT, and her husband, Bernard Wand-Polak, the Director of ORT Latin America, also worked for ORT in France, Morocco and Israel. Based in Argentina, Beatrice assisted Bernard as he built up a network of technical high schools that achieved excellence. In memory of Beatrice, Bernard established the Beatrice Wand-Polak Special Purpose Fund to recognise teachers who have played an important role in ORT by creating educational materials, developing new teaching methods or improving new technology. This years recipients of the Beatrice Wand-Polak Awards hail from Israel, the United States, the CIS and Argentina: Oded Reichsfeld, Mechatronics Teacher, Mechanical Engineering Department, ORT Braude College, Karmiel Bella Avrashkova, Teacher of English as a Second Language, Bramson ORT College, New York Grigory Vodopyan, Deputy Principal and Physics and Astronomy Teacher, ORT de Gunzburg, St. Petersburg Avi Gonen, Director of the Department of Jewish Education Guillermo Lutzky, Computer Department ORT Technical School, Buenos Aires Oded Reichsfeld, Mechatronics Teacher, Mechanical Engineering Department, ORT Braude College, Karmiel Oded Reichsfeld created a mechatronics curriculum for ORT schools and the Israeli educational system, offering high school students the opportunity to plan advanced mechatronics systems and take advanced technological matriculation exams. He is involved in writing educational materials, preparing instructional materials, recruiting and training teaching staff, encouraging schools to participate in the program and recruiting students. Launched three years ago, the project attracts superior students. There are currently 80 students from three schools. Reichsfeld was the 2003 recipient of the ORT Israel Prize in Education in the category of ‘Development of a Technical Scientific Project.’ Bella Avrashkova, Teacher of English as a Second Language, Bramson ORT College, New York An immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Bella Avrashkova has been a teacher of English as a Foreign Language at Bramson for 14 years. Her instructional methods combine traditional and innovative techniques. She has developed a structured curriculum that is modified to accommodate the background and knowledge of each group of students. Classroom instruction is enhanced by cultural enrichment activities that include trips to museums and cultural sites. She also advises students on academic and personal issues. In addition to teaching and advising students, Ms. Avrashkova coordinates the new audio-lingual lab. Grigory Vodopyan, Deputy Principal and Physics and Astronomy Teacher, ORT de Gunzburg, St. Petersburg A teacher for 22 years, Grigory Vodopyan has been with ORT de Gunzburg since 1997. In addition to teaching Physics, he also serves as Deputy Principal of IT at the 450-student school. He has prepared training and methodical aids for physics instruction. Mr. Vodopyan has organized training seminars on ‘Jewish Education through Technology’ for teachers at Jewish schools in the CIS and Baltic States. He was awarded the diploma of the St. Petersburg Committee of Education. His students have been winners in the National and International Physics Olympiads. Vodopyan is a member of the federal expert group at the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation on problems of ICT usage in education. Avi Gonen, Director of the Department of Jewish Education and Guillermo Lutzky, Computer Department ORT Technical School, Buenos Aires Avi Gonen and Guillermo Lutzky developed the multimedia CD, Shoah – Eclipse of Mankind, an interdisciplinary academic project between the Jewish Education and Computer Departments. The CD, which includes sections on modern anti-Semitism, endurance and heroism, and art and literature, has been provided to other Jewish schools in Argentina and to Latin American community institutions.