Belgium is re-introduced to ORT


08 June 2006 Belgian Jewish community is re-introduced to ORT A new era in the history of ORT Belgium has been opened by the organisations President, Charlotte Gutman-Fischgrund. Ms Gutman-Fischgrund has decided to take a pro-active approach to raising awareness of ORTs philosophy and programmes among Belgiums 38,000-strong Jewish community. After years of relative dormancy, ORT Belgium has already this year staged an Israeli film festival (in conjunction with IMAJ, the Institut de la Memoire Audiovisuelle Juive). Further events, including a book signing featuring prominent authors at a prestigious Brussels bookshop, are also due to be held this year. Ms Gutman-Fischgrund also organised a meeting at her home to introduce World ORT Director General Robert Singer to the leaders of most, if not all, of the countrys Jewish communal organisations. After the success of our film festival, I wanted to develop relationships with the community, Ms Gutman-Fischgrund said. But how could I go further into the community when many of its leading members dont know we exist. And those who did know about us had an outdated image in their minds, unaware of ORTs modern, high-tech skills training and educational methods. World ORT Director General Robert Singer, ORT Belgium President Charlotte Gutman and ORT Belgium Honorary President Baron Georges Schnek. Among the guests were Israeli Ambassador Yehudi Kinar and ORT Belgium Honorary President Baron Georges Schnek, who taught at ORT schools in Brussels and Antwerp after the war. It was a great success, Ms Gutman-Fischgrund said. Despite our guests loyalty to their own organisations, they were all very enthusiastic to hear about ORT. Everybody was very impressed by what they saw and heard. Mr Singer paid tribute to Ms Gutman for what described as a truly amazing evening. It is very clear that the main reasons behind the success of the evening are the personalities of Charlotte and her husband, Ephraim, Mr Singer said. Charlotte is extremely focused, has a clear plan of action, and has developed very close relations with World ORT professionals in London. This goes to show that when you have the right person, a good product, a coordinated effort with World ORT, clear strategies, devotion to the cause and a supportive family, great achievements can take place. I have no doubt that we will soon hear very good news from the newly invigorated ORT Belgium.