British ORT visitors finds warmth in wintry Ukraine


28 December 2005 British ORTs top lay leader and senior professional have visited the new ORT Technology Centre at ORT-Alef Jewish School in Zaporojie that has been made possible by donors in the United Kingdom. Chairman Alan Goldman and Executive Director Ivor Levene OBE toured the school, which serves the southern Ukraine towns 20,000-strong Jewish community, and saw the state-of-the-art ORT Technology Centre in action. We were very impressed by what we saw, said Mr Levene. It was a pleasure to see the students using the equipment and enjoying the experience. I judge a school by the look on the faces of the kids and the students at ORT-Alef were beaming. The school has a warm atmosphere; its providing the children with a good all-round education enhanced with Jewish values. The new technology centre is now giving them the wherewithal to make a good career. The British ORT-sponsored project, which is budgeted to cost $500,000 over four years, is the first to be undertaken as part of Regeneration 2004, the campaign to expand and improve the educational network in the former Soviet Union that grew under Regeneration 2000. The technology centre has meant the design of special curricula and introduction of new classes for the schools 320 students as well as new training courses for mature students. British ORT Chairman Alan Goldman (left) and Zaporojie ORT TC Director Vitaliy Treiger discuss the centres benefits with a student. Mr Goldman said: Seeing the ORT Technology Centre in action has once again shown me the importance of our work. We are very fortunate to have such high calibre people working with us. The ORT Director in the CIS and Baltic States, Vlad Lerner, said the technology centre in Zaporojie represented a new direction in the development of such ORT facilities. A new pedagogical concept is implemented there, Mr Lerner said. The world in general is studied through the prism of modern technologies. Ukraine today badly needs specialists in high-tech fields; we have every reason to believe that our graduates will be more than competitive in the emerging labour market. Mr Levene and Mr Goldman also visited the ORT Technology Centre at the Jewish school in Dnepropetrovsk, an hours drive away, which was opened in 2000. The school, with 642 students, is the largest inclusive Jewish school in the CIS. This technology centre is five years old and it shows what can be achieved in even that short amount of time, Mr Levene said. The teachers there have more experience in using the technology so you can see the kind of advanced studies that will be available at Zaporojie in the near future. From left: Zaporojie ORT TC Director Vitaliy Treiger, ORT-Alef School Deputy Director Arkadiy Sidorevsky, ORT-Alef Hebrew teacher Nataly Sidorevsky, ORT Director in CIS and Baltic States Vlad Lerner, British ORT Chairman Alan Goldman, ORT-Alef School Director Dolina Shalmina, British ORT Executive Director Ivor Levene. The Chief Rabbi of Dnepropetrovsk, Rabbi Shmuel Kaminezke, told the British visitors of the important contribution that ORT had made to the children in the region. His remarks were mirrored by the head of the local education authority in Zaporojie, Mr Levene said. He told us that the standards we were setting in our school were raising the level of all the schools in the region. British ORT is planning a major mission to Ukraine early in the new year. ORT renewed its operation in the former Soviet Union in 1991. ORT now coordinates operations in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Kyrgyzstan: 53 projects in 32 locations, serving more than 27,000 people. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish educational and vocational training non-government organisation with some 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries.