Decentralisation at ORT Cuba


22 December 2009 Decentralisation at ORT Cuba ORT Cuba has opened a computer laboratory in the islands east where it will be used to provide IT training and English-language tuition. Until now, ORT Cubas extensive vocational training and education services have been concentrated in the capital, Havana, where most of the countrys 1,400 Jews live. But a cash injection from World ORT to buy much needed new computers for the Ana and Ben Dizik ORT Technology Centre at Havanas Jewish Community Centre has allowed the old computers to be used elsewhere. ORT Cuba National Director William Miller (right) delivers computer equipment to the Santiago de Cuba community. Scarce resources mean that the nine-year-old computers, which may well have ended up in a recycling skip in America or Europe by now, have been carefully kept in top condition for the 120 students who pass through ORT Cubas doors every two-and-a-half months. But advances in technology mean that new, more powerful computers have to be provided in order to maintain ORT Cubas reputation among Jews and non-Jews for providing quality training which can open doors to better jobs and new careers. Were improving our courses in Havana because our students are asking for high quality, said ORT Cuba National Director William Miller. Theres still a lack of computers in Cuban society so people come to us looking for complementary education. The extra skills they acquire with us allow them to apply for better jobs. Santiago de Cuba was the obvious choice for creating the new computer laboratory with the old equipment, Mr Miller added. We decided to install the five computers there because not only is there a synagogue the Hatikva Congregation which provides the space we need to serve the 60-strong Jewish community but also because it can serve the 80 Jews in neighbouring Guantanamo and the 32 in nearby Granma, he said.