France’s peak Jewish organisation praises ORT


21 March 2005 For the first time ever, the leaders of the French Jewish umbrella organisation CRIF have visited an ORT school. CRIF President Roger Cukierman and Director General Haim Musicant were taken on a tour of ORT Montreuil high school and vocational training centre, near Paris. ORT France President Marcel B nichou, Director General Marc Timsit and ORT Montreuil principal Esther Douieb were joined by members of the board of trustees in showing the visitors around the school. Mr Cukierman noted the high quality of general and professional education given in ORT schools. For example, ORT France is the only Jewish educational institution to provide a two-year preparatory course for highly selective science and engineering institutes like Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Centrale. CRIF President Roger Cukierman (left) and Director General Haim Musicant (centre) with ORT France President Marcel Benichou The CRIF delegation was also impressed by the schools renovations, which are due for completion this year, its up-to-date technological equipment and happy, studious pupils. I found smiling pupils studying under excellent conditions, Mr Cukierman said. The CRIF delegation also noted the staffs and pupils attachment to Jewish values, including strong links with Israel. Teacher Daniel Silvera (centre) shows the CRIF delegation Montreuils media lab The standard of work achieved by ORT guarantees the production of good citizens, Mr Musicant said. As the main representative organisation of French Jewry, CRIF (the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions) has a standing relationship with the French government. ORT France is the biggest Jewish educational network in the country. It educates and trains some 7,000 people a year in seven schools and centres. Mr Benichou said it had been an honour to be able to host the CRIF delegation. At the end of the visit, both CRIF and ORT France decided to develop their dialogue mainly in the field of Jewish and civic education.