Inaugural International Next Generation mission


13 September 2005 The first mission undertaken by World ORTs International Next Generation group has tapped into a wellspring of enthusiasm. Some 22 young leaders from 12 countries spent four days together in Israel where they visited ORT schools, discussed current affairs with politicians and high ranking military personnel but still found time to make new friends and have some fun. International Next Generation Co-Chair Shelley Fagel said the mission had surpassed her already high expectations. The mix of people was fabulous and the programme proved to be outstanding, Ms Fagel said. It was very impressive to visit some of our schools there and see what theyre doing especially at the Bedouin school ORT Wadi Salame where we saw how the gaps between the Bedouin and Jewish communities were being bridged. The mission participants from the USA, Britain, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine and Uruguay were so moved by their visit to ORT Wadi Salame that they spontaneously organised a $3,000 donation to improve the schools air conditioning. Dr Avron Urison, from South Africa, is another relative newcomer to ORT. Having left medicine for business consulting, Dr Urison is also managing ORT South Africas new ORT JET business education programme and he was able to interest mission participants including Britains Simon Freeman in adopting similar projects. The mission was a big eye-opener; it exposed me to the enormity of ORT, both in Israel and around the world, he said. ORT South Africa would like to export the ORT JET model to other countries now I know 20 people in 11 national ORT organisations with whom I can discuss it. In addition, he said, the trip had been really good fun. It was a great experience and its inspired me to move further with ORT. During their four days in Israel, the mission participants enjoyed a packed schedule including visits to Yad Vashem, ORT Netanya Yad Lvovich, Wadi Salame and Megadim Carmiel schools, the Golan Heights and Teffen Industrial Park. They discussed poverty with Meretz Knesset member Ran Cohen and the increasing involvement of Israeli businesspeople in community organisation with Yitzhak Shamirs son Yair, who himself is Chairman of the Board of Israel Aircraft Industries. They toured the Palmachim Air Force Base with its founder and former commander Brigadier General Nehemia Dagan and spent an afternoon with famous Israeli author Meir Shalev. World ORT Lay Leadership Coordinator Gaby Blauer said work had already started on organising the next World ORT International Next Generation event a leadership seminar to be held early next year in either Rome or Moscow. An International Next Generation website is also nearing completion. The World ORT International Next Generation mission flies the flag in front of Mount Zion.