Israel Emergency Campaign enters third phase


14 June 2007 Israel Emergency Campaign enters third phase The third and final phase of World ORTs Israel Emergency Campaign was launched this week with the transfer of nearly $90,000 to buy new equipment for specified schools. This first tranche of NIS 3 million funding will buy computers, printers, scientific laboratory equipment and vital material infrastructure for students in communications, ecology and robotics. Israels Ministry of Education is overseeing the implementation of the Campaigns objectives to ensure transparency and efficiency. World ORT launched its Israel Emergency Campaign during last summers war with Hezbollah. Senior World ORT staff visited Israel during the war and saw for themselves the material and psychological effects that missile attacks were having on students, schools and communities, particularly those in the north of the country. Money was raised thanks to the UJC, American donors who generously participated through their local Jewish Federations, and ORT supporters who gave through their national ORT organisations. Phase I saw $229,000 allocated to post-trauma counselling for Jewish and non-Jewish children in 40 schools who had spent a nerve-wracking summer under Hezbollah rocket attack. The counselling involved activities for students, parents and teachers that had been developed in consultation with experts, said Judah Harstein, World ORT Head of Jewish Education. The workshops and therapy sessions not only provided the students with the support they needed but also trained their teachers and parents in how to support the students and help them to re-focus on their studies and their future. World ORT working to put the smiles back on Israeli students faces. The bombardment of northern Israel and the consequent evacuation of thousands of people to the centre and south of the country also had a tremendous impact on the economic well-being of many families businesspeople lost customers and employees found themselves laid off. As a result, many children started the new academic year unable to buy the most basic school materials such as sports shoes, stationery, uniforms and textbooks. Phase II of the Israel Emergency Campaign, therefore, devoted more than $673,000 to the purchase and distribution of thousands of sets of such items. We also helped children from cash strapped families to pay for school trips, which are an important part of the social and educational framework in Israeli schools, said Mr Harstein. In addition, Israeli companies have supported our initiative by supplying these goods at a reduced price so that even more children could be helped. In addition, some $200,000 has been committed to various other projects, including a scholarship fund in memory of ORT graduate Keren Tendler, who was killed on the front line, and another fund to enable Tomer Weinberg, who was severely wounded in the Hezbollah ambush that sparked the war, to complete his studies at ORT Braude College of Engineering. The Mayor of Maalot, Shlomo Buchbut, wrote to World ORT saying that the help received through the Israel Emergency Campaign meant that the warm Jewish heart in Israel, as well as throughout the world, was revealed in its glory. Mr Harstein said the Israel Emergency Campaign demonstrated that the ORT familys commitment to the Jewish State was as strong as ever. From Europes Displaced Persons camps, where ORT trained tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors in skills that would help them build new lives in the Land of Israel, to this day, our passionate concern is to see Israel succeed, he said. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation and has benefited more than 3 million people Jewish and non-Jewish in 100 countries since its foundation in 1880.