Israeli principals discuss way forward with World ORT


September 26, 2007 Israeli principals meet, discuss way forward with World ORT Some 40 principals of senior high and junior high schools from 29 campuses across Israel have gathered together to discuss future cooperation with World ORT. The meeting at Nir Etzion, south of Haifa, is the first such gathering of representatives of the schools benefiting from Kadima Mada (Science Journey), World ORTs $7.2 million programme to raise the level of science and technology education in Israel. Joining the meeting were five representatives of the Ministry of Education, with which World ORT cooperates in implementing Kadima Mada, including its Deputy Director General, Dr Yitzhak Tomer. Dr Tomer noted how World ORTs input was helping to redress imbalances in Israels education system. Sometimes, he said, schools away from the centre of the country dont receive the funds that schools [in the Tel Aviv conurbation] get. The Ministry needs to bridge the gaps in provision, and this is one of the ways World ORT is helping. Gershon Cohen, who heads the Technology Department within the Ministrys Administration of Science and Technology section, also addressed the meeting. I want to wish every success to the partnership between the Ministry and World ORT, Mr Cohen said. World ORTs focus on science and technology fits well with the demands of industry and academia, meeting the needs of research institutions and the market. Even after only a few months we can already see the fruits of this partnership. I hope it will go from strength to strength. Participants in the first gathering of Kadima Mada beneficiaries. The principals themselves displayed tremendous enthusiasm for their new relationship with World ORT. Over the past six months, the schools have had state-of-the-art science and technology laboratories installed by World ORT and most have already received a WOTEC (World ORT Teacher Empowerment Centre). In addition, Kadima Mada has seen the distribution of NIS 1.5 million-worth of vouchers to needy students to help them pay for school essentials such as text books. The second half of the day-long conference saw the principals split up into several brainstorming groups where they could discuss each others experiences with Kadima Mada and explore ideas for future projects within the Kadima Mada framework. During the course of these meetings principals praised World ORTs projects and efficiency. Hillel Hilman, principal of the Kadoorie Youth Village, said: Other organisations talk and talk; World ORT talks and does. They commended World ORT on its extra-curricular projects such as the Raya Cowan Summer School at the Weizmann Institute and the Rosner English Summer School for students and the Hatter and Wingate Seminars for teachers. The Head of the World ORT Representative Office in Israel, Rony Kalinsky, said the conference had allowed the principals to bond with each other and with World ORT. Were interested in partnership and we want to develop together our future operations, Mr Kalinsky said. Our goal is to think together where we want to go and how we get there within the framework of Kadima Mada, the Ministry of Educations priorities and the resources available. This meeting has set this collaborative process running and generated good ideas and genuine warmth. 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.