Message from our Director-General and CEO


As the world attempts to come to terms with what has been described as themost serious economic crisis in modern history, World ORTs mission and itsprogrammes become ever more relevant. As individuals, the world over, suddenlyfind themselves unemployed and sometimes unemployable many turn toWorld ORT for education and training solutions that can give them new skills fora new beginning and a fresh opportunity to make a contribution to society. Thatis why a school such as the Los Angeles ORT Technical Institute just one of theoperations described in this Report has seen its enrolment jump by 20 percentas students strive to be among the 93 percent of graduates of that have successfullyfound employment placements. It is by constantly and rapidly adapting to change that ORT has always ensuredthat its students are sought after by employers looking for staff that is appropriatelyequipped with the skills and knowledge that are relevant to the economy ofthe time. That is why, as ORT prepares to celebrate 130 years of service to thecommunity, we continue to be the provider of choice for many families lookingfor effective education for their sons and daughters. During the past years ourschools in Argentina, France, Mexico, Uruguay, the Former Soviet Union and theUnited States, having researched local and international needs, have introducedadvanced courses in subjects such as media and communications and graphicsenabling thousands of students to enter the world of work appropriately qualified.Other World ORT graduates have similarly benefited from new courses leadingto careers as optometrists, pharmacy technicians and medical office managers,among many others. In Israel, our Science Journey programme reaches manymarginalized communities that have previously been let down by the educationsystem and whose youngsters had little prospect of obtaining worthwhileemployment. As a result of our intervention, a bright future beckons for tens ofthousands of students who now have access to modern facilities, highly trainedteachers and a motivational learning environment. ORT is in the business ofproviding skills that work. Of course, schools cannot provide world class education without world classteachers, and World ORT invests considerable resources in Continuing ProfessionalDevelopment (CPD) for its teaching staff. Recent programmes that we have run atour centre in London have included courses in the key burgeoning areas of Greenand Environmental Technology, Nanotechnology and Mobile Technology. Thesecourses are invariable followed by action on the ground as the new subjects areintroduced into the schools curricula. Trying to stay one step ahead in times ofrapid change is a huge challenge, but it is one that we embrace willingly.We also recognise that to take their place as responsible members of society, ourstudents need more than technical skills. They also need the ethical and moralcompass that will guide them to make principled choices in their lives. Courses basedon our traditions and values take place in all World ORT schools and, globally,we are involved in a number of initiatives devoted to the promotion of toleranceand understanding and to Holocaust education. This is particularly poignant thisyear as a number of European countries including Poland and Latvia prepare tocommemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of Nazi rule. For some people World ORT is the key to life; for others World ORT is their life. Irefer to the thousands of devoted supporters throughout the world, whose efforts toraise funds for the organization are heroic. In my position as the Chief ExecutiveOfficer of the organization I have a unique perspective and I am delighted toobserve that in a number of countries young people are coming to join the oldtimers in support of our work. Our National Organizations in Argentina, theUK, Moldova, Mexico and other countries are all seeing younger people acceptingpositions of responsibility; I am encouraged when I meet them and I am delightedto welcome them into the World ORT family. This pattern is repeated within WorldORT itself as new blood fills the ranks of our lay leadership. The blend of youthfulenergy and enthusiasm with the experience of our more established members bodeswell for the future of our organization. We plan to hold a number of events to celebrate our 130th birthday. These willall help to reinforce our presence in the world of education and training and toconsolidate our position as a leading force in the field. I look forward to leadingWorld ORT as we face our challenges and fulfil our mission of Educating for Life.