Mission to Israel strengthens solidarity with ORT Israel


31 May 2002 From the 26-28 May ORT lay leaders from around the world gathered in Israel to show solidarity with the students and staff throughout the ORT Israel network, during this most difficult time in the Nation’s history. Several members of the ORT family have already made the supreme sacrifice in this battle for survival; others have been injured or traumatised. During this mission delegates visited ORT schools and took part in memorial ceremonies for victims of terrorism. It was also an opportunity for delegates to see how ORT Israel’s staff and students continue to rise above the danger so that they can prepare for a hopeful future-a peaceful future. ‘We are here to demonstrate the strong bond that exists between ORT supporters in the Diaspora and the ORT students, staff and their families who daily, face the threat of violence and terror here in Israel,’ Robert Singer told mission delegates at the onset of the mission. ‘We are proud of the ORT supporters who have given up their time and put aside their fears in order to participate in this mission.’ One of those supporters is Suzanne Davis, Chairman of the British ORT Women’s Division who said that being in Israel and seeing the situation firsthand is the only way to fully understand the level of crisis that the country is experiencing. ‘The atmosphere in the country is one of fear — especially in the schools that we visited. But for me, it reiterated how important education is, not only because it creates a safe haven for students during the day, but because it moulds young adults into leaders who will have the ability to contribute to the future of a peace-loving Israel,’ Davis said. Field Director for American ORT Gary Perl agreed: ‘We had an opportunity to learn firsthand of the dangers our students and schools face everyday. We met both victims of terror and friends of victims, and witnessed how ORT Israel is helping them recover and cope with the current situation. ‘Our message by being there with them at this time was that they are neither alone nor forgotten. In turn, our spirits and resolve was strengthened by their spirit, their enthusiasm and their heroism.’