New Science and Technology Centre for St Petersburg


23 October 2006 New ORT Science & Technology Centre for St Petersburg World ORT has opened a new Science and Technology Centre at one of the leading schools in St Petersburg, the city in which ORT was founded in 1880. The ceremony at the ORT Jerusalem School was attended by Andrey Frolov, Head of the Kirov District Administration of St Petersburg. Mr Frolov emphasised the importance of projects such as the World ORT Science and Technology Centre saying that the cooperation involved helped to establish good relationships between people of different ethnicities. Major supporters of the $120,000, four-year project are Lady Berlin, the widow of the Oxford philosopher and historian of ideas, Sir Isaiah Berlin, and her three sons and family. The family has a long standing, deep association with ORT and St Petersburg: Lady Berlin is the grand daughter of the organisations co-founder Baron Horace de Gunzburg while her late husband was a Chairman of World ORTs Academic Advisory Council and lived in St Petersburg before emigrating with his family to Britain in 1921. The new Science and Technology Centre at the ORT Jerusalem School, which has 764 students between the ages of seven and 17, is part of World ORTs Regeneration 2004 programme, through which ORT is reaching out to more Jewish communities in the CIS and Baltic States. This follow-on programme from the highly successful Regeneration 2000 will see the teaching of technology and other subjects raised to international levels to ensure that the schools are attractive to Jewish students and so provide an important platform for the future of their communities. Head of the ORT Science and Technology Centre, Natalya Egorova, shows Andrey Frolov what students can achieve using the new facilities at the ORT Jerusalem School. My family and I visited our son, Alexander, who was studying in St Petersburg last winter, Lady Berlins son, Peter Halban, said. We asked to visit the ORT school and were impressed and very moved by what we saw. On returning to England I discussed the experience with my mother and she liked the idea of continuing the association with ORT. In 1995, she had given a complete set of the Everyman library to the schools library. The Head of the Jewish Department at ORT Jerusalem School, Shay Kehat, shows World ORT Director General Robert Singer students work on one of the new computer terminals. The St Petersburg municipal authority refurbished the space allocated for the Science and Technology Centre. ORT, with financial support also coming from ORT Switzerland and Womens American ORT, was then able to install a local ICT network, computers and other equipment such as printers, scanners, presentation facilities and furniture. All technical work has been carried out under the supervision of ORT St Petersburg. The facilities were put on show by students at the opening ceremony who gave an impressive computer presentation. ORT has been deeply involved with the Jerusalem School for more than 10 years now, said Vladimir Dribinskiy, the Head of World ORTs Coordination Department. We have been providing teacher training, technological support and assistance and now were able to improve our cooperation and bring a new level of technology studies to what is one of the largest Jewish schools in St Petersburg. ORT resumed operations in the former Soviet Union in 1991. It now coordinates operations in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Kyrgyzstan 53 projects in 32 locations serving more than 27,000 people. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation with more than 200,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries.