11 April 2008 ORT Brazil goes to the top of the class There is a carnival atmosphere at ORT Brazil as it celebrates the elevation of its Technical High School in Rio de Janeiro to the official list of the top 20 schools in the country. The Ministry of Education has ranked the ORT school 7th of the 443 schools in Rio and 13th of the 18,000 schools nationally. It is the highest ranked technical school and highest ranked Jewish school in Brazil. The ranking is based on the Ministry of Educations evaluation of the 3 million teenagers who took this years National Examination of Secondary Education. You cant believe the noise here created by the media interest, said ORT Brazil Director Hugo Malajovich. Its a very good result by our students (pictured at their graduation ceremony last year). Its the first time that a Jewish school has reached this position and the whole community is very proud. The President of the Rio de Janeiro Jewish Federation (FIERJ), Sergio Niskier, wrote to ORT Brazil congratulating it on its performance. To be in this select group of schools rewards your hard work and is a reason for the whole community to feel proud. May you continue your tradition of good teaching, of helping to transform society and of being a pillar of our community through the quality and fraternity that characterises ORT. World ORT Director General Robert Singer added: This is a wonderful achievement and is testament to the hard work of Hugo Malajovich and all the teachers and staff at ORT Brazil. I have every confidence that they will maintain these high standards and continue to provide students in Rio de Janeiro with an unsurpassed education. ORT Brazils Technical High School is no stranger to good results. For years it has been recognised as one of the best schools in the country. This years ranking was, said Mr Malajovich, a case of going from very good to even better. What makes this so important is that this is an external, objective evaluation; we cant influence these results in any way. This means that the ranking is very strong recognition of the steady, incremental improvements we have been making over the years, he said. ORT Brazil is now bracing itself for an increase in applications to join the school, which could see its student body of 280 rise towards the maximum capacity of 400. Were a private philanthropic institution, we dont have much money for marketing and publicity, Mr Malajovich said. The media interest in these results has done the marketing for us. It is recognition of the quality of our students and the excellence of the school and also of the support that we have received from all over the world in the past five years. The international support includes funds raised through World ORTs Latin America Campaign. Funds are being directed to the urgent upgrading of the schools science and technology laboratories. Money is also being used to provide scholarships for talented Jewish students from deprived families. Many Jewish families are still struggling to make ends meet after having lost so much during the years of economic instability so find it difficult to provide their children with a Jewish education. Instead, they resort to non-Jewish public schools which often have lower standards and increase the risk of assimilation. ORT Brazil President Armando Klabin said: We are all really happy and proud with this achievement. It is a great satisfaction to see such a result from the dedication and hard work of all the staff. We are grateful for the support World ORT has been giving us.