ORT Cuba Summer School


August 21, 2007 Children love the ORT Cuba Summer School More than 80 young people from Cubas small but vibrant Jewish community have enjoyed a wide variety of activities at this years ORT Cuba Summer School. The children, aged between three and 18, used the long summer break to improve their skills in everything from art and Israeli folk dancing to languages and technology but all of them majored in having fun. The ORT Cuba Summer School was also an opportunity for young members of the community, members of which are scattered around the country, to strengthen their Jewish identity. The Summer School is an opportunity for our future generation not only to learn about IT skills, languages or cultural issues, it is also an opportunity to those who arent involved in our communitys general activities to get connected with their Jewish backgrounds, said ORT Cuba Director William Miller. Hands up who had a good time at the ORT Cuba Summer School! Transport and meals were provided to allow as many children as possible to attend the Hebrew, English and computer classes as well as the workshops on painting, folk dancing, and other subjects that were laid on all day, four days each week. Abel Hernandez Ezquenazi, aged six, said: I have been learning computing, Hebrew, Israeli dancing and papier mache with my teachers. I have also performed in a play with my classmates. I hope to have a computer at home to learn on and that I will be able to fix it myself if theres a problem. Seven-year-old Alberto Serra Tur added: I have been working at the computer laboratory on a PowerPoint presentation about dinosaurs. Im having a lot of fun and would like to come next year. Jessica Prinstein Fernandez, 13, was also looking forward to next years summer school. She said that a highpoint for her was working on a multimedia project, using Macromedia Flash, to present at the Cuban Jewish communitys IT Applications Competition for young people. Mr Miller said: During the past seven years we have been recognised for the work were doing on this special course, not only by the parents of our students but also by the Jewish community leadership, who have classified this experience as an example that other Jewish organisations here should follow. ORT returned to Cuba in 2000, following an agreement brokered by World ORT Director General Robert Singer with the countrys Ministry of Education. Since then, under Mr Millers professional leadership, ORT Cuba has steadily increased the technical and vocational training it provides at the Ana and Ben Dizik ORT Technology Centre at the Jewish Community Centre in Havana. Every year, hundreds of members of the Jewish community enrol in dozens of courses, ranging from Hebrew, leadership skills and psychology to ICT, computer programming and web design. 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.