ORT Day 2024 Highlights Unity Around Global Network


Students, teachers and supporters have come together to mark ORT Day – the annual celebration of our global network.

This year’s theme was ‘unity’, with participants focusing on the strength of the Jewish people and sense of international solidarity since the October 7 terror attacks in Israel.

ORT Day is an opportunity to connect our students, alumni, professionals and friends of ORT to celebrate our mission, history and present work.

Dan Green, World ORT Director General and CEO, opened the proceedings, telling the virtual audience: “This year in particular, when across the network we have seen so much disruption to people’s lives, so much difficulty, most recently in Israel and of course the ongoing situation in Ukraine as well – it becomes even more important that we can show unity and join together in as many ways as possible. ORT Day is one of our traditional ways of doing that.”

During a live online session, students heard from Meira Cowland, a social and political commentator who posts to her 40,000 Instagram followers about the impact of the war in Israel.

She spoke to the students about changing the online narrative, tackling antisemitism and being part of a unified, global Jewish community.

Meira told the session: “My belief is that bullies bully people who allow themselves to be bullied, who don’t stand up confidently. I think that part of this war is forcing all of us, Jews, non-Jews, Israelis, Americans, everyone, to commit to the fact that you should stand proudly behind who you are. I stand proudly as a Jew and I stand proudly as somebody who supports Israel.”

Asked about students’ concerns around their online presence and digital footprint, and the ongoing effect when they leave school, she encouraged students to be confident and strong.

“When you stand behind something and you believe in something, then that is something that can always be respected,” Meira said. “If a job won’t accept you because of things you’ve said in good faith, then that’s not a place where you want to work.”

Students in Sofia, Bulgaria, take part in the ORT Day quiz

The ORT Day quiz was very well attended, with dozens of students from around the world competing for the first prize. They answered a series of questions about ORT’s history since its foundation in 1880.

The winning team was from Escuela ORT Argentina in Buenos Aires – the fourth consecutive year that the school has been successful. Teammates Nicolás Campanario and Nicolás Fernandez celebrated their victory together.

Students from ORT schools in Bulgaria, Lithuania and across Latin America also finished in the top ten.

For the annual network social media competition, students were challenged to create and post an Instagram reel or TikTok video on the theme of unity.

The winning video came from Kyiv ORT Educational Complex #141 in Ukraine and featured students talking about their hopes for peace:

Tevin Stoch, a student at the ORT-affiliated King David Linksfield High School in Johannesburg, South Africa, produced a moving film about the unity the Jewish diaspora feels with Israel during the ongoing war in Gaza. His entry was highly commended by the judges.

Students Yasmin Goulart, Helena Amaral, Emanuele Netto, Maria Eduarda de Carvalho and Isabel Dantas from Escola ORT in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were acknowledged for their entry which featured members of the school community singing and dancing to a song they had written specially for ORT Day:


CURTE, COMENTA E REPUBLICA ???????????????????????? #ortday #foryou #foruoupage #fy #fyp #viral @Escola ORT Brasil @ORTlife

♬ som original – 103 ORT

ORT Russia Director Mikhail Libkin led a session with students at ORT Technology School (Gymnasium #1540) in Moscow, discussing ORT’s history in the country.

At ORT SA CAPE in Cape Town, South Africa, staff held a session to discuss different interpretations of unity and what it means to be part of the ORT network.