Jewish school children in the Russian city of Samara are the latest to benefit from the work of World ORT Union, the international educationand training organisation. An ORT Advanced Technology Centre at Samara’s local Jewish school wasinaugurated last week. The new centre will provide the technology skills the children need order to succeed in Russia’s highly competitive jobmarket. At the same time, it will strengthen Samara’s 10,000-strong Jewish community by attracting greater numbers of Jewish children to the school. ORT’s nineteen-member international delegation to Samara, chaired by Sir Maurice and Lady Hatter, was received by representatives of the Russian Government and the Israeli embassy. Sir Maurice, First Vice President of World ORT Union, is one of Britain’s foremost supporters of technology education. Next stop — Kazan. En-route from Samara, the ORT delegation visited Kazan, capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, where it was met by the Republic’s Vice Prime Minister and representatives of thelocal Jewish community. Kazan, a medium-size city in this little known republic of the Russian Federation, is home to an active and thriving Jewish community of 6,000, having its own Jewish school, choir and synagogue. At the request of the Vice Prime Minister, ORT will install a Technology Centre in Kazan’s Jewish school within the next year. Emphasising the remarkable commitment of Kazan’s Jewish community,its leaders pledged to fund one third of the capital costs and the running costs for four years. The Vice Prime Minister of Tatarstan took it upon himself to authorise funds to refurbish the building to bring it up to ORT standards. Through the added generosity of members of the ORT delegation,the community in Kazan can now expect the opening of the ORT TechnologyCentre to take place in September 2000. -***- World ORT Union Background A non-profit, non-political organisation, World ORT Union is one ofthe largest non-governmental training organisations in the world. ORTtoday operates in over 50 countries and provides vocational and technicaltraining for more than 250,000 students each year. The organisation wasestablished in 1880 in St. Petersburg, Russia, to provide skills trainingfor the impoverished Jewish communities in Russia. In the early 1900s theorganisation spread, firstly to other parts of Eastern Europe and then toWestern Europe. After the Second World War, it became established inIsrael, North Africa, the United States and South America and is nowrepresented in all five continents. -ends-