ORT France builds for the future as the academic year starts


2 September 2004 ORT France is looking forward to a busy year with on-going renovation and security projects. The organisations National Director, Marc Timsit, said enrolments at ORTs seven schools and centres were similar to last year at just under 5,000 despite more Jews immigrating to Israel amid continued problems with antisemitism. A program that has already seen improved security at ORT Montreuil, just outside Paris, and at ORT Strasbourg is being extended to other sites with the introduction of closed circuit video cameras. At Montreuil, students are enjoying new eating facilities, renovated classrooms, new leisure areas and a synagogue all part of phase five of the schools renovation programme. The program is expected to conclude at the end of the school year by which time it will have increased the institutions size by 15 per cent. ORT Lyon is adding a new floor this year, which will allow new training classes next year. And ORT Strasbourg has restructured its buildings to allow the opening of a new, higher-level optometry class. Frances new law banning schoolchildren from wearing kippot, Islamic headscarves and other religious symbols came into effect with the new school year. The new law has not affected ORT because its schools, while receiving state subsidies, are classified as private and are, therefore, exempt.