ORT Israel students reach out to the world through the Internet


20 April 2005 For the first time ever, the leaders of the French Jewish umbrella organisation CRIF have visited an ORT school. Students at six ORT Israel schools are inviting teenagers at Jewish and non-Jewish schools around the world to share ideas and experiences with them at a website they have set up. NO to hatred and animosity; YES to peace, understanding and discussion is the ethos of the Eye 2 Israel website, which the students are editing and writing in an attempt to share with the world their experiences of growing up in the Jewish State. On the site, which can be accessed at www.israel1.org, the students share their thoughts on everything from the Arab-Israeli conflict and co-existence to their favourite food and music. Currently the students write in English but there are plans to translate the material into Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish. The Israeli students hope to show people the reality of their daily lives and aspirations as well as learn about the hopes and lifestyles of others. We would like to strengthen ORT Israel students relationship with other Jewish and non-Jewish schools through a shared forum, said Sonia Gomes de Mesquita, the head of World ORTs International Liaison Department. So we are asking Jewish organisations and schools of all kinds to add a link to the site on their websites. In our own little way we want to bring the world closer together. As one ORT Israel student writes on Eye 2 Israel, in an open letter to his Arab peers: We all came from one man, Abraham, so it makes us brothers; brothers help and support each other, so we must be together, for one purpose. Peace. ORT is the worlds largest Jewish international education and vocational training non-profit organisation, and educates more than 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish each year. ORTs single largest operation is in Israel where it has 164 educational establishments catering to more than 90,000 of the countrys Jewish, Arab, Druze and Bedouin citizens.