ORT Israel’s Arab and Jewish staff relax together


24 July 2006 ORT Israels fun day out for staff raises morale ORT Israel has splashed out on a fun day out for staff and families to lift morale battered by repeated rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. Some 3,000 adults and children from ORT Israels Jewish and non-Jewish schools have been treated to a day at the Shefayim Water Park, Israels largest water park, on the coast near Herzilya. Families came from ORT schools and communities that have been directly affected by rocket fire, including ORT Henry Ronson High School in Ashkelon and ORT Braude College of Engineering in Karmiel. Zvi Peleg initiated the event to give staff and families a respite from being confined to bomb shelters. A staff member from ORT Carmel Industrial School, Haifa, with her child. We want to embrace our employees and their children, Mr Peleg said. We want to relieve them of the pressure of staying in shelters and safe rooms. The fact that Jews and Arabs, Druze and Bedouin are together at such a difficult and complicated time strengthens us and gives us great hope. An ORT Maalot family enjoy the day out. ORT provided transportation from each of the schools in the north of the country as well as the schools in Ashkelon and organised sports and refreshments for everyone. Rocket damage at ORT Ulpanit in Tiberias. ORT Ulpanit Emuna in Tiberias is the latest ORT school to be hit by rocket fire: a Katyusha hit the religious Jewish school causing slight damage to the building last week. Fortunately, none of the five staff present at the time was injured. Also last week, Katyushas fell just 600 yards from the ORT school in Nazareth. The schools administrative manager, Abu Ahmed Abed, described the situation as sad and tense. Another Arab ORT school, Hilmi Shafie in Acco, has opened its bomb shelters for the whole community to use. ORT schools in Maalot, Hatzor, Acco, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Bialik, Haifa, Usfiya, Kiryat Tivon, Migdal HaEmek, Nazareth, Nazereth Illit, Afula, Wadi Salame, Sajur, Karmiel and Tiberias are among those directly in the firing line of the Hezbollah attacks. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds oldest Jewish education and vocational training organisation with some 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries. ORT Israel is its largest single operational country with more than 100,000 students in 162 institutions.