ORT Returns to Cuba after 40 Years


Robert Singer, Director General of World ORT Union , was invited to visit the Jewish community of Cuba last week. Mr Singer was joined by Dr Gaby Meyassed, Director of Mexico and Dr Miguel Jusidman, Head of the Cuban Jewish lobby in the Mexican Jewish community. After ORTs forty year absence from Cuba, .this was a very emotional and fruitful visit during which time they met the Head of the Jewish community of Cuba, a group of young Cuban Jews, the Deputy Minister of Education and the Director for the Institute for Advanced Technologies. The economic situation in Cuba is very severe. For example, the Cuban salary for agraduate is about $10 a month Most of the Jews are university graduates but many of them are unemployed. Following discussions with the different members of the Jewishcommunity it was decided that ORT would provide a fully equipped computer laboratory and set up a Computer Training programme for children, teens and adults, with the objective of improving the employment opportunities and salaries of the Jewish people of Cuba. A set of Hebrew courses in Spanish supplied on CD Rom will be introduced in order to encourage young people to learn Hebrew and Judaism. This project will be funded by the Jewish community and supporters of ORT Mexico. The founders of ORT Cuba: Diego Mendelbaum, a representative of the American Joint Distribution Committee, Dr Jose Miller Fredman, President of the Jewish community of Cuba and Dr Miguel Jusidman, Member of ORT Mexico all agreed to run the laboratory on a voluntary basis. It was also proposed that World ORT Union will fund International Co-operation projects to assist the non Jewish underprivileged population. After almost forty years, the local Jewish community is delighted that ORT is now back in Cuba. END – Photograph available