ORT schools provide sanctuary for refugees


19 July 2006 ORT Israel schools offer sanctuary to rocket refugees. Families fleeing Hezbollah rocket attacks against Israels northern towns are finding refuge in ORT schools farther south. ORT boarding schools in Netanya and Ashdod have put their dormitories at the service of some 300 adults and children from Tsfat, Kiryat Shemona, Kiryat Motzkin, Haifa, Shlomi, Nahariya, Maalot and other towns. The principal of ORT Yad Lvovich High School in Netanya, Dr Zvika Reiter, who has left his own home in Haifa because of the rockets, said that the cafeteria was serving the families three meals a day and entertainment and recreational activities were being provided. Dr Reiter, whose 21-year-old son is serving in the army, said: Precisely at this difficult time, as a parent and as a principal in the ORT Israel school system with its emphasis on values education and contributing to the community, I feel it is my obligation to open the campus and to help the school staff to take in as many families as possible. A view of ORT Yad Lvovich, Netanya. We will do everything we can to host families from the north with the special budgets that ORT Israel has put aside for circumstances such as these. We are certain that our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world will help us as well, ORT Israel National Director Zvi Peleg added. The dormitories at ORT Yad Lvovich were recently renovated thanks to donations from ORT Canada, British ORT, ORT Israel and World ORT. The other boarding school that has already taken in families is ORT Marine in Ashdod. The project has been undertaken in cooperation with the Association for the Advancement of Education, the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Education. Meanwhile, many ORT students are among the hundreds of people from Israels northern towns enjoying a respite from the fighting at a tent city that has been erected at Nitzanim, between Ashdod and Ashkelon, with the financial support of American Jewish organisations and Russian businessman Arkady Gaimadak. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation with some 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries. Its largest operational country is Israel, where it has more than 100,000 students Jews, Israeli Arabs, Druze and Bedouin in 162 educational establishments.