12 May 2006 ORT technology centre opens at Jewish school in Bishkek. The only Jewish school in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is the latest beneficiary of World ORTs on-going effort to reach out to Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union and bring new schools into the ORT family. The Pri Etz Chaim school has officially opened an ORT Science and Technology Centre with a ceremony attended by senior local dignitaries and World ORT Representative in Russia, Belarus and Central Asia Avi Ganon. The project will modernise the school and strengthen the Jewish community here by providing new educational opportunities, Mr Ganon said. Boris Shapiro, of the Society of Jewish Culture in Kyrgyzstan, and Professor Ishenkul Boldjurova, Rector of the Kyrgyz National University, joined Mr Ganon in cutting the ribbon that officially opened the new centres ICT (Information and Computer Technology) laboratory with its 13 computers and other equipment and the Resource Centre which has more computers and digital video equipment. Pri Etz Chaim Principal Vladimir Kritsman said ORTs investment would help to transform the whole concept of the school. The national curriculum mandates very little informatics teaching while we train students in informatics throughout their educational career here, Mr Kritsman said. With this new technological base we now have the chance to realise our developments and transform them into a completely new experience. Our students are very enthusiastic about the possibilities that the ORT Science and Technology Centre have opened up to them; they are already using the video equipment to produce materials for our cooperation with the Jewish communitys Sunday school and the Jewish Family Centre. Boris Shapiro, Prof. Ishenkul Boldjurova and Avi Ganon cut the ribbon to officially open the ORT Science and Technology Centre.. The ORT Science and Technology Centre is a product of Regeneration 2004, the successor campaign to Regeneration 2000, and is aimed at bringing quality Judaic and general high school education to Jewish communities throughout the former Soviet Union. For new centres created through Regeneration 2004, such as at Pri Etz Chaim, ORT carries out necessary refurbishments, plans and installs new systems and services, trains staff, and provides on-going staffing and support. Network-wide, ORT is also developing curricula materials such as software, textbooks, students and teacher guides and training materials as well as providing training seminars. The schools we invest in through Regeneration 2004 will help to rebuild and strengthen Jewish communities by combining advanced science and technology education with a strong sense of Jewish identity and values, said Mr Ganon. Students and staff at the opening ceremony.. After the ribbon-cutting, some of the 12-year-old schools 143 students performed a concert, and special guests including Sagyn Bozgunbaev, the Head of the Trade Union Federation of Kyrgyzstan, and Yosi Leibovitch, the Head of the Representative Office of the Jewish Agency in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan addressed the audience. Before the opening ceremony at Pri Etz Chaim, Mr Ganon had a meeting with the Kyrgyz Minister of Education, Science and Youth Policy, Mr Dosbol Nur uulu, who expressed high hopes for the development of cooperation between his countrys educational authorities and World ORT. After the ceremony, Mr Ganon met the Kyrgyz Republics State Secretary, Dastan Sarygulov, who also expressed his support for ORT initiatives in the country. Pri Etz Chaims Mr Kritsman said he and everyone associated with the school were grateful to World ORT for its support. We will be happy to provide assistance in the development of ORT initiatives in Kyrgyzstan as a whole, he said. 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.