The ORT Emergency Campaign for Israel


The World ORT Emergency Campaign is part of The Israel Emergency Campaign (IEC), a system wide effort of North America, spearheaded by United Jewish Communities, to bring urgent and ongoing relief, support and assistance to the people of Israel – both those under fire and those whose lives are affected by the war. The Israel Emergency Campaign is built upon a comprehensive and coordinated partnership between the Federations of North America and their overseas partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and World ORT. Israeli civilians are again the target of violence: rockets have been raining down on towns and cities killing dozens of people and injuring scores more. Students across the north of Israel are spending their summer vacation huddled in bomb shelters or are refugees in the south; some schools and colleges have suffered direct hits many more are in the danger zone. Tens of thousands of children in schools across Israels north have been directly affected by the attacks from Lebanon. ORT has mobilised its resources to support its students, staff, and their families, who have been caught up in the assault on their country. Boarding schools have opened their dormitories to refugees, other schools share their bomb shelters with their neighbours; special holiday activities have been arranged for children and adults in safe areas. For those unable to leave their stricken hometowns, ORT will be providing emotional and psychological support even in the bomb shelters, children will be able to access trauma counsellors through ORT websites. Children taking refuge in a Tiberius bomb shelter. But we need to focus on the future as well as the present. The new school year starts in September and ORT is preparing programmes to help students, staff and families cope. We desperately need your help to finance these critical initiatives: Training teachers and parents in how to recognise post-traumatic problems and where to get help; Providing debriefing sessions for children at the start of the school year and counselling for those students identified as having serious post-traumatic problems, with special attention to the needs of new immigrants and Arab citizens; A tuition reserve fund that school principals can access to pay for additional lessons for struggling students; A fund to help families, who have been hit economically by the conflict, pay for educational necessities like school text books. Let Israelis know that you care help us to help ORT students make the most progress possible despite the most difficult conditions. A refugee family from Tsfat. They were evacuated to a bomb shelter after their house suffered a direct hit from a Hezbollah rocket. ORT is an integral part of Israeli society. Since 1948 ORT in Israel has helped shape the nation by providing education and training. Each year more than 90,000 students receive their education at one of ORTs 162 educational establishments in Israel. ORT graduates comprise some 20% of the countrys hi-tech workforce. Robert Singer, Director General of World ORT says: ‘I believe this is one of the most difficult times in the life of today’s Israelis and the State of Israel. Israels greatest resource is her people and we must ensure that our students potential is not limited by circumstances beyond their control. We must provide those in need with the help necessary to keep them in school and achieving the results that will propel them into further studies and productive careers.’