Top Israeli educationalist tours ORT schools in Russia


15 February 2008 Top Israeli educationalist tours ORT schools in Russia A tour of ORT schools in Moscow and St Petersburg by the Chief Scientist of Israels Ministry of Education is expected to enhance the already strong partnership between World ORT and the Ministry in the implementation of the Kadima Mada (Science Journey) programme in the Jewish State. Professor Sidney Strauss spent a week in Russia with the Head of World ORTs Representative Office in Israel, Rony Kalinsky, to see how ORTs experience there can be applied to Israel. Thanks to the relationships built up by the World ORT Representative Office in Russia, Professor Strauss also enjoyed productive meetings with education officials at a local and national level. I have left with two deep impressions of ORTs work in Russia, Professor Strauss said. The first is the impressive way ORT has brought information and communications technology to their schools and the use that the very dedicated teachers are making of them. They are way ahead of everyone else. I am also impressed by the way ORT is reintroducing Jewish children to their religious and cultural heritage after generations have had their identity pushed under. And their connection to Israel is a strong part of that identity. Professor Strauss, who leads policy and planning in Israels Ministry of Education, said he would think about how technology was being used in World ORTs Russian schools and see how that could be applied in his own country. The visit would also inform deliberations on the general policy of technology in education, he said. Mr Kalinsky said: This week has provided the opportunity for us to discuss what we can learn from the system in Russia and what we can implement in Israel. On a personal level, Mr Kalinsky, who has led the World ORT office in Tel Aviv for half of its one year in existence, said he had also learned much from the administrative experience chalked up by the World ORT team in the 15 years since World ORT returned to the country of its birth. Avi Ganon, World ORTs Representative in Russia, Belarus and Central Asia, said: We have given Professor Strausss visit the highest priority and have been happy to facilitate his meetings with local education officials as well as show him three of our schools. We see this as a continuation of our visit to Israel last year when we brought 15 senior figures from the education systems of Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and Belarus to see World ORTs work there. While in Russia, Professor Strauss (pictured with, from left, Mr Kalinsky and Mr Ganon),met the Director of the State Policy and Regulation Department in the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Igor Rimarenko, the Israeli Ambassador, Anna Azari, and the Deputy Executive Director of the National Training Foundation, Natalya Kondrashova.