Toulouse builds for the future


15 December 2006 ORT Toulouse builds for the future Work has started on a new building for ORT Toulouse that will allow a 25 per cent increase in its student roll. Up to 500 high school students will be housed in the new 3,000 square metre building, allowing adult training classes for 200 unemployed people to continue in the existing school building. The construction work means the end of prefabricated buildings that were erected on the campus in 1962. It will also allow the school one of ORT Frances seven schools and centres around the country to implement two new post-Baccalaurea vocational courses. There will now be space in the existing building to accommodate the two-year BTS doptique (Opticians Technical Diploma) and banking courses, said ORT Toulouse Principal Rene Bendavid. The BTS doptique, in particular, is in great demand by the Jewish community because it qualifies graduates to open their own business. The BTS doptique course has been run at ORT Strasbourg for several years with such success that a three-year professional degree version has been implemented with the cooperation of the University of Strasbourg. Mr Bendavid said that graduates of the ORT Toulouse course would be eligible to study a further year at ORT Strasbourg. An architects vision of the new-look campus. The new $7 million building, financed by ORT France and the local education authority, is due for completion in January 2008. Currently, ORT Toulouses 400 pupils approximately half of them Jewish study for technology Baccalaureas before going to university or for professional diplomas before entering the workforce. The adult training courses in subjects including ICT, secretarial, accounting, electronics and marketing are run according to government contracts and cater mainly to the non-Jewish community. Prefabricated buildings that are being replaced. Situated in Colomiers, on the outskirts of the southern city of Toulouse, ORT Toulouses decision to expand in size and scope will bring tremendous benefits to the area, said Algeria-born Mr Bendavid, who graduated in nuclear physics from ORTs Central Training Institute in Switzerland in 1974. This is very exciting, he said. The BTS courses are expensive to set up so most schools are reluctant to make the investment. This means that ORT will be almost unique in providing this precious opportunity to young people in the area. However, ORT Toulouse also caters to Jewish students from as far away as Paris who stay in the schools dormitories. The number of boarding students varies between about 25 and 30. This facility is attractive to parents who are both working and who want their children to benefit from the structure and supervision that is difficult for them to provide. Everything is kosher and we even have a synagogue on the premises. Each year ORT France, which was founded in 1921, educates and trains more than 6,700 students at its institutions in Paris, Strasbourg, Lyons, Toulouse and Marseilles. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation with some 200,000 beneficiaries Jewish and non-Jewish each year in 58 countries.