Western Europe Review


For further information on ORT’s activities in Western Europe, notably the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland, please read the full article. Jump to articles on UNITED KINGDOM | FRANCE | ITALY | SWITZERLAND BRITISH ORT British ORTs main campaign focus is to support World ORT activitiesworldwide. Support from UK-based donors has also been directedto specific projects in Ukraine, Israel, Argentina, Latvia and Russia inparticular the ORT Alef school in Zaporojie, Ukraine, the ORT Kazanschool in Tatarstan, and ORT Netanya Yad Lvovich, Israel. British ORTcontinues to build on its strong foundations. Ivor Levene, OBE has beenappointed Executive Director succeeding Rhonda Marcus, who hasjoined the Management Committee. Michael Naughton (left) with celebrated British actor Warren Mitchell, and British ORT Chairman Alan Goldman. Top calibre speakers addressed British ORT events. Sir Terry Leahy, ChiefExecutive of Tesco plc, the UKs leading supermarket chain, spoke to arecord breaking 400-strong audience at the Annual Business Breakfast.The Patrons Lunch was hosted by The Lord Rothschild OM, GBE, and theGala Dinner, which honoured Michael Naughton, whose support spansfive decades, was seen as one of the most successful and enjoyable in British ORTs history. Friends of ORT, co-chaired by Roslyn Morris andSusan Roffman, enjoyed a full programme through the year highlightedby the Annual Spring Luncheon with Oscar-nominated actor Tom Contithe main attraction. Young ORT worked closely with World ORTsInternational Next Generation initiative to develop its leadership, sowingthe seeds for the organisations future growth. FRANCE ORT France, founded in 1921, provides schooling and vocational adulteducation at seven schools and centres located in Paris, Strasbourg,Lyons, Toulouse and Marseilles. During 20042005, ORT France trainedand educated more than 6,700 students, including more than 4,000 adults.After six years of large scale renovation and rebuilding, the rejuvenatedORT school in the Paris suburb of Montreuil sous Bois was inauguratedand renamed the Daniel Mayer ORT High School. The outer walls were retained and the inside completely rebuilt in five stages. The renovationshave added 500 square metres of floor space (providing room for 800students and 100 trainees) and greatly improved the ergonomics of theenlarged classrooms. Students and teachers also benefit from newequipment, enhanced security and modern dining facilities. Electronics lesson, ORT Montreuil, France. Construction of the third floor at the ORT high school in Lyons has beencompleted, creating an additional 800 square metres for extraclassrooms.ORT France is working on the renovation of its schools in Toulouse andthe Paris suburb of Choisy-le-Roi, where prefabs are replacing theworkshops and classrooms. These works are expected to be completedby the end of 2006. In Strasbourg, the BTS doptique (Opticians Technical Diploma) sectionhas recorded its fourth successful year. The school attracts Jewish studentsfrom across France, not only because of its high standards but because ofits boarding facilities and kosher catering. The development of thisspecialisation will result in the creation of a professional degree in opticalstudies, in partnership with the University of Strasbourg, in 2006. At the initiative of the World ORT Representative in France, Guy Seniak,ORT France is updating Jewish teaching by creating a history and Jewishculture book financed by the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah.In Paris, ORT France provides courses adapted to the specificrequests of companies wanting to retrain and upgrade new employees in the fields of ICT and foreign languages. In addition, inanswer to a call for tender from the European Commission, the newtechnology department takes part in a research and developmentprogramme for the implementation of new technologies in the fieldsof teaching and training. In September 2005, ORT France started training sessions in Morocco onbehalf of GFI Informatique, a major European provider of consultancyand ICT services to big business. In 2006, ORT France plans to start anew project with Le Bureau du Shabbat to set up IT training sessions tohelp some 100 unemployed Sabbath observant Jewish women competein the job market. ITALY World ORT is increasing its support for the Jewish communitys highschools in Rome and Milan. At the ORT Renzo Levi High School in Rome, enrolments continue toincrease 61 entered the 9th grade in the 20042005 academic year,a 42 percent increase on the previous year. The total number of studentsin grades 613 is now 191, almost double that seen when the schoolmoved to its new premises in the Ghetto, near the citys main synagogue,in 2003. To maintain manageable class sizes, refurbishments are due tobe completed early in 2006 that will see each grade divided into parallelclasses. Further such work will be undertaken if enrolment continues itsupward trend. This increasing popularity is a result of generally increased educationalstandards at the school, the addition of languages, social sciences andtechnological studies to the original scientific focus, and parents desire toplace their children in a safe, Jewish environment.As part of its constant effort to increase standards, ORT Renzo Levi HighSchool installed a 15-terminal computer laboratory in 2005; a newscience laboratory is due to be installed in 2006. The school in Milan has 545 students. Its popularity with thelocal Jewish community has increased thanks to the improvementsit has made in its Jewish education provision. Also, IT educationhas improved with the opening of two new computerlaboratories. For the first time, a group of its students is due tojoin hundreds of other ORT students on March of the Living, (theHolocaust education programme) in Poland in 2006. SWITZERLAND ORT educational operations in Switzerland ceased in 1992 and thecountry now hosts World ORTs legal headquarters (in Geneva)and an increasingly influential fundraising organisation consisting of fourcommittees: Geneva, Basel, Berne and Zurich. ORT Switzerland (Geneva) annual Gala Dinner. Among the major events of 2005 was the ORT Switzerland (Geneva)annual Gala Dinner which also commemorated World ORTs 125thanniversary. This event, In November, raised funds for ORT’s Schools Plus Programme in Israel, which provides extra support for outstandingstudents from families in distress and from socio-economically deprivedbackgrounds. The evening featured a performance by the internationallyrenowned Bejart Ballet Lausanne as well as a dinner for 400 at theGeneva landmark Batiment des Forces Motrice. The success of this eventhas raised ORT Switzerlands profile throughout the wider community.The ORT Switzerland international Jacqueline Maus Bridge Tournament,a regular major fundraising event, was held in November. The leadership of ORT Switzerland is anticipating some changes during2006. The President, Robert Equey, retains his position but the Director,Catherine Gentilini, is due to be succeeded by her daughter, VanessaCholat. The ORT Zurich annual event in September 2005 included the openingof an exhibition of paintings by an ORT Argentina graduate who nowlives in Switzerland.ORT Basel raised significant funds towards ORT programmes in Israel.