WO Israel Emergency Campaign to pass $1m mark


9 August 2006 ORTs emergency campaign for Israel to pass $1m mark. World ORTs Israel Emergency Campaign looks set to break through its initial target of $1 million after only one week of formal fundraising. The Campaign was officially launched last week to help students, teachers and families affected by Hezbollahs war. Pledges have poured in from ORT organisations and individuals in America and Britain since World ORTs senior management returned to London from their self-financed solidarity mission to Israel last month. Further pledges, totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars, are expected in the coming days to fund post-trauma counselling, extra classes for children having difficulty in focusing on their studies, and to help parents pay for educational necessities. Israeli schools resume on September 1, said Campaign Co-Chair and World ORT Deputy President Dr Jean de Gunzburg. ORTs long term approach means that children, together with their teachers and parents, will get the support they need to ensure progress and success in the next academic year. America has been the largest overall contributor, while British ORT is the largest per capita donor. The largest pledge so far from an individual donor is $100,000. On-line donations can be made at https://ort.org/gifts/gifts.ccard.asp. One cant help but be moved by the remarkable generosity displayed so far and the sympathy for Israel and its citizens that lies behind it, said Campaign Co-Chair Doreen Hermelin, whose late husband, David, was president of both American ORT and World ORT. However, the task ahead is enormous. The public must understand that our work must continue even when the fightings over. Children in a bomb shelter in Tiberias. Money raised will be used to fund projects in three broad categories: Post-trauma. Teachers will be trained to recognise post-traumatic problems; debriefing sessions will be provided to allow students to express and discuss their experiences and anxieties; counsellors with post-trauma expertise will be made available for those students who need treatment. Special attention will be paid 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 text books. Americas Federation system of Jewish communities has already channelled thousands of dollars through its umbrella organisation, the UJC, to help fund World ORT summer camps and other activities for families in safe parts of Israel. The UJC is allocating its funds according to needs, not organisations, said World ORT Director General Robert Singer. It will commit funds to meet identified needs and then choose whichever organisation it deems to be best placed to deliver the required services. This means that ORT, like the other major Jewish organisations delivering support to Israel, will be helping people regardless of whether they have an institutional connection with them. ORT and the UJC enjoy an increasingly warm relationship, Mr Singer said. They appreciate that ORT has long and valuable experience in delivering post-trauma psychological and other support to children in Israel and around the world. ORT schools in Maalot, Hatzor, Acco, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Bialik, Haifa, Usfiya, Kiryat Tivon, Migdal HaEmek, Nazareth, Nazereth Illit, Afula, Wadi Salame, Sajur, Karmiel and Tiberias are among those directly in the firing line of the Hezbollah attacks. Three ORT institutions have been hit by rockets. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds oldest Jewish education and vocational training organisation with some 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries. ORT Israel is its largest single operational country with more than 100,000 students in 162 institutions.