World ORT at the UJC GA in Israel


25 November 2003 As a fully recognised partner in the North American Federations system, World ORT played an important role in this year’s United Jewish Communities General Assembly in Israel – the culmination of many years of important work by World ORT. Within the framework of the GA World ORT promoted its network of programmes, training centres and schools around the world; opened its schools to the participants of some 16 missions; lead major panels and provided computer and Internet facilities for delegates, participants and media from all over the world. As part of the GA program Robert Singer, Director General of World ORT, together with Jacob Solomon, Executive Vice President of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation; Jeffrey Solomon, President of the Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies and Avi Naor, Former President/CEO of Amdocs took part in a well attended seminar, ‘Confronting the Leadership Crisis in Jewish Philanthropy’ , presenting an insight into the importance of volunteerism and professional philanthropy in the Jewish community. The seminar was filled to capacity with eager participants queing patiently outside, and for the duration of the GA, those who took part could be heard discussing its subject matter. At a special workshop, ‘Volunteerism: Engaging the Next Generation’ Zvi Peleg, Director General of ORT Israel and Sonia Gomes de Mesquita, Head of World ORT’s International Liaison Department provided an in depth look into student volunteerism at ORT and how ORT schools teach their students the value of personal involvement in the community. ORT student volunteers in the Ambassador of Memory Program, the Multi-Generation Project, Youth Tutors and the Sunflowers Project spoke about their experiences working with less fortunate children and the importance of helping others. ORT hosted GA participants on two important visits. ‘Supporting Innovative Education and Technology’ brought participants to the ORT Minkoff School in Jerusalem and to Hadassah Hospital to meet the students who, as part of the Sunflowers Project, give practical support and encouragement to young cancer patients. As part of a trip dedicated to the arts, GA delegates were hosted at the ORT School for Technical Administration and Culinary Arts in Tsriffin. The school is part of a unique new project, ‘Cooking for Peace’ , promoting tolerance between Israelis and Arabs. The students study the culinary arts and together with Arab chefs from Neve Shalom cook together in peace and harmony. The students and staff have won a number of accolades at international culinary competitions. Participants were treated to a special buffet lunch and sampled traditional Israeli and Arab delights. ORT operated a number of cyber cafes within the Exhibition centre with ORT Israel students offering assistance to users, and the press corps covering the GA worked in a special press room with internet facilities provided by ORT. Through its booth ORT staff provided informative materials on the organisations operations around the world and exhibited a specially prepared stand with a small archival exhibition on ORT through the ages.