6 September 2005 Some 22 young leaders from 12 different countries have come together in Israel for World ORTs inaugural International Next Generation mission. The participants, aged between 25 and 45, represent ORT organisations from some of the major fundraising countries the USA, Britain and Switzerland as well as operational countries such as Russia, Mexico, Uruguay, Ukraine, and Lithuania. Before leaving for Israel, International Next Generation Co-Chair Shelley Fagel said the timing of the mission less than three weeks after the disengagement from Gaza was particularly significant. The World ORT International Next Generation mission flies the flag in front of Mount Zion. In this period of Israels history, as its people are trying to facilitate peace, I think its so important that an international group such as ours will be in the country to discuss whats happening, and to learn about what the people there are going through, she said. Ms Fagel said she was confident that the mission, part of the action plan devised at the inaugural Next Generation meeting in Paris in December, would be stimulating, informative and fun. I have only visited Israel with ORT, the Womens American ORT Board member said. They have been the most positive and wonderful experiences. During the four-day mission, the participants were due to visit several ORT schools, including ORT Netanya-Yad Lvovich and the Bedouin ORT Wadi Salame. They were also due to meet top military, political and business figures. Most of the mission participants are already involved in their local ORT organisation but for others this will be their first opportunity to see ORT in action, said International Next Generation Co-Chair Mark Mishon. I am confident that this experience will spur them on to become the lay leaders of the future.