The precarious situation of a number of undertakings of the Ort, World Federation for Promoting Agriculture and Artisanship Among the Jews of Eastern Europe, was described in detail here by Dr. David Lvovitch, member of the Executive of the Ort Federation, whose central headquarters are in Berlin, at a meeting with press representatives.
Dr. Lvovitch appealed to Jewish World public opinion to make all possible efforts to prevent the collapse of the system of the technical training schools maintained by the Ort, and providing technical training to the Jewish youth of the East European countries.
The means at the disposal of the Ort are inadequate, he said, to maintain this network of technical schools, and every day the Organization is besieged with complaints from the various institutions that they are unable to meet their obligations to their teachers, that they have not the necessary material for their work, and that they cannot renew their inventory.
Surveying the achievements of the Ort up to the present, Dr. Lvovitch said that by the end of 1931 it was maintaining 107 training schools in various trades â€” metallurgy, textiles, clothing, radio manufacture, electrotechnical, etc. These schools were only partly intended for young people training to be artisans. A large number of these institutions were providing technical continuation training for qualifying adult Jewish artisans to maintain their positions against the growing competition of non-Jewish artisans, and in some places, as in Poland, of legislative measures.
Many of the Ort institutions are training adult unemployed, hundreds of men and women of the Jewish middleclass, to keep them from starvation.
To-day, he said, the Ort is still maintaining 76 institutions in 32 Eastern European towns.
About 30,000 people, he went on, have been brought into agriculture and industry in Soviet Russia through the medium of the Ort. It has organized agricultural co-operatives in Poland, in which 1,100 Jewish families are organized, and is also promoting Jewish agriculture in a large part of Bessarabia. There are 12,000 Jewish workers employed in 60 co-operatives and factories which the Ort has established in Soviet Russia, either on its own account or in co-operation with other institutions, mostly consisting of former declassed Jews. 6,000 people in Soviet Russia are reached by the constructive relative aid work of the Ort, through which relatives abroad are enabled to provide them with machinery, tools, and raw material. The introduction of the knitting industry by the Ort in Russia has enabled 12,000 Jewish families to earn their livelihood. Ort technicians have visited hundreds of towns and townships in the Ukraine, White Russia, and the Crimea, putting in order the machines of the Jewish artisans