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American Ort Issues 1950 Report; Contributed $1,100,000 for Vocational Training Abroad

About 23,000 students attended ORT schools in Europe, North Africa, Iran, Israel, China, Latin America and the United States during 1950, according to a report issued here today by Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation. The American ORT contributed $1,100,000 during 1950 for the support of the overseas vocational training installations of the organization, the report said.

Since 1947, the American ORT Federation has received its funds for ORT schools in Europe, North Africa and other areas through special agreement with the Joint Distribution Committee. A total of $6,400,000 has been sent overseas by the American ORT in this period. Negotiations are now in progress between the American ORT Federation and the J.D.C. for the consummation of an agreement for the coming year.

“The picture of vocational training operations has been sharply altered in the course of the past year,” the report stated. “The training conducted in the DP camps no longer dominates the work of the organization as hitherto, due to the continued closing of camps and the migration of thousands of former DP’s to Israel, the United States and other countries.

“The decline in students has not been as great as anticipated in Germany and Austria, however, because of the continued influx of Iron Curtain refugees who are in dire need of training. OR operations in Eastern European countries have ceased entirely along with those of all other international relief and rehabilitation organizations,” the report revealed. “In Italy, while the work among the DP’s has considerably diminished, it has been found necessary to extend operations among the children of local, poverty-stricken Italian-Jewish families.”

The first ORT trade school was established in Teheran this fall, according to the report. There is an ORT carpentry school for Kurdish Jews in a camp near Teheran and a machine shop in the city itself has been set up. Plans for future instruction include agriculture and masonry, both of which are in great demand in Israel to which most Iranian Jews expect to immigrate. In French North Africa, the expansion of activities is notable from the standpoint of student enrollment and expension of courses, the report stressed; 1,923 students attended schools in Algeria and Morocco. A school is also under construction in Tunisia and will soon be opened.

Almost 2,000 students attended schools in 13 cities and villages of Israel during the year under report. Among the achievements of ORT during the current year is the establishment of the first refrigeration mechanics schools at Givatayim. The Israel ORT is about two years old and most of its courses are long-term. However, the report points out that 293 pupils have completed ORT courses and received graduation certificates. Most of these are now employed at their respective tredes, making a contribution to the upbuilding of the nation and being self-sustaining citizens, many of them for the first time in years.

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