NEW YORK (Dec. 27)
More than 20,000 Jews received vocational training in ORT schools in 1951, it was reported today by Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation. The organization maintains schools in 22 countries.
Dr. Haber stated than 3,987 students completed their studies in 1951 and received their diplomas as skilled craftsmen in their respective trades. An additional 6,705 students received partial training prior to emigration. The new school year began in October, 1950 with an enrollment of more than 10,000.
These activities receive a substantial share of their financial support from the American Jewish community through an agreement of the American ORT Federation and World ORT Union with the Joint Distribution Committee. Since 1947. when the first such agreement was concluded, a total of $7,350,000 has been sent overseas. Discussions are now in progress for a similar understanding between ORT and the Joint Distribution Committee for financing vocational training centers in 1952.
“During the coming year, the new vocational schools in Israel, North Africa and Iran, expect further expansion and financing will be directed toward this purpose,” Dr. Haber said. “American support to ORT’s school system in Israel constitutes a problem which is now being given special consideration since, in previous years, this essential program was not included within the ORT-JDC agreements.
“In Israel, the ORT network is one of the largest trade education institutions in the nation, making vital contributions to the pool of skilled manpower so essential to economic growth, “Dr. Haber explained. “Many special classes have been established at the government’s request and in collaboration with other organizations. This program has grown from an enrollment of 1,198, a year ago, to 1,701 attending schools in 14 cities and towns.”
“Our schools in Iran, Tunis and Morocco have also had a sharp rise in attendance, and modern well equipped new buildings have been added in these areas to keep pace with the growing demand for ORT services.” he continued. “New facilities, locally financed, recently opened in several South American nations will shortly come into full operation, increasing the scope of ORT in that area.”
By contrast, Dr. Haber indicated, the programs ORT had organized in Germany, Austria and other countries after the war, for the rehabilitation of displaced persons, have declined sharply with the closing down of the DP camps and the emigration of most of the former refugees. However, ORT is actively participating in occupational therapy activities established at various sanitoria for the tubercular and others in the so-called “hard-core” category of refugees.