NEW YORK (Jan. 16)
A program to provide secondary education and training in industrial skills for 18,000 young people in Israel, North Africa and other areas was adopted as its 1955 goal by the American ORT at its annual conference today at Hotel Roosevelt.
Dr. William Haber, president, told 250 members of the organization’s board of directors that $3,740,000 would be required as the “minimum essential” for the operation of 275 ORT schools in 19 countries at which these services will be made available, The conference approved an agreement with the Joint Distribution Committee, a United Jewish Appeal agency, which will make available $1,390,000 toward the total sum required.
Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, executive vice-chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, was honored at the conference’s dinner session last evening where he was presented with the ORT award “for distinguished service in the field of human rehabilitation.” In accepting the award, Dr. Schwartz cited Israel’s need for “a population that is mechanically and technically literate.” Underlying the whole development of Israel, he said, “has been a gigantic effort to transform whole populations of city-dwellers and ghetto-dwellers into farmers, technicians and craftsmen.”
In presenting the program of ORT overseas welfare activities for the coming year, Dr. Haber expressed “great concern for the Jews of North Africa who feel increasingly threatened by fanatical nationalist elements. As a protective measure to strengthen these Jewish communities and improve their economic position” funds will be provided to double the present capacities of apprentice training centers in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, Dr. Haber declared.
A report adopted by the ORT directors urged continued expansion of the ORT network of schools in Israel to assist in the absorption of 10,000 recent immigrants from Moslem lands and an additional 30,000 who are expected this year.