NEW YORK (Jan. 16)
Support for a $4,000,000 program to provide 20,000 young people in Israel, North Africa and other areas with vocational training and secondary education in 1956 was voted here by the American ORT Federation at its annual conference last night at the Hotel Roosevelt. Dr. William Haber, president, announced that ORT would begin discussions with the Joint Distribution Committee this week for a financial allocation in support of these overseas activities.
During the past decade American Jews have made available the sum of $15,000,000 for ORT vocational services to over 200,000 persons in 19 countries. Dr. Haber reported. He stated that ORT would require increased sums for its work in the year ahead in order to meet emergencies abroad. He said that with the help of a U. S. Government grant of $50,000, ORT is establishing a network of ten trade schools for youngsters in immigrant settlements in Israel. These would be in addition to the present ORT program in Israel for 4,500 people annually.
Dr. Aron Syngalowski, chairman of the executive committee of the World ORT Union who arrived for the meeting from Switzerland reported on a recent survey of Jewish economic problems he had made in Morocco. Dr. Syngalowski observed that while Jewish emigration would undoubtedly continue for some time, it should not be equated with “evacuation.” He foresaw that substantial Jewish communities would remain. The present status of the Moroccan Jewish population he found to be “dangerously weak” as a result of the backwardness of the methods and tools used by its artisans and the “over flow of petty merchants”. He urged the necessity of immediate steps to “modernize” these economic activities and for funds for ORT implement its plans for economic education among these communities.
Philip M. Klutznick, president of Bnai B’rith, addressing the conference, said: You have heard a lot about the Atlantic Pact, the South East Asia Pact, the Bagdad Pact. But there is a more basic human pact that ties us one to another. The many differences that separate people can be blended and if need be submerged in the great task of building a better tomorrow. It is to the great credit of ORT that it has been able to adjust itself to the mores of different countries, recognizing that differences exist yet becoming a part of the community wherever it has taken root.”