Ort International Conference Hears Haber Propose Recasting of Programs

A major recasting of the traditional programs of ORT, the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training, was proposed here by the president of the World ORT Union. It would cope with new conditions arising from the June, 1967 Six-Day War and keep pace with changing educational and vocational requirements all over the world. Dr. William Haber, who delivered the keynote address at the International ORT Conference here, said one lesson of the Six-Day War was that the age of Jewish refugees is far from over.

Dr. Haber said that the reconstruction of European Jewry is presently centered in France where there are now some 300,000 North African Jews who fled from their countries for fear of reprisals after the Six-Day War. He said it was important to overcome their cultural, economic and educational deficiencies.

He said the 67 ORT technical and vocational schools in Israel have to “eliminate the educational deficiencies of tens of thousands of youth who are not being reached and must help increase Israel’s skilled manpower reservoir.” He said the curricula of ORT classes for almost 50,000 persons annually needed to be sharply revamped to avoid “obsolescence in the ways of instruction” so that graduates are “equipped to move occupationally with the technological winds of change.” Dr. Haber noted a decline in manual trades in the 21 countries where ORT operates and a corresponding increase of opportunities for professional and technical employment which meant that ORT had to stress “career education as a means of opening wider these gates of opportunity.” He urged increased funding for ORT programs.

Canada’s Secretary of State for External Affairs Mitchell Sharp yesterday reaffirmed his country’s position that Israel has a “right to live and prosper, free from fear of strangulation by its neighbors.” Mr. Sharp applauded the manpower training and economic aid program which ORT has organized for 88 years. Calling attention to technical assistance projects of ORT in developing countries, he described this “other aspect” of the organization’s work as having “great relevance to the diminution of the immense disparities that exist between the rich and the poor peoples of the world.” He termed Israel’s aid to emerging nations “an example for the whole world that a young country with such great need for trained manpower itself is willing to divert some of its scarce resources to help other developing nations.”

Louis Broido, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, recalled that his organization had been “working hand in hand with ORT since 1947 supplementing each other’s efforts in a harmony that has grown with the years.”

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