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American Ort Adopts 1974 Budget $35,360,000 for Work in 21 Countries

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The American ORT Federation concluded its 52nd annual national conference today with the adoption of a 1974 budget of $35,360,000 for the educational, vocational and economic aid of 70.000 youth and adults in Jewish communities in 21 countries throughout the world. Concluding its three-day conclave at the Americana Hotel, the 750 delegates re-elected Dr. William Haber as national president and designated David Page of Detroit as the 1974 ORT Man of the Year.

Dr. Max M. Braude of Geneva,ORT director general, reported that almost two-thirds of the funds, $20.184,000, will be allocated for ORT’s technical schools in Israel. A large part of the balance, over $9 million, will be spent in France for the retraining of the almost 300,000 North African Jewish refugees who have resettled there in the past decade. About $1.5 million will be spent in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela) and an equal amount will be divided between the impoverished Jews of Morocco and Iran, both groups of which are largely in the process of emigration.

The ORT has also expended $25 million for educational retraining programs in 10 sub-Sahara African, Asian and Latin American countries, it was reported by Paul Bernick, executive director. These funds came from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank and a number of member countries of the United Nations.

Speaking of the Moslem countries. Dr. Braude said: “There is no future for Jews in Moslem countries. In North Africa, once the home of a half million Jews, we have completed our program in Algeria and Tunisia because the Jews left. In Morocco, with a current population of about 40.000. we still served 1300 students last year. But despite fears and concerns, these Jews are leaving very slowly so there is still work to be done there.”

On South America, Dr. Braude said that as recently as 10 years ago ORT trained about five hundred students in three countries. Last year, he said, “this grew to 3500 in Argentina, 703 in Brazil, 600 in Uruguay and 800 in Venezuela.” In Argentina, as well as the other countries, “the Jews face not only economic uncertainties but fear and civil unrest as well.” he said. No matter what the future, “they will prepare for professions and technological careers.”

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