Chang in Occupational Patterns Among Jews Overseas Reported by Ort
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Chang in Occupational Patterns Among Jews Overseas Reported by Ort

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Occupational patterns among Jewish workmen have changed “irrevocably,” and Jewish workmen in many countries are now being trained in ORT vocational schools in mastering an entirely new and modern set of skills, according to the annual report of ORT achievements issued here today.

The report shows that, in 1960, more than 38,000 persons received educational and economic assistance through ORT. The organization conducts programs in 19 countries, giving vocational training to Jews in distress or need.

During 1960, there were 608 trade schools, apprenticeship projects and workshops for adults in the international ORT system, making it the largest non-governmental program for trade education in the world, the report states. It notes that ORT secondary trade schools for youth with three and four years of technical and general studies have grown markedly, and that their enrollment has more than doubled during the past decade. These schools now form “the basic grid of the ORT system,” according to the report.

This trend toward greater emphasis on vocational education for youth as distinct from shorter courses for adult refugees and other migrants, in the years immediately following World War II, is attributed to “the emergence of a new generation of postwar Jewish youth” which, in Israel, North Africa, Iran and Europe and other areas of ORT activity is increasingly attracted to technical studies within a Jewish milieu, such as is afforded in the ORT schools.

The network of ORT schools in 20 cities and towns of Israel is by far the largest in the program. Last year, these schools enrolled over 10,000 persons. Despite rapid advances in Israel’s vocational education in recent years, the report warns of a “dangerous and growing deficiency of skills” for the country’s economic development. At the same time, the report calls attention to the fact that large numbers of young people in Israel receive no secondary education at all, because of the shortage of such schools, and cautions that Israel can ill afford this “social waste.”


In calling attention to “the irrevocably altered Jewish job pattern” in many countries, the report notes the movement away from traditionally “Jewish trades” toward a more diversified gamut of occupations, with emphasis on those that are “distinctly modern and related to modern technology.” ORT, by means of its training program, the report finds, has been responsible for the emergence of “entirely new classifications of Jewish workmen and technicians” in Morocco, Tunisia, Iran, Israel, France and Italy, through the introduction of new trades and fields of employment.

The cost of all ORT activities in 1960 was $6,616,034. The 1961 budget calls for an expenditure of $6,764,829. The Joint Distribution Committee allocated $1,700,000 last year, or 27 percent of the overall ORT expenditure, out of United Jewish Appeal funds. Women’s American ORT is credited with the second largest contribution of $836,030, out of its membership dues.

The report takes pride in the proportion of school cost that is met within the communities served, noting that in France fully three-fourths of the budget, and in Italy two-thirds, are covered within the country. The report also calls attention to the close cooperation between ORT and various governmental and United Nations bodies. It notes the vocational services provided for refugees under the United States Refugee Migration Section in Germany, Austria and Italy. A technical training program for Israeli foremen was undertaken at the Central ORT Institute in Switzerland, under sponsorship of the Swiss Government. Seventy-five African youngsters were enrolled at the ORT vocational center at Natanya, Israel, for study in specialized skills, in conjunction with the government of Israel’s technical assistance program.

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