American Ort Approves $8,000,000 Budget; Ratifies Agreement with J.d.c
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American Ort Approves $8,000,000 Budget; Ratifies Agreement with J.d.c

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A budget for ORT activities in 1962 in 19 countries totaling more than $8,000,000 adopted by the World ORT Union, was approved here today by the 40th anniversary national conference of the American ORT Federation. The 500 delegates who attended the conference also approved allocations totaling $2,795,000 toward the overall budget.

Dr. William Haber, president of the American ORT Federation, announced that the organization would, during 1962, support a program of economic rehabilitation and occupational training for more than 40,000 persons overseas. The main areas where such services will be provided are Israel, North Africa, Europe and Iran, Dr. Haber said. Plans for the ORT trade education programs in Israel for 1962 call for expansion of instructional facilities to enroll 15,000 persons, he stated. In the last 16 years, Dr. Haber reported, ORT has “provided economic rehabilitation for 350,000 persons overseas, at a cost of $63,965,000.”

The conference ratified an agreement with the Joint Distribution Committee under which ORT will receive in 1962 from the JDC the sum of $1,850,000 from funds raised by the United Jewish Appeal. An additional sum, totaling $945,000, is anticipated from membership income of the Women’s American ORT Federation and other affiliated groups. The balance of ORT’s financial needs overseas is expected to be raised by ORT organizations in other countries, and by contributions from governments and local communities where the ORT schools are located.

In anticipation of a larger influx of refugees to France, in the next 12 months, the delegates approved new measures for the expansion of ORT facilities at Marseilles, Lyon, Paris, and Strasbourg. A new trade school for refugee youth, with facilities for the training of 500 refugee youth, will be inaugurated in the spring, it was announced at the conference. The school was built with the aid of a grant of $75,000 from the Martha S. Stern Trust of Cincinnati.


Ambassador Philip M. Klutznick, a member of the United States delegation to the United Nations, addressing a dinner session, urged a “refocusing” of American foreign aid, to provide greater emphasis on the development of human resources. Programs of education in skills and vocations, he said, could “unleash a power more mighty than dollars, more effective than governments, more meaningful than slogans.” Moses A. Leavitt, executive vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, spoke at the dinner on the emergency needs overseas.

At a meeting of ORT’s board of directors, held during the conference, a report on an eight-nation survey of vocational education, conducted by ORT specialists under contract with an American Government agency, the Agency for International Development, was given by Dr. Hobard H. Sommers, Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Chicago. Dr. Sommers, a member of the survey team, congratulated ORT on the fact that the United States Government selected it “as the outstanding professional vocational education agency in the world, to undertake this important service.”

Discussions are now under way, the board was told, for ORT surveys of vocational educational facilities and requirements in two other African countries, Mali and Guinea. The board approved these two new projects, to be undertaken by ORT at the further request of the Agency for International Development.


Messages lauding the achievements of ORT were received at the conference from President Kennedy. Secretary of Labor Arthur J. Goldberg; Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, Avraham Harman; and former Senator Herbert H. Lehman, honorary president of ORT. In his message, President Kennedy stated:

“Your work is of major significance for the welfare and economic development of the international community. I wish you every success in your new program of vocational training in India, and apprenticeship training in Israel, in your expanded assistance project to North African refugees in France, and your continuing, practical, humanitarian effort to help the underprivileged and needy overseas.”

The establishment of a new national ORT Legacy Committee was announced by John F. Davidson. Nathan Chanin, a founder of ORT, and general secretary of the Workmen’s Circle, was honored by the delegates on his 75th birthday. A plaque was presented to him by Adolf Held, vice-president of the American ORT Federation. The organization’s Award of Merit was presented to Jacques Zwiback and Jacob Frankel, of the American and European Friends of ORT, in recognition of their group’s contribution of $30,000 to support the ORT auto mechanics school in Jerusalem.

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