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Record Number of Vocational Students Aided by Ort in 1978, Report Shows

January 18, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Nearly 100,000 men, women and young people — a record number — were enrolled in vocational and other programs of ORT — the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training — in 24 countries in 1978, it was reported this week by Harold Friedman, American ORT Federation president.

“More youth, more adults, more Israelis and more Soviet Jewish refugees were served by ORT this year than at any other time in the 99 year history of ORT, Friedman declared in a report prepared for the National Conference of American ORT, scheduled Jan. 19-21 in the New York Hilton. “If the greatest leap forward in 1978 was in Israel,” he indicated,” the upward spiral in ORT programs has in fact been a worldwide phenomenon of the Seventies.

Total 1978 enrollment in all ORT programs throughout the world come to 97, 776, Harold Friedman reported. This compares with 84,000 in 1977, of an increase in this single year of 14,000 students and trainees, at whom 12,000 represent a rise in ORT Israel. Friedman noted that in the perspective of what has been happening in expanded ORT services since the beginning of the 1970s, ORT enrollment has added 40,000 persons, or an increase of some 80 percent in less than a decade with the likelihood that it will in fact have almost doubled by the close of 1980.

“Two-thirds of ORT students, overwhelmingly youth, are in the nationwide network of 88 schools throughout Israel; 67,750 were enrolled in 1978. When it is considered that Israel ORT student body numbered 34,394 in 1969, it becomes apparent that the greatest leap forward in this decade has been in ORT Israel, where the program has practically doubled during this period — an achievement of considerable note.”

Soviet Jews served by ORT language training programs in Rome numbered over 6,000 in 1978, and considerably more are projected for 1979, as new facilities come into full use and provided the level of such emigration continues, Friedman said.


“It is important to remember that ORT is an international program, serving Jewish communities in most parts of the Jewish world,” he commented. “Thus, last year, the ORT schools in France, whose students are overwhelmingly of Jewish North African origin, totalled 7,761.

“ORT has been called upon increasingly by Jewish communities to introduce its expertise into existing Jewish day schools, to modernize their education and make that education more relevant to the realities of modern life,” he stated. Last year ORT was responsible for providing such “creative education” studies to 6,600 in community schools throughout Latin America and to over 8,800 youngsters globally. “ORT integration into present Jewish community education facilities is definitely a wave of the future,” Mr. Friedman said, “it is bound to grow.”

Friedman’s report recited a substantial rise in ORT graduates. More than 33,800 people completed their ORT training last year, as compared with 24,560 the year before. In Israel alone, ORT schools graduated 25,863 into the country’s skilled workforce. “In this respect it is no exaggeration to describe ORT as the nation’s skilled manpower resource,” Friedman stated.

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