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04 Feb 2004 00:00 Age: 11 yrs

ORT Hermelin College of Engineering officially inaugurated

ORT Hermelin College of Engineering in Netanya is officially inaugurated

In the heart of Netanya's new and fast-growing industrial zone now lies one of the ORT Israel network's most advanced colleges. The final touches have been put on ORT Hermelin College of Engineering and the school was officially inaugurated on Sunday October 22, 2000.


The college, built in 1998 was named in honour of David Hermelin, one of World ORT's most charismatic presidents who committed himself to promoting the aims of ORT and raising funds to further the organisation's training and education programmes. He has achieved international recognition as a diplomat, businessman, volunteer and philanthropist. He was appointed Ambassador of the United States to Norway in 1997.

'ORT's long experience in helping people of different backgrounds and cultures to integrate into their new society is at work,' said David Hermelin, for whom the college was named.

'I am not sure whether we are the Chosen People, but I am certain that we are the Chosen Generation and our efforts are being repaid with every job that is found by an immigrant. I am deeply honoured that a college has been inaugurated in my name in Netanya, a rapidly growing town with a large population of new immigrants.'

The Hermelin College is dedicated to cater to such targeted groups, especially immigrant populations. The unique setting of the college defines the groups it works with. Among those special programmes are:

  • A special one-year preparatory class for Ethiopian olim that plan to continue on for a practical engineers diploma.
  • Computer class for Druze students in a 'satellite campus' at the Druze village 'Ussafiyeh.'
  • A 'satellite campus' at the Arab village Yama Zemer, based in a building that belongs to the local municipality. Morning classes will be open this year and will double the number of students.
  • Preparatory class for olim from the Caucasus that plan to study for a practical engineers diploma, in the city Or Akiva.
  • A special practical engineer program for Haredi (ultra-orthodox) residents of Netanya. The studies are spread on three years instead of two, in order to allow the students to keep their Torah studies. The main subject taught in this program is CAD/CAM.
  • Professional courses for unemployed adults in computers, accounting, administration professions and design. The courses are under the supervision of the Ministry of labour and Welfare.
  • Robotics and Automation are taught to Netanya high school students as a matriculation subject. This is a joint project with the local municipality and the ministry of Education, using CIM laboratory and teaching mechatronics as an integrated subject.

Looking Ahead

From a humble start of some 350 students in two buildings three years ago, the college's new school year opened with 650 students in five modern and comfortable buildings. The school faculty consists of 70 lecturers, of which about a third hold a Ph.D. and 40% hold a Masters degree. ?

The college focuses solely on the hi-tech industries. It has four major departments: electronics, computers, mechanics and industrial management. ?Courses involve dealing with top-of-the-line technologies and concentrate on preparing future graduates to join the boosting hi-tech sector in Israel.

Over the next few years, the college expects to achieve full academic accreditation by the Israeli Council for Higher Education expanding its population to 2,000 students.

'We look forward to a future that will be highlighted by ORT Hermelin's continued development and the success of many generations of engineering graduates,' said Haim Ben Ami, director general of ORT Israel.

According to Mr Robert Singer, director general of World ORT, this new college reinforces ORT's commitment to quality vocational education for olim in Israel.

'Everyone involved in creating this institution regards it as a continuation of Ambassador Hermelin's life-long involvement with the State of Israel and his commitment to ORT and Israel throughout the decades,' he said. 'Its establishment and accomplishments are an integral part of ORT Israel's mission to broaden and strengthen Israel's social and economic power through technology education.'

***photos available upon request