Agreement signing and new opening moves ORT Minsk forward

22.05.02

22 May 2002 On Wednesday 15 May ORT leaders dedicated the new ORT Minsk Technology Centre at the Marc Chagall Institute in Minsk, Belarus, in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). Just before the dedication of the Centre, a bilateral agreement was signed between World ORT and the Ministry of Education of Belarus leading to expansion of and support for ORT’s activities in Belarus. Sir Maurice Hatter from the U.K., Deputy President of WO, signed the agreement with the representative from Ministry of Education of Belarus, Mr Peter Brigadin. Ambassadors from the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany all participated in the ceremony. The new Centre was made possible through the generosity of Norman Seiden of New Jersey with his family, and also through supporters of Women’s American ORT, American ORT and World ORT. The Jewish community of Minsk is estimated at 20,000 people-some 50 percent of the total Jewish population of Belarus. Having an ORT Technology Centre in the Marc Chagall Institute will have important benefits, as it will act as the educational centre for implementation of computer technology programmes for members of the community, as well students at the Institute. For the Jewish community, the Marc Chagall Institute, located in the National University of Belarus, fills an essential gap in the system of higher education, providing a centre for education where young people can combine professional studies with an opportunity to learn and experience Jewish cultural and historical tradition. The Institute cooperates with the Union of Jewish Organisations and Communities, Jewish communities of Belarus, the JDC and Jewish Agency, and is closely connected with the development of the Jewish communities in Belarus and neighbouring states. “The addition of the ORT Technology Centre will considerably enhance the facilities available at the Institute and attract greater numbers of students from the Jewish community,” said Vlad Lerner, National Director of ORT CIS. After the dedication, intensive talks took place between the World ORT delegation and the rector of the University, Professor Alexander Kovulin. The National University of Belarus is the largest and most prestigious colleges in Belarus with 20,000 full time students. ORT started operations in Belarus in 1882, establishing 36 schools until the beginning of World War II. The project in Belarus was built as a result of Regeneration 2000. The task of regenerating the Jewish communities shattered by decades of communist rule is a principal aim of Regeneration 2000. ORT has shown that its schools and centres in the CIS and Baltic States are setting the standards by which others are being judged. The new ORT Technology Centre at the Marc Chagall International Institute in Minsk, capital of Belarus, will build upon this success. The opening ceremony of the new Centre was shown on Belorussian television and a number of newspaper reporters were on hand to cover the event. **for printable versions of these photos, please send your request to archive@ort.org