Celebrating 10 years of increasing impact
Israel in 2006 was facing many challenges – Prime Minister Ariel Sharon fell into a coma, the Second Lebanon War broke out, and Hamas won the election in Gaza. But amid the roar of the headlines, World ORT quietly started operating directly in the Jewish State.
Ten years on, people may argue whether Israel’s position has improved or deteriorated. What is beyond doubt is the extraordinary growth – in size, scope and impact – of what is now known as World ORT Kadima Mada.
750 employees, 100,000s of beneficiaries
What began with a team of just four people now has 750 employees bringing real, practical improvements to the education of thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish Israelis.
As Mayor of the Lower Galilee, Moti Dotan, ensured that the Kadoorie Agricultural High School was the first of many schools that would come to benefit from World ORT’s goal of raising the level of science and technology education in Israel.
“After half an hour of hearing about what World ORT wanted to do I was ready to fall in love with the organisation. Within three years we found that World ORT Kadima Mada had changed the whole idea of education in the schools it was supporting and the national government started following our lead. I have always been so happy to be a part of it; I’ve never come across another Jewish organisation with such a deep commitment to science education for youth all over the world,” said Mr Dotan, who is now Chair of World ORT Kadima Mada and a member of World ORT’s Board of Trustees.
Groundbreaking projects and programmes
There are several projects and programmes which have captured imaginations and headlines over the years:
- SASA Setton Kav Or, through which World ORT Kadima Mada helps thousands of hospitalised children keep up with their schoolwork. From this has sprung Shlavim, bringing education to sick children in their homes.
- Providing high quality, low cost extra-curricular science and technology-based courses to children in underprivileged communities through the YOUniversity Centres of Excellence.
- The Anières Elite Academy, which is giving talented children from the Diaspora and Israel a pathway to studying engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
- The revitalisation of the heart of Kiryat Yam by the creation of the Alex and Betty Schoenbaum Science, Educational, Cultural and Sports Campus and investment in three high schools.
- The installation of 1,000 Smart classes in schools throughout underprivileged communities in the peripheral regions of the Negev and the Galil through the Schulich Canada Smart Classroom Initiative.
Together with continuous professional development opportunities for teachers, the introduction and development of robotics programmes, affiliations with dozens of high schools as well as technical colleges in Be’er Sheva, Tel Chai and Erez and the establishment of its own school network, World ORT Kadima Mada’s achievements are extraordinary.
“We have gone from an organisation which improves the physical infrastructure of schools, such as Smart classes and science labs, to one with the will and expertise to innovate in a way that is respected and trusted by the Ministry of Education,” said World ORT Kadima Mada CEO Avi Ganon.
“Our 10th anniversary is a time to appreciate what has been built by devoted people with a lot of passion for education and the pivotal role it plays in enabling the underprivileged to forge a better future. And it’s a time to look forward to what we hope to achieve in the next 10 years – to grow our educational network, expand our research and development, strengthen our adult vocational education and develop our educational services for sick children.”