Senior educators gather in Haifa for World ORT forum

Strengthening World ORT’s international network of universities and post-high school colleges at the top of the agenda.

Participants at the third annual Mauricio Merikanskas World ORT Educators Forum started the process of formalising a new community of senior educators from the organisation’s colleges and universities.

“The Forum established that this was a necessary and desirable goal and set the ball rolling towards formalising a way in which they can officially form a consortium to facilitate the sharing of expertise, student and staff exchanges, collaborative research, applications for funding and general collaboration,” said the Head of World ORT’s Education Department, Daniel Tysman.

The 30 educators from six countries gathered at the Gordon Academic College of Education, one of Israel’s oldest teacher training institutions, for the four-day forum. There they explored avenues for closer collaboration and heard from high profile speakers including the Deputy Director and Head of Teaching-staff Administration at Israel’s Ministry of Education, Eyal Ram, and Professor Oz Almog of the University of Haifa’s Department of Israel Studies.

Shmuel sisso (left) and Head of Gordon school

Shmuel Sisso (left) and Prof. Yecheskel Taler, President of the Gordon Academic College of Education

A highpoint of the Forum was a visit to ORT Braude College in Carmiel, the fruit of an international World ORT fundraising campaign in the 1980s.

The College’s president, Professor Arie Maharshak, told the visitors of his institution’s experience of international partnerships and willingness to work with World ORT to do more.

“ORT Braude College was a pioneering concept intended not only to serve the development of the Galilee but also open up a broader path for ORT students in the Diaspora to Israel and to a stronger Jewish identity,” said World ORT Director General Shmuel Sisso.

“So it was very exciting for all of us to be there and see how the potential originally perceived by such illustrious World ORT figures as Chaim Herzog, Joseph Harmatz, and Professors Arieh Lavie and Ephraim Katzir could be realised.”

Mr Sisso also paid tribute to World ORT President Mauricio Merikanskas, who sponsors the Forum.

“His generosity demonstrates his appreciation for the importance of these international meetings in keeping World ORT ahead of the game in all areas of education and training,” he said.

Mr Merikanskas said he hoped that the Forum would move all involved towards a more interconnected approach.

“ORT is more than a network with shared values and a common history,” he said.

When we come together like this from all corners of the world we are a family. This Forum is all about connecting with each other and identifying areas for growth not only related to education and training but in fields such as entrepreneurship, business development, technology and leadership.

Marina Sorokina, Director of ORT St. Petersburg, at the Educators Forum

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