ORT signs historic agreement with leading schools in South Africa

A historic agreement has been signed to affiliate South Africa’s leading Jewish schools to World ORT.

King David Schools will be affiliated with ORT, benefitting from world class education courses and activities as well as having the opportunity to share resources and know-how with other ORT members.

The agreement was signed by Avi Ganon, World ORT CEO and Director General, and Eli Atie, Chairman of the South African Board of Jewish Education, in Johannesburg on Wednesday and will see the parties work together for the next two years.

The aim of the affiliation is to continue efforts towards making the schools the best education institutions in the region, and to improve the academic level of the institutions.

There will be new opportunities for student exchanges, competitions and pedagogical consultancy, as well as guidance in applying for grants.

The King David Schools will be encouraged to participate in ORT’s networking and programme opportunities.

Avi Ganon said: “ORT is being approached by communities around the world that have come to the conclusion that just being a Jewish school is not enough – they need to offer added value. And that added value is what ORT can offer through the provision of high-level STEM education.

“King David Schools have now become the newest member of the ORT family and we are very happy to welcome them into the fold.

“We look forward to working with the schools, their students and teachers, to help them all reach the highest level.”

King David Schools were established in 1948 and are one of the world’s most well-respected Jewish schools.

It achieves top-level exam results and has a philosophy of nurturing school leavers to produce “a mensch with self-respect and respect for others”.

Ariellah Rosenberg, chief executive officer of ORT South Africa, said the affiliation would receive a “kick-start” next month when 10 students from the King David Linksfield High and King David Victory Park High schools attend a Scholas-World ORT programme in Argentina.

The pupils, and their accompanying teachers, will take part in the project initiated by Pope Frances with the goal of “making the world a better place through education”.

The Scholas-ORT agreement was signed at the Vatican last year and the conference will take place in Buenos Aires, bringing together hundreds of teenagers from different religious, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

Ariellah Rosenberg said: “This is the first time the programme has been offered to South African students and we are privileged to be able to participate in this amazing programme.”

Rabbi Craig Kacev, General Director of the South African Board of Jewish Education, said: “The King David Schools are known for their academic excellence and yet we continually strive to nurture partnerships that will add to our offering and assist us in improving our educational product, especially in an ever changing world.

“For this reason, we are excited to be joining with ORT, a world-wide Jewish NGO with specific expertise in education and technology, for the benefit of our students and staff.”

Pictured above: Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein; Israeli ambassador to South Africa Lior Keinan; Avi Ganon, World ORT CEO; Ariellah Rosenberg, CEO of ORT SA; and Rabbi Craig Kacev, General Director, South African Board of Jewish Education

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