World ORT Organisation for educational Resourses and Technological training
Educating since 1880

QUEST Project

World ORT recently launched its QUEST initiative, as part of its 130th anniversary celebrations in St Petersburg.

QUEST Ė Quality and Universal Education in Science and Technology Ė is the successor to the highly successful Regeneration 2000 and Regeneration 2004 projects. Set up in the mid-1990s, Regeneration had as its goal to rebuild Jewish communities throughout the Baltic States and the former Soviet Union, where years of repression and - in some cases - oppression, had gradually eroded all signs of Jewish life.

World ORTís objective was to use its science and technology expertise to set up centres of excellence in schools throughout the region and thereby to attract Jewish children to the school. Once there, they would benefit not only from the high quality science and technology syllabus, but also from the Jewish education syllabus, run by the Israeli Ministry for Education.

The Regeneration initiatives have benefitted more than 10,000 children, over 15 schools across 8 countries. It has created a generation of youngsters with the knowledge to go on to higher education and well-paid jobs, giving them the tools to create active, self-sufficient Jewish communities.

They have also allowed those schools which have been chosen to house the World ORT science and technology centres, to become successful, award-winning schools with excellent reputations, able to attract high quality teachers as well as pupils.

In addition the schools have become central focal points for the Jewish communities as a whole, as the Jewish children take on the responsibility to take their newly acquired Jewish knowledge home to their families, and the schools organise extra-curricular Jewish activities to benefit young and old alike, such as Bar Mitzvah ceremonies, mock Sedarim and Shabbatons.

As the Regeneration funding begins to run out, QUEST has been created in order to confront the new challenges facing the schools and the communities which have benefitted from Regeneration.  These challenges include the following:

1.      The need to ensure that the equipment used by the schools is maintained and replaced as necessary, to meet both the constantly evolving trends in technology and education, and the needs of the students and the teachers themselves; and

2.      To provide modern and stimulating teacher training programs and facilities, in order to ensure that the teaching staff feel valued and have confidence that the school is investing in their well-being and their on-going development, thus incentivising them to remain at the school, benefitting the students with their teaching abilities.

ORTís support through Regeneration gave its carefully selected schools a valuable and clear advantage over other local schools, the attraction of the teaching standards and facilities being such that Jewish parents would choose those schools over more local schools. However, through increased state funding those other schools have caught up and the gap in quality of education is not sufficiently wide to discourage parents from rejecting the local schools. The major danger is that if fewer Jewish children attend ORTís schools, there will be no reasonable justification for keeping the schoolsí Jewish departments open. Jewish children will thus lose out on any kind of structured Jewish education, dealing a fatal blow to the local communitiesí chances of building a successful Jewish future.

The QUEST initiative will continue to benefit Jewish children and, indirectly, their families, in the following schools:

  1. ORT Moscow Technology School, Gymnasium # 1540, Moscow, Russia
  2. ORT Tekhiya, Center of Education # 1311, Moscow, Russia
  3. ORT "Mishpahteinu" Secondary School # 12, Kazan, Russia
  4. ORT de Gunzburg Secondary School # 550 "Shorashim", St Petersburg, Russia
  5. ORT Secondary School # 42, "Gesher", Samara, Russia
  6. ORT Technology Lyceum, Kiev, Ukraine
  7. ORT Specialized School #41, Chernivitsi, Ukraine
  8. ORT Secondary School # 94, Odessa, Ukraine
  9. ORT "Aleph" Jewish Gymnasium, Zaporozhye, Ukraine
  10. ORT Technology Centre at the "Levi Yitzchak Schneerson" Ohr Avner School #144, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
  11. ORT Technology Lyceum Kishinev, Moldova
  12. ORT Jewish School "Pri Etz Chaim", Bihskek, Kyrgyzstan
  13. ORT Dubnov Jewish Secondary School, Riga, Latvia
  14. ORT Sholom Aleichem Jewish School, Vilnius, Lithuania
  15. ORT Jewish School, Tallinn, Estonia



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