ORT in Algeria

View Gallery of Photos and Document Collection

ORT’s activities in Algeria began in 1947, when a training centre was opened in Algiers, providing courses in joinery, electrics and fitting. By the summer of 1950, following the successful graduation of the first intake of students, the centre was struggling to keep up with the demand for admission. By 1952 larger premises were found for the boys’ school and a girls’ dressmaking school was opened in the former boys’ school in 1953. In 1954 an auto-mechanics course was opened and by 1960 technical drawing was also taught. In 1957 an advanced course for the training of secretaries was opened at the girls’ school. This was later expanded to include a variety of secretarial skills courses.

In Constantine, a second ORT trade school was opened in November 1949, teaching preparatory classes, metal fitting and locksmithing. It later provided courses in plumbing and electrical installation. In 1959 a shorthand-typing course for girls was added. In addition to the courses offered by the school, an apprentice placement service was set up in 1952. ORT placed students with masters and supervised their progress in addition to providing evening classes in workshop practice, craftsmanship, technology, maths and French. A similar service was later introduced in Algiers and these was very successful.

ORT's activities were also extended to Oran in 1955. A programme of pre-apprenticeship, offering courses in general mechanics, opened in October that year. By 1957 plans were underway to run 3-year courses in fitting and electricity.

Following Algeria’s independence from France in 1962 mass emigration reduced the Jewish population of Algeria to 6,500. The school in Constantine was closed in March and the others in June. Over its fifteen years of operations ORT Algeria trained over 2,600 young men and women.