ORT in Brazil

View Gallery of Photos

ORT Brazil was established in 1943.The first school opened in São Paulo that same year and provided training in mechanics, electricity, welding, drilling and technical drawing for youths, as well as courses in knitting, and diamond-polishing. However, due to social and economic conditions ORT São Paulo closed its training programme in the mid-1950s.

In March 1945 a second ORT school was opened in Rio de Janeiro training young men in mechanics. By 1950, in a new building, the school was providing courses for both boys (metal work) and girls (dressmaking). By the late 1950s the curriculum changed to suit the needs of the community. Courses in sewing and cutting for women were still popular, but new evening courses were added in architectural design and radio-television repair for men and shorthand, typing and bookkeeping for women. In the 1960s courses in electronics were also offered. In 1968 a new building was acquired, and the school was renamed “ORT Technology Institute”. Courses in business management, data processing and chemistry were introduced in the 1970s, supplemented by microcomputer and programming courses in the early 1980s. A data processing centre, laboratories and a multi sports court were also added. In 1992, the ORT Institute was the first school to offer a specialisation in biotechnology.

ORT São Paulo was reopened in 1985. In the following years, ORT gave technical assistance and data processing courses to all Jewish schools in São Paulo and started planning the opening of a new ORT school in the city. In 1989, the Leon and Antonietta Feffer IT laboratory was inaugurated at the Bialik School in São Paolo.

In 2002 ORT Brazil established the Experimental Center for Environmental Education in partnership with Colonia de Ferias Henrique Lemle, a summer camp in the middle of Mata Atlantica, near Rio de Janeiro. The centre teaches natural sciences and technology using its unique setting and facilities.