ORT in Cuba
ORT Cuba was created c. 1935, when local Jews formed an ORT committee in Cuba. In 1943, a school was established in Havana to provide educational support for newly-arrived refugees. At the end of the war, as many refugees found new homes, the school closed. In the immediate aftermath of the war a new wave of Jewish refugees arrived in Cuba. In 1947, following a direct request from a local association of Holocaust survivors, an ORT vocational centre opened in Havana. It provided courses in watch making, dressmaking, cutting of men’s garments, electricity and leatherwork. Political changes in Cuba, as well as a dwindling Jewish population due to emigration, meant the project had to close in 1959, despite its popularity.
ORT returned to Cuba in 2000, opening a new ORT Technology Centre in the Jewish community centre in Havana.