ORT in Mexico
An ORT committee was first established in Mexico in 1935, amid the arrival of Jewish refugees from Europe. Later, from 1942, the Mexican ORT committee provided them with tools and machines on credit. By 1946 the need for such support disappeared and the programme became dormant. In November 1951 a new ORT committee was established in Mexico City.
However, it was not until the 1960s that Mexican ORT returned to life. In 1966 a women’s committee with 400 members began to organise a variety of fund-raising activities in support of World ORT operations internationally. They organised bazaars, fashion shows, art exhibitions, raffles and tea parties and published and sold several editions of a very popular cookbook.
In 1975 the ORT Creative Education Department opened at the Colegio Israelita de Mexico, providing an innovative education programme for 4th-6th grade students. By 1980 1,050 students were participating. It was then adapted for use in secondary schools and implemented at the Yavne Jewish community school in 1982.
In the 1980s ORT Mexico began helping the country’s non-Jewish community. World ORT’s International Cooperation department was called upon to establish a variety of training programmes in collaboration with local partners.
The Max and Amparo Shein Technology and Science Resource Centre opened in 1998. In 2006, ORT Mexico opened the Mauricio and Helen Merikanskas ORT Digital Media Centre, a state-of-the-art resource which serves Jewish schools and young adults in the area.
Today, the Colegio Olamí ORT school in Mexico City provides a high quality, general and Jewish education to its students.