ORT in Greece

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ORT began its activities in Greece in January 1948. Vocational courses in lingerie-making, cutting and welding provided by JDC had preceded its work, but these were not professionally organised. ORT assessed the situation and needs of the community and set to work. A suitable, unused factory building, a few minutes' bus drive from the centre of Athens, was found for the school premises. ORT took over the former JDC courses, implementing a new curriculum and ordering new machinery and tools. It also set up courses in cutting and dressmaking for girls and mechanics for boys, to be followed by a second year of electrical training once students had reached an appropriate standard. Evening classes in technical drawing were also organised.

In July 1951 the welding course closed, when all students had graduated. In 1953 the United States Escapee Program (USEP) Unit in Greece asked ORT to reopen its welding and electrical training workshops for refugees from Eastern Europe under their care. These courses were run until the end of 1956.

With emigration figures high, by 1955 student numbers were very low. ORT continued to run courses for the few remaining students throughout 1956, but the Athens school closed at the end of that year. ORT Greece continued to support needy youth interested in vocational education through placements in other Greek vocational schools and scholarships for many years.