ORT in Italy

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ORT’s activities in Italy began in 1946. The first courses for displaced persons (DPs) were established by the middle of 1947. Courses for DPs were provided in around 30 centres throughout Italy. A wide variety of subjects were taught, including: building trades, agriculture, needle trades, auto mechanics, electrical installation, dental technology, watch making, and radio technology. Especially noteworthy was a course to train pilots for the new Israeli air force.

In the 1950s ORT catered to the needs of the local Italian-Jewish community. It provided a wide variety of evening courses for adults in Rome, Milan, Genoa, Turin, Florence, Venice, Livorno and Trieste. Day schools were established in Rome and Milan, providing courses for engineers, mechanics, TV technicians, technical draftsmen and more. The programme developed in the 1960s and 70s.

By the late 1980s ORT Italy had scaled down its operations but the main schools in Rome and Milan continued to operate. In 1987 the Milan office closed and by 1992/93 financial management of the Rome schools was transferred to the Rome Jewish Community, with ORT supervising the teaching. Today, ORT works with two Jewish schools: ORT Liceo Renzo Levi, founded in Rome by ORT Italy in partnership with the local Jewish community, and the ORT-affiliated Scuola della Comunita Ebraica in Milan, both of which provide excellence in general and Jewish education.