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World ORT Archive’s Photographic Collection

WOA’s photographic collection is a unique archival collection: it documents the organisation’s involvement in Jewish working life, education and vocational training across the globe from the 1920s through to the present day. Its holdings illustrate the hardships and triumphs of the Jewish people throughout modern history. In many cases these photographs are the only remaining record of past communities, places and events.

ORT Archive Photos

Grouped by country

Soldering course at ORT Constantine, Algeria, 1947-1950s.

Algeria

ORT began working in Algeria in 1947, when a training centre was opened, providing courses in joinery, electrics and fitting. The programme closed in 1962.

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Argentina

ORT Argentina was created in 1936. It opened its first school in Buenos Aires in 1941 to support the influx of refugees and meet the country’s need for skilled workers.

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Austria

ORT provided vocational courses to Holocaust survivors in Austria between 1946 and the early 1950s. It later helped Jewish migrants from eastern Europe until 1970.

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Belarus

ORT’s early work in Belarus spanned 1880-1938. It supported Jewish vocational schools, artisans, gardening groups, farmers and cooperative ventures. ORT returned to Belarus in 2001.

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Belgium

ORT’s activities in Belgium began in 1946 with vocational courses for liberated Belgian Jews and Holocaust survivors – adults and children. These continued until the 1960s.

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Brazil

ORT Brazil was created in 1943. The first schools opened in São Paulo in 1943 and Rio de Janeiro in 1945.

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Bulgaria

ORT Bulgaria was established in 1935. Workshops opened in Sofia in 1936 and a technical school in September 1947. ORT returned to Bulgaria in 1995.

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Chile

ORT Chile was created in 1943 to support refugees who needed vocational training in order to find work. The first school opened in 1944 in Santiago.

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China

ORT's work in Shanghai, China, began in 1941 and closed in 1949. During this period, it ran nearly 200 courses for about 3,500 refugees.

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Cuba

ORT Cuba was created c. 1935. ORT vocational courses for newly-arrived refugees operated in Havana during 1943-1945 and 1947-1959. ORT returned to Cuba in 2000.

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England

British ORT (today ORT UK) was established in 1921 as a fundraising organisation. During and post-WWII it provided vocational education for Jewish refugees in Britain.

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Ethiopia

Following initial steps in the 1950s-1960s, ORT received permission to work in Ethiopia in 1977. During 1977-1982 it implemented construction and training activities throughout Gondar province.

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France

ORT France was established in 1921. It has been supporting local Jewish communities and new arrivals with vocational, academic and technology education ever since.

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Germany

Established in 1921, ORT Germany helped disenfranchised German Jews in the 1930s. After the Holocaust, ORT schools in DP camps helped the survivors throughout Germany.

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Greece

Greek ORT was established in 1948. It provided vocational training and evening classes to young people until 1956.

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Hungary

ORT worked in Hungary since the late 1930s, operating under the most dangerous conditions well into 1944. It reopened in 1945 and operated until 1949.

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India

ORT activities in India were initiated at the World ORT Congress in 1960. The first ORT Polytechnic in Mumbai opened in August 1962.

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Iran

ORT Iran was established in 1950. It provided advanced technical and vocational education in Teheran, Shiraz and Isfahan, but had to close down in 1980.

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Israel

ORT was established in Israel in 1948 and the first school opened in March 1949. Since then ORT has contributed considerably to shaping Israel’s workforce.

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Italy

ORT Italy was established in 1946 to provide courses for Holocaust survivors. From the 1950s ORT catered to the needs of the local Italian-Jewish community.

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Latvia

ORT worked in Latvia between 1906 and 1940, providing vocational schools and adult courses in Riga, Liepaja and Daugavpils. It returned to Latvia in 2002.

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Lithuania

ORT has worked in independent Lithuania since 1920. It operated schools, workshops and agricultural projects throughout the country. ORT returned to Lithuania in 2002.

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Mexico

ORT Mexico initially operated during 1935-1946. A women’s committee fundraised in support of global ORT operations since the 1960s. Local communities have also been supported.

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Moldova

ORT’s early work in Moldova spanned 1880s-1949. It facilitated purchasing seeds, tools and equipment and later ran vocational courses. ORT returned to Moldova in 2001.

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Morocco

ORT worked in Morocco during 1947-1997. A variety of courses catered to the different needs of students, including a school for deaf children in Casablanca.

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Netherlands

ORT in the Netherlands was created in 1946. ORT worked mostly with children – refugees and Dutch survivors – until 1972. Fundraising activities have continued ever since.

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Poland

ORT worked in Poland in 1921-1943; 1946-1950 and 1957-1968. It supported artisans and farmers and ran schools and courses, including classes in the Warsaw ghetto.

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Romania

ORT has worked in Romania since the 1920s, supporting vocational schools, courses, shops and internships. Work continued during WWII and was rejuvenated in 1946-1949.

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Russia

ORT was Founded in Russia in 1880 to provide employable skills for impoverished Jewish people. Work continued until 1938. ORT returned to Russia in 1990.

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South Africa

ORT South Africa was established in 1936. It provided work placements and training during 1940-1950. Since then it has continued operating as a fundraising organisation.

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Switzerland

ORT Switzerland began by training refugees and Holocaust Survivors (1943-1949). As well as fundraising for ORT activities, it hosted the ORT Anières Central Institute (1947-1997).

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Tunisia

ORT programmes in Tunisia operated between 1950 and 1972. Schools for boys and girls offered courses in mechanics, plumbing, electricity, auto-mechanics, carpentry, sewing and dressmaking.

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Ukraine

ORT’s early work in Ukraine spanned 1880-1938. It supported Jewish vocational schools, artisans, farmers and cooperative ventures. ORT returned to Ukraine in 1997.

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Uruguay

ORT Uruguay was established in 1942 and opened its first school in 1943. In 1996 it became Uruguay’s first officially recognised private university.

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USA

American ORT was established in 1922. Women’s American ORT was formed in 1927. Both (now ORT America) have worked to support World ORT’s global operations.

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World ORT

World ORT Union (now World ORT) was founded in 1921 to coordinate fundraising efforts and to oversee ORT’s growing activities in Europe and elsewhere.