Israeli teens thank Tidewater on behalf of thousands for learning opportunities

June 21, 2012

Other News

Community members meet Israeli students and their teacher; beneficiaries of Tidewater’s contributions to World ORT. Linda Spindel, Yoav Levi, Ariel Berko, Harry Nadler, Bruria Haspel, Marcia Hofheimer, and Sara Trub.

Community members meet Israeli students and their teacher; beneficiaries of Tidewater’s contributions to World ORT. Linda Spindel, Yoav Levi, Ariel Berko, Harry Nadler, Bruria Haspel, Marcia Hofheimer, and Sara Trub.

The Tidewater community has long been able to watch videos and read reports of how local gifts are making a difference to students in Israel who are the beneficiaries of World ORT programs.

On June 5, members of the community heard first-hand from a pair of Israeli teens and the general principal of their school just how great of an impact those gifts make.

Ariel Berko and Yoav Levi, both 16, spoke with guests at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Israel and Overseas Committee and ORT informational luncheon. The students presented a slide show depicting some of the ways money contributed through UJFT to the World ORT program Kadima Mada, or Science Journey, has taken their learning to new, exciting levels. The boys’ school is one of a growing number of Israeli institutions where World ORT, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, installs smart classrooms, bringing state-ofthe- art teaching tools and ongoing teacher training to areas that were chronically in need of educational funds and resources.

“It is such a unique thing that we can walk outdoors with our laptops and conduct research, and then bring it back to the classroom and later return to the sites to continue our research,” Berko said. “We presented the results of the projects we did with this technology to some very important people, and they were very interested in our work, and are even using some of it in their own, future projects.”

Levi expressed heartfelt gratitude for the opportunities he and his 3,000 schoolmates have received through the World ORT program.

“We live on the periphery and we don’t have much resources, but World ORT has given us a lot. They’ve shown us what tikkun olam means, and it is one of the things that causes students to stay in school and graduate,” he said.

The young men traveled to the United States from Rogozin High School in Kiryat- Ata with their general principal, Bruria Haspel.

“We have much diversity in our student population, and this program has allowed us to help promote our excellent students and to provide special instruction for students who have much difficulty,” Haspel said. “World ORT gives students with economic difficulties, which are most of our students, a chance to succeed.”

As the young men and Haspel concluded their presentation, Harry Nadler, World ORT’s representative in North America updated the lunch guests on the many ways and diverse places the organization helps make life better for people around the world.

“By participating and supporting our programs,” Nadler said, “we have countries and other organizations coming to us and seeking out our participation. So, you see what you all have done? Because of the reputation we have and everything we’ve done and are doing, all of our programs are highly leveraged, and we are creating phenomenal relationships.”

World ORT receives funding through gifts made to the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Annual Campaign.

by Laine Mednick Rutherford

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