Report on the ORT Activities in Greece, July-October 1948

The attached report was submitted to the meeting of the Executive of the World ORT Union in Paris in November 1948. The majority individual country reports submitted to this meeting show the consolidation of work, and in cases of countries where ORT worked with DPs, of considerable decrese of pupils due to emigration to Israel and of closing down of schools.

Yet, the  report from Greece shows ORT at the very beginning of its work, only a few months after it was registered in the country. The report describes the steps that had to be undertaken to start activities in the country. It details the creation of the school,  and gives information on how subjects were chosen and how premises were obtained.  It also details the procurement of furniture and educational aids, and the engagement of educational and administrative personnel.

Aside from organizing courses, ORT had also to deal with the material needs of students- they were provided with food, clothing and sometimes housing in the schools lodging facilities.

The report shows the extensive propaganda effort undertaken by ORT in Greece to acquaint the local population with its work- from articles and photos in the local newspapers to printing prospectuses showing the accomplishments of the school and its everyday life. The school also organized on its premises religious and communal gatherings open to the whole Jewish community of Athens.

Contacts were also kept with the non-Jewish population of Athens. Special importance was placed on retaining good relationship with the Greek authorities- the programmes of all courses were approved by the Ministry, and the officials attended all the important events in the school’s life. ORT was also given the task of organizing advanced  courses for instructors of  government vocational schools.