Report on the ORT Activities in Romania, July-November 1947

The attached report was submitted to the meeting to the executive of the World ORT Union in Zurich in November 1947, almost exactly a year after the beginning of ORT's mission in Romania.

Work with the Romanian Jewish community, after the Second World War- the largest in Europe, constituted one of the most important fields of ORT's activities in Europe after the liberation. 

ORT's work was aimed both at those who wanted to emigrate and those who chose to remain in Romania. As the report underlines, aside from providing the community with vocational training, ORT schools in Romania became the centres of a rebuilt Jewish cultural and religious life. Concerts and exhibitions organised on their premises were not only important events for the students and their families but became important communal events for the rest of the Jewish population as well.

An important issue taken up by the report is the problem of Jewish orphans returning to Romania from concentration camps.  ORT offered them both pre-vocational instruction as well as teaching in general subjects, which they missed out on during the war. Aside from training, such students had to be provided by the organization with extensive material help, as many of them, following the death of their parents, became the sole providers for entire families.

At the same time, ORT’s report from Romania shows the difficulties of organization in a country that was undergoing deep economic and political transformation. At that point machinery, tools and even basic educational aids necessary for setting up of schools were unobtainable. The running of schools was completly dependant on provisions of materials from abroad. despite that, the network of schools progressed rapidly, with number of studends growing in the period covered by the report from 1094 in the beginning of July 1947 to 1919 in the end of October.