Report on the ORT Activities in the United Kingdom August 1946- July 1947

The attached report was submitted to the meeting of the Central Board of the World ORT Union in Paris in July 1947. All country reports submitted to this meeting showed the organization finding itself in the new, postwar reality. Overcoming the lack of means, political and economic changes and the constant movemnet of the Jewish community in Europe.

The United Kingdom was one of the countries with no pre-war history of ORT activity. ORT’s mission there began in September 1939, with classes for evacuated students of the ORT Berlin trade school.

The report from 1947 illustrates the beginnings of ORT’s work in the United Kingdom. It shows the extensive effort that had to be undertaken to acquaint the Jewish public in Britain with the character and extent of ORT’s activates. It describes fund raising efforts in the Jewish communities of London, Leeds and Manchester and undertakings ranging from music recitals to special BBC broadcasts. According to the report, the beginning of the fundraising activities were rather unsuccessful due to both the economic situation of the country as well as number of causes requiring funding in post-war community.

The report discusses setting up of courses in the large trade school in Kensington, the marine training onboard training ship Joseph Hertz and agricultural instruction on the Goldington Training Farm. While the projects in Kensington and Goldington turned out to be very successful, maritime training scheme had to be abandoned  after a year of operation due to changes in the government regulations and problems with obtaining funding for the school.

Aside from describing the administration of the courses the report also shows the ways that ORT enhanced the cultural life of students and supported them in both material and spiritual ways.

The report ends with description of the involvement of British ORT in organising and supervising courses in the DP camps in the British zone of Germany.