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

The attached report was submitted to the meeting to the executive of the World ORT Union in Zurich in November 1947. Like simmilar reports from other countries covering this period, it focuses on the July 1947 graduation ceremonies and preparation for the 1947/1948 school year.

The report shows the work of Belgian ORT a year and a half after it was funded in January 1946.

It begins with a description of the final exams in the school in Brussels. The focus is on participation in the exams of non-Jewish specialists and technicians, underlining ORT's position in the Belgian educational system.

Next, the report moves on to discuss the opening of new courses in Belgium- including details of the purchasing of supplies and materials, enrolment of new pupils and finding new teaching spaces.  A special emphasis was placed on securing social help for newly enrolled students to make sure that their living conditions would not hamper their attendance in the courses.

Especially underlined is the opening of new training farms. The training farm in Kassel-Loo near Louvain was to train 40 members of Young Aliyah. Courses in gardening were also opened in 5 homes for children, where they were given basic experience of working with plants.

Finally the report discusses the issue of graduate employment. It describes the establishment of the placing service for post-graduates, the aim of which was to find work for persons qualified through ORT. It not only looked for  work placements for graduates but also ensured that they were adequately paid and had satisfactory work conditions. For those  who for various reasons remained unemployed ORT organized post-graduate workshops which allowed them to improve their qualifications and, in the case of foreign refugees, perfect their French language skills.