The main undertaking of ORT in Bulgaria was a large trade school in Sofia. Its building was put at the disposal of ORT by the Jewish Community of Sofia and rebuilt by the Bulgarian ORT. Tools and machines for the school were provided by ORT Great Britain and Switzerland. Almost all tools from Switzerland had been manufactured by the students of the ORT school for mechanics in Geneva. The head of the school was Robert Goldstein, a former director of a school for mechanics and electricity in Moscow.
The school was opened in September 1948 and trained students aged fourteen and over in turning, locksmiths training, mechanical technology, casting, electrical installation and radio-technology. The full time course lasted five years and included both theoretical and practical training. Sofia school also offered evening courses for students of non-vocational secondary schools and for adults already working in the industry. In the same premises ORT organized a two-year full-time school for graduates of secondary schools leading to a qualification of a ‘graduate technician’. ORT was the only provider of vocational training for Bulgarian Jews and the Sofia school played an important part in the life of the community. It organized community gatherings for Jewish holidays and various commemorative evenings. The school’s teachers also offered technical assistance and expertise for local Jewish co-operatives.
In 1948 Sofia students who emigrated to Israel before graduation were able to continue their education in courses conducted especially for them in Bulgarian by ORT in Jaffa. The school also provided them with Hebrew-Bulgarian technical dictionaries compiled by the staff form Sofia.