Introduction to World ORT World ORT is one of the largest non-governmental education and training organisations in the world with activities in more than 100 countries past and present with current operations in Israel, the CIS, the Baltic States, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. It is a not-for-profit organisation that meets the educational, and manpower training needs of contemporary society with more than 3,000,000 graduates worldwide since its inception. It maintains a non-sectarian, non-political position in its education and training provision. ORT was founded in St Petersburg in Tsarist Russia in 1880 to provide employable skills for Russia’s impoverished Jewish people. The letters O-R-T form the Russian acronym for “Obshestvo Remeslennogo i zemledelcheskogo Truda sre- di evreev v Rossii”, originally meaning The Society for Trades and Agriculture among the Jews in Russia. This reflects the conditions that prevailed when ORT was conceived, when the acquisition of agricultural and manual skills were the key to employment. Since that time, the skills taught by ORT have evolved in step with technology. Today, in place of manual skills and trades, ORT teaches its students about computers, telecommunications and other modern technologies. ORT builds schools, develops curricula, sets up laboratories, develops high-tech educational systems, produces courseware and other teaching aids and publications. It conducts its own educational research and acts as consultant to many other institutions, including government bodies. ORT cooperates with industry and is supported by an international membership in excess of a quarter of a million people. The aim of World ORT’s educational programmes, throughout the world, is to give its students the best possible preparation for their future. This preparation includes education to help them become citizens who will make a positive contribution to their society, focused training to enable them to undertake worthwhile and fulfilling careers, and – for its Jewish students – the knowledge that will give them an understanding and appreciation of their heritage.