Western Europe

ORT in Western Europe


ORT France is one of the most successful networks within the World ORT network and an innovation and development leader on the national and European levels. Its untiring efforts to advance the effective use of technology in education and teacher training is cultivating a new generation of tech-savvy Jewish young people.

Through its Innovation and Development Department, ORT France focuses on four critical pillars: European and national research and development (R&D); learning services; consulting and technical assistance and expert training based on technological and managerial skills.

ORTinnovation drives sophisticated projects through national and European partnerships. These include:

  • Pandora – advanced e-training for crisis scenarios
  • Metabo – an innovative platform with serious games applications for personalized health systems through remote monitoring and smart phones
  • Gala – network for building educational and training games across Europe
  • Play Serious – building middleware for game development for corporate, SME and education markets. In conjunction with France's Ministry of Industry
  • Digital Think Tank – explores new paths of digital learning

ORT France is nearing the end of a massive modernization program which has seen huge investment go into making its schools in Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Marseille relevant to the needs of the 21st century and highly attractive educational options for Jewish families.

 ORT schools meet the dynamic needs of the job market through degree-level qualifications in optics, banking, informatics and other subjects. The Lyons school is set to become the first Jewish school to offer a Master's level program.


In Rome and Milan, ORT provides a world of educational opportunity for its Jewish school educators and students. The middle and high schools in Rome piloted the interactive whiteboard program, with concurrent teacher training, to the great excitement of the pupils. A newly installed mobile computer lab has expanded the schools' technological reach, giving every classroom instant access.

Teacher training reached a new peak with the Naomi Prawer Kadar International Seminars for Technology in Jewish Education Seminar that focused on the newest ICT methods for teaching Hebrew that included podcasting, Google web features and audio and video editing.

Jewish School in Milan

The Jewish school in Milan aims to provide students with a complete and comprehensive curriculum which simultaneously prepares them for application to Italian and international universities and for working life and society. The generally mainstream curriculum includes strong Hebrew and Judaic elements that are especially focused on knowledge of culture and Jewish life. The primary objective of the school is to build a strong Jewish identity and culture in every student.

The school is collaborating with Mario Negri research institute and every year a couple of students participate on Mario Negri Summer school (for two months). Among the extra-curricular activities are the Macabi sports afternoon courses for student of all ages (gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, krav maga' and many others). Cultural evenings are organised at the school by cultural associations in agreement with the Chief Rabbinate and the Department of Culture of the Community to allow the parents around the school to meet and to allow the school to act as a centre of the community. The Jewish school in Milan aims to be the School 'public' of the Jewish Community of Milan, opening and welcoming to all members.

History of the school

The school was started in 1929. In 1938, after the racist laws excluded Jewish students from public school, a curriculum covering a range of subjects and ages was created by Jewish teachers from public schools and universities who had been dismissed as members of the "Jewish race". The school in that period  was characterised by an extraordinary environment of quality education and freedom of expression.

After the war it was decided to maintain the breadth of education (from kindergarten to high school)  which until today has been a distinguishing feature of the institution. Over the decades, the Jewish School of Milan has allowed the integration of pupils arriving from all geographical and cultural areas: Eastern Europe, Egypt, Persia, Libya, Lebanon and a number of families who moved to Milan from other Italian cities.


Jewish life of the school

The Jewish Studies are an integral part of the school's programs and include, depending on the age and classes: Biblical texts, Oral Torah, Midrash, Holidays and Celebrations, Rules of Jewish life, knowledge of Prayers, Jewish History (with a focus on the Holocaust and Zionism), the Hebrew Language.

The Jewish education is traditional one, in the usual and Italian sense of the term. The school follows the tradition of Judaism, and respect the Shabbath and the Jewish Calendar, the Kascerùt and all other basic rules. The school is neither "religious" or "secular", but "pluralist" putting  together children of families often very different  who live together important moments of Tefila 'in the morning, celebrate together Jewish at school,as well as  anniversaries and special occasions such as Yom Hazamaut. In addition, the School offers the opportunity to add, extra-curricular courses in Jewish Education.

ORT Virtual Lab

The ‘ORT–Michele Silvers Classroom’  was devised as an effective learning environment with multimedia opportunities to be experienced in all courses and in everyday teaching. The ORT-Silvers Lab contains functional 'island- tables' and allows the testing of an innovative learning environment where the teacher can project his screen, correct and enhance the work on screens of the students, can form  physical and virtual students groups  and confer rights to a group leader.

So far, the laboratory has been used mainly in the scientific subjects, and has been one of the first didactic experiences of using 1:1 computer student ratio in an Italian high school. Also, the laboratory keeps demonstration and training sessions for Italian teachers, particularly mathematics.

Partner Projects

Because of the high profile of the ORT laboratory, the Jewish school of Milan was included in the (September 2011-June 2012)  EUN Schoolnet Acer Tablets project  (and becoming a success story). The school 'was included in the WEB Generation project of the Lombardy region (September 2012)  which, together with ‘Fondazione Scuola’, fund two 1:1 classes providing tablets  to every student. Then a group of students 'was invited to the ABCD education fair in Genoa (November 2012), where, in the Italian ministerial stand 'the school of the future', they had a demonstration of a lesson taught in 1:1.

Thank to these activities the school was inserted in the ITEC EUN INDIRE  project  (February 2013) aimed to test an innovative model of instructional design. The ITEC project is structured in 7 stages and works towards the production of objects or content by students. In Jewish School of Milan students created a video-narrations on mathematical topics as documented in INDIRE video.

The educational project of ORT–Michele Silvers Classroom was presented as an example of methodological model in 1:1 didactic in a trainers training Master Teachers Sardinia as part of the Italian Ministerial Digital School Sardinia (May 2013).