Enhancing Jewish Communities in the FSU

World ORT has pivotal role in revitalizing Jewish life in the FSU


After years of repression eroded all signs of Jewish life, ORT stepped in after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and recreated a dynamic educational network that spans nine countries, includes 56 projects in 38 locations and serves more than 25,000 people.

ORT's network of 17 inclusive Jewish day schools provides groundbreaking technology education and Jewish studies, in cooperation with local governments and Israel's Ministry of Education. ORT has established Technology Centers in more than 20 vocational training schools and colleges in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

In 2010, as part of its 130-year anniversary celebration, World ORT embarked on an exciting new initiative, QUEST – Quality and Universal Education through Science and Technology - to strengthen Jewish communities across the FSU through excellence in education.

Learn more about QUEST, see tab below.

In keeping pace with market trends, World ORT and global business giant Hewlett-Packard, are expanding their highly successful joint entrepreneur training programs across Russia and Ukraine with the recent launch of an exciting new program: HP Learning Initiatives for Entrepreneurs (LIFE).

Thanks to financial support from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a bus service ensures our students safe and efficient access to school and hot meals to keep them going through their long day. 

World ORT has crafted a critical model for a generation of young people to go on to higher education and well-paid jobs and at the same time create active, self-sufficient Jewish communities.


World ORT programs in the FSU:


World ORT launched the QUEST initiative as part of its 130th anniversary celebrations in St Petersburg in 2010. QUEST – Quality and Universal Education through Science and Technology – is the successor to the highly successful Regeneration 2000 and Regeneration 2004 projects.

The World ORT program to revitalize Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union began with Project Regeneration 2000, which was continued and extended four years later with Project Regeneration 2004. These programs had as their goal the creation of successful and attractive Jewish schools that would deliver high quality education that would appeal to Jewish families and so bring together children in an environment in which they could learn about their common heritage and history. This became the model for not only revitalizing fragmented communities but also for providing this new generation with a real competitive advantage when seeking higher education and/or opportunities for employment.

World ORT used its science and technology expertise to set up centers of excellence in schools throughout the region and thereby to attract Jewish children to the school. Once there, they would benefit not only from the high quality science and technology syllabus, but also from the Jewish education syllabus, run by the Israeli Ministry for Education.

The initiatives have benefited more than 7,000 children in over 16 schools across 7 countries. It has created a generation of youngsters with the knowledge to go on to higher education and well-paid jobs, giving them the tools to create active, self-sufficient Jewish communities.

The QUEST initiative will continue to benefit Jewish children and, indirectly, their families, in the following schools across diverse locations in Russia and the Baltic States:


  • ORT Technology School (#1299), Moscow, Russia
  • ORT Techiya (#1311), Moscow
  • ORT de Gunzburg (Shorashim, #550), St Petersburg, Russia
  • ORT Yerushalaim (#274), St Petersburg, Russia
  • ORT Gesher  (#42), Samara, Russia
  • ORT Mishpahteinu (#12), Kazan, Russia
  • ORT Technology Lyceum, Kiev, Ukraine
  • ORT Aleph, Zaporozhie, Ukraine
  • ORT Jewish school (#94), Odessa, Ukraine
  • ORT Bialik  (#132), Minsk, Belarus
  • ORT Technology Lyceum by B. Herzel, Kishinev, Moldova
  • ORT Pri Etz Haim, Bishkek, Tatarstan
  • ORT Dubnov, Riga, Latvia
  • ORT Sholom-Aleihem, Vilnius, Lithuania


ORT operates in 21 Jewish day schools in the former Soviet Union, including 14 schools which are part of the QUEST [link] program. Each of the schools benefits from ORT technology laboratories and teaching methodologies. Teachers take part ORT’s Continuing Professional Development Program and the support of ORT’s worldwide network.

  • ORT Technology School #1299, Moscow, Russia
  • ORT Techiya Centre of Education # 1311, Moscow, Russia
  • ORT Shorashim, Secondary School # 550, St Petersburg, Russia
  • ORT Yerushalaim Schoo #274, St Petersburg, Russia
  • ORT Gesher Secondary School # 42, , Samara, Russia
  • ORT Mishpahteinu Seconday School #12, Kazan, Russia
  • ORT Technology Lyceum, Kiev, Ukraine
  • ORT Aleph, Jewish Gymnasium Zaporozhye, Ukraine
  • ORT Jewish School #94, Odessa, Ukraine
  • ORT Bialik  School #132, Minsk, Belarus
  • ORT Herzl Technology Lyceum, Kishinev, Moldova
  • ORT Jewish School Pri Etz Haim, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • ORT Dubnov Jewish Secondary School, Riga, Latvia
  • ORT Sholom Aleichem Jewish School, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • ORT Tallinn Jewish School, Estonia
  • ORT Rambam Lyceum, Kishinev, Moldova
  • ORT Technology Centre at Beit-Sefer Mehachem, St Petersburg, Russia
  •  Chernivtsi Jewish School, Ukraine
  • The ORT Technology Centre at the Levi Yitzchak Schneerson Ohr Avner School # 144 , Dniepropetrovsk, Ukraine
  • ORT Technology Centre at the Kharkov Technology Lyceum # 9, Kharkov, Ukraine
  • ORT Akchva Secondary School # 128, Kiev, Ukraine


ORT-KesherNet is network of training centers in the former Soviet Union aimed principally at women, and geared towards helping people to improve their employment prospects. For those in employment, for those already in employment, the program helps to progress; for those seeking employment, the program offers training or retraining in office skills with access to computers and the latest software, and entrepreneurial skills the increasing numbers of people who aspire to starting their own business.

KesherNet centers are located in outlying areas, far the major cities, where job prospects and the local economic situation is more challenging and where local communities are small but well-organized.

The program, a joint project of World ORT and Project Kesher, began in 2001 and currently has 15 centers, in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in:

  • Volgograd, Russia
  • Kineshma, Russia
  • Rybinsk, Russia
  • Tambov, Russia
  • Tver, Russia
  • Tula, Russia
  • Vinnitsa, Ukraine
  • Lutsk, Ukraine
  • Khmelnitski, Ukraine
  • Cherkassy, Ukraine
  • Makeevka, Ukraine
  • Simpheropol, Ukraine
  • Krivoi Rog, Ukraine
  • Gomel, Belarus
  • Polotsk, Belarus


The GET-IT program is part of HP’s social investment strategy which aims at innovating teaching and learning to help future innovators and young entrepreneurs to be successful in their future careers.  Since the launch of the HP GET-IT program in May 2007, World ORT has partnered with HP to provide GET-IT training to young people in Russia and Ukraine.

The main aim of the НР GET-IT program is providing support for youth and graduates from 16 to 25 years of age. In the present economic situation more and more young people start to think about starting their own business. GET-IT is aimed at developing IT skills for a more successful and effective start in running a small business.

ORT works with HP with GET-IT centers in:

  • Moscow, Russia
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • Saransk, Russia
  • Murmansk, Russia
  • Slavutych, Ukraine


The Jack Lawson Vocational Training Center, opened in Moscow in 2001, firmly established the reputation of ORT as a leader in delivering career-oriented training to members of the Jewish community. Working in full cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel, ORT has made a real difference to the lives of several thousand people, providing them with employable skills and securing not only their jobs, but the future viability of the Jewish community in Moscow. 

Built upon the success of the Jack Lawson Vocational Training Center, ORT today contributes to the economic viability of Jewish communities in many parts of the former Soviet through ‘The Lawson ORT-Career Program’.

The program has redefined ORT training activities in the region in order to deliver the knowledge and skills eagerly sought by members of communities where low income and job-insecurity has become an ever-present threat to their way of life.

Lawson ORT-Career Programs have been established within ORT educational centers in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kharkov, Kishinev and Riga:

St Petersburg, Russia: ORT Vocational Training Center at YESOD, St Petersburg Jewish Community Center, opened in 2008.

Yekaterinburg, Russia: ORT Vocational Training Center at the Yekaterinburg Jewish Community Center opened 2005. 

Kharkov, Ukraine: ORT Vocational Training Center at Technology Lyceum #9, opened 2006.

Kishinev, Moldova: ORT Vocational Training Center at the ORT Herzl Technology Lyceum, opened 2006.

Riga, Latvia: at the Jewish Community Center, operated together with JDC.


Additionally, ORT provides a vocational training program for the Vocational Training Boarding School # 2 for Deaf People in Moscow, Russia.