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28 Oct 2014 14:21 Age: 3 yrs
Category: News Update, Events

Awards for ORT's top professionals

Educators in Argentina and France have become the first recipients of the Robert Singer Award for Outstanding Senior ORT Professionals.


World Jewish Congress Executive Vice-President Robert Singer (left) and award recipients Graciela Paso Viola and Claude Sabbah.

The recognition of the extraordinary contributions made by ORT Strasbourg Director Claude Sabbah and ORT Argentina maths teacher Graciela Paso Viola was announced at the recent World ORT National Directors Forum in London. The awards were presented at the World ORT Board of Trustees meeting in Buenos Aires this week.

World ORT Director General Shmuel Sisso paid tribute to Ms Paso Viola’s remarkable success in preparing students for mathematics Olympiads and Mr Sabbah’s leadership in making ORT Strasbourg Lyceum one of the most successful schools in ORT’s global network.

“The excellence of ORT as an educational force rests on the commitment and talent of professionals such as these,” Mr Sisso said. “It is my pleasure to recognise their accomplishments and thank them on behalf of the thousands of students whose lives they have immeasurably enhanced.”

The award was founded by Mr Sisso’s predecessor, Robert Singer, who left World ORT last year to take up the role of CEO and Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress.

“In my time at World ORT I learned that ORT is all about people and, more than that, about professional people, about excellent teams of educators, teachers and researchers in different places worldwide. I’m very happy that two extraordinary professionals – Claude Sabbah and Graciela Paso Viola – are receiving Singer Awards. It’s a tribute to both of them for their outstanding achievements and to ORT as an organisation for having such extraordinary people like them,” Mr Singer said.

Mr Sabbah, who has spent his whole career at ORT since graduating from ORT Anieres in 1973, is no stranger to awards – he was promoted to Commandeur of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques, France’s highest distinction in the field of education, in 2011. But that did not lessen the value of this latest recognition.

“As a former ORT pupil I am truly honoured and proud to receive such a distinction emanating from my professional family,” he said.

Founded in 1946, ORT Strasbourg has boarding facilities and comprises a high school, college and university catering to 500 students from France, Morocco, Spain and Israel.

Ms Paso Viola started teaching Mathematics at ORT Argentina´s Technical School in 1977 and is currently the Coordinator of its Mathematics Department. She is renowned for her work in preparing students for intra-school, interschool, national, regional and international Mathematics Olympiads.

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a job they love and even fewer to be honoured for doing it; so, as someone who has both, I am very grateful,” she said.

ORT Argentina was founded in 1936 and its two campuses in Buenos Aires serve more than 8,000 students at junior high and high school level as well as in adult education and training.