ORT Liceo Renzo Levi

ORT Liceo Renzo Levi was founded in 1973 by ORT Italy, together with the Chief Rabbi and leaders of the Rome Jewish community. The school was named after Renzo Levi, who had been President of ORT for many years, and was famous for his work within the underground protection network for Jews in Italy under German occupation during World War II. ORT Liceo Renzo Levi shares a campus with the Vittorio Polacco elementary school and the Angelo Sacerdoti junior high school.

Name of SchoolORT Liceo Renzo Levi
LocationRome/Italy
Age rangeHigh School
Students173
Teachers33

The school’s educational mission is to teach students how to learn and to provide them with the relevant tools to go on to university or employment. As a result, students are encouraged not only to be receptacles of new information and concepts, but to actively manage their learning, to work independently, and to collaborate effectively with the support of their teachers. In addition, the school aims to instil a strong sense of Jewish identity and culture in its students, in order to develop strong new generations of Rome’s Jewish community.

The high school curriculum is designed in accordance with national requirements, with core areas of study in science, languages and social science.

Jewish Education

There is mandatory study of Hebrew and Judaism. In the 9th and 10th grade, students take lessons in Hebrew and Jewish culture for six hours per week. In the 11th, 12th and 13th grades, students take lessons in Tenach, Hebrew and Jewish history for nine hours per week. The school offers students the opportunity to work towards a certificate in Hebrew which is recognised by Israeli universities and allows students to apply to these universities without needing to pass additional Hebrew exams.

The school incorporates aspects of Jewish life and ethos in a wider sense to daily school routines. There is a daily morning prayer services in the school’s synagogue and all Jewish festivals are marked with festive activities. In the 10th grade, students visit Israel on an educational trip for two weeks during the winter holidays. Furthermore, each year a small group of 12th grade students join a delegation of schools led by Rome’s mayor on a visit to Auschwitz.

Projects

A number of special pedagogical projects run at the school:

  • iPad project – launched at the beginning of 2012, 1:1 Apple iPad devices were provided to students and teachers in several pilot classes, complemented by a full iOS multimedia system now installed in ten classrooms. Teacher training accompanied this roll-out to encourage innovative use of this new technology in the classroom.
  • Student exchanges – the schools runs language exchange programs with Jewish schools and communities in New York, Toulouse and Madrid.
  • Art in English – students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades study art in the English language, taught through a CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach. High schools in Italy are legally required to teach students at least one subject in a foreign language.
  • Diploma in French Studies (DELF) – students from 9th through to 13th grade are prepared to take DELF examinations at levels tailored to their proficiency.
  • Italy Reads –this is an annual community-based reading and cultural exchange program organized by John Cabot University in Rome. Each year the university selects one piece of American literature, and then organizes a series of events and connected with it e.g. lectures, play performances, film screenings, teacher training. The project involves both Italian and international schools.
  • Italy Writes – this is a writing competition, also organized by John Cabot University, in which high school students are invited to submit either an essay or short story in English.

Extra-curricular activities

A number of extra-curricular activities are offered to students:

  • Jewish cinema project – students learn about the multiple manifestations of Jewish identity through the lens of Jewish-related films.
  • Math Olympiads – every year a team of students takes part in a Maths Olympiad hosted by the Sapienza University of Rome.
  • English language certificates – students can elect to take supplementary afternoon classes to work towards a Preliminary English Test (PET) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificate, recognized by the University of Cambridge.

Partnerships and Development

  • Partnership with the Federico Caffe high school of Rome: targets are pedagogical enhancements (especially in Maths) and the creation of a close connection between middle school and high school in terms of didactic programs.
  • Job stages: students will spend 200 hours during their last 3 grades as interns in companies and institutions