A specialized ORT school was first set up in Odessa in 1882, with the purpose of teaching vocational professions to Jewish students. The school existed until 1922 when ORT ceased its activity in the USSR because of political difficulties. With the declaration of Ukrainian independence 70 years later, it was possible once again to re-establish a dedicated Jewish school. The “Tali” Jewish Sunday school was established in Odessa in 1993, and this was used as the basis for the creation of Jewish state school # 94 in 1995. ORT renewed its operations in Odessa in 1997 and since then the history of ORT and Odessa's Jewish school have been inextricably linked. In 2002, an ORT Technology Centre was set up at the school.
|Name of School||ORT Zhabotinski School # 94|
|Age range||Elementary, Junior High, High School, Adult education and training|
ORT Secondary School #94 is a state school and teaches to the national curriculum of the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science. Jewish education and technology education are offered as special additional subjects, supported by ORT.
The Jewish subjects in the school are supervised by the Ministry of Education of Israel, which also sends an Israeli teacher to teach in the school.
Informal Jewish Education
The school arranges a variety of extra-curricular activities:
- Shabbat: every Friday, students and teachers of the school meet to mark Shabbat. Senior school students usually lead the service; they light candles, read Kiddush, present the weekly Torah portion and sing Shabbat songs.
- Jewish Holidays: all the Jewish holidays are celebrated at school. Each class decorates its classroom before the holiday according to Jewish tradition. Students prepare theatrical performances and concerts in honour of the festivals – often presented in a full-school assembly.
- Jewish Family Club: the main objective of the monthly Jewish Family Club is involving students’ parents and relatives in study of Jewish traditions and history. The teaching is done by both teachers and students.
- School ensemble “Nitsanim”: the school ensemble sings in Hebrew, Yiddish, English, Russian and Ukrainian. It participates in district, city and regional festivals and competitions, and has won many awards.
- International trips: every year students of the school participate in international trips, such as Masa Shorashim project. Participating in these projects encourages students to learn about the history of the Jewish people while visiting memorial sites in Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania.
- School students participate in Twin-School project together with school from Haifa (Israel).
- Internet projects: students participate in a variety of regional ORT internet projects and competitions. These have included Animated Cards Contests, the iJET competition – where students created imaginary blogs of historical Jewish personalities, and Chibur – where students created blogs and sites to record, share and discuss their personal families’ history and the heritage of the local Odessa Jewish community.
- A robotics course is available for students from 5th through to 11th grade, in which they learn the basics of robotics, create a robotics project and prepare for Ukrainian and international ORT competitions.
- Additional Lego modelling courses are available for students from the 2nd through to the 4th grade, who study the fundamentals of technological engineering processes. Students are acquainted with simple constructions, machines and mechanisms; make their first models using LEGO sets: “Early structures”, “Early simple machines”, “Simple machines” and “WEDO robotics”.
- The School participates in “Robotraffic” international competition in the modelling and controlling robocars which traditionally take place in the Robotics Leumi Center of the "Technion" Institute in Haifa (Israel).
- Robotics teams successfully participate and usually took the prizes at Festival-Competition of Robotics among students and teachers of ORT network schools in the CIS and Baltic countries.
- The projects created by Odessa’ ORT students became TOP-10 in nomination “The Best Practices of the Learning Communities” at International competition LUMA StarT Education Award 2017 (Finland) and received The Best School Prize at “ORT STEM CUP 2017” competition for ORT network schools in the CIS and Baltic countries.
- ORT Odessa School hosts the annual district, city and regional Olympiads for ICT and Informatics in cooperation with the Odessa Regional Institute of Teachers Improvement.
- Odessa's regional educational experiment, "Creating a system of technological education for secondary school", was launched at ORT Odessa School In 2012. The fundamentals of modelling, design and robotics - together with the study of technological systems - are being explored as part of the rehauling of the technology curriculum for 5th to 9th grade.
- New technology courses for 5-9 grades created by ORT teachers from Odessa and Kiev (Sergei Dzuiba, Igor and Olga Kot, Anna Michurina and Syuzanna Khachatryan) were adopted by Ministry of Science and Education of Ukraine for implementation in secondary schools.
- The school organizes training seminars for teachers from Odessa city and region.
- Igor Kot, teacher of ICT and technology, received an award from Odessa City Council and Odessa Regional Council for contributions to the National Education System.