The “Pri Etz Chaim” school functions as a center for Jewish leaning and education in Kyrgyzstan, having been established by Belgian Jewish philanthropists. Set up in 1993, the aim of the school was to stimulate the rebirth of Jewish identity and culture in the country.
In 2004, the school became part of the World ORT network, and an ORT Technology Center was installed in 2006. The school was the first in Kyrgyzstan to adopt the NetSchool program, providing an integrated information and administrative environment.
The school accepts students who are defined as Jewish according to Halacha. As a result, the school also operates a Center of Jewish Family Education, a preschool educational group and a Jewish Sunday school, attended by young people who cannot attend the school for reasons of Halacha.
|Name of School||ORT Jewish School "Pri Etz Chaim"|
|Age range||Elementary, Junior High, High School|
Alongside teaching the state curriculum, the school offers in-depth study of Judaism, computer technology and English.
Hebrew is studied from 1st through to 11th grade for 2 to 3 hours per week. The curriculum follows the Heftsiba program. Teachers make extensive use of computer technology in the classroom and encourage students to create presentations and videos in the ORT Technology Center. Teachers regularly attend training seminars, and Hebrew native speakers are sometimes invited to provide the students with conversational practice.
In the wider life of the school, theatre performances are put on in Hebrew and Hebrew essay competitions are organized.
b. Traditions of the Jewish People
This course is taught to students in 1st through to 11th grade and includes daily prayers and Kabbalat Shabbat on Fridays. Lessons are taught in a project-based format.
c. Jewish Literature
Students produce a newspaper covering the work of Jewish authors, poets and playwrights. An annual Jewish Festival of Books is held.
d. Jewish Culture
Jewish culture is studied in a number of ways:
e. Informal Jewish Education
The school organizes Shabbatonim in which whole families take part. These Shabbatonim focus on boosting religious observance and encouraging healthy living.
Lessons are held at the ORT Technology Center.
Students follow a comprehensive ICT curriculum in 1st though to 11th grade. Students in 11th grade learn to use the programming language “Visual Basic”.
This is an optional course for students in 6th to 11th grade, making use of LEGO Mindstorms Construction Sets. School teams participate in robotics competitions between ORT schools in the CIS and Baltic States.
c. Basics of Entrepreneurship
Students in the 10th grade take an HP LIFE training course on the usage of technology in business, created by the Micro Enterprise Acceleration Institute (MEA-I). Teachers attended an ORT seminar in Odessa for training on this.
With support from the L.A. Pincus Fund between 2008 and 2011, the school hosted Jewish studies for adults and young people, combined with computer literacy courses, craft classes and English language courses.
Contributions to the national education system