Frequently Asked Questions

A: ORT is the largest Jewish non-profit organization for education in the world. We provide state-of-the-art STEM instruction (science, technology, engineering and math) via innovative programs that provide youth with a solid foundation for higher education and give adults knowledge and skills for current industry. In ORT Jewish day schools in the former Soviet Union and in locations in Latin America and elsewhere, the STEM curriculum is combined with Jewish studies to learn more about Jewish heritage and culture, and in many places, the ORT program is the only avenue to Jewish education, customs and celebrations for local Jewish students and their families.

ORT's vocational training along with a strong emphasis on science and technology provides adults with a path to employment and career success; but overall, it is the ORT commitment to Jewish values imparted in all ORT instruction that sets ORT above other educational programs and makes ORT critical to the Jewish people.

Learn more about Who We Are, What we Do, Our Mission and Our History

A: During modernization in tsarist Russia, significant economic reforms encouraged capitalism, which left many Jews marginalized by the new system, as they lost their customary employment on the great estates of feudal landlords. New capitalist production required factory workers and skilled craftsmen, and Jews did not have the necessary skills, as they had been excluded by law from many occupations. A group of wealthy respected leaders of the Russian Jewish community petitioned the tzar to offer classes in trades and in agriculture. The Tzar accepted, leading to the genesis of ORT in 1880.

Throughout history ORT has worked on behalf of Jewish communities in Russia and well beyond. In World War I, ORT set up a relief-through-work project employment for displaced Jews. During World War II, ORT worked in France and in the Warsaw Ghetto, training people to operate sewing machines. After World War II, ORT moved into the Displaced Persons' Camps, training more than 80,000 Jews. When the State of Israel was created, ORT trained thousands of new immigrants. After the fall of the Soviet Union, ORT opened schools and educational programs in Jewish communities, providing students with a connection to Judaism that had been denied them under Soviet oppression. When the economy became challenging for the Jews of Argentina, ORT stepped in, providing basic necessities, scholarships and Jewish education to 8,000 students. ORT has added significant educational value to every location in which it has been active.

A: ORT is derived from the original Russian term Obschestvo Remeslenovo i. Zemledelcheskovo Truda, which literally means Society for Trades and Agricultural Labor. Through the years, the term ORT has become synonymous with quality high-tech training that gives thousands of people the skills to obtain meaningful employment and lead fulfilling lives.

A: ORT Canada raises money for global World ORT programs. Our funding fortifies ORT schools, strengthens educational programs with state-of-the-art technology, enhances the teaching experience for educators, and ensures the next generation has a solid foundation for the demands of an increasingly higher-tech society.  We have offices in Toronto and Montreal and run fundraising campaigns and events in three cities: Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.  Learn more about what we do!

A: ORT Canada’s fundraising efforts include programs and events, missions, planned giving programs, corporate sponsorship opportunities and the solicitation of major gifts. The organization is led by a professional staff operating out of offices in Toronto and Montreal.  However, we run fundraising campaigns and events across the country.

A: Click here to donate now; or you can call 1-866-991-3045 to contact the Toronto office or 1-866-481-2787 to contact the Montreal office. You can also get involved by serving on an event planning committee, becoming a corporate donor, hosting a fundraising parlor meeting, or by participating in an ORT crowdfunding campaign. Click here to learn more about all the ways you can get involved.

A: Gifts of $5,000 and over can be designated for a priority funding project of World ORT.

A: Yes - your gift to ORT Canada is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.