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ORT Italy serves the oldest Jewish Diaspora community in the world. Jews have been in Rome since the time of Judah Maccabee and the Roman Empire. ORT currently operates Jewish community schools in Rome and Milan.

The school in Milan has 545 students. Its popularity with the local Jewish community has increased because the ORT school provides a Jewish education. In addition, IT education has improved with the opening of two new computer laboratories. For the first time, students joined hundreds of other ORT students on March of the Living (the Holocaust education program) in Poland in 2006.

In Rome, the 1,000-student school serves the majority of Jewish children in the city. The ORT Renzo Levi School recently moved to a building in the Ghetto near the city’s main synagogue. To maintain manageable class sizes, renovations were completed early in 2006. The school’s popularity is due to generally increased educational standards, the addition of languages, social sciences and technological studies to the original scientific focus, and parents’ desire to place their children in a safe, Jewish environment. In Rome, more than 80 percent of the students at the ORT high school need scholarships and additional tutoring.

ORT recently installed a science laboratory and a computer laboratory, donated by ORT America’s Grace Mendelsohn, in ORT Renzo Levi School. In a new virtual laboratory, students conduct computer-based experiments using state-of-the-art data-loggers and sensors. These powerful yet portable instruments allow students to put data directly into the computer, increasing accuracy, saving time and allowing for straightforward graphical representation and storage. The new scientific and technological facilities will make ORT Renzo Levi one of the best schools in Rome.

World ORT recently helped Rome’s ORT Renzo Levi School work towards higher educational standards with intensive teacher training seminars. The three-day seminars focused on computer assisted teaching methods in science and technology, a workshop using the new data logging system, the use of web open source software for teaching science and mathematics, and the presentation of science experiments without the use of computers. The teachers were also introduced to useful multimedia products available on the Italian market and shown how to integrate ICT tools in the classroom.

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