Pope Francis Facilitates Initiative with ORT

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The alliance teaches teens the importance of multicultural understanding and mutual respect


Pope Francis launched an alliance between the pontifical international law foundation, Scholas Occurrentes, which focuses on peace through education via technology, art and sports, and World ORT at a signing ceremony October 26 at the Vatican.  The aim of the alliance is to bring together young people of different backgrounds from around the world to develop multicultural understanding and respect for one another and engender peace.

Sixteen ORT students from different countries attended the international Scholas Occurrentes gathering at Hebrew University held earlier this year, joining 75 other students from eight countries.

At the Vatican event, the chair of the World ORT board of trustees, Darío Werthein remarked, “World ORT and Scholas share a common goal:  to make the world a better place through education. This collaboration will allow us to reach more places and for children to develop their potential, no matter where they come from.”

World ORT director-general and CEO Avi Ganon, who also attended the ceremony, emphasized the importance of the initiative.  “We see in this cooperation an important tool to promote tolerance worldwide.  As the center of the spiritual world, the State of Israel can become a fruitful meeting place for different religions, and World ORT schools can set an example for establishing equal and respectful dialogue between different communities,” he said.

Scholas was founded by Pope Francis in 2013 to promote a culture of peace.  In October 2018, as part of this alliance, teens from across the world will attend an international conference in Buenos Aires to learn from one another and generate positive change within themselves and their environments.