Washington, D.C. – June 4, 2012: A new cadre of highly skilled engineers drawn from talented and enthusiastic high school students from Israel and around the world will be created through a new $35 million program to be launched by World ORT, it was announced today at the organization’s General Assembly.

The Anieres II World ORT Engineering/Technology Scholarship Program is inspired by the extraordinary impact of the residential Central Training Institute for the Training of World ORT Instructors, which operated at Anieres, near Geneva. In the more than 30 years following its opening in 1949, the Institut Central ORT, as it was known in French, trained thousands of competitively selected students from 30 countries. Hundreds of graduates became instructors in ORT programs around the world while others made significant contributions to industry, research and the economic progress of developing countries.

Anieres II, for which World ORT will start recruiting in December for the commencement of studies in September 2013, will provide a special residential education program in Israel for at least 500 teenagers from low socio-economic backgrounds – many of them from overseas – taken in 10 annual cohorts of up to 60 students.

The students will enjoy a special residential program for the final three years (four years in the case of those from overseas) at school, including extra-curricular studies at the Technion and, if necessary, ulpan.

“The involvement of the Technion represents an important improvement on the previous program because of its exceptional quality,” said the graduate of the original Anieres Institute whose $15 million donation has made the new program possible. “I wish I could be in this program.”

The new program was presented to the donor, who became known affectionately as “Mr Anonymous” during his many years of giving through ORT America, after months of groundwork laid by World ORT Director General and CEO Robert Singer. Mr Singer’s meetings with Israeli officials and senior educators at the Technion and other colleges have resulted in the Government of Israel contributing $18 million; the remaining $2 million will be paid by the students.

“The Israel Defence Forces have promised that most of the students who meet the Technion’s admission requirements will be allowed to defer their national service and become part of the ‘Academic Reserve’,” said Mr Singer. “Each student will be nurtured and supported through a process of growth and achievement showing that no matter how challenging their background they not only have the right to dream big but also the opportunity to realize their aspirations.”

He added: “No matter how much oil or gas is discovered off its coast, Israel’s greatest resource is her people. A child who is denied the chance to succeed because of poverty suffers an injustice but the country as a whole suffers a terrible loss. This program will not only identify talented Israeli kids but also attract similarly gifted teenagers to come to Israel and contribute to the country’s continued strength and progress while carving out good careers for themselves.”