World ORT Officially Adopts IHRA Definition
This week World ORT, the largest Jewish Education network in the world, has officially adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.
World ORT’s adoption of IHRA is a significant step and means their education network – reaching over 300,000 people in more than 30 countries – will now join the thousands of governments, NGOs, cultural and social movements and organizations around the world which have adopted the IHRA definition in recent years.
“ORT stands against the scourge of anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it appears.” World ORT Director General and CEO Dan Green said “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Jewish and non-Jewish communities and organizations worldwide who work to combat this age-old form of hatred.”
World ORT knows very well the threat posed by anti-Semitism. The organization has a history of working and operating in challenging environments across the globe including under anti-Semitic governments.
During WWII and the Holocaust, ORT worked in Poland, Lithuania, and France. Many ORT students in Germany escaped to Britain in 1939, but other teachers and students who could not leave then, continued ORT in Germany until 1943 when they were sent to Auschwitz. After the Holocaust, ORT ran vocational training in Displaced Persons camps and aided refugees and Shoah survivors.
Today, World ORT is a partner in the Anti-Semitism Initiative run by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. As part of that initiative, the Conference of Presidents is reconstituting a task force with working groups to focus on specific areas of anti-Semitism, including extremism online and on social media, hatred on university campuses and physical security of Jewish groups worldwide.