Technical Training Helps Russian Jewish Women Thrive

“[ORT] gave me the opportunity to improve myself — both in professional and personal spheres. I am now confident I will be able to apply for a promotion in the near future.” — Natalia Handel, ORT KesherNet graduate 

Did you know that your donations to Federation’s Annual Campaign give thousands of underserved Russian Jewish women the opportunity to receive vocational, technical, and professional training that helps them achieve financial stability? 

Since the fall of the former Soviet Union, the region’s most vulnerable populations – including Jewish women – have been plagued by economic instability. ORT, one of Federation’s Israel and Overseas partners, works tirelessly to provide training, job search assistance, and opportunities for Jewish learning in economically disadvantaged FSU communities. 

ORT’s KesherNet program has trained over 60,000 students in 13 centers in the FSU since 2002. 83% of these students have been women, and among KesherNet graduates, 80% of women have reported a direct improvement in their personal economic status.

Recently, ORT shared an inspiring story about how KesherNet helped one client in Ekaterinburg, Western Siberia, obtain the skills to improve her career and financial standing. Each year, KesherNet’s Ekaterinburg center assists nearly 400 people just like her. Read more below:

Natalia Handel, a member of the Jewish community of Ekaterinburg, was in her forties when she found herself at a career crossroads. Although she had graduated from an institution of higher education and always dreamed of a more ambitious career path, a lack of computer skills severely limited her options. For decades, Natalia had accepted the situation — taking whatever work she could get— but she felt the time had come for a change.

So, when she heard about ORT KesherNet’s local course called “Digital Lady: Balance and Transformation,” she jumped at the chance to enroll. The 37-hour course is aimed at helping women ages 25 to 55 from remote areas of Russia develop their digital skills while also increasing their safety.

Natalia learned critical subjects including digital intelligence, cybersecurity, and online communication. Most importantly, with her new training and boosted confidence, she had new opportunities for career advancement. “I now know how to find necessary information on the Internet and how to use it safely. I am also now proficient in social media management,” she proudly notes. 

ORT’s work with KesherNet is another step forward in our mission to bridge the gap between aptitude and opportunity by providing high-level vocational and technological skills training. 

You can learn more about ORT’s inspiring work on ORT America’s website or on the organization’s Facebook page

Above: Natalia Handel learned about cybersecurity and improved her job outlook at her local ORT training center. Image courtesy of ORT America.