Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Wikis


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Hebrew University of Jerusalem
האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים
Hebrew University of Jerusalem Logo.svg
Established 1918
Type Public
President Menachem Ben-Sasson
Rector Sarah Stroumsa (Oct. 2008)
Vice-Presidents Elhanan Hacohen (General Director), Hillel Bercovier (R&D), Carmi Gilon (International Relations)
Faculty 1,200
Undergraduates 12,000
Postgraduates 10,000
Location Israeli flag Jerusalem, Israel
Nickname Hebrew U, HUJI
Website www.huji.ac.il

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew: האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים‎, (HaUniversita HaIvrit); Arabic: الجامعة العبرية في القدس‎ (al-Jāmi`ah al-`Ibriyyah fil-Quds); abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's oldest University. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot.[1] The First Board of Governors included Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber, and Chaim Weizmann. Four of Israel's prime ministers are alumni of the Hebrew University. In the last decade, six graduates of the University received the Nobel Prize. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities index, Hebrew University is the top university in Israel and among the world's 100 top universities.[2] The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Givat Ram campus.[citation needed]



Inauguration ceremony, 1925

One of the visions of the Zionist movement was the establishment of a Jewish university in the Land of Israel. Founding a university was proposed as far back as 1884 in the Kattowitz (Katowice) conference of the Hovevei Zion society. A major supporter of the idea was Albert Einstein, who bequeathed his papers and his literary estate to the university. The cornerstone for the university was laid in 1918. Seven years later, on April 1, 1925, the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus was opened at a gala ceremony attended by the leaders of the Jewish world, distinguished scholars and public figures, and British dignitaries, including Lord Arthur James Balfour, Viscount Allenby and Sir Herbert Samuel. The university's first Chancellor was Judah Magnes.

By 1947, the University had become a large research and teaching institution. Plans for a medical school were approved in May 1949, and in November 1949, a faculty of law was inaugurated. In 1952, it was announced that the agricultural institute founded by the university in 1940 would become a full-fledged faculty of agriculture.[3]

Terra Sancta building, Jerusalem

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Arabs repeatedly attacked convoys moving between the Israeli-controlled section of Jerusalem and the university.[4] The leader of the Arab forces in Jerusalem, Abdul Kader Husseini, threatened to blow up the university and Hadassah Hospital "if the Jews continued to use them as bases for attacks."[5] After the Hadassah medical convoy massacre, in which university staff members were killed, the Mount Scopus campus was cut off from Jewish Jerusalem. [6] When the Jordanian government reneged on the 1949 Armistice Agreements and refused Israeli access to the Mount Scopus campus, a new campus was built in Givat Ram in western Jerusalem, which was completed in 1953. In the interim, classes were held in 40 different buildings around Jerusalem. [7]

The Terra Sancta building in Rehavia, rented from the Franciscan Custodians of the Latin Holy Places, was also used for this purpose. [8] A few years later, together with the Hadassah Medical Organization, a medical science campus was built in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Kerem in southwest Jerusalem. By the beginning of 1967, the students numbered 12,500, spread among the two campuses in Jerusalem and the agricultural faculty in Rehovot. After the annexation by Israel of East-Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of June 1967, the University was able to return to the Mount Scopus campus, which was rebuilt. In 1981 the construction work was completed, and the Mount Scopus campus again became the main campus of the university.


Mount Scopus campus
Givat Ram campus
Rehovot campus, Ariovitch Auditorium

Mount Scopus

Mount Scopus (Hebrew: Har HaTzofim הר הצופים), in the eastern part of Jerusalem, is home to the Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Human Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business Administration, Rothberg International School, Frank Sinatra International Student Center, Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, The Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies and the School of Public Policy. The land on Mt. Scopus was purchased before World War I from Sir John Gray-Hill, along with the Gray-Hill mansion.[9] The master plan for the university was designed by Patrick Geddes and his son-in-law, Frank Mears in December 1919. Only three buildings of this original design were built: The Wolfson National Library, the Mathematics Institute and the Physics Institute. [10]

Givat Ram

The Givat Ram campus, named for Edmond Safra, contains the scientific departments, as well as the Jewish National Library.

Ein Kerem

The Ein Kerem campus is located in the same complex as the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. Although the primary focus of the campus is the medical and dental departments of the university, the molecular biology department also finds its home there.


The Faculty of Agriculture[11] and the School of Veterinary Medicine[12] are located in the city of Rehovot in the coastal plain. The Faculty of Agriculture was established in 1942 and the School of Veterinary Medicine opened in 1985. These are the only institutions of higher learning in Israel that offer both teaching and research programs in their respective fields.


The Jewish National and University Library is the central and largest library of the Hebrew University and one of the most impressive book and manuscript collections in the world. It is also the oldest section of the university. Founded in 1892 as a world center for the preservation of books relating to Jewish thought and culture, it assumed the additional functions of a general university library in 1920. Its collections of Hebraica and Judaica are the largest in the world. It houses all materials published in Israel, and attempts to acquire all materials published in the world related to the country. It possesses over 5 million books and thousands of items in special sections, many of which are unique. Among these are the Albert Einstein Archives, Hebrew manuscripts department, Eran Laor map collection, Edelstein science collection, Gershom Scholem collection, and a collection of Maimonides' manuscripts and early writings.

Jewish National and University Library, Givat Ram

In his will, Albert Einstein left the Hebrew University his personal papers and the intellectual copyright to them, as well as the right to use his image. The Albert Einstein Archives contain some 55,000 items.[13]

In addition to the National Library, the Hebrew University operates subject-based libraries on its campuses, among them the Avraham Harman Science Library, Givat Ram; Mathematics and Computer Science Library, Givat Ram; Earth Sciences Library, Givat Ram; Bloomfield Library for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Mt. Scopus; Bernard G. Segal Law Library Center, Mt. Scopus; Library of Archaeology, Mt. Scopus; Moses Leavitt Library of Social Work, Mt. Scopus; Zalman Aranne Central Education Library, Mt. Scopus; Library of the Rothberg School for International Students, Mt. Scopus; Muriel and Philip I. Berman National Medical Library, Ein Kerem; Central Library of Agricultural Science, Rehovot; and the Roberta and Stanley Bogen Library of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Mt. Scopus.[14]

Arab-Israel conflict

On July 31, 2002, an Arab construction worker from East Jerusalem detonated a bomb at the university's Frank Sinatra cafeteria when it was crowded with people at lunch time. Nine people — five Israelis, three Americans, and one citizen with dual French-American citizenship w— were killed, and dozens were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. World leaders including Kofi Annan, President Bush, and the President of the European Union issued statements of condemnation.[15][16]

Distinguished faculty

Notable alumni

See also


External links

Coordinates: 31°46′33″N 35°12′00″E / 31.77583°N 35.2°E / 31.77583; 35.2



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