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Consistently ranked among the top universities worldwide, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's premier academic and research institution. Serving 23,000 students from 70 countries, it trains the public, scientific, educational and professional leadership of Israel and world. The Hebrew University is a leader in bringing about changes in the world community in agriculture, environmental quality, public health, science and technology. Producing a third of Israel’s civilian research, it is ranked 12th worldwide in biotechnology patent filings and commercial development. With a world-class faculty researching the cultural, spiritual and intellectual traditions of Judaism and other cultures, the Hebrew University expands the boundaries of knowledge for the benefit of all humankind. The Hebrew University was founded in 1918 by visionaries including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann. In the last decade, faculty and alumni have won seven Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal.
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.
The cornerstone for the university was laid on July 24, 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 the Earl of 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.
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, attacks were carried out against convoys moving between the Israeli-controlled section of Jerusalem and the University. The leader of the Arab forces in Jerusalem, Abdul Kader Husseini, threatened military action against the university Hadassah Hospital "if the Jews continued to use them as bases for attacks."After the Hadassah medical convoy massacre, in which 79 Jews, including doctors and nurses, were slaughtered, the Mount Scopus campus was cut off from Jerusalem. British soldier Jack Churchill coordinated the evacuation of 700 Jewish doctors, students and patients from the hospital.
When the Jordan government denied Israeli access to Mount Scopus, a new campus was built at Givat Ram in western Jerusalem and completed in 1958. In the interim, classes were held in 40 different buildings around the city.
The Terra Santa building in Rehavia, rented from the Franciscan Custodians of the Latin Holy Places, was also used for this purpose. A few years later, together with the Hadassah Medical Organization, a medical science campus was built in the south-west Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Kerem.
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 unification of Jerusalem, following the Six-Day War of June 1967, the University was able to return to Mount Scopus, which was rebuilt. In 1981 the construction work was completed, and Mount Scopus again became the main campus of the University.
On July 31, 2002, a member of a terrorist cell detonated a bomb during lunch hour at the University's "Frank Sinatra" cafeteria when it was crowded with staff and students. Nine people — five Israelis, three Americans, and one dual French-American citizen — were murdered and more than 70 wounded. World leaders, including Kofi Annan, President Bush, and the President of the European Union issued statements of condemnation. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has launched a marijuana research center in a bid to take a leading role in the burgeoning field. t will conduct and coordinate research on cannabis and its biological effects with an eye toward commercial applications."
According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Hebrew University is the top university in Israel, overall the 59th-best university in the world, 33rd in mathematics, between 76th and 100th in computer science, and between 51st and 75th in business/economics. In 2015, the Center for World University Rankings ranked the Hebrew University 23rd in the world and the top in Israel in its World University Rankings.
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 five 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.
In his Will, Albert Einstein left the Hebrew University his personal papers and the copyright to them. The Albert Einstein Archives contain some 55,000 items. In March, 2012 the University announced that it had digitized the entire archive, and was planning to make it more accessible online. Included in the collection are his personal notes, love letters to various women, including the woman who would become his second wife, Elsa.
In addition to the National Library, the Hebrew University operates subject-based libraries on its campuses, among them the Avraham Harman Science Library, Safra, Givat Ram; Mathematics and Computer Science Library, Safra, Givat Ram; Earth Sciences Library, Safra, Givat Ram; Muriel and Philip I. Berman National Medical Library, Ein Kerem; Central Library of Agricultural Science, Rehovot; Bloomfield Library for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Mt. Scopus; Bernard G. Segal Law Library Center, Mt. Scopus; Emery and Claire Yass Library of the Institute 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; Roberta and Stanley Bogen Library of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Mt. Scopus; and the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive.
The Hebrew University libraries and their web catalogs can be accessed through the HUJI Library Authority portal.
Number 1 in Israel
We are the leading university in Israel and regularly ranked in the top 100 universities in the world - along with Harvard, MIT, Cambridge and Oxford. Our students enjoy a long list of renowned professors who are at forefront of academic research in the world. After graduation, Hebrew University alumni assume key positions in academia and the business sector, public service and the worlds of culture and the humanities.
A huge range of courses and fields of study
We offer a wide number of academic fields: social sciences and the humanities, natural and life sciences, medicine, agriculture, law, business administration, social work, education, nutrition and more. You can choose from nearly 100 different programs covering all areas of knowledge and research, such as Amirim, a special dual-major program for honors students in the natural sciences, and the Alpha Program, which offers outstanding students the option of completing both a BA and an MBA in four years. You can also pursue unique programs that combine several fields of study, such as a program combining philosophy, economics and political science; a joint degree in law and social work; or the cognitive sciences, which combine psychology, linguistics, philosophy, logic and neuroscience.
An international experience
Thanks to our global stature and strong ties with leading institutions across the globe, our students enjoy many opportunities to integrate an international experience with their regular course of study. Student exchange programs with Stanford University, study tours in Mongolia, visits to UN institutions in Belgium, workshops in Rwanda and many other activities are offered each year to Hebrew University students.
The power to influence
We run dozens of social involvement projects including counseling for residents of distressed areas, helping youth at risk, and legal aid for socioeconomically disadvantaged sectors of society. Many different social and political movements and organizations operate here, and our students are invited students to participate in action for social change and an egalitarian society, and to assist in making Jerusalem’s young people a leading and influential force in the city.
And some other reasons...
Hebrew University students enjoy a rich community atmosphere and lots of cultural and recreational options in Israel’s most fascinating city.
The university provides over 200 million NIS in scholarships to students every year.
The university offers a variety of residential options at different price levels in the various student dorms.
The university’s support system provides advice, counseling and support to students with learning disabilities and ADHD, students with accessibility issues, and minority students.
University students are invited to participate in the New Spirit internship project, which gives Jerusalem's students valuable professional experience, helps them make essential business contacts, and increases their chances to find a job in Jerusalem upon completion of their studies, in fields such as high-tech, biomed, policy and communications.
The university has advanced sports centers with elaborate and spacious gyms, swimming pools, athletics stadium, tennis courts and dance studios -- all at a subsidized price.