Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים, الجامعة العبرية في القدس, abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's oldest university.

The First Board of Governors included Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber, and Chaim Weizmann. It is home to the world's largest Jewish studies library, scholars who have been faculty members include Gershom Scholem, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Daniel Kahneman and Robert Aumann. Four of Israel's prime ministers are alumni of the Hebrew University, including the current prime minister. The Hebrew University consistently ranks amongst the top universities in Israel and in the world.


One of the visions of the Zionist movement was the establishment of a Hebrew university in the Land of Israel. Founding a university was proposed as far back as 1884 in the Kattowitz 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, and, seven years later, on April 1, 1925, the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus of Jerusalem 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.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Arabs repeatedly attacked the university, located to the northeast of Jerusalem, and convoys moving between the Israeli-controlled section of Jerusalem and the university.

After the attack on the Hadassah medical convoy in 1948, the Mount Scopus campus was cut off from Jewish Jerusalem. When the Jordanian government reneged on the 1949 Armistice Agreements and refused Israeli access to the Mount Scopus campus, the University was forced to build a new campus in Givat Ram in western Jerusalem, which was completed in 1953. In the interim, the university rented part of the Terra Sancta building in Rehavia from the Franciscan Custodians of the Latin Holy Places and held classes there. 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 reunification of 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. The university was again touched by conflict on July 31, 2002, when a Palestinian construction worker (a resident of East Jerusalem) exploded a bomb in the university's crowded Frank Sinatra cafeteria during lunch time. Nine people — five Israeli citizens, three American citizens, and one citizen of both France and the United States — were killed by the explosion and many more 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.


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. 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.

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 International School, 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.

The Hebrew University libraries and their web catalogs can be accessed through the HUJI Library Authority portal


Hebrew University has four campuses, three in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. In 2003, it had a student population of 23,000.

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 newly established School of Public Policy.

Givat Ram (Edmond Safra)

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 and the School of Veterinary Medicine are located in the city of Rehovot in the coastal plane. 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.

Distinguished faculty


In 2004, three graduates of the University received the Nobel Prize (David Gross in physics; Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko in chemistry).


See also

External links

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