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
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.
(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.
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.
- Amnon Netzer, Jewish Studies and history
- Robert Aumann, 2005 Nobel Prize laureate for Economics
- Yehoshua Bar-Hillel, linguistics
- Aharon Barak, law, former president of Israeli Supreme Court
- Yehuda Bauer, Holocaust history
- Jacob Bekenstein, physics
- Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, historical geography
- Ernst David Bergmann, Chairman Israeli Atomic Energy Commission.
- Martin Buber, religion
- Ilan Chet, agricultural biotechnology
- Shmuel Eisenstadt, sociology
- Adolf Abraham Halevi Fraenkel, mathematics
- Eliezer E. Goldschmidt, horticulture
- Louis Guttman, social sciences and statistics
- Ephraim Halevy, Mossad chief
- Daniel Kahneman, 2002 Nobel Prize laureate for Economics
- Yaacov Katan, plant pathology
- Aharon Katzir, chemist
- David Kazhdan, mathematics
- Baruch Kimmerling, sociology
- Ruth Lawrence, mathematics
- Yeshayahu Leibowitz, biochemistry and Jewish philosophy
- George Mosse, history
- Amnon Netzer, Jewish Studies and history
- Ehud Netzer, archaeology
- Mordechai Nisan, social science
- Nurit Peled-Elhanan, education
- Joshua Prawer, history
- Michael O. Rabin, computer science and mathematics
- Giulio Racah, physics
- Gershom Scholem, Jewish mysticism
- Eliezer Schweid, Jewish philosophy
- Shaul Shaked, Middle Persian and Pahlavi language and literature
- Saharon Shelah, mathematics
- Zeev Sternhell, political science
- Hayim Tadmor, Assyriology
- Jacob Talmon, history
- Amos Tversky, psychology
- Avi Wigderson, computer science and mathematics
- Hanna Yablonka, Holocaust history
- S. Yizhar, a poet
In 2004, three graduates of the University received the Nobel Prize
in physics; Aaron Ciechanover
and Avram Hershko
- Presidents of Israel: Ephraim Katzir, Yitzhak Navon, Moshe Katsav
- Prime Ministers of Israel: Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert
- Deputy Prime Minister of Israel: Yigael Yadin
- Members of the Knesset: Colette Avital, Yael Dayan, Dalia Itzik, Roman Bronfman, Ahmed Tibi
- Sports and culture: Yochanan Vollach, Natalie Portman, Itzik Kornfein
- Archaeologists: Amihai Mazar, Eilat Mazar, Yigael Yadin
- Activists: Elie Yossef
- Journalists: Khaled Abu Toameh
- Writers: Aharon Appelfeld, Elias Chacour, Yael Dayan, David Grossman, Batya Gur, Shifra Horn, Amos Oz, A. B. Yehoshua, Amnon Jackont, Amalia Kahana-Carmon, Yehoshua Kenaz.
- Academics: Ahron Bregman, Uri Davis, Gerson Goldhaber, Haim Harari, Joshua Jortner, Alexander Levitzki, Efraim Karsh, Asa Kasher, Walter Laqueur, Avishai Margalit, Dana Olmert, Miri Rubin
- Lawyers: Elias Khoury