In 1882, Zvi Hermann Shapira, a rabbi and professor of mathematics, began publishing a series of articles advocating for such a place. Soon the idea was embraced by major Jewish scholars and leaders of the early 20th century, among them Otto Warburg, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber, Chaim Weizmann and Albert Einstein. [All helped to develop the idea and to raise support.] Finally, in 1918, after years of campaigning, a university for the Jewish people broke ground in Jerusalem, and the doors opened in 1925. Upon that occasion, Einstein wrote:
“The opening of our Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, at Jerusalem, is an event which should not only fill us with just pride, but should also inspire us to serious reflection. ... A University is a place where the universality of human spirit manifests itself. Science and investigation recognize as their aim the truth only.” He concluded with the vision that, “... our University will develop speedily into a great spiritual center which will evoke the respect of cultural mankind the world over.”
At the Hebrew University, innovation is our tradition. From the early days of developing new methods of irrigation for a dry climate to today, with our scholars receiving exceptional proportions (disproportionate numbers?) of ERC and other research grants and academic prizes. The work done within our campuses has led to breakthrough treatments for Alzheimer’s and ovarian cancer, agricultural advancements, new perspectives on the legal system, politics, and society, as well as lifesaving smart vehicle technology. We bring together faculty and students from across Israel’s diverse sectors and from around the world. From rediscovering the past to charting the future - at the Hebrew University, exceptional is our norm.
Hebrew University’s talented faculty and staff are perfectly positioned to solve these problems, and we look forward to solidifying our already exceptional legacy by fostering and incubating the next generation of doctors, scientists, and innovators. Together, we will achieve even greater things in this coming century and beyond.