Hebrew University Elects First Woman Rector, Professor Sarah Stroumsa

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[img_assist|nid=506|title=New Rector Prof. Sara Stroumsa|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=74|height=100]Hebrew U. elects first woman rector, Prof. Sarah Stroumsa

July 8, 2008 - Professor Sarah Stroumsa of the departments of Arabic Language and Literature and of Jewish Thought has been elected by the Senate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as the institution’s new rector.

This is the first time in the Hebrew University’s history that a woman has been elected as rector. Starting October 1, Prof. Stroumsa will replace Prof. Haim D. Rabinowitch, who has served in the position for the past seven years.

Haifa-born Professor Stroumsa began her academic career at the Hebrew University in 1977, and then went on to study in Paris. She completed her Ph.D. with honors at the Hebrew University in 1984, where she is now a full professor in the department of Arabic language and literature and the department of Jewish thought.

Stroumsa holds the Alice and Jack Ormut Chair in Arabic Studies. Her field of expertise is philosophy and religious thought in the medieval Islamic world, with a focus on the intellectual exchange between Jewish and Muslim religious thinkers. She is director of the Friedberg Genizah Projects’ ‘Philosophy, Theology and Polemics in the Genizah’ group and is on the steering committee of ‘Intellectual Encounters: Philosophy and Science in the World of Medieval Islam’.

In 2003, she was appointed deputy rector and continued in this role for three years. Stroumsa is married with two children.

Stroumsa said today, ''In my role as rector, I will strive to maintain the Hebrew University's position as the leading academic institution in Israel, and to strengthen its position worldwide, where it should be counted among the leading universities. Faced with growing economic pressures, we must endeavor to strengthen the Hebrew university's academic standing as an elite university. This is our commitment and responsibility to our society.''

According to Hebrew University President Prof. Menachem Magidor, ''Prof. Stroumsa comes to this role with a combination of academia at its best, commitment to culture and intercultural connections - which are exactly what characterizes the Hebrew University - as well as experience in academic management. I am sure that she will be successful in continuing to promote the status of the university.''

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