A History Of
Academic Excellence

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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded in 1918 and officially opened its doors in 1925. It is Israel’s premier university and research institution.

Ranked internationally among the 100 leading universities in the world, Hebrew University has been recognized for leadership in the scientific community, stressing excellence in a wide array of studies, including the humanities, social sciences, exact sciences, and medicine. The university encourages multi-disciplinary activities in Israel and overseas, and serves as a bridge between academic research and its social and industrial applications.

Founded by Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Chaim Weizmann, and Martin Buber, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is one of the world’s most distinguished academic and research institutions. The university is located in Israel, but its work transforms our global landscape. Its students, faculty, and alumni have won eight Nobel Prizes, developed treatments for diseases, and ignited innovation that has led to more than 10,750 patents.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem opened on Mount Scopus in 1925.
By 1947, it had evolved into a large research and teaching institution.

The Hebrew University’s opening ceremony on Mount Scopus in 1925 was attended by the leaders of the Jewish world, distinguished scholars, public figures, and British dignitaries, including the Earl of Balfour, Viscount Allenby, and Sir Herbert Samuel.

By 1947, the university had become a large research and teaching institution. A medical school was approved in 1949, as well as a faculty of law. In 1952, an agricultural institute was founded. During the 1948 War of Independence, 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’s 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 Jordanian 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 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. By the beginning of 1967, the students were 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 the rebuilt Mount Scopus. In 1981, the construction work was completed and Mount Scopus again became Hebrew University’s main campus.

Hebrew University Timeline

Professor Herman Zvi Shapira proposed the establishment of a university for the Jewish people.
11th Zionist Congress passes a motion in favour of the establishment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Foundation stones laid on Mount Scopus in the presence of Chaim Weizmann, general Allenby and Jewish leaders.
Albert Einstein gives inaugural scientific lecture during his only visit to Palestine; also edits the University’s first scientific publication.
Gala opening of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
HU issues certificates enabling young European Jewish refugees to enter the country and study in Jerusalem.
First doctoral degree conferred.
On 13 April, 77 faculty and staff members of the University and Hadassah Hospital are killed when a convoy to Mount Scopus is attacked.
University relocates to makeshift premises throughout Jerusalem. Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Faculty of Law and Adult Education Centre established.
One-Year Program for overseas students established.
Dedication of Givat Ram campus.
Ein Kerem medical campus dedicated.
Yissum Research Development Company established to patent University research findings and promote University partnerships with industry.
Jerusalem unified, access to Mount Scopus restored. Renovation of Mount Scopus campus begins.
Academic activity resumed on Mount Scopus.
Opening of the Institute for Advanced Studies.
Opening of the Korest School of Veterinary Medicine.
Rothberg International School (formerly the Overseas School) moves to the Boyar Building.
Dedication of the Selim and Rachel Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Nobel prize in economics awarded to HU alumnus Professor Daniel Kahneman.
Inauguration of the Edmond J. Safra Campus at Givat Ram.
HU alumni Professor Avram Hershko and Professor Aaron Ciechanover of the Technion win Nobel prize in chemistry. Nobel prize in physics awarded to HU alumnus Professor David J. Gross.
Completion of the five Ginges Computer Centres. Nobel prize in economics awarded to HU Professor Robert J. Aumann.
HU Professor Roger Kornberg wins Nobel prize in chemistry.
Opening of the student village.
Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) established.
Establishment of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.
Groundbreaking for the Suzanne and Charles Goodman Brain Sciences Building.
Dedication of the Rothberg Family Buildings housing the Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Hebrew University and global Friends groups celebrate the centennial anniversary since laying the university’s cornerstones by launching HU’s first Global Giving Day.