The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded in 1918 in the ancient city of Jerusalem. At the time the city, as well as the entire surrounding region of Palestine, was under British military control.
The founding occurred during the interim period between the British defeat of the Ottoman Turkish army in late 1917 and the official establishment of British Mandatory Palestine by the League of Nations in the summer of 1922.
Planning for a Jewish university in the Holy Land had long figured in the plans of the leaders of the Zionist movement. The cornerstone for the Hebrew University was laid in the summer of 1918 at a location on Mt. Scopus; however, the first classes did not begin to be taught until the spring of 1925.
In 1942, a new campus comprising a Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment was established in the city of Rehovot, near the Mediterranean coast south of Tel Aviv. Much later, in 1985, a veterinary school was added to the Rehovot campus.
During the Israeli war of independence in 1948, the university was the scene of bitter conflict. At one point, the Mt. Scopus campus was surrounded by Arab forces. When a medical convoy sought to bring supplies to the campus through the front lines for the resupply of Hadassah Hospital, it was attacked.
Many Jewish patients, doctors, nurses, teaching faculty, and students were massacred. Including the soldiers accompanying the convoy, a total of 79 people lost their lives in the attack.
Subsequently, the Mt. Scopus campus fell under the control of Jordan, and its Jewish students and faculty were evacuated.
In 1958, a new Jerusalem campus was opened in Givat Ram in the western part of the city. A few years later, a new medical campus was founded in the Ein Kerem neighborhood, to the south.
Finally, the flagship Mt. Scopus campus was rebuilt in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, when the area came back under Israeli control.
Thus, today’s Hebrew University comprises three campuses in Jerusalem, as well as a fourth in Rehovot. The total student body amounts to roughly 23,000 individuals.
Fifteen Nobel laureates are associated with the Hebrew University, including the following:
In addition, the university is linked to three Turing Award–winners:
as well as two Fields Medalists:
Among other prominent Hebrew University–connected individuals, we may note the following:
Who are Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Most influential alumni?
Hebrew University of Jerusalem's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Religious Studies, Political Science, and Law. Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s most academically influential people include Daniel Kahneman, Jack Miles, and Ada Yonath.
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