September 28, 2023 – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem today announces an unprecedented $27 million donation from the Paulson Family Foundation for the construction of a new building within the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering, located on the Edmond J. Safra Campus in Givat Ram, Israel. 

The donation will improve and enrich the experience of Hebrew University’s students and researchers, who are in high demand in the Israeli and international hi-tech industry. The Hebrew University’s School of Computer Science and Engineering is the birthplace of some of the world’s leading hi-tech companies, including Mobileye and Lightricks. 

The gift from the U.S.-based Paulson Family Foundation will enable the construction of the fourth building in the computer science complex, thus expanding and upgrading the school’s learning spaces and research laboratories. The new building will feature state-of-the-art education facilities including approximately 75,300 sq ft. (7,000 m2) of special laboratories, teaching rooms, office space, and computer stations in the labs and open areas. 

“Over the last decade, we have increased threefold the number of students at the School of Computer Science and Engineering,” said Prof. Asher Cohen, President of the Hebrew University. “The current complex, which comprises three buildings, will be at full capacity by the end of 2024. Construction of this fourth building will enable us to meet the huge demand for the outstanding hi-tech personnel that the University produces. The Paulson Family Foundation’s generous donation will allow us to continue supporting the Israeli hi-tech industry in the best possible way.” 

John Paulson and Asher Cohen. Credit: Shlomi Amsalem

The Paulson Family Foundation was founded in 2009 by John Paulson, President of Paulson & Co., a global investment company. The Foundation invests in education, science, health, culture, and the arts.  

“Israel’s quality higher education is largely responsible for the country’s technology boom and rapid economic development,” said Paulson, who is Founder and Chairman of the Paulson Family Foundation. “This gift will ensure that the Hebrew University has the resources to meet the growing demand for computer science and engineering education.” 

“We are immensely grateful to the Paulson Family Foundation for this generous donation, which will significantly improve the learning and research experience of our students and researchers, who are influencing the future of our field on a daily basis,” says Prof. Sara Cohen, Dean of the School of Computer Science and Engineering. “The new building will provide these sharpest of minds, who are on campus around the clock, with modern learning and research spaces to the highest international standards. It will also be the home of an AI research center that we are in the process of establishing.”  

According to Joshua Rednik, Chief Executive Officer, American Friends of the Hebrew University, “This is a truly transformational gift from one of America’s most successful investors. His contribution to developing the next generation of computer scientists is a worthy endeavor that will advance the industry at a global level and especially within the State of Israel.”  

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