Timeline of Innovation

1. 1913-1952

  • 1. 1913-1952
  • 2. 1953-1972
  • 3. 1981-2008
  • 4. 2009-PRESENT

1. 1913-1952

A prestigious history, the foundation for a promising future.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) was born from an idea proposed in 1913 by Chaim Weizmann. His enthusiasm for the project was shared by other visionaries at the time, among them Albert Einstein, Martin Buber, and Sigmund Freud. Three years after the symbolic foundation stones were laid on Mount Scopus in 1918, Weizmann and Einstein set out across the U.S. to promote and raise funds for the university. Seven years later, on April 1, 1925, HU opened its doors.

Since its inception, outstanding leaders have propelled the university’s growth and excellence. HU’s award-winning faculty includes Nobel laureates, Israel Prize winners, a Fields Medalist, members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, leading scientists, academics, authors, and policy makers. Distinguished alumni include Israeli Prime Ministers, two female Supreme Court Presidents, as well as 25% of Knesset members, and two thirds of Israel’s Supreme Court Justices. For nine decades, Israel has relied on HU for leadership in every sphere and for its unwavering and unparalleled commitment to excellence, multiculturalism, pluralism, and the cause for peace.


The 11th Zionist Congress passes a motion in favor of the establishment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem


The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is founded on Mount Scopus; cornerstone laid


Gala opening of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem


HU awards its first degrees, the Master of Arts, to 13 graduates


The Hebrew University issues certificates enabling young European Jewish refugees to enter the country and study in Jerusalem; Faculty of Science established, with Chaim Weizmann appointed dean


First doctoral degrees conferred


The pre-Faculty of Medicine opens and includes Departments of Parasitology, Bacteriology, and Hygiene


The entire ridge of Mount Scopus overlooking the Old City is earmarked for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem


The School of Agriculture opens on the Rehovot campus


The Hebrew University grows to be a large, well-established research and teaching institution encompassing several new Faculties, as well as the Jewish National and University Library, a university press, and an Adult Education Center


The provisional Israeli government recognizes the Hebrew University as a “central scientific institution of the State of Israel”


The new Faculty of Medicine officially opens; Faculty of Law, Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, and Adult Education Center are established


The first M.D. degrees are awarded to students who had begun their training abroad

2. 1953-1972


Dedication of the Givat Ram campus (eventually named the Edmond J. Safra Campus at Givat Ram)


Dedication of the Ein Kerem medical campus


The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem opens


Yissum Research Development Company established to patent university research and technology and to promote university partnerships with industry


The Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace is established on the Mount Scopus campus; The Truman Institute was the first and remains the largest research center in Israel and the Middle East to examine conflict resolution and propose peaceful solutions for the region


The number of faculties and schools is greatly expanded; enrollment exceeds 12,500; temporarily relocated, HU is slated to return to its original home on Mount Scopus following the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War


The Faculty of Medicine expands with the addition of the Henrietta Szold-Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing and the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Occupational Therapy

3. 1981-2008


HU continues to grow, with the addition of new buildings, establishment of new programs, and recruitment of outstanding scholars, researchers and students


Opening of the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine


The D. Walter Cohen Center for Dental Education in the Middle East is created to bring together dentists from the region to engage in joint research projects and learn their colleagues’ respective techniques


The School for Overseas Students is renamed the Rothberg International School


HU’s Givat Ram campus is named the Edmond J. Safra Campus, in honor of the leading philanthropist and founder of the Republic National Bank of New York


Daniel Kahneman, a professor at Princeton University and a fellow of HU’s Center for the Study of Rationality and Interactive Decision Theory, is the co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences


Three HU graduates become Nobel Prize laureates in Physics, and Chemistry


Robert J. Aumann, professor emeritus at HU’s Center for Rationality and a faculty member for five decades, is the co- recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his groundbreaking work in game theory


Roger Kornberg of Stanford University, a visiting professor at HU’s Department of Biological Chemistry for the past 20 years, wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription


The 90th anniversary of the Hebrew University’s cornerstone laying

4. 2009-present


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 celebrates its 90th anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the 100th Anniversary of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
• Launch of the new building housing the Jack, Joseph and Morton School of Advance Studies in the Humanities
• Partnership with Cleveland Clinic for Center for Transformative Nanomedicine


Hebrew University and global Friends groups celebrate the centennial anniversary since laying the university’s cornerstones by launching HU’s first Global Giving Day.

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