Timeline of Innovation

1. 1913-1952

  • 1. 1913-1952
  • 2. 1953-1972
  • 3. 1981-2008
  • 4. 2009-2015

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.

1913

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

1918

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

1925

Gala opening of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

1931

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

1935

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

1936

First doctoral degrees conferred

1939

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

1940

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

1942

The School of Agriculture opens on the Rehovot campus

1947

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

1948

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

1949

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

1952

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

2. 1953-1972

1958

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

1960

Dedication of the Ein Kerem medical campus

1961

The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem opens

1964

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

1965

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

1967

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

1972

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

1981

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

1985

Opening of the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine

1997

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

1998

The School for Overseas Students is renamed the Rothberg International School

2000

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

2002

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

2004

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

2005

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

2006

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

2008

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

4. 2009-2015

2009

Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) established

2011

Establishment of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

2013

Groundbreaking for the Suzanne and Charles Goodman Brain Sciences Building

2014

Dedication of the Rothberg Family Buildings housing the Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science

2015

• 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