Bar-Ilan University

Bar-Ilan University

name =Bar-Ilan University
native_name =אוניברסיטת בר-אילן

established =1955
type =Public
endowment =
staff =1,350
faculty =
president =Moshe Kaveh
provost =
principal =Haim Glick
rector =Joseph Menis
chancellor =
vice_chancellor =
dean =
head_label =Vice-Presidents
head =Harold Basch, Judith Haimoff
students =24,500
undergrad =
postgrad =
doctoral =
city =Ramat-Gan
state =
country =Israel
campus =Urban
free_label =
free =
website = []

Bar-Ilan University (BIU, אוניברסיטת בר-אילן) is a university in Ramat Gan, Israel. Established in 1955, Bar Ilan is now Israel's second largest academic institution. It has nearly 24,500 students (including 6,000 students in its affiliated regional colleges) and 1,350 faculty members. Bar-Ilan University has six faculties: Exact Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Jewish Studies, and Law. There are also interdisciplinary studies.

The University aims to forge closer links between Torah and universal studies, "to blend tradition with modern technologies and scholarship, and teach the compelling ethics of Jewish heritage to all... to synthesize the ancient and modern, the sacred and the material, the spiritual and the scientific." [ [ Bar-Ilan Mission ] ]


Bar-Ilan University is named for Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan, a Religious Zionist leader who served as the inspiration for its establishment in the early 1950s. Although he was trained in Orthodox seminaries in Berlin, he believed there was a need for an institution providing a dual curriculum of secular academic studies and religious Torah studies.

The founders of the university hoped to produce alumni committed to Jewish tradition, Zionist ideology and science. In 1965, the professors and lecturers were all religious Jews, as were the majority of students. Yosef Burg, one of the prominent leaders of the religious Zionist movement warned that admission of too many non-religious into the university could undermine its character: "If you spill too much water into a wine bottle, you will have no wine." Today, the student population includes secular and non-Jewish students, including Arabs. In the past, all Jewish male students were required to cover their heads, but this is no longer the case. Seven courses in Jewish studies are required for graduation. In hiring senior academic staff, the university gives preference to religious Jews, although the faculty includes many secular members.

Bar-Ilan operates a kollel for men and a midrasha for women. The kollel offers traditional yeshiva studies with an emphasis on Talmud, while the midrasha offers courses in Torah and Jewish philosophy. These programs are open to all students free of charge.

Yitzhak Rabin's convicted assassin, Yigal Amir, was a student of law at Bar-Ilan, prompting charges that the university had become a hotbed of political extremism. One of the steps taken by the university following the assassination was to encourage dialogue between left and right-wing students.

Under President Moshe Kaveh, Bar-Ilan has undergone a major expansion, with new buildings added on the northern side of the campus. New science programs have been introduced, including an interdisciplinary brain research center [ [ Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar Ilan University ] ] and a center for nanotechnology [ [ Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. Bar-Ilan University ] ] . The university has placed archaeology as one of its priorities, and this includes excavations such as the Tell es-Safi/Gath archaeological excavations [] and the recently opened Bar-Ilan University/Weizmann Institute of Science joint program in Archaeological Sciences. [ [ Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science: Inter-University Program> ] ]


*Faculty of Jewish Studies:The Joseph & Norman Berman Department of Literature of the Jewish People; Hillel Weiss is the tenured professor.

pecial student programs

Bar-Ilan offers a preparatory program that readies new immigrants for Israeli colleges. In addition, the university runs a One Year Overseas Program called Tochnit Torah Im Derech Eretz, which combines traditional Kollel Torah studies in the morning separate for men and women and co-ed general university studies and Jewish history classes in the afternoon. Many American students enrolled in regular programs of study in the University also take these Jewish history classes to fulfill their Jewish studies requirements.

Responsa project

Bar-Ilan's on-line responsa project was awarded the Israel Prize in 2007. [ [ The Bar Ilan Responsa Project (Global Jewish Database) ] ]

ee also

*List of universities in Israel

*Hebrew Theological College - a Chicago based institution, "preparing its graduates for roles as educators and Rabbis", while providing "broad cultural perspectives and a strong foundation in the Liberal Arts and Sciences."

*Lander College - a New York City based college, combining Torah study with secular, University study, based on a philosophy of "Torah Uparnassa" (Torah and Livelihood).

*Yeshiva University - a New York City based university, whose undergraduate programs operate according to the Modern Orthodox philosophy of "Torah Umadda" ("Torah with secular knowledge").

*Jerusalem College of Technology - a Jerusalem based college, founded to "educate students who see the synthesis of Jewish values and a profession as their way of life".

External links

* [ Bar-Ilan University English website]
* [ BIU History (English)]
* [ Bar-Ilan Students Union Hebrew website]


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