The Hebrew University

Jerusalem, 1925

Founded in 1918 but officially opened atop Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem in 1925, The Hebrew University was intended to be a top-rate international scientific research institute. The University was created as part of a period of intense Zionist institution-building following World War Two. Its founders wanted the school to develop expertise, and world-renowned leaders, in agriculture, medicine, new technology, and security. Then later it would admit students and offer degrees. Its creation was the result of passionate support from the global Jewish community, including some of its most notable names in many different countries: Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber, and many others. Two years earlier, during a visit to the Holy Land before the actual campus was built, Einstein had delivered the very first scientific lecture at the school — on the Theory of Relativity. The first chancellor was Judah Magnes, the controversial pacifist American Reform rabbi from the Bay Area.

The Hebrew University today has six campuses, over 23,000 students, ranks as the 59th best university in the world, and has produced eight Nobel Prize winners and one Fields Medal winner. Einstein willed all his papers, including his original E=mc2 formula, to the University upon his death in 1955.