Historical Milestones

Over Half a Century of Achievements

1955   2010
1 Buildings 70
2 Laboratories 150
6 Classrooms 200
18 Courses 7,112
24 Faculty 1,350
56 Students 33,000
0 Alumni 95,000
$0.5 million General Budget $150 million
1950 Professor Pinkhos Churgin, President of the "Mizrachi" movement in the US launched an initiative to establish a university that combines Jewish values and academic excellence.
1953 Following a fundraising campaign among the Jewish communities in the U.S. and the allocation of land for the university by the Israeli government and Jewish National Fund, the university's cornerstone is laid.
1955 Bar-Ilan University, named after Rabbi Meir Berlin, a prominent religious Zionist leader, is opened. Prof. Churgin is the university's founding president.
1959 The university's first graduates, numbering 27, complete their Bachelor's degree studies.
1961 The university graduates its first Master's degree students - numbering 5.
1963 Bar-Ilan graduates its first PhD student.
1965 Bar-Ilan offers courses for the first time in Ashkelon to enable resident of this city to enhance their education.
1967 The "Responsa Project is launched, enabling people to locate sources in Halacha literature throughout the ages.
1968 Courses are offered in Zemach and Safed, both of which would later become academic branches of Bar-Ilan.
1972 The Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies opens.
1978 Scientific relations with international bodies are expanded, with main projects involving early detection of cancer, strengthening the immune system, rehabilitation of soldiers suffering from head trauma, among others.
1985-1995 The university's five branches operate as regional colleges, having received formal recognition (Ashkelon, Safed, Jordan Valley, Ariel and the Western Galilee.

New research projects enhancing Bar-Ilan's reputation include hampering the progress of Alzheimer's, medical treatment for burns, and the production of Kosher gelatin.

A new Law School is established. New programs in Jewish studies are established for the benefit of large wave of immigrant students, who have little or no knowledge of Judaism.

Approximately 100 prominent new immigrant scientists join Bar-Ilan, boosting the research work carried out at the university.

The Faculty of Jewish Studies publishes a new founding edition of "Mikraot Gedolot" and produces a new, update CD-ROM of the main holy books and hundreds of question and answer books (Responsa Project).

AFBIU launches Adopt A Student Program to provide scholarships for new emigres coming from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.
1995-2005 Bar-Ilan boasts the largest School of Education and School of Social Work in Israel. The university's Faculty of Jewish Studies is the largest in the world.

In 1998, the Doctoral Fellowships of Excellence Program is launched with the support of the AFBIU.

Construction on the new north campus begins, and the university is awarded a prize in recognition of the beauty of the campus.

President's Scholarships are initiated to assist outstanding PhD students - bringing up the number of graduate students to 1,618 - double of when the program was launched.

In 2001, new interdisciplinary courses are introduced, including brain sciences, contemporary Judaism, gender studies, conflict management and negotiation.

University establishes the world center for Jewish identity and new programs aimed at preventing Jewish assimilation abroad and reinforcing Jewish identity among Jewish youth in the Diaspora.

New community outreach programs include academic centers in Bnei-Brak and Jerusalem for the benefit of religious Orthodox men and women.

University boasts 70 buildings, 150 laboratories and 6,100 courses.
2006-Present

In 2008, the state-of-the-art School of Engineering Complex becomes the new home to a department charged with a mission to contribute significantly to Israel's technology-based economy.

In 2009, the Jim Joseph Building for Jewish Education and Values opened. This is the new headquarters of the Bar-Ilan School of Education, the largest in Israel.

The opening of the Leslie and Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Nanotechnology Triplex in 2010 serves as the scientific headquarters for BIU's 28 nanotechnology research groups.

In 2011, Bar-Ilan opens Site 1 of Israel's first new medical school in 37 years. Located in Safed, this School will enhance healthcare services in the Galilee, and improve the region's economy and quality of life.

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