Third Generation of Detroit Supporters of Bar-Ilan University Celebrate a Unique 60-year Partnership, Plan to Fund Medical School's Library

The children and grandchildren of many of the Detroit pioneers who played a leading role in founding Bar-Ilan University (BIU) gathered on May 8th at the home of Gary and Rhonda Ran to celebrate the unique 60-year relationship between Bar-Ilan and the Detroit Jewish community. The celebration marked the fact that Detroiters contributed a disproportionate amount of funding for Bar-Ilan's early development and construction.

The 60 event attendees, including many community leaders, learned about the University's greatly respected scientific initiatives from guest speaker Prof. Moshe Bar, Director of Bar-Ilan's Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center. Dr. Merav Galili, Director of the University's Global Resource Development Department, then discussed the new Medical School Library, which the Detroit Jewish community has committed to fund and equip.

Event Honorary Chairman Irving Nusbaum recalled how the founders started with a "dream" when they met in June 1951 for a first ever fundraising event for a concept that eventually became Bar-Ilan University. It took place in the lower level of the home of his parents, Abe and Laura Nusbaum, in Detroit.

"It is not their business we are remembering, but their charity and contributions… They spoke with accents, never went to college, and many never graduated high school, but they founded a college," he said.

Event Chairman Gary Ran, grandson of Bar-Ilan's first Global Board Chairman, Phillip Stollman, said he was confident that he and other Detroiters would raise the funds needed to equip a state-of-the-art library in Safed.

"The medical excellence in the center (of the country) will soon be available in the North," said Ran.

Dr. Bar, who taught at Harvard and MIT, said that Bar-Ilan has certain advantages over these larger universities. "Bar-Ilan is small and agile and can do a lot of things, but it's mostly about the people, and I am surrounded by great people."

To learn more about this Detroit campaign to support the BIU's Medical School Library, please call Les Goldstein, Midwest Region Executive Director of AFBIU, at 248-540-9800 or email


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