One of the visions of the Zionist movement was to establish a Jewish university in the Land of Israel. Founding a university was proposed as far back as 1884 in the Kattowitz (Katowice) conference. The cornerstone for the University was laid in 1918.
Seven years later, on April the 1st, 1925, the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus was opened at a gala ceremony attended by the leaders of the Jewish world, distinguished scholars and public figures and British dignitaries, including the Earl of Balfour, Viscount Allenby and Sir Herbert Samuel. The University’s first Chancellor was Judah Magnes.
By 1947, the University had grown to a large, well-established research and teaching institution, encompassing humanities, science, medicine, education and agriculture (the last at a campus in Rehovot), the Jewish National and University Library, a University press and an adult education.
Today there are 23,500 students enrolled at the University, including 11,700 undergraduates, 6,900 master degree students, 2,700 doctoral candidates, and 2,200 other students in 4 different campuses: Mount Scopus, The Edmond J. Safra Campus, Ein Kerem and Rehovot.
Another important section that relates to the Hebrew University is The Jewish National and University Library. This is the central library of the University as well as serving as the national library of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. It is also the oldest section of the University. Founded in 1892 as a world center for the preservation of books relating to jewish thought and culture, it assumed the additional functions of a general University library in 1920.
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