Bar-Ilan University

Bar-Ilan University

Overview
Bar-Ilan University is a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in Ramat Gan of the Tel Aviv District
Tel Aviv District
The Tel Aviv District is the smallest and most densely populated of six administrative districts of Israel with a population of 1.2 million residents...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

.

Established in 1955, Bar Ilan is now Israel's second-largest academic institution. It has nearly 26,800 students (including 9,000 students in its affiliated regional colleges) and 1,350 faculty
Faculty (university)
A faculty is a division within a university comprising one subject area, or a number of related subject areas...

 members. Bar-Ilan University has eight faculties: Exact Sciences, Life Sciences
Life sciences
The life sciences comprise the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms, like plants, animals, and human beings. While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of...

, Social Sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

, Humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, Jewish Studies
Jewish studies
Jewish studies is an academic discipline centered on the study of Jews and Judaism. Jewish studies is interdisciplinary and combines aspects of history , religious studies, archeology, sociology, languages , political science, area studies, women's studies, and ethnic studies...

, Medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, Engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, and Law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

.
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Encyclopedia
Bar-Ilan University is a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in Ramat Gan of the Tel Aviv District
Tel Aviv District
The Tel Aviv District is the smallest and most densely populated of six administrative districts of Israel with a population of 1.2 million residents...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

.

Established in 1955, Bar Ilan is now Israel's second-largest academic institution. It has nearly 26,800 students (including 9,000 students in its affiliated regional colleges) and 1,350 faculty
Faculty (university)
A faculty is a division within a university comprising one subject area, or a number of related subject areas...

 members. Bar-Ilan University has eight faculties: Exact Sciences, Life Sciences
Life sciences
The life sciences comprise the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms, like plants, animals, and human beings. While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of...

, Social Sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

, Humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, Jewish Studies
Jewish studies
Jewish studies is an academic discipline centered on the study of Jews and Judaism. Jewish studies is interdisciplinary and combines aspects of history , religious studies, archeology, sociology, languages , political science, area studies, women's studies, and ethnic studies...

, Medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, Engineering
Engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, and Law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

. 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."

History


Bar-Ilan University has Jewish-American roots: it was conceived in Atlanta in a meeting of the American Mizrahi organization in 1950, and was founded by Prof. Pinkhos Churgin, an American rabbi and educator. When it was opened in 1955, it was described by The New York Times "as Cultural Link Between the [Israeli] Republic and America". The university was named for Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 Meir Bar-Ilan
Meir Bar-Ilan
Meir Berlin, later Hebraized to Meir Bar-Ilan, , born Volozhin, Lithuania, died Jerusalem, Israel) was anOrthodox rabbi and leader of Religious Zionism, the Mizrachi movement in USA and British Mandate of Palestine...

 (originally Meir Berlin), a Religious Zionist leader who served as the inspiration for its establishment. 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
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 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
Yosef Burg
Yosef Shlomo Burg was an Israeli politician. In 1949, he was elected to the first Knesset, and served in many ministerial positions for the next 40 years. He was one of the founders of the National Religious Party.-Biography:...

, 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 Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s. 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
Jewish studies
Jewish studies is an academic discipline centered on the study of Jews and Judaism. Jewish studies is interdisciplinary and combines aspects of history , religious studies, archeology, sociology, languages , political science, area studies, women's studies, and ethnic 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
Kollel
A kollel is an institute for full-time, advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature. Like a yeshiva, a kollel features shiurim and learning sedarim ; unlike a yeshiva, the student body of a kollel are all married men...

 for men and a midrasha
Midrasha
A refers to an institute of Jewish studies for women. In Israel, it is often an Orthodox institution that caters solely to women, and roughly the equivalent of a yeshiva for men. The term is often translated as 'seminary'. In the United States, the term has also been used to refer to...

 for women. The kollel offers traditional yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 studies with an emphasis on Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

, while the midrasha offers courses in Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 and Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy , includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or, in relation to the religion of Judaism. Jewish philosophy, until modern Enlightenment and Emancipation, was pre-occupied with attempts to reconcile coherent new ideas into the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism; thus organizing...

. These programs are open to all students free of charge.

Yitzhak Rabin's
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

 convicted assassin, Yigal Amir
Yigal Amir
Yigal Amir is the Israeli assassin of Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin. The assassination took place on November 4, 1995 at the conclusion of a rally in Tel Aviv. Amir is currently serving a life sentence for murder plus six years for injuring Rabin's bodyguard, Yoram Rubin, under...

, was a student of law at Bar-Ilan, prompting charges that the university had become a hotbed of political extremism
Extremism
Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards...

. One of the steps taken by the university following the assassination was to encourage dialogue between left and right-wing students.

Under university president Moshe Kaveh, Bar-Ilan has undergone a major expansion, with new buildings added on the northern side of the campus
Campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

. New science programs have been introduced, including an interdisciplinary brain research center and a center for nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

. The university has placed archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 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
Weizmann Institute of Science
The Weizmann Institute of Science , known as Machon Weizmann, is a university and research institute in Rehovot, Israel. It differs from other Israeli universities in that it offers only graduate and post-graduate studies in the sciences....

 joint program in Archaeological Sciences.

Bar-Ilan's Faculty of Law made headlines in 2008 by achieving the highest average Israeli Bar Exam grade of 81.9 by its graduates.

Faculties



  • Faculty of Jewish Studies
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
  • Faculty of Exact Sciences
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Medicine

Special student programs


Bar-Ilan offers an Interdisciplinary Social Sciences BA in English, which includes Economics, Sociology, and Political Science. The degree is internationally recognized and is open to students from all over the world. In addition, Bar-Ilan offers a preparatory program that readies new immigrants
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

 for Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i colleges. The university also runs a one-year overseas program called Tochnit Torah Im Derech Eretz
Torah im Derech Eretz
Torah im Derech Eretz is a philosophy of Orthodox Judaism articulated by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch , which formalizes a relationship between traditionally observant Judaism and the modern world...

, which combines traditional Kollel
Kollel
A kollel is an institute for full-time, advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature. Like a yeshiva, a kollel features shiurim and learning sedarim ; unlike a yeshiva, the student body of a kollel are all married men...

 Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 studies in the morning, separate for men and women, as well as co-ed general university studies and Jewish history
Jewish history
Jewish history is the history of the Jews, their religion and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Since Jewish history is over 4000 years long and includes hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes...

 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
Jewish studies
Jewish studies is an academic discipline centered on the study of Jews and Judaism. Jewish studies is interdisciplinary and combines aspects of history , religious studies, archeology, sociology, languages , political science, area studies, women's studies, and ethnic studies...

 requirements.

Projects


Bar-Ilan's on-line responsa
Responsa
Responsa comprise a body of written decisions and rulings given by legal scholars in response to questions addressed to them.-In the Roman Empire:Roman law recognised responsa prudentium, i.e...

 project was awarded the Israel Prize
Israel Prize
The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel and is largely regarded as the state's highest honor. It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the...

 in 2007. The university's Bible project, in danger of being eliminated by continued budget cuts, was saved at the last minute by an anonymous donor.

Rankings


Bar-Ilan University, in its capacity as a business school, was placed as the 4th best business school in Africa and the Middle East in the 2010 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report
QS Global 200 Business Schools Report
The QS Global 200 Business Schools Report identifies the most popular business schools in each region of the world. It aims to serve employers seeking MBAs at a regional level. It originated in the early 1990s under the partnership Quacquarelli Symonds. The TopMBA Career Guide was made in 1990, and...

.

Alumni


See: :Category:Bar-Ilan University alumni.
  • Ami Ayalon
    Ami Ayalon
    Amihai "Ami" Ayalon is an Israeli politician and a former member of the Knesset for the Labor Party. He was previously head of the Shin Bet, Israel's secret service, and commander-in-chief of the Navy...

  • Michael Ben-Ari
    Michael Ben-Ari
    Michael Ben-Ari is an Israeli politician, and a current member of the Knesset for the National Union party. He is the first outspoken disciple of Rabbi Meir Kahane to be elected to the Knesset. He has a Ph.D in Land of Israel studies.-Biography:...

  • Avi Dichter
    Avi Dichter
    Avi Dichter is an Israeli politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Kadima. He is a former Minister of Internal Security and Shin Bet director.-Biography:...

  • Gila Gamliel
    Gila Gamliel
    Gila Gamliel is an Israeli politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Likud and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.-Biography:...

     (born 1974), member of the Knesset for Likud and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
  • Joshua Kulp
    Joshua Kulp
    Joshua Kulp is an Israeli talmudic scholar. Kulp was born in the United States and grew up in Margate, New Jersey. He lives in Modi'in. He earned the PhD at Bar Ilan University.Kulp's commentary on the Haggadah has been widely admired....

  • Tzipi Livni
    Tzipi Livni
    Tzipporah Malkah "Tzipi" Livni is an Israeli lawyer and politician. She is the current Israeli Opposition Leader and leader of Kadima, the largest party in the Knesset. Raised an ardent nationalist, Livni has become one of her nation's leading voices for the two-state solution. In Israel she has...


Faculty

  • Adam Ferziger
    Adam Ferziger
    Adam S. Ferziger is a Jewish historian and author. He is known for his study of Jewish assimilation in the Diaspora, and for documenting the evolving relationship between Orthodox and non-observant Jews.He received his early education at the SAR Academy in Riverdale, and the Ramaz School in...

  • Jonathan Fox
    Jonathan Fox
    Jonathan Fox is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. He has authored, coauthored, or edited five books and over 50 journal articles and book chapters on topics such as domestic and international ethnic and religious conflict and...

  • Mordechai Kedar
    Mordechai Kedar
    Mordechai Kedar is an Israeli scholar of Arabic literature and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University. He holds the Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University.Kedar is an academic expert on the Israeli Arab population...

  • Baruch Kurzweil
    Baruch Kurzweil
    Baruch Kurzweil was a pioneer of Israeli literary criticism.-Biography:Kurzweil was born in Pirnice, Moravia in 1907, to an Orthodox Jewish family. He studied at Solomon Breuer's yeshiva in Frankfurt and the University of Frankfurt. Kurzweil emigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1939...

  • Aren Maeir
    Aren Maeir
    Aren Maeir is a professor at Bar Ilan University and director of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project . Born in 1958 in Rochester, New York, USA, he moved to Israel in 1969 and has lived there since...

  • Daniel Sperber
    Daniel Sperber
    Daniel Sperber is a professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and an expert in classical philology, history of Jewish customs, Jewish art history, Jewish education and Talmudic studies.-Biography:...

  • Zeev Zalevsky
    Zeev Zalevsky
    Zeev Zalevsky ; was born in the Russian SFSR in the Soviet Union in 1971 and came with his family to Israel. Zalevsky is an Israeli physicist specializing in Optoelectronics. He is a Professor of Electrical engineering and Nanophotonics at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel...


See also

  • List of universities in Israel
  • American Jewish University – a Los Angeles based university, whose intimate undergraduate programs involve ethical Jewish principles.
  • Hebrew Theological College
    Hebrew Theological College
    The Hebrew Theological College, known as "Skokie Yeshiva," is a Yeshiva in Skokie, Illinois which also functions as a private university on campus. The primary focus of the Yeshiva is to teach Torah and Jewish traditions...

     – 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."
  • Jerusalem College of Technology
    Jerusalem College of Technology
    The Jerusalem College of Technology , , is an Orthodox Jewish college. JCT's main campus are situated in the Givat Mordechai neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Other branches are located in the Givat Shaul neighbourhood of Jerusalem and Ramat Gan...

     – a Jerusalem based college, founded to "educate students who see the synthesis of Jewish values and a profession as their way of life".
  • Lander College
    Lander College
    The Lander College for Men is a private, men's honors division of Touro College located in Kew Gardens Hills, New York. Its stated goal is to provide a rigorous college curriculum while maintaining a traditional Yeshiva environment...

     – 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
    Yeshiva University
    Yeshiva University is a private university in New York City, with six campuses in New York and one in Israel. Founded in 1886, it is a research university ranked as 45th in the US among national universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2012...

     – a New York City based university, whose undergraduate programs operate according to the Modern Orthodox
    Modern Orthodox Judaism
    Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world....

     philosophy of Torah Umadda
    Torah Umadda
    Torah Umadda is a philosophy of Modern Orthodox Judaism, concerning the interrelationship between the secular world and Judaism, and in particular between secular knowledge and Jewish knowledge...

    ("Torah with secular knowledge").

External links