Skip to main content

Bar-Ilan University

BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY

BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY , a religiously oriented university, founded in 1955. In the mid-1990s Bar-Ilan was the third largest university in Israel. The university's aim is to advance knowledge in both Jewish studies and general science in accordance with the ideology of Torah im Derekh Ereẓ ("Torah with general knowledge") and to serve as a bridge between religious and secular in Israel.

In the late 1940s a plan evolved to establish a religious university in Ereẓ Israel, supported by the *Mizrachi movement in the United States. The idea received further impetus under the leadership of Prof. Pinkhos *Churgin of Yeshiva University in New York, and the university was inaugurated in 1955. Classes opened with 80 students and 19 lecturers. At the opening ceremonies, Prof. Churgin said that Bar-Ilan would "demonstrate that Judaism is not a cloistered way of life, removed from scientific investigation and worldly knowledge." Named for Meir *Bar-Ilan (Berlin), Bar-Ilan received little encouragement in Israel at the outset. The government doubted the need for another university in addition to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. *Agudat Israel and similar Orthodox groups were fearful of imperiling certain types of religious education, particularly the yeshivot. However, it gradually became clear that Bar-Ilan served an important function in combining modernity with tradition, and in expanding the country's scientific and Jewish studies' capabilities. Prof. Churgin served as first president of the University. In 2005 Moshe Kaveh was president. In 1957 Prof. Joseph Lookstein was appointed chancellor, holding the position until 1976. Under Lookstein's leadership the university grew rapidly and received a charter from the State of New York (the only institution of higher learning in Israel to do so).

The Bar-Ilan campus is located east of the city of Ramat-Gan and administers another five regional colleges throughout the country. The campus includes 63 buildings, 165 classrooms, 130 laboratories, and 25 libraries. It employs 1,650 academic staff, teaching in six faculties and 38 academic departments: exact sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, Jewish studies, and law. The campus also includes schools of education, social work, engineering, and business administration. In 2005 Bar-Ilan had 31,200 students and 59,000 alumni. Its annual budget was $130 million.

Bar-Ilan is the only Israeli university where all students benefit from a compulsory enrichment program in Jewish heritage (Bible, Jewish literature and history, ethics, culture, etc.), in addition to the full university curriculum. The university offers over 500 elective courses in Basic Jewish Studies. Degrees offered by Bar-Ilan's academic departments include: B.A., B.Sc., LL.B., M.A., M.Sc., M.S.W., LL.M., M.B.A., and Ph.D.; diplomas in communications, local government, music therapy, teaching, translation and interpreting. It has also taken a leading role in applied scientific research in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields, and houses several national scientific centers, such as the Israel National Center for Magnetic Measurements. The university also houses highlevel research centers in the fields of physics, medical chemistry, mathematics, brain research, economics, strategic studies, psychology, music, archaeology, and Jewish philosophy and law. Unique to Bar-Ilan are the Institute for Advanced Torah Studies and the counterpart Midrasha for Women, through which over 1,300 students combine intensive yeshivah-style studies with a full academic curriculum.

Bar-Ilan maintains academic cooperation agreements with 54 leading universities around the world. There are 64 endowed chairs and 66 research centers operating at the university, including several leading research institutes in physics, medical chemistry, mathematics, brain research, economics, strategic studies, developmental psychology, musicology, Bible, Talmud, Jewish education, Jewish law and philosophy. A special project of the university is the publication of responsa texts, historical and present, with special computer applications developed for this purpose. Bar-Ilan University Press published to the mid-1990s some 350 publications in addition to 20 periodicals and professional journals. The university owns the Bar-Ilan Research & Development Company aimed at marketing research results to private companies. The university sponsors many social and community outreach projects, including a prisoner rehabilitation effort, a big-brother program, legal aid, study programs for senior citizens, educational counseling, and a network of social counselors in development towns.

bibliography:

Ben-Yosef, in: Sefer ha-Shanah shel Bar-Ilan, 4–5 (1967), 12–29. website: www.biu.ac.il.

[David M. Weinberg / Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bar-Ilan University." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bar-Ilan University." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 26, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bar-ilan-university

"Bar-Ilan University." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved June 26, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bar-ilan-university

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.