New Book: Selzer, The History of the Hebrew University – Who’s Who Prior to Statehood

Selzer, Assaf. The History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Who’s Who Prior to Statehood: Founders, Designers, Pioneers. Jerusalem: Magnes, 2015.

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Abstract

The four volume series of the History of the Hebrew University Project is devoted to the evolvement of the idea and of its implementation during the pre-state period. The previous three volumes expanded in a great number of scholarly articles on the complex stories which made up this history from a great variety of aspects – scientific and academic, political and organizational, economic and social.

The present volume, the last part of the project, seeks to focus on the individuals, the personalities of the people who made the university become a reality; those who struggled for its foundation, and the pioneering scholars and scientists who laid the basis and shaped the Hebrew University. It opens a window for the wider public to become familiar with the story of the Hebrew University without the need to penetrate into the complexity of scientific and other issues dealt with in previous volumes.

The story of the university is the story of the enormous efforts involved in bringing prominent scholars and scientists to Eretz Israel, then a remote and marginal corner in the Middle East. These efforts were accompanied with debates of principle and personal controversies within and outside of the university about academic and national considerations. Despite all difficulties, criticisms and doubts, the founders of the university succeeded in building an institution of intellectual excellence that would become a pillar in the project of Jewish national renaissance and prepared the basis for the Hebrew University academic leadership in Israel and in the Jewish world for many years to come

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