Hebrew University's Contribution to the Community


September 2019


The Hebrew University of Jerusalem contributes to society first and foremost by realizing its two main goals—teaching and research. More than 20,000 students study at the University for an academic degree with a choice of almost 200 curricula options. Hundreds of thousands of our graduates are making a crucial difference to human society, in all walks of life. Furthermore, higher education helps narrow gaps in society, ensures the existence of a thriving liberal democratic society, and promotes Israel’s international standing. The University’s basic and applied scientific research also benefits society. With more than 10,000 registered patents and research projects, and 150 University-generated start-ups worth billions of dollars, our scientists are making a vital positive impact on humanity. What is more, the Hebrew University is a world leader in Jewish Studies and excels in research in the humanities and social sciences.

The University community—some 30,000 students, administrative and academic staff—is deeply involved in a wide range of community activities and voluntary work, understanding the moral responsibility of helping others and working towards a just society. In what follows, a partial description of the wide range of these endeavors is briefly presented. Some of these activities are conducted under the auspices of the University via its Unit for Social Involvement at the Office of the Dean of Students, as well as the Hebrew University for Youth Division. In addition to the activities listed below, many more activities are conducted by members of the University on a private basis.

The University community gives to others out of deep ethical commitment, and not for the sake of glory or awards. We share the information about this sterling work primarily to inspire and encourage people from both inside and outside the University community to join us and help expand our community activities and voluntary work.

Barak Medina, Rector


A. Unique Academic Programs

1. "Tikun Olam”—Making the World a Better Place. The University runs three main programs, all of which are Masters’ degrees. A key aspect of these programs is promoting welfare in developing countries and their students hail from all over the world including from developing countries:

  1. GLOCAL - International Development Program at the Faculty of Social Sciences focuses on development studies and international organizations that work in partnership with local communities in developing countries;
  2. International Public Health Program at the Faculty of Medicine focuses on health promotion in developing countries;
  3. International Agriculture Program at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment focuses on promoting food security and environmental protection in developing countries.


2. Pre-Academic Preparatory Programs. The University runs six pre-academic preparatory programs for more than 1,000 students every year. The University invests a great deal of its budget in these preparatory programs, since it recognizes the crucial importance of providing an opportunity for people from all parts of society to study at the University.

  1. General Pre-University Preparatory Program;
  2. “Sedara” Preparatory Program for Arab Students from East Jerusalem at the Rothberg School for Overseas Students;
  3. Preparatory Program for Immigrants at the Rothberg School for Overseas Students;
  4. Preparatory Program for Ultra-Orthodox Students;
  5. Matriculation Preparation Program at the Dean of Students Office;
  6. Preparatory Nursing Program for nursing students coming from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

B. Equal Opportunities for Students

3. Learning Assistance for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The Learning Center for the Blind, operated in conjunction with the “Aleh” organization, provides a wide range of services to some 150 blind and visually impaired University students and pre-academic preparatory students, free of charge. The University also runs a program to help some 30 blind and visually impaired students prepare for matriculation exams and psychometric exams; the program is tailor-made for each student and lasts 1-2 years. All these programs provide auxiliary support and rehabilitation staff who accompany students as they integrate via this assistance into the University community.

4. Integration and Support for Students with Disabilities. The University provides unique assistance to some 2,000 students with learning difficulties, autism, and physical and cognitive disabilities, via the Learning Disability Unit at the Dean of Students’ Accessibility Office. Specially trained experts and students mentor the students throughout their studies at the University, on both the educational and emotional level. Students on the autism spectrum receive individual and group support to help improve their social skills, daily functioning in broad organization contexts and employment orientation, in order to advance their integration into society after graduating from the Hebrew University.

C. Promotion of Diversity and Multiculturalism

5. The Center for Diversity and Multiculturalism. The University is making great efforts to increase the number of both students and faculty from minority groups, in particular, the ultra-Orthodox, Arabs, Israelis from Ethiopian origin, and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. These efforts include special preparatory programs, as described above, as well as academic and social assistance programs. In addition, the University implements affirmative action in its admissions, by easing admission criteria for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who are recognized as eligible by the Association for the Advancement of Education.

Steps are also being taken to express the diverse University community within the public sphere of the University. These include a Jewish-Arab leadership group, which runs cultural events on campus, and a group of interfaith dialogue, which meets for discussion on topics relating to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources.

6. “One Step Ahead” for New Arab Students. Giving Arab students a helping hand, the University offers these students preparatory courses relevant for their chosen degree, in the summer before commencement of their degree. The array of courses includes English, study skills, and social and cultural activities. The Dean of Students Office runs this program.

7. Arabic-Hebrew Language Group—“Wellspring in the Desert”. Some 300 Arab and Jewish pairs of students meet weekly to get to know one another and improve their own skills in their partner’s language. Throughout the academic year, Arab students teach Arabic to their Jewish partners, and Jewish students help their Arab partners with academic material in Hebrew. In additional to the weekly meetings, all the students in this language exchange enjoy a variety of social and cultural events.

8. Teaching Spoken Arabic and Hebrew. Arab students teach spoken Arabic to the entire University community on a voluntary basis. Hundreds of students and administrative and academic staff, who want to gain a better understanding of Arab culture and society, take part in these courses. In parallel, Arab students learn Hebrew in the Hebrew Teaching Unit, and this includes an option for learning Hebrew in summer courses free of charge.

9. Building Bridges between Ultra-Orthodox, Religious and Secular Students—“A Wall in Its Midst”. The program helps break stigmas and create positive interactions between ultra-Orthodox, religious and secular students, as well as provide the ultra-Orthodox students with the help they need to succeed in academia. Every week, pairs of ultra-Orthodox and secular or religious students study together. For the first 2 hours, the secular or religious student tutors his/her ultra-Orthodox student in the basic academic subjects in which they lack background knowledge, such as math, sciences, computers, and English. In the remaining hour, the pair learns together a Jewish text of their choice, using it as the basis for discussion and mutual understanding.

10. Neuroscience Studies in the Middle East—“Neuro-Bridges”. A summer school for graduate students brings together students from Israel, Iran, and Arab countries, who study neuroscience together. The project is an initiative of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, and students have enjoyed summer schools for the past five years.

D. Student Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programs

11. Social Leadership for Students. The University empowers its students by enabling them to gain leadership skills, and partners with several organizations in running leadership programs. These include:

  1. ISEF. Students from the social and geographical periphery acquire leadership and social responsibility skills in this program, co-sponsored with the ISEF Education Foundation. They learn about social issues, participate in community-based educational activities and receive personal and academic support;
  2. Rothschild Foundation Ambassadors. This program helps reduce social gaps by creating a multidisciplinary network of students from the social and geographical periphery who become young ambassadors in social enterprises. These young leaders learn about accountability and social engagement, and benefit from personal and professional development, and hands-on experience in initiating, establishing and managing projects;
  3. Al Bashir. This program helps outstanding Arab students from East Jerusalem. The goal is both for them to foster social leadership among the young adults of their community and also to provide them with tools to improve their integration into the Israeli job market. They learn these tools in weekly learning sessions and obtain experience in social engagement ventures. The University partners with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, and the Students’ Initiative of the Finance Committee of the Council for Higher Education in operating the program;
  4. Hoffman Program for Academic and Social Leadership. The three-year program provides outstanding PhD students with tools, support and a stipend that enables them to focus solely on their research, while also honing their skills and developing their commitment to social and community leadership.

12. Business and Social Entrepreneurship Education—“HUJI-Innovate”. The Hebrew University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship helps University students and alumni bring to fruition their ideas for digital and social startups. The programs are free and combine hands-on workshops and lectures, as well as consultations with leading entrepreneurs, investors and experts who help the students develop their ideas. In another innovative University enterprise, University students develop solutions to combat cyberbullying, with the support of HUJI Innovate, Siftech and Facebook.

13. Boosting Small Businesses—“Consul Accelerator”. Though many people in Israel work at small-scale businesses, some of these companies suffer from low productivity and do not utilize technological advances. As volunteers, University students and senior business professionals help small business owners in Jerusalem to improve their commercial success. Via HUJI-Innovate, they provide each business with a customized business-plan to improve its growth, working methods and productivity.  

14. Educational and Social Leadership by Ultra-Orthodox Students—the “Shluhei Tzibur” Program. Ultra-Orthodox graduate students at the University receive academic and educational enrichment sessions, and practical assistance in promoting social and educational projects in ultra-Orthodox communities throughout Israel.

15. Entrepreneurship and Leadership for Arab and Druze Students—“Wamda-Tech”. This initiative fosters entrepreneurship and leadership among the University’s talented Arab and Druze students from the medical and engineering fields. Arab students from the University, who realized that such students were lacking in entrepreneurial role models and skills, partnered with the private sector to set up Wamda-Tech. Three start-ups have already been established as a result.

E. Expanding Outreach and Assistance to High School Students

16. The Hebrew University for Youth. This unit aims to expand the horizons and engage and connect teenagers to science, through activities on University campuses, in schools and in community centers. More than 80,000 students participate in these activities each year, some of which are targeted at teenagers from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Additional science programs for high school students include:

  1. Special Classes for science students from Jerusalem in the University’s state-of-the-art Belmonte Laboratories Center;
  2. University’s Summer Science Camps, where teenagers gain access to high-level fun-filled science;
  3. "Future Scientists" Program, for outstanding students to take academic and research courses;
  4. “Odyssey” for 70 outstanding students from the Jerusalem area, who study towards degrees in mathematics and physics;
  5. “Alpha”, which enables 90 outstanding students every year to conduct research in University laboratories. Their research grades are recognized as part of their matriculation certificate;
  6. “Idea”, students prepare a research project in the humanities and social sciences;
  7. Colony on Mars—Space R&D”, where high school students engage in research on astronomy and human existence on Mars.

17. Belmonte Science Laboratories Center. The Center, through the Authority for Community and Youth, advances the science education of both high school students and their teachers. The Center provides access to cutting-edge physics, chemistry and biology laboratories for some 15,000 students a year. The Center also hosts annual science conferences, where students and teachers learn in greater depth about their field from the University’s leading researchers.

18. The Joseph Meyerhoff Youth Center for Advanced Studies. The Center helps make academic education accessible for teenagers from all sectors of Israeli society. Its activities include courses, enrichment classes, seminars, and science camps during the holidays and summer vacation. The University’s graduate students teach at the Center. Its programs include:

  1. Infinity”, which encourages students in middle school who are Israelis from Ethiopian origin, to excel in science, technology and social sciences;
  2. “Da Vinci”, an enrichment program for 9th grade students, in the exact sciences, technology and humanities;
  3. Science in the Periphery”, where middle-school students from Israel’s periphery benefit from a range of science programs that are adapted to their abilities and interests. The aim of these programs is to encourage and direct these teenagers (from Ashdod, Lod, Kiryat Ekron, Kiryat Malachi, Rahat, Sderot and Yavne) to continue their science education at a higher level in high school;
  4. The Jerusalem Robotics Program exposes young students to the world of engineering and its challenges, as they build an autonomous robot to perform various tasks;
  5. Science and ‘Halacha’” where ultra-Orthodox pupils learn about the academic world and the exact sciences, and take part in discussions about the science -‘halacha’ interface.

19. The Al Bashir Program for Excellence for Students from East Jerusalem. This Program aims to foster leadership among high school students from East Jerusalem, in social skills and science. 80 outstanding students from East Jerusalem study science within the Hebrew University for Youth Unit, at the Edmond J. Safra campus. The students also learn Hebrew and become familiar with the academic lifestyle, the university environment and the broader Israeli society.

20. The Teacher-Researcher Program. In order to strengthen the study of science in Jerusalem, the University recruits high school science teachers as part-time researchers. In this unique program, initiated by faculty members of the Racah Institute of Physics, teachers serve half-time as researchers in University laboratories, thus enriching their high school teaching with their research activities.

21. Active Learning—"Winning Card". Some 500 high school students from disadvantaged populations from East and West Jerusalem learn about medicine, business administration, law, and psychology at the University. University student volunteers teach these courses using innovative, interactive methods. They encourage teenagers to develop their creativity and curiosity, and also create meaningful connections with the high school students.

22. Towards Higher Education—the LAHAV Program. Teenagers from East Jerusalem are invited to take academic courses at the University free of charge and gain credits towards a degree. This program exposes them to the world of higher education and creates opportunities for them to advance to academic studies.

23. A Travelling Introduction to Science Program. Faculty members and research students travel across Israel, sharing their research with school students via introduction-to-science lectures.

24. Physics for High School. Faculty from the Racah Institute of Physics share their enthusiasm for physics with teenagers, as they lecture in high schools on a variety of physics topics, on a voluntary basis.

25. Helping Children Flourish—the “Perach” Program. Some 600 University students run mentoring activities for children who need educational and emotional support.

26. The "Pharmacists of Excellence" Program. Aiming to attract children from Israel’s periphery to the world of pharmacy and chemistry, volunteer faculty members and research students at the University’s School of Pharmacy share their knowledge on basic chemistry and pharmacy with school children in schools in Or Akiva and Yokneam.

27. Promoting Women in Technology—the “QueenB Program. This program, founded by Hebrew University graduates, aims to build self-confidence and encourage women to pursue a computer science degree and a high-tech career. Female computer science students teach programming to 8th grade girls. The program also strengthens the social network among the volunteer students.

28. Asian Studies for High-School Students. This program introduces high-school students to the wealth and breadth of Asian Studies, while creating connections between the teenagers and the University community. Students from the Department of Asian Studies, with support from faculty members, teach about culture, language, history and current affairs of China, India, Japan and Korea.  

29. Summer Agricultural Activities for Teenagers from Disadvantaged Neighborhoods. Teenagers learn about work in labs and gain an insight into academic life and research in the field of agriculture. Students and faculty members of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment who run this program give the teens introductory lectures and basic research skills, while providing them an opportunity to get to know members of the academic community.

30. Matriculation in Technological Entrepreneurship. Aiming to encourage high school students to develop their technological skills, the University created a business administration matriculation program in Jerusalem that focuses on technological entrepreneurship. The participants develop a technological idea and present it to leaders in industry and to University faculty. Their high school teachers receive program support from the School of Business Administration throughout the academic year. The School of Business Administration, in collaboration with the Director of Education in Jerusalem, developed the program.

31. Igniting the Spark—the "Nitzotzot" Program. School children are encouraged to develop individual interests and to take action to fulfill these interests, in this special program. Faculty from the University’s Veterinary School and from the University’s Veterinary Hospital run activities for children whose interest is “sparked” by animals, and conduct hands-on animal care activities with them.

32. Promoting Mathematical Thinking for Children. Elementary school pupils in Netivot, a town in Israel’s periphery, enjoy activities in mathematical thinking. This develops their numeracy and skills in problem solving and understanding shapes and measures. The University student who initiated this project runs the activities voluntarily while doing his Master’s degree.

33. Promoting the Study of Neuroscience for The Ultra-Orthodox and Arabs—the “Open Minds” Program. This program seeks to expose high school students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds in Jerusalem to the world of neuroscience, especially in the ultra-Orthodox and East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Initiated by a faculty member of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the University, the program extends its reach too to disadvantaged teenagers elsewhere in Israel and even in Ethiopia.

34. Encouraging Student Curiosity—the “Inquisitive Mind” Program. Middle school and high school students from Jerusalem gain a glimpse into the exciting world of brain science in this unique enrichment program, initiated by the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences. Faculty members and doctoral students at the Center teach the pupils about brain anatomy, neuronal activity, sensory function and brain research, using interactive methods.

35. Activities for Biology Majors—the “Between Imagination and Reality” Program. High school students who major in biology meet their peers and University researchers and doctoral students to delve further into this field. They gain an understanding of the theoretical questions underlying neuroscience research, are exposed to the latest technological developments and learn about University research in the lab. These hands-on activities take place at the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the University and are conducted in collaboration with the Science and Technology Department of the Jerusalem Municipality's Education Administration.

36. Guidance for Biotechnological Projects. High school students in Mevaseret Zion, a city near Jerusalem, who major in biotechnology, receive help in completing their final project. Faculty and researchers at the Faculty of Medicine guide the students and help them conduct laboratory experiments and try out scientific research. Additionally, Faculty researchers host high school students from Jerusalem in their laboratories and guide them in research work, and also give lectures in school classrooms. The Faculty of Medicine initiated this project.

37. Guidance for Science Project—the “Tnufa” Project. Students from the Faculty of Medicine provide guidance for high school students in completing their final science projects. They connect these young students with University faculty from all fields of theoretical and experimental scientific research, and also provide them with professional and social support. Students from the Faculty of Medicine initiated this nationwide project.

38. The Young Scientists Program. Children in elementary school from all sectors of the population enjoy a touch of science as they conduct microbiology experiments in the teaching laboratories of the Faculty of Medicine. Students from the Faculty of Medicine guide these children and work as volunteers. 

39. Snunit Association for the Advancement of Online Education. Snunit, founded by the Hebrew University, is one of Israel’s main providers of learning and teaching resources. It promotes online learning in schools, and has created hundreds of unique technological innovations in the field of education. Snunit specializes in developing experiential learning environments. It is a nonprofit organization and is located on the Edmond J. Safra campus in Givat Ram.

40. A Program for Promoting Tolerance Among Young Children. Children in kindergarten and elementary school from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds enjoy a range of innovative educational activities that encourage them to be tolerant and to fulfill their potential, academically and socially. The NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education runs these activities.

41. Scientific Journal for Youth—“Frontiers for Young Minds”. This online journal makes cutting-edge scientific discoveries available to younger audiences. Distinguished scientists, on a voluntary basis, write about their research in a language that is both exciting and accessible for young readers, and in turn, the teenagers—with the help of a science mentor—edit the articles and provide feedback. A faculty member of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences was the brains behind this special journal.

42. Youth Village for Excellence in the Arts—the “Bikurim” Program. This youth village promotes excellence in the arts. Located in the south of the country, children from all over Israel, and especially from the periphery, study and live together and have the opportunity to realize their potential in the arts. A faculty member of the Faculty of Humanities helped establish the Village.

43. The “Teenage Entrepreneurs” Program. High-school students learn how to develop ideas and launch business initiatives in a summer course run by HUJI-Innovate. The would-be entrepreneurs gain exposure both to academic life and to Hebrew University’s breakthrough technologies.

F. Community Activity

44. The “Speaking Hebrew” Program. Wanting to enable minority groups to speak Hebrew, some University students initiated and now teach spoken Hebrew to women from East Jerusalem, on a voluntary basis. Every week, more than 300 women come to the Mount Scopus campus and benefit from free courses.

45. The “Good Neighbors” Program. The University organizes activities for the residents of the Arab village of Issawiya that adjoins the Mount Scopus campus. The activities aim to strengthen the connections between the residents and the University. Some 60 high school students from Issawiya get to know the University’s labs and nature collections, and join in educational and cultural tours and activities in Jerusalem. This project is run by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School For Advanced Studies in the Humanities.

46. The “Women’s Circles” Program. Empowering female University students and strengthening University connections with some of Jerusalem’s female residents, Women’s Circles bring together these two groups for study, dialogue and social activities, run by the students. Both the students and the residents hail from diverse cultural backgrounds. The Circles focus on women’s issues, human rights and leadership.

47. The Urban Clinic. This project aims to help making the cities we live in sustainable and more equitable. The Clinic in Jerusalem has three main tracks: Improving the Fair Use of Space and Resources in Jerusalem, as University students and faculty work with city officials and with professional networks towards this goal; Creating Change on the Ground in some Jerusalem locations which in turn become precedents for changing the municipality’s policies; and Research and Development on Local Urban Planning as a continuum of similar research and development conducted worldwide. Major ​​projects include: urban planning in partnership with local communities; developing East Jerusalem; adapting the city for young children; housing and urban renewal; and a research group focusing on “Cities, Diversity and Social Justice”. The Institute for Urban and Regional Studies at the University hosts this Clinic.

48. The “Digital Starter” Program. Hebrew University students use their digital skills to help business owners located at the edge of Jerusalem, by promoting these businesses in social and digital media. Both the student volunteers and the business owners benefit from the professional, personal and practical bonds they form.

49. The Legal Clinics. Students at the University’s Faculty of Law provide free legal aid to help people and organizations protect their rights, through the Center for Clinical Legal Education. The legal clinics also aim to arm law students with social sensitivity and an understanding of the relationship between law in academia and in practice. The legal assistance covers a wide range of fields and includes: human rights, children’s rights, equality of rights for people with disabilities, rights in criminal proceedings and rights in cyberspace.

50. Legal Assistance in Realizing Rights—the “Breira” (Choice) Center. Students at the University’s Faculty of Law provide free legal assistance to empower various sections of Jerusalem’s disadvantaged populations and enable them to realize their full social rights. The Center’s activities include: assistance desks in Jerusalem’s regional and rabbinical courts; practical support for children who are victims of crime, in cooperation with the Israel Council for the Child; support for the Methadone Center; and a community training project.

51. The Autism Center. The Center conducts research into autism and offers training, clinical services and community engagement to assist people on the autism spectrum and their families, free of charge. The Center operates within the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the University.

52. The “University for the People” Program. Some 500 people, referred by social services and rehabilitation authorities, take weekly courses at the University in law, business and psychology, free of charge. These courses include an experiential element, are tailored to the needs of the participants, and are designed to empower them. The student-teachers of this program take part in a year-long academic course to prepare them for teaching and for strengthening their social responsibility.

53. The “Living Lab” Project. Children are invited to play science games in order for University researchers to investigate children’s development, cognizance of the world around them and acquirement of language. Through fun short tasks involving pictures, sounds, memory and social skills, conducted at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem, University researchers have been able to advance understanding of child development, share their findings with the international community of child development researchers and introduce families to the world of academic social science. This unique partnership with the Science Museum places Jerusalem’s Living Lab firmly on the international stage with Living Labs that exist in over 40 children’s science museums worldwide. To date, more than 6,000 children of all ages and backgrounds, and their parents, have participated in our Living Lab.

54. The School of Social Work and Social Welfare Expands Access to its Know-How. Faculty members at the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare engage in a wide range of activities to make their knowledge and experience accessible to the general public. Their programs include:

  1. Support and Professional Counselling through the JDC Better Together program, which works to create long-term change in blighted neighborhoods, and the Community Work Service, which works with local communities in planning and development;
  2. Intervention Programs to enable parents and their children to regulate emotions, build emotional resilience, and strengthen their ability to cope with difficult life events;
  3. "NAMAL" (Make Room for Games) and "PANDA" (Ways of Coping) in conjunction with “Metiv”, The Israel Psychotrauma Center;
  4. Public Lectures on multiculturalism, children at risk and ethics;
  5. Guidance for The Fourth World Movement, an international movement that seeks to overcome poverty by seeking out people living in the worst conditions of poverty and exclusion around the world;
  6. Volunteering at the Israel Association for Couple and Family Therapy;
  7. Managing the Ralph Goldman Center for Social Welfare, Judaism and Ethics Center;
  8. Serving on Public Committees.

55. ​​The “MAI” Urban Center for Activism Leadership and Youth Entrepreneurship. University students are active in this Center, which aims to strengthen teenagers’ connections with Jerusalem, by encouraging activism and critical thinking. The Center’s groups include: activism through art, volunteering in neighborhoods and municipal youth council activities.

56. The “She Codes” Program. Wanting to encourage women to get jobs in high-tech, and accelerate the proportion of women in this vital field, women and teenage girls learn software development and programming free of charge. Spearheaded by a Hebrew University student, this program has had great scope and impact: some 50,000 women and girls in 40 locations all over Israel have benefited from courses, lectures, workshops, career advice and mentoring activities. The teachers from the Hebrew University and other partner organizations provide their students with female role models as well as useful skills.

57. Students at the Faculty of Agriculture Help the Community. Giving back to the town where they study, Rehovot, students at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment spearhead a range of community assistance projects. These include: bringing a smile to elderly and young patients at the Kaplan Medical Center with music and singing; delivering food parcels to the needy on the festival of Purim; remembering the past on Holocaust Memorial Day by organizing memorial evenings in private homes where Holocaust survivors’ share their stories; food and clothes parcels for the town’s needy residents; and collecting money to help victims of the recent Ben Shemen forest fires.

58. The Department of Psychology in the Community. Faculty members at the Department of Psychology are active in a variety of public bodies. Their activities include helping the organization "Not Standing By Idly” which helps women caught in the cycle of prostitution, and "Or Shalom” which provides safe, loving homes and educational, psychological and material support for children who have been removed from their homes by the social welfare services following severe abuse, neglect and tragedy. 

59. The Department of Geography in the Beit Hakerem neighborhood of Jerusalem. Faculty members of the Department of Geography volunteer on the neighborhood committee, which campaigns for proper treatment of contaminated soil in Beit Hakerem.

60. Discounted Dental Care for People from Disadvantaged Communities. The University’s Faculty of Dentistry provides discounted dental care to people who would otherwise struggle to pay for their own dental care.  Dental students and faculty members raise the money to fund these treatments. The elderly, poor children, residents of sheltered housing and Holocaust survivors all benefit from this discounted care. In this way, dental care becomes another arm of current preventive health care and health promotion projects that are provided to the elderly at their day centers.

61. Health Promotion in Jerusalem—the “Shlavim” (Stages) Program. Medical students volunteer in programs that promote a healthy lifestyle among people from disadvantaged communities in the city. These programs include:  

  1. Mental Health and Rehabilitation Settings, primarily promoting healthy nutrition and exercise;
  2. Programs for the Elderly, teaching them ways to avoid falls, to eat healthily, and to improve the quality of their sleep;
  3. Emergency Medicine for people living on the street, at clinics for refugees and at the Open House for Pride and Tolerance clinic;
  4. Promoting Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Children with Developmental Delays in East Jerusalem.

62. Promotion of Public Health in the Bait Va’gan Neighborhood of Jerusalem. Researchers and students at the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine provide an integrative workshop which promotes physical activity and a healthy diet, free of charge, to residents of the neighborhood.  

63. Mentoring of People with Disabilities by Occupational Therapy Students—the “Kesher” Program. Some 70 students at the School of Occupational Therapy mentor people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disability and give them support, socially and within their communities, throughout the academic year. Hundreds of children, graduates and adults benefit from "Kesher" and acknowledge how it contributed to their improved sense of belonging to the community. Both students and people with disabilities participate together in a special course, "Self-Awareness through Cinema", in collaboration with the Beit Issie Shapiro organization. All participants learn together in mixed groups how to produce films, and their final products are shown at a celebratory graduation party.

64. Occupational Therapy Services for At-Risk Populations. Students at the School of Occupational Therapy develop and provide occupational therapy services for at-risk populations. These include: migrant children and asylum seekers, in educational settings; the elderly in day care centers; and other at-risk populations at rehabilitation centers and in sheltered housing. 

65. The “Eye-Opener” Project. Many children in Ethiopia suffer from blindness at birth due to cataracts. A faculty member of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, travels to Ethiopia to provide these children with free surgical treatment and follow-up therapy to optimize their chances for sight recovery. Nearly 100 children have been treated at Eye-Opener. He initiated this project.

66. Ethiopian-Israeli Farmers. Elderly Israelis from Ethiopian origin, who come from a tradition of farming but, on arriving in Israel, live in towns, receive land free of charge from the University’s Faculty of Agriculture in order to cultivate the land, grow traditional crops and maintain their traditional farming practices. Faculty members at the Faculty of Agriculture, whose plots adjoin the Ethiopian-Israeli homes, initiated this farming project. In addition, these veteran farmers share their knowledge of sustainable agriculture with the Faculty’s students, in a "Practical Agriculture" course. In a third branch of the Faculty of Agriculture’s practical farming, students from Israel and abroad cultivate land together and in parallel with the veteran Ethiopian farmers.

67. Caring for Abandoned Animals. Pets in need of medical care who have been abandoned by their owners are treated by the University Veterinary Hospital, in collaboration with a number of local authorities and social organizations, on a voluntary basis.

68. Amirim Honors-Students Help Social Causes.The winners of the Amirim composition competition donate their prize money to social causes of their choice. Participants in this Honors Program are outstanding students who benefit from a unique interdisciplinary curriculum at the Faculty of the Humanities.

G. Cultural Events and Lectures for the General Public

69. Classical Music for the General Public. The Hebrew University supports the Hebrew University Orchestra which holds several concerts a year, under the auspices of the Department of Musicology. In addition, every Monday throughout the academic year, the Orchestra performs afternoon concerts on the Mount Scopus campus which are open to the general public free of charge. The University also hosts a choir, which holds public performances too.

70. Lectures on the Subject of Old Age. A series of lectures on "The Era of Reason - The New Golden Age," by faculty members of the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, takes place at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.

71. Scientists’ Night. At this event, which takes place in Israel every September, the general public are able to taste from the depth and breadth of the University’s science. The University opens its doors and the public can listen to a variety of lectures, be exposed to the cutting-edge research that takes place behind its walls and take part in various workshops and exhibitions. Some 3,000 people attend this event, which is supported by the European Union and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

72. Science Week. During Science Week, which takes place in Israel every March, the University shares the best of its science with the general public, with lectures, workshops, science demonstrations and tours of the Hebrew University's youth labs. In recent years, the University has chosen to dedicate the event to the science and research that takes place at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and its surrounding community.

73. Space Week. During Israel’s Space Week, which takes place in January, the University holds a public event that includes lectures, workshops and scientific activities on astrophysics and astronomy. The event is held in conjunction with the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Israel Space Agency.

74. Conference of Lights. The Hebrew University for Youth holds a conference on science and science fiction every Chanukah on the Edmond J. Safra campus, in conjunction with the Israeli Science Fiction Association.

75. Science and Technology Fair for Research and Problem Solving. Outstanding students in 6th and 9th grades, who conducted science and technology year-long research throughout the academic year, present the projects that won first places in local and municipal competitions, at this national fair.

76. Science Lectures. Researchers at the Faculty of Science give a series of lectures on popular science to the general public, free of charge, at Jerusalem’s old train station's complex. In addition, they hold star-gazing viewings on Ben-Yehuda Street in Jerusalem from time to time. The Faculty also share their research with the general public through short online videos.

77. National Nature Collections. The University operates the Israeli National Natural History Collections on the Edmond J. Safra campus. The Collections contain the national herbarium, and collections of invertebrates, molluscs, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, archaeology and paleo-biology. The Collections’ faculty and students run the following activities voluntarily:

  1. Free Public Activities every first Thursday of the month, in the afternoon, which include becoming familiar with the character of curatorial work in nature collections, getting to know researchers' work and seeing exhibits;
  2. An Annual Public Symposium which presents new research based on the nature collections;
  3. Open Day in August, when more than 100 activities and demonstrations are held for the general public;
  4. Advice to the Government Bodies responsible for nature conservation in Israel, providing training to government staff working in the field, and helping in identifying species such as plants and terrestrial invertebrates in cases of smuggling or investigations, and decryption of hunting and trafficking cases. The Collections Unit is also involved in preparation of the endangered species list;
  5. Scientific and Conservation Advice to Museums in preparing exhibitions; to farmers; to the Ministry of Agriculture and to its Plant Protection and Inspection Services; and to Customs and airports regarding species of agricultural pests, invasive species, beneficial species, animal cruelty and animal welfare and the introduction of new animals to local water-based agriculture;
  6. Assistance to the Ministry of Health, the National Center on Poisoning and Hospitals in cases of stings and bites by snakes, scorpions and spiders;
  7. Guidance on Biodiversity and Nature Conservation to schools, biology teachers and thesis supervisors, and assistance in conducting surveys for various localities in the country (“Bioblitz”);
  8. Work on Academy of the Hebrew Language Committees in giving Hebrew names to plants and animals.

78. Anthropological Film Festival. An annual film festival promoting anthropological documentaries is held at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, in partnership with faculty members of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

79. Brain Awareness Week—Art & Brain. This unique collaboration between the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the University and the Jerusalem Cinematheque takes place within the international Brain Awareness Week. The project aims to raise public awareness of the significance of brain research, to present the latest research findings and to strengthen the relationship between the community and the academics. This Week includes a series of public events, combining lectures and scientific exhibitions with films, shows and exhibitions. This year, the Week included joint projects with other institutions that promote the connection between sciences and art, including the Israel Museum and Beit Avi Chai.

80. The “Beer and Brain” Project. Jerusalem’s community of brain researchers give short public lectures once every two months during the academic year. Three doctoral students speak each time in different Jerusalem bars and these Beer and Brain evenings attract people from the local community.

81. Science and Nature Lectures at the Inter-University Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat. At the Institute, which is led by the Hebrew University, faculty members and guest speakers give monthly lectures on natural and life sciences to the general public.

82. Sharing Biblical Studies Research. Many faculty members of the University’s Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies write for and share their research in Project 929 which promotes the study of Bible for the general public. Also, many of the Institute's members give Bible classes in dozens of communities across Israel and spread their knowledge with those who enjoy studying Bible all over the world.

83. Partnership and Joint Ownership of Public Institutions. The Hebrew University is a joint owner of and provides significant funding for the National Library, which provides services to the general public and to the community of academics in all higher education institutions in Israel. The University owns half of the Science Museum in Jerusalem, where University students and faculty are involved in a variety of its activities. The University is also a founding member of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.