2 4 8 D O C . 5 9 F O U N D I N G O F H E B R E W U N I V E R S I T Y
62. “On the Founding of the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem”
[Einstein 1921j]
Published 26 August 1921
In: Jüdische Pressezentrale Zürich, 26 August 1921, p. [1].
(An interview by the
“Jüdische Pressezentrale Zürich”
with Professor Einstein,
August 26, 1921)
Underlying the need to establish a Hebrew university in Palestine are two reasons.
First, a Jewish homeland in Palestine is not even thinkable without a university.
Bacteriological and other research is necessary for the public health of the country.
Training, as well as the intellectual material support of doctors, especially of those
who are to gain a familiarity with the country, is necessary; as is an industry for
chemical research on soil and botany to deal with agricultural matters, These would
be part of the natural sciences faculty. In order to give these institutions an indepen-
dent character, one needs, of course, pure physics and chemistry, and with that you
have already an almost complete philosophical faculty; insofar as the natural sci-
ences are concerned. Of course, no less important are institutes for the humanities,
especially history, Jewish culture, and Near East topics in general, in particular the
Hebrew language—all in order to spread knowledge of the country and to give the
people settled there an intellectual center. A large-scale Jewish colonization with-
out such an intellectual center is hardly imaginable; and it is obvious that these spe-
cial goals—if pursued in a scientific manner—require as a base the cultivation of
philosophy, archeology, etc. What I have said briefly summarizes the needs con-
cerning the buildup of the country and the modern development of a scientific ter-
minology for the Hebrew language.
The Hebrew University in Palestine shall have a national character insofar as the
language of instruction will generally be Hebrew, and language difficulties during
the first years will be overcome by the fact the initially it will be mainly an institute
of research, and without teaching, especially in the field of the natural sciences.
The second major task of the Hebrew University in Palestine must be to offer a
possibility of study for Jewish youths from Eastern Europe, because many young
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