Bar-Ilan News

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  • Azrieli Foundation makes single largest donation to Bar-Ilan University

    Date: 2017-11-26 Hour: 12:29

    By injecting $50 million into Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Medicine, the Azrieli Foundation hopes to change the landscape of healthcare and medical education in northern Israel. 

    The donation, which was made in 2015, was recently recognized by changing the name to the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University. The celebration was attended by enthusiastic medical students, professors, Azrieli Foundation board members and politicians.

    Located in the city of Safed, the newly-named Azrieli Faculty of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University opened its doors in October 2011 in response to a nationwide shortage of physicians and the need to upgrade medical services and infrastructure in the region. Now completing its sixth year of operation, the Medical School has already graduated close to 150 new physicians, and is home to nearly 550 students enrolled in MD programs, medical research programs, combined MD/PhD programs and postdoctoral programs. 

    Bar-Ilan University is well-positioned to address the increasing need for highly-trained medical professionals; to reverse Israel's "brain drain" phenomena by bringing home students, teachers and researchers from some of the most prestigious institutions abroad; and to provide quality healthcare and employment opportunities to the citizens of northern Israel. 

    “This school epitomizes so many of the values that matter to us,” said Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation Canada. “It is one of the cornerstones of our organization to support excellence in, and access to, higher education, as well as to catalyze scientific and medical research. We are delighted to partner with Bar-Ilan to provide a new platform for clinical studies for students, and also to increase the capacity of the University and the country for basic medical research, which will have wide-reaching benefits.”

    The Azrieli’s Foundation’s investment is being matched by a $50 million donation from the government of Israel. Danna Azrieli, Chair of Azrieli Group and Azrieli Foundation in Israel added, “The Azrieli Foundation is proud to be part of the Zionist vision of building a medical school that infuses the northern region’s hospitals and communities with young doctors and world-class researchers.  We feel privileged to be partners with the State of Israel’s and Bar-Ilan University’s mission to train the next generation of doctors, expand medical research infrastructures, and offer excellent healthcare to the diverse Jewish, Arab and Druze communities who choose to live in one of Israel’s most beautiful areas.”

    Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said, "Today is a great day for the city of Safed, but more so for the entire Israeli health system.  Every shekel invested in the peripheries significantly improves people's lives.  It was very difficult for me to come to Safed today, as there are many matters that demand my attention.  But I insisted upon coming here in order to express my deep appreciation to those who contribute greatly to upgrading the health system in the periphery.  I would like to thank the Azrieli family and the Azrieli Foundation for this important contribution to Safed and to the entire State of Israel.  Strengthening the health system in the periphery strengthens Israel as a whole."

    "The Azrieli Foundation joins Bar-Ilan University in an unparalleled Zionistic and humanitarian venture – the strengthening and establishing of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee," said Bar-Ilan President, Prof. Arie Zaban. "With the support and partnership of the Foundation, we are reinforcing the medical and health services for the residents of this region, educating a generation of doctors and bringing the best researchers and future doctors back to Israel."

    "This lead gift from the Azrieli Foundation will ensure the continued development of the Faculty as a top-rate academic institution and will position bio-medical research at the forefront of science," said Prof. Ran Tur-Kaspa, founding Dean of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University.

    The ceremony was attended by Chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education, Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats; Mayor of the City of Safed, Ilan Shohat, President of Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Arie Zaban; Chair of the Azrieli Foundation Canada, Naomi Azrieli; Chair of the Azrieli Foundation Israel and Chairman of the Azrieli Group in Israel, Danna Azrieli; Board member of the Azrieli Foundation and of the Azrieli Group, Sharon Azrieli; Board members of the Azrieli Foundation in Canada and in Israel; the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Ran Tur-Kaspa; and many honored guests.

    About The Azrieli Foundation
    For 25 years, the Azrieli Foundation has funded institutions as well as operated programs on the ground in Canada and in Israel. The Foundation supports scientific and medical research, higher education, Holocaust education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, music and the arts, architecture, and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities.



    Photo: ​(left to right)​: Stephanie Azrieli, Danna Azrieli, BIU President Prof. Arie  Zaban, Minister of Health Rabbi Yaakov LItzman, Dean of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University Prof. Ran Tur-Kaspa, Sharon Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation Canada, Naomi Azrieli, Mayor of Safed Ilan Shochat.