Photo Credit: Bruno Charbit, GPO
New olim arriving at the academic fair in Bar Ilan University, April 2024.

Eleven hundred new olim considering a college education attended an academic fair this week at Bar-Ilan University. The full-service fair included representatives from the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption, the Israel Student Authority, Diaspora immigrant organizations, and the IDF.

Over the years, the absorption of aliya has been part of Bar-Ilan University’s mission as a Zionist and Jewish university founded in 1955 by Prof. Pinkhos Churgin and a group of olim from the United States.


A team of advisors from Bar-Ilan University’s Dean of Students Office, as well as representatives from other leading universities, such as the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, and Reichman, Haifa, and Ben-Gurion Universities also participated to ensure that these potential students become equipped with the information necessary to reach their ultimate decisions regarding higher education.

“The immigration of young people and students during wartime is our answer to our enemies and those who wish to inflict harm upon us,” said Minister of Immigration and Absorption Ofir Sofer in addressing the participants. “Seeing over a thousand young people who want to immigrate and enroll in academia is important news and a spirit of encouragement for the people of Israel – especially during wartime.”

“We encourage young people to immigrate to Israel and are doing many things to ensure that they assimilate and integrate in the best possible way,” Sofer continued. “Dedicated and accessible courses, online Hebrew learning, and rental assistance are just some of the incentives we’ve begun offering this year. We will continue to work to encourage aliya and to provide a broad and welcoming haven for immigrants together with our partners and aliya organizations.”

Bar-Ilan University presented the variety of new curricula developed and specially tailored for olim in response to the growing antisemitism on campuses of leading universities in the US and Europe.

During the first year of study, four undergraduate degree programs in Computer Science, Engineering, Life Sciences (Pre-Med), and Law will be taught in English, and a BSc in Mathematics and Physics to Russian speakers will be taught in Russian during the first year.

Olim who enroll in all the Bar Ilan courses will simultaneously participate in an intensive Hebrew ulpan, which starts during the summer, before the beginning of the new academic year. From the second year on, the remainder of the courses will be taught in Hebrew.

“Bar-Ilan is the university that absorbs the highest number of olim, and a large number of our faculty members are olim themselves,” said university CEO and Deputy President Zohar Yinon. “Even amidst the challenging and complex days of an ongoing war, it is exciting to see that higher education is an effective platform for growth and renewal and a stable anchor for young people in Israel and in the Diaspora.”

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