Close to half of those who applied to study at Hadassah College’s new Jerusalem
campus designed for haredi students applied to study biotechnology, an unusually
high demand for a scientific field from the haredi community.
College’s Strauss Campus, which opens next month, will offer ultra-Orthodox
students an academic environment tailored to their lifestyle. This includes
separation between men and women in the classes, which are mostly during the
evening, as well as separation from the college’s main campus, located across
the street, which is attended by secular students.
The new campus will
offer students full undergraduate programs in fields such as biotechnology,
management studies, computer science, communications and politics.
are amazed at the demand,” said the president of Hadassah College, Dr. Bertold
“Any way you look at it, it’s a vocation. For the haredi
community, which is increasingly interested in academic training; for the city
of Jerusalem, which wants to integrate haredim into the job market and also for
the State of Israel, which understands the importance of providing equal tools
and opportunities for everyone in order to reduce the gaps in Israeli society,”
The deputy director of the Strauss campus, Nati
Gamliel, also emphasized the importance of offering higher education for
“In two years, we will have taught over 500
haredim in our various academic tracks, allowing them to enter the Israeli job
market,” he said.
About 1,000 haredim applied to the different programs
at the new school, half of whom are specifically interested in the biotechnology
“This is very surprising,” said Yaniv Rosenberg, spokesman of
Hadassah College. “They usually tend to prefer other fields than research and
science, like computer engineering, account management or education.”
general, the majority of the new campus’s students will be women, but as far as
the biotechnology program is concerned, men showed more interest: the program’s
gender ratio is about 65 percent men and 35% women.
In addition, married
men enrolled in biotechnology studies are offered a sum of NIS 1,500, which they
can use for their studies, housing or any other basic need.
not possess a high school diploma or a psychometric test score will be required
to take a preparatory academic year in addition to the three-year
During the preparatory year, they will undergo training in math,
English, academic writing and other subjects necessary for them to learn in
order to fill the gap between them and other students.
Shimon Arbel, the head fundraiser at Hadassah College, are expected to travel to
the United States in the next few days in order to raise funds for the school in
American Jewish communities.
“In the United States, it is very much
accepted that haredim go to work and financially support their
homes. American Jews, even Orthodox Jews, encourage it and I hope to see
this implemented in Israel,” said Fridlender.
The programs offered at the
Strauss campus are the same as those taught on the main campus of Hadassah
College, which is currently attended by over 2,400 students. They will also be
conducted by the same faculty members.