Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The government has decided to donate some 24 dunams of land at the bottom of the
Jerusalem College of Technology campus to enable it to build separate women’s
facilities at its lowest point. It is the first time that an Orthodox men’s and
women’s college will share the same location, albeit with restricted access from
one part to the other. After planning and approval procedures are completed,
construction should begin on the first building in a year.
campus of the Machon Tal college – which includes an accomplished nursing school
– has been located since its inception in 3,500 sq.m. in three small rented
buildings on Beit Hadfus Street in the capital’s Givat Shaul area; part of the
complex served for a short time as the Histadrut labor federation’s headquarters
before it moved back to Tel Aviv.
JCT currently has 4,000 students
enrolled in its various tracks: in Machon Lev, for modern Orthodox men, some of
whom study in the “Atuda” program combining IDF service with academic studies;
in Machon Naveh, an evening program for haredi men; and in Machon Tal. JCT’s
Machon Lustig program in Ramat Gan, which awards technological degrees to haredi
women, is growing by leaps and bounds.
Women in Machon Tal study towards
careers in engineering, industrial management, technology marketing, accountancy
and nursing, as well as for graduate degrees in business
As many of the male teachers at the men’s college also
teach at the women’s college, moving Machon Tal to the large Givat Mordechai
campus will be much more efficient.
But due to opposition from some JCT
rabbis to a mixed-gender campus, moving Machon Tal to Pisgat Ze’ev or other
far-off locations was contemplated, but ultimately rejected.
A team of
rabbis will delineate the rules for separating the genders.
At an outdoor
dinner gala on the campus celebrating the achievements of the 44- year-old JCT
and its graduates on Wednesday night, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali
Bennett, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Jerusalem Mayor Nir
Barkat announced the land allocation and praised the institution’s combining of
Torah and science.
Barkat said the expansion of JCT will make a
significant contribution to expanding the city’s young, academic and Zionist
population and its economy. JCT graduates have launched some 60 hi-tech
start-ups in Jerusalem, he said, and have made major contributions to the
country’s defense through senior technological positions in the IDF.
mayor also noted that the next planned section of the Jerusalem Light Rail will
connect the Givat Mordechai campus to Mount Scopus in the north of the city and
Gilo in the south.
It was the last major JCT event presided over by
outgoing president Prof. Noah Dana-Picard, a French-born mathematician who is
completing four years in the post. Dana-Picard is going on sabbatical leave, and
will then head a college chair in mathematics and Jewish law. He introduced the
event’s 300 participants to the next JCT president, Prof. Chaim Sukenik, the
US-born dean of the Bar- Ilan University’s Faculty of Exact Sciences and an
expert in nanotechnology and advanced materials.