50 Influential Jews: Ranan Hartman - No. 42

As the head of Ono Academic College, Ranan Hartman has been changing Israel's higher education sector and pushing to integrate students from underprivileged backgrounds.

 Ono Academic College founder and CEO Ranan Hartman. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Ono Academic College founder and CEO Ranan Hartman.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Ranan Hartman, son of Rabbi Prof. David Hartman and Barbara Hartman and the visionary founder and CEO of Ono Academic College, has left an indelible mark on the landscape of higher education in Israel. His pioneering spirit has shaped the college and the community.

Established in 1995 when Hartman was just 26, Ono Academic College has become the largest independent college in Israel, with 20,000 students across its three campuses in Kiryat Ono, Haifa, and Jerusalem. Some 50% of its students are first-generation learners.

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One of the standout features of Ono is its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in higher education. The college aims to transform Israeli society by making quality education available to all segments, particularly those who have historically been underrepresented. To this end, it has played a pivotal role in integrating ultra-Orthodox Jews into academia and helping them integrate into the workforce.

Ono is also the academic home for hundreds of students whose parents are from Ethiopia and who are enrolled every year on scholarships, helping to facilitate their entry into various professions, including the historic achievement of the first Ethiopian-Israeli minister, Pnina Tamano-Shata. Additionally, the college fosters social change among Arab-Israelis, east Jerusalem residents, and numerous other minority communities by helping them to become community leaders, executives, and public figures. It has created a cadre of executives and managers who now occupy senior positions in prominent companies and organizations, spanning telecommunications, banking, law, and cybersecurity.

In parallel with its academic programs, Ono Academic College has become a significant research center for multicultural education and has established numerous social educational enterprises. These initiatives range from integrating young people with autism into IDF intelligence units to providing rehabilitation for trauma victims and fostering dialogue between diverse communities.