History of the British Friends
The British Friends of the Hebrew University (BFHU) is the oldest established Jewish charity in support of higher education, established in 1926. Amongst our earliest contributors were the families of Ernest Franklin, Richard Gregory, James de Rothschild, Redcliffe Salaman, Charles Singer and Chaim Weizmann.
Sirs Philip Hartog and Herbert Samuel oversaw the young charity, collecting books for the University's library, founding the first scholarships and organising lectures by teachers visiting Britain. One of the earliest lectures, in 1929, was by one Dr Sukenik, who went on to discover the Dead Sea scrolls and worldwide fame.
Now, we help fund scientific, medical and engineering research for the improvement of people's lives in Israel and worldwide, as well as providing scholarships to British students studying at HU.
BFHU still brings HU speakers and ambassadorial students to the UK. This year alone, we sponsored 7 HU professors to participate at Limmud Conference and 4 Ambassadorial students at the Leeds Festival for Peace and welcomed 7 other professors to lectures and events around the UK.
In addition, we offer tours to the University, summer programmes, a gap year scheme and the new Family Summer Institute.
We are part of a worldwide network that raises funds and awareness for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
We invest in our donors by providing educational, social and cultural events for them. With the commitment and enthusiasm of our lay leaders, we are able to offer a Breakfast Series in the City for young lawyers, regular cultural programmes and seminars on the latest health and wellbeing research from HU. Our very active Women's Group, which has been going for 50 years, continues to raise money for vital projects at the Hebrew University. For more about joining the BFHU's groups click here.
BFHU's President's Awards dinner is held every year and is a major part of our General Fund campaign. This year we celebrated our 80th birthday and welcomed guest speaker, Ephraim Halevy at the prestigious Banqueting House in Whitehall.
The Hebrew University has always attracted celebrity support, from Albert Einstein, a major founder and benefactor of the The University, to Steven Spielberg and Billy Crystal. The University is proud to have bestowed honorary doctorates upon both Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
We are grateful for the generous support of all our donors, companies, trusts and individuals in their will, and to those benefactors who have named buildings, wings and research centres at the Hebrew University. We welcome any donation of whatever kind to help support our vital cause.