Bar-Ilan University this week honored four major philanthropic organizations from around the world who joined together to ensure the opening of the University’s new Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee in time for the 2011-12 academic year.

The partnership quartet of United Jewish Israel Appeal (United Kingdom), United Israel Appeal Canada, Russell Berrie Foundation and Rashi Foundation provided much of the funding for the first building of the Bar-Ilan Faculty, allowing the University to implement the Israeli government resolution to open a new medical school in Safed.

The festive event in their honor took place at the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, which officially opened its doors two weeks ago.

“The historic opening of this medical school would not have taken place and studies would not have commenced, were it not for the innovative and pioneering acts of these four partners,” said Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Moshe Kaveh at the event. “In a state of uncertainty and with obstacles in our way they clearly demonstrated their belief in us. They understood the importance of the mission and, as such, raised the very significant amount of $10 million towards the establishment of the initial site of the Faculty. Through this gift, we were able to receive matching funds from the government and, in just seven short months, to complete construction of this modern, well-equipped building. Within its walls, the science of medicine is being taught and the Faculty is already making a valuable contribution to Safed and the entire Galilee,” he added.

“This medical school is a precedent for how government and philanthropic foundations can cooperate with one another to bring about great things,” said Moshe Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer of Yedidut Toronto and the Friedberg Charitable Foundation, who represented UIA Federations Canada at the event. Mr. Shapiro urged the four partners to continue to work together in order to identify additional projects of national interest and work together to see their successful implementation. “The fact that we succeeded with the medical school obligates us to try the miracle again,” he said.

Individually, each of these partners is a major, long-term philanthropic player in developing and supporting projects to promote regional development in the Galilee; together, the partnership’s collective goal is to advance the medical school’s contribution to leapfrogging the Galilee, particularly in the field of science education for youth.

Additional individuals from around the world are among the founding supporters of the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee.

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