Office of the President

About our President

Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson

President, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Menahem Ben-Sasson is the thirteenth president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Before assuming the role of president in 2009, Prof. Ben-Sasson served as a Member of the Knesset and was Chairman of its Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

As president of the Hebrew University, Prof. Ben-Sasson has broadened the University's international reach and promoted collaboration across academic disciplines and administrative units. While guiding the University through a period of significant financial challenges, he has advocated for increased funding for scientific research and expanded financial aid to improve access to higher education for students of all backgrounds. He recently oversaw the University’s partnership with Coursera, the largest online educational project in the world, and has embraced a new green campus sustainability initiative.

After earning a PhD in Jewish History at the Hebrew University, Ben-Sasson completed his post-doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge. He later served as University Rector and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.   

Prof. Ben-Sasson is a scholar in the Department of the History of the Jewish People in the Faculty of Humanities. A historian of the heritage of oriental Jewry, he has written some forty books and scholarly articles on a range of subjects, including Jewish Communities in Muslim Lands, the Relationship between Religion and Economics, and Law and Spirituality as Sources of Authority in Medieval Oriental Society. He has been a visiting lecturer at leading institutions in the United States, including Yeshiva University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the University of Pennsylvania.  In addition to the history of medieval Jewry in Muslim lands, he specializes in the study of Maimonides, social and intellectual history, Geonic responsa and texts, and Saadya Gaon’s works and leadership.

Prof. Ben-Sasson is a past editor and editorial board member of a range of scholarly publications. He has served as president of the World Union of Jewish Studies, vice-president of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, chairman of the Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East, and on the board of directors at Yad Vashem.

Prof. Ben-Sasson’s honors include an honorary doctoral degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Yitzhak Ben-Zvi Prize for Jewish History, and the Feher Prize for the Study of Jewish Heritage.

Ben-Sasson lives in Jerusalem and speaks Hebrew, Arabic, English, French and German. He is married with three children.

Past Presidents

Year

President

1925-1935

Dr. Judah Leib Magnes (Chancellor)

1935-1948

Dr. Judah Leib Magnes (President)

1948-1949

Sir Leon Simon (acting president)

1949-1952

Professor Selig Brodetsky

1953-1961

Professor Benjamin Mazar

1961-1962

Professor Giulio Racah (acting president)

1962-1968

Dr. Eliahu Eilat

1968-1983

Mr. Avraham Harman

1983-1986

Professor Dan Patinkin

1986-1990

Professor Amnon Pazy

1990-1992

Professor Yoram Ben-Porat

1992-1997

Professor Hanoch Gutfreund

2009-1997

Professor Menachem Magidor

2009-today

Professor Menahem Ben–Sasson

Contact Us

Email: hupres@savion.huji.ac.il

Tel: 02-5882903

Meet the President

Hebrew University students can request a meeting with the President during office hours. This is an opportunity for students to discuss a wide range of topics related to the University, and to bring up ideas and initiatives.

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Office of the President