JCT – A massive Engine in Integrating Haredim into Academia

50th Anniversary to JCT. “We fully believe in combining high-level technological studies alongside the preservation of Torah life without compromise.”

The Lev Academic Center in Jerusalem celebrated tonight (Thursday) its 50th anniversary.  Attending the event were Minister of transportation, Bezalel Smotrich, Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon and Deputy Mayor, Fleur Hassan, who holds the portfolio of external affairs in the city. Also participating were Prof. Yaffa Zilberschatz, Chairman of the Planning and budgeting Committee of the Council of Higher Education, Professor Chaim Sukenik, President of JCT, Yossi Zeira, JCT CEO, Kenneth Hochberg, JCT rector and Kurt Rothschild, co-founder of JCT.

Professor Zilberschatz said in her speech that the “Lev Academic Center plays a central role in the important national mission of integrating Ethiopian population into the Israeli Academy. In addition, JCT is worthy of all praise and mention for its enlistment in making higher education accessible to the Haredi population, spearheading the cracking of this complex challenge of integrating Haredim into academia.

“The haredim insist on gender separated campuses as a condition of their entry into the academic system while large parts of the academic system oppose this step. As a result, it is only natural for Lev Academic Center, an institution which from its inception was established with the concept of separate gender campuses, to have the opportunity be a huge engine in the integration of the Haredim into the higher education system.” Zilberschatz also emphasized that “if you wish to fulfill the idea of [combining] Torah and Science, then the Lev Academic Center is the best place to go”.

The mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, shared “in two weeks, we will mark the 15th anniversary of the passing of Israel Prize winner Professor Ze’ev Lev, founder of the Lev Academic Center. Prof. Lev was a yeshiva student with rabbinic lineage and a scientist. He hoped that the combination of these two strong elements — Torah and science – – in founding the Lev Academic Center, would produce a massive force multiplier.

Professor Lev was a man of actions and vision, and I doubt that in his wildest dreams he envisioned that JCT would develop so rapidly and affect in such an immeasurable way the integration of Haredim into the Israeli society. The thousands of Haredim – who have completed their secondary schooling and academic degree at JCT, who now succeed in integrating in their lives Torah, science, livelihood and ‘Derech Eretz’ – will attest to that,” Leon said.

The Rabbinic Head of Lev Academic Center, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, noted that “in the Lev Academic Center we get to integrate Torah and science, and I’m excited to see a lively Beit Midrash here. Every class is full of questions and discussions, and the students here live Torah life in its fullest, along with the highest level of academia. Today I know that the more you learn and deepen in the Beit Midrash, the more successful you are in the academia. There’s an amazing thing going on here in the institution, when the Torah creates energy and power to do things beyond imagination.”

Prof. Chaim Sukenik, JCT President, said that “Professor Lev and Kurt Rothschild faced a huge task convincing the regulators to support the establishment of another institution of higher education in Jerusalem based on a combination of the world of Torah and science. Professor Lev’s message was that all challenges could be met and a proof for that are our graduates who fill senior sensitive positions in the defense industry and high-tech fields.

Nowadays, there are, unfortunately many parties of interests that are trying to harm an institution that combines Torah learning without compromising values, but we believe entirely ןn our cause, and in the need to preserve technological education at the highest level alongside maintaining uncompromising Torah life,” Sukenik said.