Dr. Judah L. Magnes, dean of the Hebrew University, arrived in New York Sunday on the steamer Nieuw Amsterdam. He was met at the pier by Louis Marshall and other prominent New York Jews. Dr. Magnes will stay in the United States until the end of November. He and Mrs. Magnes will be the guests of Mr. Marshall.
“I have come to America for a few weeks.” Dr. Magnes stated to the representative of the Jewish Daily Bulletin, “in order to report to the University Committee of which Mr. Felix M. Warburg is Chairman, on the progress of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem during the past two years.”
Dr. Magnes denied rumors current in the press some time ago that Dr. Albert Einstein had intended to resign from the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University.
“Good progress has been made,” Dr. Magnes stated. “The University is now but three years old and we have vigorous departments in Judaism, in Oriental studies, in Mathematics, in Public Hygiene, in Parasitology, in Bio-chemistry, in Botany, Geology and Zoology. As you see we have begun to specialize in such fields as are organically related to Judaism and to that part of the world where our university is located. We also have a rapidly growing library which now numbers 200,000 volumes. We are expecting to add new departments as our means allow.
“We began the University as a research and graduate institution, but we are now introducing into a few departments undergraduate instruction of a high grade. The demand of the Jewish students of Palestine and of the numerus clausus countries of Europe must be met by us.
“The Hebrew University has been able to secure for itself the encouragement of the learned men and of the Universities of many countries. Through bringing together Jewish scholars and scientists it is making a distinctive contribution to human knowledge generally, as well as to an understanding of Judaism and other religions. It is not a Theological School with a denominational bias, but a place where truth is pursued, wherever it may lead. A concentration of Jewish mind under the auspices of a free Hebrew University must surely be of aid to mankind. Rooted in our classic traditions we look out upon the modern world with all its fascination and perplexities. The Hebraic spirit operating through a variety of Jewish minds in an Hebrew environment has the chance of enriching human life.
“The earthquake that recently afflicted Palestine created havoc with our chemistry, microbiology and administration buildings. It is dreadful to see what a ruin seven seconds could produce in laboratories alive with promising experimental work. When I left Jerusalem the work of demolition and repair was well under way. In the case of the Chemistry building this will take several months, if it is possible to save it at all.
“Aside from this we have a building program involving the expenditure of over $800,000 during the next two years.
“The last time I was here it was possible to secure the greater part of the funds for the University’s maintenance. This year we are spending $200,000 aside from expenditure on our new buildings. Most of this money comes from America. What we aim at is the expenditure of $500,000 yearly at the end of five years from now. It ought not be too difficult to obtain the assurance of such a sum, either through income on endowments or otherwise, What we should like of course, would be to secure the complete sum in endowments–$10,000,000.
“The idea of a great center of learning and research under Jewish auspices in the Holy City has met with so much understanding in America among both Jews and non-Jews, that I am confident that the support we seek will readily be forthcoming,” Dr. Magnes concluded.