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Dr. Magnes Reports on Progress of Hebrew University; Urges Palestine Medical Training

Acceleration of the $4,000,000 campaign of the Hebrew University and the Hadassah to establish a medical school at the university was announced here today by Dr. Judah L. Magnes, president of the institution, who was just arrived in this country to aid the drive.

Despite the fact that the necessary funds have not yet been collected, Dr. Magnes said that expansion of the medical facilities has begun. The Hadassah hospital, which at present has a capacity of 350 beds, will have 70 beds added shortly, and is expected to be increased to 500 to 550 beds when the program is completed. A corner one has already been laid for a new nurses’ training school.

Dr. Magnes stated that for a long time Palestine has depended upon European Jewish doctors to protect the health of the population, and pointed out that the supply of young Jewish physicians halted abruptly in the years of the Hitler regime. Palestine must train its own medical and scientific personnel in order to provide for the culture, he said, adding that he expected the medical school would become the center for medical research in the Near East.

Dr. Magnes declared that although the Hebrew University was a center for Jewish culture and science, the enrollment is and will continue to be on a non-sectarian basis. The only requirement is a high scholastic record. He said that there were a member of Arabs at the university now and that nine American students were attending under the provisions of the G.I. Bill of Rights.

The enrollment of the university at present is 900. The largest attendance arguer was reached during the scholastic year of 1939-1940. Shortly thereafter the students began dropping out of school to enlist in the British armed forces until only 300 students remained during the war years. Hebrew University students fought with pioneer companies at Dunkerque and in Africa and then were transferred to the Jewish Brigade. The majority of the Brigade’s officers were former students of the university, he said.

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