An American real estate mogul will build a university town near Safed, including a medical school.
Bob Stark of Cleveland is heading an investor group that plans to invest $3 billion to $4 billion in the new town, according to Ha’aretz. A donation of $500 million by Stark, chief executive officer of Stark Enterprises, and other donors he recruited will fund a new medical school that likely will be affiliated with Bar-Ilan University.
Stark, an Orthodox Jew, would not tell the newspaper whether his donation was contingent on Bar-Ilan being awarded Israel’s fifth medical school, which was approved recently by Israel’s Council for Higher Education to stave off a shortage of doctors projected by 2015. Haifa University is also in the running for the new medical school.
The $500 million in donations for the medical school will be used also to improve area hospitals to the level of university hospitals, Ha’aretz reported. No government funding for the school has yet been guaranteed.
In a project that will combine philanthropy with financial investment, the 840-acre university town will include apartments for faculty, cultural institutions, two shopping centers and a hesder yeshiva, which combines military service with Torah study.