If you follow @JewishTweets or are a Facebook follower of Jewish Treats, you may have noticed the disproportionate number of technical and medical breakthroughs that occur in the State of Israel. Dig a little deeper and you will find that many of the men and women behind these discoveries and inventions are graduates of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

Established April 11, 1912, the Technikum (as it was originally called) was conceived and sponsored by a German-Jewish fund. The hope was that the school would be a viable alternative for European Jews who were often restricted in their ability to attend university. Indeed, with the rise of the Nazis, the Technion became a safe haven for many brilliant scientists who fled Europe.

Although the cornerstone for the Technion was laid in 1912, studies did not begin at the school until 1924, when it welcomed its first class of sixteen students (including one woman). The school had many noted supporters, including Albert Einstein, who planted the first palm tree in front of the original building in 1923. One of the major delays was the fierce debate concerning whether the language of instruction would be German or Hebrew.

The Technion’s first campus was located in the Hadar neighborhood of Haifa. It moved to its new, expanded campus in Nave Sha’anan in the late 1970s, and today it has 19 academic facilities, 60 research centers and 12 affiliated teaching hospitals. Three Technion professors have won Nobel Prizes, and an incredible number of the school’s graduates are leaders in the high-tech industry in Israel and around the world.

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