New University City to Be Erected Near Tzfat
American real estate magnate Bob Stark and other investors plan to invest three to four billion dollars into a new college town in the Galilee in northern Israel. The 3200-dunam [around 800 acre] city, which will be located near Tzfat, will include Israel's fifth public medical school. The school will be funded by a donation of approximately $500 million, making it the first Israeli academic institution funded as part of a business enterprise.
The Higher Education Council of Israel will publish a tender for the new medical school. Bar-Ilan and Haifa Universities both hope to win the bid and build the medical program. Bar-Ilan University, located near Tel Aviv, is already working closely with Stark on plans for the school.
Stark attended Bar-Ilan University's Galilee Convention for Bio Medical Research last Tuesday. He opened the conference speaking about his vision to establish the college town. If Bar-Ilan wins the tender, Stark will organize a group of philanthropists to provide the financial backing necessary for the town.
The contributors will donate $200 million to upgrade existing Israeli hospitals by enabling 350 more students to intern and engage in research at the hospitals. Another $300 million will be contributed to establish the school and its facilities. The entire city will cost approximately $3.5 billion to build, and will include housing, shopping centers, cultural establishments, and a Hesder yeshiva which combines military training and higher Torah education for young Israeli men.
Extensive music and cultural educational programs will be offered in the University town. Bar-Ilan is working together with Stark in this realm as well.
According to Stark, the medical school can be established within one-and-a-half years. A few years later, the city can be built around the college.
Scholarships will be granted to attract top students to the new Galilee town. Incentives will be offered to leading professors around the world to join the teaching staff.
Baruch Gordon contributed to this article.