Jewish American financier and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam have donated $5 million for the continued development of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Ariel University.
The couple intend to donate $20 million more, once the necessary approvals are received for development of additional programs in medical science.
About 1,200 students currently study at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, out of about 14,000 students who are enrolled at the university. The school includes departments for physiotherapy, communications disorders, nursing science, nutrition sciences and management of health systems.
The university explained that the school's development program includes the establishment of a regional medical center that will serve the Jewish and Arab population, in the field of emergency medicine and in numerous other fields of medicine and health that the local population requires. There will also be educational tracks in occupational therapy, medicinal therapy, as well as development of research and education in medical science, for both clinical and practical applications.
The Adelsons' donation is to be given in stages, as the new programs in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences are approved, and as part of their large-scale contribution to Israeli educational institutions in the medical field and to funds for medical research.
Dr. Miriam Adelson said that “As a doctor myself, and as a person who is well acquainted with Israel's superb medical services, I am aware of the great shortage of doctors in Israel. An additional school of medicine is a vital and urgent need, and Ariel University, which proved excellent scientific skills in a short period of time, is the right place for this important development.”
"This contribution comes from a belief in the ability of Ariel University to serve as an academic center of excellence in the heart of Israel and to be a bridge between the parts of the nation, and between us and the Arabs of Samaria,” she added. “We also wanted to strengthen the settlers in Judea and Samaria, and express appreciation and gratitude for their pioneering spirit, their everyday Zionism. This, against the backdrop of the ongoing campaign against Israel in general and the settlement enterprise in particular, and the boycott calls being sounded against them from radical parts of the world.”
"In the face of the terror and murderous violence in the regimes that surround us, which call for death and murder, the medical studies at Ariel emphasize the humanity, the seeking of life, and the value for human life, surrounded by the violent madness that sees death as a sacred goal,” stressed Dr. Adelson.