About the Institute of Chemistry

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The Institute of Chemistry at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was the first of its kind to be established in the country when the University was founded in 1925. The moving spirit in establishing the Institute of Chemistry was Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the first President of the State of Israel.

The Institute of Chemistry was the first institute in the Faculty of Science and was founded (together with the Institute of Judaism) so as to emphasize the importance of natural science in general and that of chemistry in particular. After much debate on the character and form of the institute, it was decided to emphasize graduate research at the highest level and only on this basis to undertake undergraduate teaching.

It was Prof. A. Fodor who in 1924 established the institute, a year before the official opening of the Hebrew University. In due course, departments were set up, such as the Dept of Organic Chemistry, under Prof. Moshe Weizmann in 1927, and at the same time the Dept of Inorganic Chemistry, founded by Prof. M. Bobtelsky. In 1935, when the well known Prof. L. Farkas joined the Hebrew University, the Dept of Physical Chemistry was founded as well.

Among the leading proponents of the different research fields developed during the twenties and thirties of last century, many famous names can be found. 
To name a few: Profs. Frenkel and A.D. Bergmann in Organic Chemistry, Prof. G. Stein in Physical Chemistry, Profs. Kirson  and Glazner in Inorganic Chemistry.

The students, scientific grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these founding scholars are today the backbone of chemistry and its various branches at academic institutions and industry at large of the State of Israel.