Hebrew U. Launches Einstein Web Site

A Web site presenting some 43,000 never-before-published documents, articles, photographs and scientific papers taken from the Einstein Archives at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, was launched Monday by Hebrew University and the California Institute of Technology.

According to Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund, former rector and president of Hebrew University who lectured on Einstein's theories in the framework of his physics courses, the site, at www.alberteinstein.info, "is of great cultural significance. We are talking about a cultural asset of the highest degree," he said. "Now, the broader public can also be impressed by the character of this enigmatic man."

Gutfreund said Einstein's connection with Hebrew University began in 1919 - the year in which he published his theory of relativity - when he was inspired by Chaim Weizmann to join the Zionist Movement. As a member of the movement, Einstein undertook the task of working toward establishing a Hebrew university in the Land of Israel.

"In 1921, Einstein embarked on a six-week journey around the United States to raise money for the establishment of the university," Gutfreund said.

"During one evening, when he addressed 800 Jewish doctors, he managed to raise $250,000. He explained at the time that there was no point to political independence without intellectual independence."

Einstein served on the university's board of trustees and was the first chairman of its academic committee. In 1950, five years before his death, he bequeathed all his assets to the university.