Alumnus Bypasses Columbia University, Gives $260 Million To Israeli University

Alumnus Bypasses Columbia University, Gives $260 Million To Israeli University

The donation is one of the largest ever to an academic institution.

A Columbia University alumnus anonymously donated $260 million to Bar-Ilan University, one of Israel’s largest universities, according to The New York Post. The donor, described as a North American Jew and World War II veteran, is said to be impressed by Bar-Ilan’s focus on science and technology.

The donation has sparked speculation that the alumnus might be unhappy with Columbia’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Some believe this is a message to the university in light of recent anti-Israel protests on campus.

“It’s a smack in the face of Columbia. It’s just the beginning,” Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime political consultant, pro-Israel activist, and rabbi, told The Post.

The announcement was picked up by

Bar-Ilan University President Arie Zaban said the donation will be used to develop “deep tech” sciences and has the potential to significantly impact Israel and the world. The donation is one of the largest to an academic institution since James Simons’ $500 million donation to Stony Brook University last year.

The donation also triggered a guessing game as to who the ultra-wealthy donor is. The detail that he served in the Second World War means he would be around 100 years old.

“The donor, a man of broad academic education, believed that the development of Israel’s technological resilience relies primarily on breakthrough science. During his visits to Israel, he recognised the significant impact Bar-Ilan University has made in key areas thanks to its science-based infrastructure and deep connections to all sectors of Israeli society,” Bar-Ilan president Arie Zaban said in a statement announcing the donation.

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