Brandeis University

Brandeis University

Excellent Brandeis University also known as BU according to, since its founding in 1948, is the youngest private research university and the only non-denominational university sponsored by Jews in the USA. It is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, and is only nine miles from Boston. It is considered among the top 20 universities in the United States. Its graduate courses and professional careers cover a wide range of sectors.


Founded in 1948 as a sectarian co-ed institution, replacing the old Middlesex University. The university is named after Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941), the first Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of Jewish origin.

Among the founders was C. Ruggles Smith, the son of Dr. John Hall Smith, founder of Middlesex University, who had died in 1944. In 1946, the university was on the brink of financial collapse. At the time, it was one of the few medical schools in the US that did not impose a Jewish quota, but had never been able to secure American Medical Association (AMA) accreditation, in part, according to its founder, due to institutional anti-Semitism, and consequently Massachusetts, was doomed to disappear.

Another founder was Israel Goldstein, he was a prominent New York rabbi from 1918 to 1960 (when he immigrated to Israel), and an influential Zionist. Before 1946, he had headed the New York Board of Rabbis, the Jewish National Fund, and the Zionist Organization of America, and helped found the National Conference of Christians and Jews. On his eightieth birthday, in Israel, Yitzhak Rabin and other leaders of the government, parliament, and the Zionist movement gathered at his home to pay tribute to him. However, among all his achievements, the one chosen by the New York Times to head his obituary was: “Rabbi Israel Goldstein, founder of Brandeis University.”

Ruggles Smith, desperate in his attempt to save something from Middlesex University, learned that a New York committee, led by Goldstein, was seeking a campus to establish a secular university under Jewish patronage, and approached Goldstein with a proposal to cede the Middlesex campus and pass the Goldstein commission, in the hope that it could “… reestablish the Medical School…” Goldstein expressed concern that it was burdened with a declining medical school, but excited about the possibility of achieving “a 100-hectare campus not far from New York, the world’s first Jewish community, and only 9 miles (14 kilometers) from Boston, one of the most important centers of Jewish population.”Goldstein agreed to accept Smith’s offer and then proceeded to hire George Alpert, a Boston attorney with fundraising experience as the national vice president of the United Jewish Appeal.

Brandeis University

George Alpert (1898 – September 11, 1988) worked his way to Boston University School of Law and was one of the founders of the Alpert and Alpert firm. His company had a long association with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, of which he was president from 1956 to 1961. Today he is better known as the father of Richard Alpert (Baba Ram Dass). He was very influential in the Jewish community of Boston. His Judaism “tends to be social, rather than spiritual.” He was involved in helping displaced children from Germany. Alpert was chairman of its board of directors between 1946 and 1954, and a member of that board until his death.

Goldstein also recruited Albert Einstein, whose somewhat stormy and short-lived involvement was huge as it brought national attention to the fledgling university. The founding organization was called “The Albert Einstein Foundation for Higher Learning, Inc.” and the first newspaper articles emphasized their participation.


Faculties and schools

  • Faculty of Artsand Sciences (The College of Arts and Sciences): It consists of 24 departments and 22 interdepartmental programs, which, in total, offering 43 runs and 47 other minor titles.
  • The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Heller School for Social Policy and Management: Founded in 1959, it stands out for its postgraduate programs in health administration, social policy, social work and international development.
  • Rabb School of Summer and Continuing Studies
  • Brandeis International Business School


Among the best-known graduates are political activists Abbie Hoffman and Angela Davis, journalist Thomas Friedman, Congressman Stephen J. Solarz, physicist Edward Witten, novelist Ha Jin, political theorist Michael Walzer, actress Debra Messing, and the writer Mitch Albom.

Among the most distinguished professors, present and past, we find the composer Leonard Bernstein, the social theorist Herbert Marcuse, the psychologist Abraham Maslow, the human rights activist Eleanor Roosevelt, the historian David Hackett Fischer, the economist Thomas Sowell, the diplomat Dennis Ross, the children’s writer Margret Rey, the mathematician Harald Helfgott, and the sociologist Morrie Schwartz.


  • From January 8 to 18, 1969, about 70 students occupied the then student center, Ford Hall. The student protesters changed the name of the school to “Malcolm X University” for the duration of the siege (they distributed buttons with the new name and logo) and published a list of ten demands to improve the representation of minorities on campus. Most of these demands were subsequently met
  • The origin of what would become Brandeis University was closely associated with the name of Albert Einstein from February 5, 1946,15 when he agreed to the creation of “The Albert Einstein Foundation for Higher Learning, Inc.”, until the June 22, 1947. Members of the board of trustees offered to name the university Einstein in the summer of 1946, but Einstein refused.
  • It owes its name to the Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Louis Dembitz Brandeis what happened on July 16, 1946.
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