The advancement of Jerusalem as a city which serves as an industrial and scientific center, in addition to its centrality to religion, is a top priority for the Jerusalem Municipality. One of the ways to achieve this goal is in the advancement of higher education in the technology field. On December 25th, 1996, a decision was made to establish the college in Jerusalem by then Mayor Ehud Olmert, then Education Minister Zevulun Hammer (of blessed memory) and Professor Amnon Pazi (of blessed memory), then chairman of Israel’s Council for Higher Education. Representatives of Jerusalem’s municipality serve on the college’s board of governors and executive committee.
The Jerusalem Development Authority provided a physical setting for the founding staff of the college in Jerusalem. Full collaboration and assistance among all involved aided in initiating the project and bringing the vision of the college into fruition. The Authority, as the entity responsible for the development of technology parks throughout Jerusalem, sees the college as a complementary partner, providing the needed manpower to the companies which are situated within these tech parks. Today, the Authority remains a source of support for the college in all its activities.
As part of the Partnership 2000 initiative between Jerusalem and New York, the UJA Federation of New York, through the Jewish Agency for Israel, was a founding partner in the project, providing support for the establishment of the Software Engineering Department.
As the years have progressed, additional partners and builders have joined the college in furthering higher education in engineering and helping positively impact Jerusalem and its residents. In 2008, the college partnered with TEVA Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and the Foundation for Development and Advancement to establish the Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, with exclusive laboratories which are the only ones of their kind in the Middle East.
Due to growing demand, the college opened a Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in partnership with the Technion, Israel’s oldest and internationally renowned institute of science and technology.
In March 2013, the college, originally named Jerusalem College of Engineering, changed its name to Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem, thanks to a generous donation by the Azrieli Foundation.
The college continues to grow. While in 1999, the college opened with 72 students, studying toward Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degrees in two departments, today, the student body numbers well over 2,000, studying across seven engineering departments. We are currently developing new programs for the acquisition of Masters of Science (M.Sc.) degrees, as well as additional engineering departments to answer the current and future needs of the industry and the world.