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Architect Kobi Karp Links Miami to Bar-Ilan Medical School in Israel


Located in the Historic City of Safed, the Jewish State’s Fifth Medical School is a National Priority Initiative

MIAMI, FL and SAFED, ISRAEL – In November 2012, Israel’s Bar-Ilan University formally laid the cornerstone for its future medical school - the Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee - in the historic city of Safed. On hand to mark this momentous occasion was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government identified this medical school as a national priority initiative and committed to providing half of its funding. (Israel faces a national shortage of physicians, and a pressing need to upgrade medical services and infrastructure in the country’s north.) The new medical school will be Israel’s fifth and the first in the Galilee.

        A South Florida connection to this important campus is acclaimed Miami architect Kobi Karp, who (along with Israel-based Tito Architects and Tsvi Lissar) won an international design competition for the medical school’s master plan. For this extraordinary piece of design, Karp (who was born in Israel in 1962 and lived there until he was 12) and his partners drew inspiration from the surrounding natural environment and rolling hills of Galilee. The site for the campus sits on a shoulder of a unique hill facing south and overlooking the nearby Sea of Galilee and Safed itself.

“After visiting the location for the campus, our team felt strongly that the project’s greatest asset was the site itself,” said Karp. “The hill creates a unique and very dramatic vista, where we have designed low-rise structures built into the shoulder. This results in opportunities for outdoor and indoor spaces, with orientation and views of the sea to one side, and the Galilee valleys and Safed on the opposite side.”

The innovative design maximizes the views of spaces, gardens, and courtyards, while also framing the occupants’ views. The campus will house a medical research triplex; a medical training complex; integrative research and disease-based centers; a student and community services complex; a library, sports center and medical simulation center; 45 laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art research instrumentation; and student and faculty residences. It is expected to be completed in five years.

“I am delighted to be involved in such an important public service project for my native country,” added Karp. “As I continue this effort, the many sick or injured people whose lives will be improved by the campus are very much on my mind.”


*Bar-Ilan University is the fastest growing university in Israel, with 33,000 students in its academic community. The University seeks to produce students who excel in the sciences, humanities, law, engineering, business and the arts – all within a learning environment that fosters Jewish values and continuity. From its leadership in scientific and academic research to 1,500 courses being offered by the world’s largest Jewish studies faculty, Bar-Ilan University fuses cutting edge science, high level scholarship and Jewish heritage into a culture of excellence.

Founded in 1955, the American Friends of Bar-Ilan University (AFBIU) engages in a variety of exciting programs, events and philanthropic activities to support Bar-Ilan University in Israel. With offices in New York, California, Florida and Michigan, the AFBIU works to promote public awareness and raise funds to support the University’s research and discoveries in fields ranging from nanotechnology and brain science to biblical archeology and Jewish studies. The AFBIU has a lay-led national board of directors of outstanding Jewish communal leaders who share a common vision with the University in advancing and strengthening Israel through education, research and Jewish continuity.*


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