The Technion, the Haifa-based university that is Israel’s most prominent institute for science and engineering, is now going to have a foothold in the world’s other center of Jewish life: New York City. Cornell University, with which Technion was partnered on this project, won a competition to build a new science graduate school on 2.1 million square feet of free space from the City (which is also kicking in $100 million) on Roosevelt Island, which lies in the East River between Manhattan’s Upper East Side and the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. It is crossed by the Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge and, as of this year, officially known as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. It is even serviced by the subway!
The Wikipedia article on Technion’s founding is really interesting. Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann played a critical role in its creation; it was placed in Haifa in part because Theodor Herzl had envisioned the northern city as “a great park. … with an overhead electrical train. … a city of magnificent homes and public institutions all made possible by applied science, engineering and technology.” The university, which is home to Israel’s first as well as most recent Nobel laureates (all in chemistry), turned 100 this year.