British Friends of Bar-Ilan University

Our Story

British Friends of Bar-Ilan University

UK Campaign for The Jonathan Sacks Institute

For over 60 years we’ve been supporting one of Israel’s largest universities, Bar-Ilan.

UK supporters have helped Bar-Ilan grow from 70 students in 1955 to over 20,000 students today. The university now boasts nine faculties and is proud of its diverse community of students, academics and researchers.

Here at the British Friends, we connect the UK closer to Bar-Ilan.

Whether it’s the latest scientific breakthrough or recent progress in tackling social and health inequality, we share university news through e-bulletins, conferences, events, lectures and webinars.

We bring alumni together, growing our very own Bar-Ilan community here in the UK. And we raise support for, and awareness of, the social, health, scientific and technological impact Bar-Ilan is having in Israel and around the world.

Transforming dreams into realities, our supporters have funded everything from state-of-the-art facilities and research projects to community programmes and bringing world-class scientists back to Israel.

‘Sir Dr. Naim Dangoor Centre for Universal Monotheism’, ‘Dangoor Center for Personalized Medicine’, ‘The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences’, ‘The Tager Family Jewish Law Program’, ‘The Gradel & Weisfeld Daycare’, ‘Beit HaRav Jakobovits – The Sami Shamoon Centre’ and ‘The Wohl Centre’ are just a few of the many contributions the UK has made to make Bar-Ilan the university it is today.

Discover how you too can support Bar-Ilan, making a positive impact on Israel and the world.

The British Friends of Bar-Ilan University is a Registered UK Charity (314139).

Staff & Trustrees

Executive Director

Max Dunbar

The British Friends of Bar-Ilan University is led by Executive Director, Max Dunbar.

Max was previously Chief Executive of Manchester Jewish Museum, where he led the museum through a major £6M development project. Following this, Max had been Senior Development Officer at the University of Manchester, developing and delivering fundraising campaigns for cultural institutions, scholarships and cancer research.

Max is now responsible for raising support and awareness of Bar-Ilan across the UK.


Romie Tager KC

Romie Tager KC is Chairman of the Board of Trustees. A leading UK barrister, specialising in commercial and property law, Romie is also a trustee of Bar-Ilan. For many years Romie has been an active supporter of Bar-Ilan’s research into Jewish Law and Religion.

In recent years Romie and his wife, Esther, have promoted a number of publications by Bar-Ilan’s Law Faculty, including HaDin ve HaDayan (“The Law and its Decisor”), which publishes Rabbinical Courts’ decisions in family law cases. Romie has also established an ambitious programme at the Law Faculty in Jewish Law. The programme includes the publication of a bi-annual Journal in Jewish Law and Religion and an annual international conference focusing on the areas of Jewish law and ethics that are relevant to modern society.


David Gradel

A trustee and long-standing supporter of Bar-Ilan. David established the Bar-Ilan Awards in the UK, presenting awards to high-achieving students in Jewish schools across the country.

In recent years, David has provided support for The Gradel & Weisfeld Daycare Center.

The British Friends of Bar-Ilan University are one of six global development teams.
Development Teams

Global Team

The British Friends of Bar-Ilan University are one of six global development teams. The American Friends of Bar-Ilan are based in New York with regional teams on the West Coast, Midwest and Southeast. Teams have recently been established in Mexico, Brazil and Canada, helping us grow a truly global community of Bar-Ilan supporters.

Discover more about the work of our friends in America and Canada.

Bar Ilan Facts

Founded in 1955, Bar-Ilan University is one of Israel's leading institutions of higher education, uniquely combining cutting-edge scientific research with education steeped in Jewish values and social responsibility.

Degree Students

International Students


Senior Faculty Members



Research Centres & Institutes

Active Grants


Libraries: holding more than 1,000,000 titles

Bar-Ilan’s President

Prof. Arie Zaban

Prof. Arie Zaban was inaugurated President of Bar-Ilan in October 2017.

Previously he served as Vice President for Research and as the founding Director of the Bar-Ilan Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials.

As a researcher, Prof. Zaban has been a powerful force in materials science and renewable energy. In recent years, he has developed next-generation photovoltaic cells based on metal oxides using a combinatorial methodology, perovskite solar cells, transparent conductive electrodes and aluminium-air batteries.

To ensure his research has a positive impact, he has founded five companies based on eight of his patents. Now as President, Prof. Zaban has spearheaded the Impact Centers to guide multidisciplinary teams of Bar-Ilan researchers as they use their expertise to solve pressing real-world challenges.

In 2022 Prof. Zaban was elected Chairman of the Association of University Heads in Israel. He has been a member of the Israel National Council for Research and Development, of the National Academic Renewable Energy Steering Committee, and of the Israeli Government Advisory Committee on Alternative Fuels. He has garnered numerous prizes, among them the ICS Prize for Outstanding Young Scientist, the Michael Landau Research Prize in Renewable Energy, the IVS Research Excellence Prize, the Israel Chemical Society Prize of Excellence and the Kolthoff Prize from the Technion.

Prof. Zaban joined Bar-Ilan as a bachelor’s degree student after completing his service as a pilot in the Israeli Air Force. Today he and his wife Racheli have four children and five grandchildren.