Medical Students Make Aliyah from France to Northern Israel

The Azrieli School of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University is growing by leaps and bounds. This year, some 500 students are registered in both the School’s three- and four-year MSc and PhD programs. Medical students from the first class of the three-year program are now interning throughout the country and the first class of the four-year program will graduate at the close of the academic year.


In the last year Israel has seen a dramatic upsurge in aliyah from Europe. This year the medical school welcomed three new immigrants from France. Among them, Laura Derman and Rina Benhamou immigrated to Israel to complete their medical studies at the BIU School of Medicine in the Galilee. The young women are “fulfilling the goals of the program not only by becoming doctors in Israel but also by helping to develop and further medicine in the north,” says Dr. Masad Barhoum, director of the Western Galilee Medical Center, which is one of the hospitals associated with the medical school.


“A lot of my friends warned me that it is dangerous in Israel, especially being in a hospital so close to Lebanon. I say that there is no place that is more or less safe in Israel, and, indeed, in the whole world. In fact, there are incidents in France that also threaten our personal safety,” says Derman. “We have incredible lecturers at the school and talented doctors and nursing staff in the medical centers where we were placed,” adds Benhamou. “As a result of my success here many of my friends back in France want to make Aliyah and integrate into the program,” she adds.