Talpiot program

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Talpiot program (Hebrew: תוכנית תלפיות) is an elite Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) training program for recruits who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability in the sciences and leadership potential. Graduates pursue double higher education while they serve in the army, and they use their expertise to further IDF research and development in technological leadership positions.[1] The program was inaugurated in 1979.


The initiators of the program were Professor Felix Dothan and Professor Shaul Yatziv of the Hebrew University, who submitted the idea to the Israeli chief of staff Rafael Eitan. The idea was to harness human creativity, which peaks early,[citation needed] to develop new technologies for the army. The program is sponsored by the Israeli Air Force and IDF Administration for the Development of Weapons and the Technological Industry, and run under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


During their initiation period, the cadets study for their B.Sc. in physics and mathematics (some of them in computer science – according to their choice) at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Air Force uniform, while also undergoing different periods of field training designed to familiarize them with all branches of the IDF (infantry level 04 basic training, combat engineering course, armored corps course, artillery corps course, instruction in military tactics etc.). At the end of the course, which lasts 40 months, the cadets receive the rank of first lieutenant (segen) and a B.Sc. and become integrated in R&D in the IDF and Israel Military Industries, or alternatively, in various combat positions, if they so choose.

In addition to the three years obligated by the Israeli law, the service includes six years of standing army service in a wide variety of positions. The total program, including military service, is nine years.

The first class had 25 cadets. Later, the class was increased to 50–60. The applicant pool consists of nearly ten-thousand top scorers in a test taken by all graduating high school seniors. 150–200 potential applicants are then subjected to a two-day series of tests. These include further IQ exams, as well as group-tasks designed to test one's social dynamics, all conducted under the supervision of trained psychologists and military personnel. For example, teams of applicants are given a specific task then the instructions are changed while the test is in progress, such as shortening the allotted time or changing the assigned tasks. Final acceptance into the program entails a high security clearance rating, given by the Air Force.

In February 2016, the book Israel's Edge: The Story of IDF's Most Elite Unit - Talpiot, written by CNBC executive producer Jason Gewirtz, was published by Gefen in Jerusalem about the unit and the history of how it came into existence.[citation needed]

Notable alumni (Talpionim)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rhoads, Christopher (July 6, 2007). "How an Elite Military School Feeds Israel's Tech Industry". Wall Street Journal. Vol. CCL, no. 4.
  2. ^ "Curriculum Vitae of Uri Alon" (PDF).
  3. ^ Leichman, Abigail Klein (2010-08-23). "Akin to a Nobel win". ISRAEL21c. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  4. ^ "Elon Lindenstrauss". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  5. ^ "Israeli mathematician wins Fields Medal - Globes". en.globes.co.il. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  6. ^ "Israeli wins 'Nobel' of Mathematics". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  7. ^ Miryam (2018-10-24). "Avi Loeb". American Friends of the Hebrew University. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  8. ^ Magazine, Smithsonian; Gritz, Jennie Rothenberg. "The Wonder of Avi Loeb". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  9. ^ Leichman, Abigail Klein (2011-01-11). "Getting paid to think about the sky". ISRAEL21c. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  10. ^ "Marius Nacht - aMoon". aMoon Accelerating Cure. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  11. ^ "Marius Nacht". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  12. ^ "Marius Nacht: "I won't have another success in high-tech like Check Point, but in biotech I will"". ctech. 2022-04-25. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  13. ^ Solomon, Shoshanna. "Check Point billionaire Nacht: Digital healthcare is Israel's next growth engine". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  14. ^ "Mercedes-Benz's Enters European Ride-Sharing Market With Israeli Startup Via | Weizmann USA". American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. 2017-09-04. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  15. ^ "Two Israeli-U.S. Startups Raise Close to $50 Million". Haaretz. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  16. ^ JEF (2019-03-04). "Via Transportation is Landing in Israel". Jewish Economic Forum. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  17. ^ "From leaving Microsoft to sparking Wiz's rise: The journey of Assaf Rappaport". Geektime. 2021-02-25. Retrieved 2023-02-27.
  18. ^ Rappaport, Assaf (2021-04-14). "7 lessons from reaching a $1.7 billion valuation in just one year". CTECH - www.calcalistech.com. Retrieved 2023-02-27.

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