Photo Credit: Wikimedia
IDF Intelligence Corps. badge

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) has been tapped by Israel’s Defense Ministry to run a prestigious academic program for its IDF Intelligence Corps. Havatzalot (Lilies in Hebrew) is a joint military-academic degree that provides intelligence officers with a Bachelors of Arts degree at the end of a 3-year program that includes officer training, leadership courses, and basic combat training.

The intelligence corps’ badge is made up of the lily plant. The lily serves as a symbol for touring, scouting and navigation. These concepts are important to military scouts, who are the foundation of intelligence work.


The BA portion of the Havatzalot program will begin this fall (October 2019) at Hebrew University. Soldiers will do a double-major in Islamic & Middle Eastern studies and a major of their choosing: Mathematics, Economics, Philosophy or Computer Science.

HU and the IDF currently run a joint academic-military degree program named Gamla, offering outstanding career Intelligence Corps officers a BA.

Bracha Hertz, Deputy Director of Procurement for the defense ministry, said in a statement: “The Havatzalot program is one of the most complex and important academic tenders that the Ministry of Defense has offered in recent years. We’ve been careful to strike a delicate balance between military excellence and academic freedom. I would like to thank the Council of Higher Education, which was a partner in this project, and to congratulate the Hebrew University for winning the tender.”

Prof. Asher Cohen, President of Hebrew University, said in a statement: “Being awarded the IDF’s Havatzalot tender testifies to Hebrew University’s high academic standard. We look forward to partnering with the IDF to train Intelligence Corps soldiers and to strengthen their leadership and academic capabilities.”


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