During his tenure as Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff, Shaul Mofaz became aware of the scarcity of technology specialists in the IDF and conceived the idea of recruiting talented young people and sponsoring their education in different areas of science and technology.
With the financial backing of industrialists such as Eitan Wertheimer and Benny Landa, the project became a reality in 1999. Other individuals, business enterprises and organizations – including the Jewish Agency and Bank Leumi – soon joined in.
When the Atidim program was first launched, the aim was to have 40,000 alumni by the year 2020, Mofaz said at a review ceremony on Monday at the President’s Residence celebrating the program’s 15th anniversary. “But we’re already there,” he declared with pride, adding that “these are future leaders in every field.”