Join CIE as we count down to Israel's seventieth independence day on May 14, 2018. Each day, between March 6 and May 14, we will present an individual who has contributed to Israel's growth and diversity in a number of fields including politics, literature, music, law and religion.

David Ben-Gurion

David Ben-Gurion

David Ben-Gurion

Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel and its leading political voice for the country’s first decade. In 1930, he formed Mapai, the Zionist Labor Party, and in 1935 he became chairman of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. He emphasized the development of the Negev as a key to Israel’s growth. Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. As leader of the new country, he oversaw the development of institutions and established Jerusalem as the capital.


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Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel’s current Prime Minister, Netanyahu is the only Prime Minister in Israeli history to win a fourth term for the position. Prior to entering politics he served in the elite Sayeret Maktal unit of the IDF.


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Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres

Peres is the only person to date to have been both President and Prime Minister of Israel. His career in public service has spanned the decades. In the 1950s, he was responsible for starting Israel on its nuclear weapons program. Peres earned the Nobel Peace Prize together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat in 1994.


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Sigalit Landau

Sigalit Landau

Sigalit Landau

An Israeli artist from Jerusalem, Landau studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design before spending several years working in the US and the UK. Her artistic work can be categorized as multi-media; this includes drawing, sculpture, video, and performance-based pieces. Landau draws her inspiration from such topics as the human condition, banishment, and the relationship between victim and victimizer.


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Abba Eban

Abba Eban

Abba Eban

A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Eban served as a diplomat, politician, and writer. During his political career, Eban served in various ministerial posts and as Ambassador to the United States, United Nations and Foreign Minister. His “Churchillian” English gave his oratory great value as Israel’s public face, particularly after the June 1967 War.


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Ezer Weizman

Ezer Weizman

Ezer Weizman

The 7th President of Israel from 1993 until 2000, Weizman was Minister of Defense under Menachem Begin, negotiating at Camp David in 1978. In 1980, he resigned from the Cabinet over Likud party resistance to achieve peace in the region, eventually starting his own left of center party. He spent the remainder of his career advocating for peace and assisting the Arab-Israeli sector.


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Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot

An Israeli singer, actress, martial artist, and model, Gal Gadot sent shockwaves through the film industry with her role as Wonder Woman in 2017. Gadot made the transition from modeling to acting in 2009 with her breakout role in the Fast & Furious franchise (2009), before going on to cement herself as one of Hollywood’s premiere leading women. Godot remains a positive feminist role model for women throughout the Middle East and the world.


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Eliezer Kaplan

Eliezer Kaplan

Eliezer Kaplan

Kaplan was born in Minsk (present day Belarus), where he became an active member of the Socialist Zionist party. He immigrated to Palestine in 1919, where he was elected to the Zionist Executive Committee. In 1948, Kaplan became one of the original signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, before being elected as Minister of Finance in David Ben-Gurion’s first government.


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Maxine Fassberg

Maxine Fassberg

Maxine Fassberg

An immigrant from South Africa (1975), Fassberg worked for 33 years for Intel Israel where she eventually rose to the position of CEO. She completed her graduate education at Hebrew University before continuing on to teach both chemistry and physics. A fierce advocate for diversity in the workplace, Fassberg was one of 14 women to light the torches during Israel’s 66th independence day ceremonies and was named as one of the “10 most powerful women in tech” by CNN in 2010.


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Yosef Sprinzak

Yosef Sprinzak

Yosef Sprinzak

Originally from Moscow, Joseph Sprinzak was one of the early leaders of the Zionist movement. After immigrating to Palestine during the second Aliyah, Sprinzak founded both Hapoel Hatzair, a Zionist socialist faction, and Histadrut, a key trade union. In 1948 Sprinzak was elected as first speaker of the Knesset, a position he held until his death in 1959.


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Shlomo Avineri

Shlomo Avineri

Shlomo Avineri

Shlomo Avineri is one of Israel’s premiere political scientists. His written work covers topics such as Hegel, Marx, Herzl, Zionism, Colonialism, and the former Soviet Union. Over the course of his distinguished career, Avineri has received numerous awards such as the Israel Prize, the Solomon Bublick Award, and the EMET Prize in Political Science. Avineri has also spent time as a visiting professor at Yale, Cornell, and Oxford.


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Etgar Keret

Etgar Keret

Etgar Keret

Etgar Keret is an internationally renowned Israeli author. Although born in Israel, Keret is the child of Holocaust survivors from Poland, where he also holds citizenship. Keret’s work focuses on short stories, graphic novels, and screenplays. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature. Keret’s influences include Franz Kafka, Kurt Vonnegut, and William Faulkner.


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Miriam Ben Porat

Miriam Ben Porat

Miriam Ben Porat

Miriam Ben Porat was the first woman appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court. A native of Lithuania, Ben Porat immigrated to Palestine in 1936. She went on to have a long and accomplished judicial career, including as President of the Jerusalem District Court, a Law Professor at Hebrew University, and the Knesset-elected State Comptroller. Ben Porat was awarded the Israel Prize for her special contribution to Israeli society in 1991.


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Ghassan Alian

Ghassan Alian

Ghassan Alian

The highest ranking Druze officer in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Alian is a native of the Galilee town of Shfaram. He notably served as the first non-Jewish commanding officer in Israel’s Golani brigade. He has seen combat in the First Intifada, numerous clashes in Lebanon, Operation Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense, and Protective Edge.


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Natan Alterman

Natan Alterman

Natan Alterman

Alterman was a playwright, poet, and journalist whose influence on Labor Zionism and socialist Jewish policies left him remembered for contributions to politics, despite never holding office. After the Six Day War, he was one of the founders of the Movement for Greater Israel which advocated keeping the newly conquered territories and settling them with Jewish population.


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Ephraim Urbach

Ephraim Urbach

Ephraim Urbach

A native of Poland, Urbach studied in Rome and Breslau before immigrating to Palestine in 1937. He would go on to become one of Israel’s preeminent scholars. He taught Talmud at Hebrew University and launched an unsuccessful bid to be Israel’s President (1973). Urbach’s seminal work, The Sages, focuses on the evolution of Jewish religious and social thought.


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Chava Alberstein

Chava Alberstein

Chava Alberstein

Alberstein was born in Poland and moved to Israel in 1950 when she was three years old. Alberstein is one of Israel’s most popular and influential singers, releasing over 50 albums during her career. Alberstein is also well-known for championing liberal causes and as an ardent peace activist.


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Reuven Rivlin

Reuven Rivlin

Reuven Rivlin

Israel’s current President since 2014, Rivlin was born in Jerusalem in 1939. A lawyer by profession, Rivlin was a member of the Knesset for Likud from 1988 until he became President, twice serving as Speaker of the Knesset. As President, Rivlin has been a staunch defender of Israel’s democratic principles and has protected the civil rights of all Israelis.


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Gideon Hausner

Gideon Hausner

Gideon Hausner

As Israel’s Attorney General from 1960 – 1963, Hausner served as the chief prosecutor for the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961. He was born in Poland and made aliyah with his family in 1927. In addition to his term as Attorney General, Hausner spent four terms as a member of the Knesset. At the conclusion of the Eichmann trial, he requested the death penalty because the accused “had no mercy in his heart.”


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AB Yehoshua

AB Yehoshua

AB Yehoshua

Described by the New York Times as an “Israeli Faulkner,” Yehoshua is one of Israel’s most acclaimed writers of fiction. Best known as a novelist and playwright, Yehoshua won numerous international and Israeli literary awards. His books have been translated into 30 languages and adapted for television, theater, and film.


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Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak

Serving as Prime Minister from 1999-2001, Barak is a decorated military hero, most notably for his work as tank battalion commander during the Yom Kippur War. As Prime Minister, Barak ended the occupation of Southern Lebanon and resumed peace negotiations with the Palestinians at the failed 2000 Camp David Summit. He was defeated by Ariel Sharon as a result of the ensuing Second Intifada. He served as Defense Minister from 2007-2013.


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Ruth Almog

Ruth Almog

Ruth Almog

Almog was born in Petach Tikvah in 1936 and is one of Israel’s most decorated authors. An educator by training, she published her first short story in 1967 and her first novel, The Exile, in 1970. Almog’s father passed away when she was fourteen, and many of her works explore the relationships between fathers and daughters.


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Chaim Herzog

Chaim Herzog

Chaim Herzog

A politician, lawyer, writer, and 6th President of Israel, Herzog was born in Ireland and immigrated to Israel in 1935. After the War of Independence, he headed the IDF Military Intelligence and later served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, famously shredding in 1975 the UN Resolution 3379 which equated Zionism with racism. He was the author of several books about Israel’s history.


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Gal Fridman

Gal Fridman

Gal Fridman

Gal Fridman is an Israeli Olympic athlete. A windsurfer, Fridman is the only Israeli athlete to win multiple Olympic medals and the first and only Israeli Olympic gold medalist. Fridman won a bronze medal in Atlanta in 1996 and a gold in Athens in 2000. He was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.


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Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon

A decorated military veteran and former Prime Minister, Sharon is often a controversial figure in Israel’s history. He was a commander in the Six Day and Yom Kippur Wars and as Minister of Defense launched the first Lebanon War in 1982. He championed Israeli settlement growth, however as Prime Minister, Sharon was responsible for the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005.


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Dalia Itzik

Dalia Itzik

Dalia Itzik

An educator by training who served for five years as the chairperson of the Jerusalem Teachers Union, Itzik was elected to the Jerusalem City Council in 1989 with the portfolio of deputy mayor in charge of education. In 1992, she was elected to the Knesset and in 2006 she became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the Knesset.


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Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett

The leader of Habayit Hayehudi, the Jewish Home Party since 2012, Naftali Bennett is currently serving as Israel’s Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs. Born in Haifa, Bennett is a former tech CEO who also served in the IDF’s Sayeret Matkal special operations unit. Bennett is opposed to a two-state solution with the Palestinians and advocates for applying Israeli sovereginty to those areas of the West Bank currently under Israeli control.


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Shalom Hanoch

Shalom Hanoch

Shalom Hanoch

Born and raised on Kibbutz Mishmarot in 1946, Hanoch began writing and performing songs at the age of 14. A member of the Israeli army band during his military service, Hanoch is known for his poetic lyrics. He was a long-time collaborator with Israeli rock-and-roll greats, Arik Einstein and Meir Ariel. Himself a pioneer of the Israeli rock music scene, Hanoch was a founding member of the first major Israeli rock group, “Tamuz.”


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Yitzhak Shamir

Yitzhak Shamir

Yitzhak Shamir

Shamir was the 7th Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms. He was a Likud hard-liner, and was active in underground activities against the British during the Mandate. Shamir ordered Operation Solomon in 1991, successfully airlifting thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Like Menachem Begin, he refused to stop Jewish settlement in the West Bank, otherwise known as Judea and Samaria.


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Amos Oz

Amos Oz

Amos Oz

Oz is a decorated Israeli writer, novelist and journalist. He has publicly endorsed a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was one of the first Israeli intellectuals to do so, in his 1967 article, “Land of Our Forefathers.”


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Ada Yonath

Ada Yonath

Ada Yonath

Ada Yonath is an Israeli chemist and the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for having shown what the ribosome looks like and how it functions at the atomic level. Yonath is one of 10 Israeli winners of a Nobel Prize, and the only woman. She is currently the director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Centre for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science.


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Yitzhak Rabin

Yitzhak Rabin

Yitzhak Rabin

Former Prime Minster, General, Chief of Staff, and Ambassador, Rabin signed the Oslo Peace Accords with the PLO in 1993 and a Peace Treaty with Jordan in 1994. He was assassinated during a peace rally by a right-wing activist in 1995. He won the Nobel Peace Prize together with Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat in 1994.


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Natan Sharansky

Natan Sharansky

Natan Sharansky

Sharansky is best known as the Soviet refusenik who was imprisoned in Siberia after attempting to exit the country for Israel. Following his release in 1986, Sharansky immigrated to Israel and began work in politics, human activism, and writing. In 2009, he became the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.


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Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau

The youngest survivor of Buchenwals, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau made aliyah with his brother in 1945. He became the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv in 1988 and five years later was elected as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, a position he held for ten years. An outspoken advocate on the importance of Holocaust education and memory, Lau was named as the Chairman of Yad Vashem in 2008.


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Levi Eshkol

Levi Eshkol

Levi Eshkol

Eshkol was the 3rd Prime Minister of Israel. A gifted organizer, Eshkol both raised funds to absorb immigrants and supplied materials to the young IDF. In 1937, he founded the National Water Service and developed the national water carrier which opened in 1964. He was prime minister during the Six Day War, though he tried to avoid its unfolding.


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Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman

Perlman is an Israeli-born violinist who is internationally renowned for his contributions to music. He has played for famous world leaders on many occasions, including Queen Elizabeth II and President Barack Obama.


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Dan Kahneman

Dan Kahneman

Dan Kahneman

The first Israeli to win a Noble Prize in a scientific discipline, Dan Kahneman is a behavioral psychologist and professor at Princeton. Born in Tel Aviv in 1934, he spent his early years in Paris before his family returned in 1946. He was educated at Hebrew University, where he later taught. Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on “Prospect Theory” which explores how people make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.


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Anita Shapira

Anita Shapira

Anita Shapira

An internationally recognized historian and scholar, Anita Shapira has written numerous books and articles, including biographies of many of Israel’s founding personalities. Her 2012 book, Israel: A History won the National Jewish Book Award. Additionally, she was awarded the Israel Prize in 2008 for her work in Jewish history. She is Professor Emerita at Tel-Aviv University.


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Zerach Warhaftig

Zerach Warhaftig

Zerach Warhaftig

Rabbi Zerach Warhaftig was a founder of Israel’s National Religious Party and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He made aliyah in 1947 and served in the Knesset from 1949 until 1981, serving as Minsiter of Religious Affairs for most tof the 1960s. During World War II, he played an important role in helping Jews escape from Lithuania.


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Pinhas Sapir

Pinhas Sapir

Pinhas Sapir

Born in Poland as Pinhas Kozlowski in 1907, Sapir came to the land of Israel in 1929. Sapir served as a cabinet minister from 1955 to 1972, and as Minister of Finance and Trade and Industry. While serving in the Cabinet, Israel sustained healthy economic growth. Sapir opposed Israeli territorial expansion beyond the “Green Line” after the 1967 War because of its economic ramifications.


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Mira Awad

Mira Awad

Mira Awad

Awad, a Christian Arab from a village in the Gallilee, was educated in Haifa before moving to Tel Aviv to pursue a music and acting career. In 2009, she was the first Arab to represent Israel at the Eurovision Song Festival. Awad has used her music to advocate coexistence and dialogue between Jews and Arabs. As an actress, she has played both Jewish and Arab characters.


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Avigdor Liberman

Avigdor Liberman

Avigdor Liberman

Currently serving as Israel’s Defense Minister since June 2016, Liberman is the leader of the Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) Party. Liberman immigrated to Israel from the Soviet Union in 1978. Liberman worked closely with Benjamin Netanyahu, before splitting with him and forming his own party in 1999. In addition to Defense Minister, he has served as Israel’s Foregin Minister twice. Liberman, a West Bank resident, has stated that he would be willing to give up his own home for a real peace deal, but at the same time, he has openly questioned the loyalty of Israel’s Arab population.


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Avraham Yitzhak

Avraham Yitzhak

Avraham Yitzhak

An Ethiopian immigrant, Yitzhak came to Israel in 1994. Although he was only 19 at the time of his aliyah, Yitzhak had already started medical school in Ethiopia. In 1999, he became the first Ethiopian immigrant to recieve an MD degree in Israel and began serving as a surgeon in the IDF. He accomplished another first, when in 2016, he was promoted to chief medical officer of the army’s southern command. This made him the first Ethiopian Israeli to achieve the rank of Colonel in the IDF.


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Shai Agnon

Shai Agnon

Shai Agnon

Shmuel Yosef Agnon, or Shai, immigrated to Israel in 1907. A prolific Hebrew writer whose works depict the decline of Galician Jewry and the pioneers of Israel, Agnon received the 1966 Noble Prize in Literature, becoming Israel’s first Nobel laureate.


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Leah Goldberg

Leah Goldberg

Leah Goldberg

Goldberg dedicated her life to the literary movement, writing numerous works in the areas of children’s books, drama, and poetry. Her acclaim and legacy has left her forever imprinted on Israel’s future banknotes, as decided in 2011 by the government.


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Tal Brody

Tal Brody

Tal Brody

Star of the 1977 European Basketball champion Maccabi Tel-Aviv team, Tal Brody arrived in Israel for the Maccabi Games in 1965 after being selected with the number 12 pick in the NBA draft. Brody was persuaded to stay in Israel and help grow the sport of basketball in the country. In 1977, at the height of the Cold War, Brody led Maccabi Tel Aviv to its first European championship, defeating CSKA Moscow in the semifinal round.


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Adi Nes

Adi Nes

Adi Nes

One of Israel’s preeminent art photographers, Adi Nes was born in Kiryat-Gat in 1966. Nes uses staged phtotgraphy to convey themes of masculinity and identity. His photographs are often influenced by art history and iconic works. One of his most well known pieces, “The Last Supper Before Going out to Battle,” is itself a recreation of da Vinnci’s “Last Supper” in which Israeli soldiers are gathered around a table.


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Teddy Kollek

Teddy Kollek

Teddy Kollek

Kollek served as the Mayor of Jerusalem for nearly 30 years, having been in office from 1965 until 1993. Some have referred to him as the builder of Jerusalem, as the city developed into an urban entity that assured free access to all religions. In the pre-state period, he worked in the Haganah and Mossad in securing funds, arms, and immigrants for the state.


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Dan Schechtman

Dan Schechtman

Dan Schechtman

A professor of materials science at the Technion in Haifa, Dan Schechtman became Israel’s eighth Nobel Prize winner in 2011. Schechtman won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of “Quasicrystals.”


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Moshe Levinger

Moshe Levinger

Moshe Levinger

Born in Jerusalem, Rabi Moshe Levinger, who founded Gush Emunin in 1974, was the leader of the Jewish settlement movement in the West Bank. In June 1968, Levinger brought thirty families to a hotel in Hebron, eventually forcing the government to grant them the right to create a community. In 1988, following an attack on his car in Hebron, Levinger shot at a group of nearby Palestinians, killing one. He was convicted of causing death by negligence in 1990 and served three-months in prison.


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Dorit Beinisch

Dorit Beinisch

Dorit Beinisch

The first woman to serve as the president of the Israeli Supreme Court, Beinisch’s work on the court was primarly focused on government corruption, child protection, and women’s rights.


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Moshe Sharett

Moshe Sharett

Moshe Sharett

Sharett was the second Prime Minister of Israel and can be seen on the 20 Shekel banknote. During World War II, Sharett established the Jewish Brigade, an independent, national Jewish military formation that fought as part of the British army. He served as Israel’s first Foreign Minister and was a signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.


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Arik Einstein

Arik Einstein

Arik Einstein

Often called the most important man in Israeli music, Einstein’s music has been celebrated for more than fifty years. He is a musical pioneer who introduced rock music in Israel in the 1960s, produced the first Israeli music video, and created the first Israeli CD album. His music continues to influence many aspects of Israeli popular music. Music editor Yoav Kutner said that Einstein was, “more than the greatest Israeli singer ever. Einstein is the real Eretz Yisrael.”


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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was the founder of the Orthodox “Shas” party, and was known by Israel’s Haredi and Mizrahi communities as an enormously important talmudic scholar and spiritual leader. Originally from Iraq, Yosef would eventually rise to the level of Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. His controversial statements regarding the Holocaust, the role of women, and the IDF were harshly criticized by many in Israeli political society. Nonetheless, Shah was instrumental in cementing the Shas party as a formidable Orthodox movement.


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Sayed Kashua

Sayed Kashua

Sayed Kashua

Kashua was born in 1975 and attended the prestigious Israel Arts and Science Academy boarding school in Jerusalem. Israel’s most well-known Arab author, Kashua writes predominantly in Hebrew. His works explore themes of living between two worlds and feelings of being an outsider in Israeli society. Perhaps his most well-known work is the semi-autobographical television program Avaodah Aravi (Arab Labor) which ran from 2007 to 2012.


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Sarah Levy-Tanai

Sarah Levy-Tanai

Sarah Levy-Tanai

One of Israel’s foremost choreographers and contributors to Israeli cultural life, Levy-Tanai was one of the first to integrate Mizrahi and Sephardi culture into her art. In 1949, she founded the Inbal Dance Theater which she directed until the 1990s. In 1973 she received the Israel Prize in Art, Music and Dance.


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Eli Hurvitz

Eli Hurvitz

Eli Hurvitz

Eli Hurvitz was born in Jerusalem in 1932. A graduate of the Hebrew University, in 1976 he helped to merge three companies into Teva Pharmecuticals. As president and chief executive officer for the next quarter century, he guided Teva to become the world’s largest manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals. Before passing away in 2011, he also led Israel’s Bank Leumi and the Israel Democracy Institute.


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Ephraim Kishon

Ephraim Kishon

Ephraim Kishon

Kishon was an Israeli writer, playwright, and film-director. Known for their satire, Kishon’s works often focused on the day to day struggles of the regular Israeli and the bureaucracy of the state. His satirical films include Sallah Shabati , Israel’s first Oscar nominated film in 1964, and The Policeman, winner of the 1972 Golden Globe Award for best Foreign Film; it was also an Oscar nominee.


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Menachem Begin

Menachem Begin

Menachem Begin

The founder of the center-right Likud Party, the former Prime Minister became, in 1977, the first premier from a right-wing party. He negotiated agreements with Egypt, and in 1979 and signed Israel’s first peace treaty with an Arab neighbor. In his earlier years, Begin headed the Irgun, a right-wing military organization that targeted the Arabs and British. As Prime Minister, he was adamant not to return West Bank territory to another sovereignty.


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Naomi Shemer

Naomi Shemer

Naomi Shemer

Naomi Shemer is considered the “first lady of Israeli song,” for her numerous compositions. In 1967, Shemer was asked to write a song for the annual Israel Song Festival, and her composition Yerusalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold) became an instant hit, taking on added significance after the Six Day War.


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Yigael Yadin

Yigael Yadin

Yigael Yadin

Yadin’s contributions in archaeology included the translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls into Hebrew, and the excavation of major historical sites including Masada, Tel Hazor, and Tel Megiddo. He also served as the Chief of Staff of the IDF from 1949-1952 and Deputy Prime Minister in late 1977.


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Aharon Appelfeld

Aharon Appelfeld

Aharon Appelfeld

Aharon Appelfeld was an Israeli author, professor and Holocaust survivor. He arrived in the land of Israel in 1946 from a Displaced Persons Camp. Often drawing upon his childhood experiences, many of his works depict European Jews in the World War II era. Titles such as For Every Sin, Tzili, Iron Tracks and The Healer gained him notoriety as a writer. He received the Bialik Prize in 1979 and the Israel Prize in 1983. Appelfeld passed away in January 2018.


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Golda Meir

Golda Meir

Golda Meir

Commonly referred to as the “grandmother of Israel,” Meir spent much of her formative years in the field of foreign affairs. She served as Prime Minister during a very difficult period for Israelis and Jews alike, including the 1972 Munich Massacre and the surprise 1973 Yom Kippur War.


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Salim Joubran

Salim Joubran

Salim Joubran

The first Arab-Israeli to serve on Israel’s Supreme Court, Salim Joubran was born in Acre in 1947. Prior to his appointment to the country’s highest court, Joubran practiced law in private practice and served as a magistrate and district judge in Haifa. While on the court, he advocated for minority rights and prosecuted corruption.


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David Broza

David Broza

David Broza

Broza has been one of Israel’s most successful musicians since his first hit song “Yihyeh Tov” (it will be good) appeared on the Israeli charts in 1977. Born in Haifa in 1952, Borza spent formative years in Tel-Aviv, England, and Madrid. He has been one of Israel’s most prominent voices for coexistence and peace using his influence to bring groups of Palestinian and Israeli musicians together.


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Orna Berry

Orna Berry

Orna Berry

The first woman to serve as the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Dr. Orna Berry is one of Israel’s leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation. In 2012, she received the Yakirat Ha’Negev award from Ben-Gurion University for her achievements and excellence in the technology industry.


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Moshe Dayan

Moshe Dayan

Moshe Dayan

Known famously for his left eye-patch, Dayan was a military leader and politician. Spanning a military career of nearly 40 years, he presided over almost every major battle from Israel’s Statehood in 1948 until the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In his last post as Foreign Minister, he negotiated the peace treaty with Egypt from 1977-1979.


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Yehuda Amichai

Yehuda Amichai

Yehuda Amichai

One of Israel’s most well-known poets, and the Poet Laureate of Jerusalem. His work was translated into over 40 languages. Amichai won numerous prizes in both Israel and internationally for his poetry and was one of the first Israeli poets to write in colloquial Hebrew


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Aharon Barak

Aharon Barak

Aharon Barak

Barak has been a life-long contributor to the judiciary in Israel. He served as the President of the Supreme Court, as Attorney General of Israel, and as the Dean of the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received the 1975 Israel Prize in legal sciences. In 1978-79, he was a key adviser to the Begin government in negotiations with Egypt.


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Chaim Weizmann

Chaim Weizmann

Chaim Weizmann

An accomplished chemist, Weizmann was the first President of Israel. While living in England during and after World War I, he developed relationships with members of the British government, ultimately resulting in the 1917 British statement of support for a Jewish homeland, the Balfour Declaration.


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