The Lists of 75

To commemorate the State of Israel’s forthcoming 75th birthday, the Center for Israel Education is sharing lists of 75 people and things that form a mosaic of Israel’s past, present and future.

These are not “best of” or “top” lists; instead, they are illustrative of the more notable and noteworthy. The people on these lists are not flawless heroes; many deserve questioning or criticism, like the state they have helped form. But they all made significant contributions.

We start with 75 Zionist Founders, those who erected the scaffolding for the state before May 1948,  followed by 75 Israelis From History, those who played important roles in Israel since 1948 but are no longer doing so, followed by 75 Prominent Current Israelis and then, 75 Important Non-Israelis who shaped the state’s history. These categories have been created so that we may highlight a larger number of deserving people. For example, Israel would not have been in a position to declare independence in 1948 without David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann, but we included Israel’s first prime minister and first president on the post-1948 list. On the other hand, two members of our founders list, poets Yocheved Bat-Miriam and Esther Raab, lived into the 1980s, but we decided their crucial contributions came in the development of a distinctly Israeli culture in the pre-state era. 

We encourage discussion and debate about the lists as we roll them out here and over social media. Share your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or email michael@israeled.org, and perhaps our final list in the spring will be 75 additional suggestions for people and things. We thought about 75 deserving people whom we definitely did not wish to honor, but we thought better of it and took the high road. Besides we could not limit ourselves to just 75 who did their best to stifle Zionism and Israeli longevity!