Money Shekels bills 521.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The faces of four of Israel’s most celebrated poets and playwrights have been
selected to appear on a new series of banknotes slated for release in the next
three years, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer announced on
Natan Alterman, Leah Goldberg, Shaul Tchernichovsky and Rachel
Sela – better known as Rachel the Poetess – were selected for the list, which
was finalized following more than a year of heated debate and which will now be
submitted to the government for approval. The faces will appear on new NIS 20,
50, 100 and 200 banknotes.
The Bank of Israel said in a press release
that the poets were chosen in the hope that “featuring these personalities on
the banknotes will help to instill in the younger generation of Israelis an
appreciation of their contribution to Israeli society and to the
Fischer made the announcement a day after meeting with the
Committee for the Planning of Banknotes, Coins and Commemorative Coins, chaired
by retired Judge Yaacov Turkel, to confirm the four selections.
committee was tasked in December 2009 with finding a new set of personalities
for the banknotes after the central bank shelved its original list – which
included Rachel the Poetess, writer Shai Agnon and former prime ministers
Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin - following strong opposition from, among
others, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and MK Benny Begin, son of
The New Israeli Shekel was introduced in place of the old
shekel in 1985, with banknotes featuring the same personalities that can still
be found today: former prime minister Moshe Sharett on the NIS 20 note, Shay
Agnon on the NIS 50 note, and former presidents Yitzhak Ben- Zvi and Zalman
Shazar on the NIS 100 and 200 notes.
According to the Bank of Israel, the
new series will incorporate state-of the-art security and identification
features to aid anti-counterfeiting measures.