Google Doodle honors Israeli filmmaker and activist Ronit Elkabetz

The illustration was created by Israeli artist Maya Shleifer and celebrates what would have been Elkabetz's birthday.

Google Doodle marking the 58th birthday of Israeli director and actor Ronit Elkabetz (photo credit: GOOGLE ISRAEL)
Google Doodle marking the 58th birthday of Israeli director and actor Ronit Elkabetz
(photo credit: GOOGLE ISRAEL)

Google published a Doodle in honor of the 58th birthday of filmmaker, actor and social activist Ronit Elkabetz on Wednesday.

The illustration, which replaced the Google logo on the search engine's landing page for users in Israel and France with an illustration of Elkabetz, was created by Israeli artist Maya Shleifer.

Elkabetz's trilogy To Take a Wife, Shiva and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, which was nominated for a Golden Globe award, featured the first authentic portrayal of a Mizrahi family in Israeli films and highlighted the challenges faced by Jewish Israeli women who are denied a divorce by the rabbinical court.

“We are used to looking for answers on Google’s blank homepage and when it changes it’s as if it winks at you and becomes more human-like and exciting,” said Elkabetz's brother, director, actor and producer Shlomi Elkabetz. “I believe that Ronit would have been moved by this homage, in Israel and France, where she lived and created. Ronit’s cinema, the roles she created, always represented her aspiration to talk on behalf of women to promote change and equality. I think that whoever will meet her on his homepage will hear Ronit again. To think that millions of people in Europe and Israel will remember Ronit and her values or get to know her for the first time is a tremendous thing.”

“Alongside the celebration of Ronit Elkabetz unique talent, The Doodle we are publishing today in Israel and France is a reminder of Ronit’s courage and legacy as an artist who wrote, directed and played the struggle of women for freedom and equality.”

Barak Regev, national manager of Google Israel
Ronit Elkabetz in Keren Yedaya's film ''Bride of the Sea,'' 2009 (credit: FELIX KRIS/ALEX ZUTA/CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA)Ronit Elkabetz in Keren Yedaya's film ''Bride of the Sea,'' 2009 (credit: FELIX KRIS/ALEX ZUTA/CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA)

“Alongside the celebration of Ronit Elkabetz's unique talent, the Doodle we are publishing today in Israel and France is a reminder of Ronit’s courage and legacy as an artist who wrote, directed and played the struggle of women for freedom and equality," said Barak Regev, national manager of Google Israel. “Our Doodles spotlight remarkable people and are meant to bring joy and I’m sure that millions of people in Israel and France would enjoy celebrating Ronit’s birthday.”

Elkabetz's groundbreaking success

Throughout the course of her career, Elkabetz was nominated for thirteen Ophir Awards. Furthermore, she won dozens of awards at film festivals around the world and was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

The Jerusalem Post noted that Elkabetz played a key role in bringing the Israeli film industry to an international audience.

Elkabetz died of lung cancer at age 51 in 2016.

Hannah Brown contributed to this report.