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What's New About the New Israeli Shekel? Two Notes Feature Female Poets: Leah Goldberg and Rachel Bluwstein.

After much hoopla, the Bank of Israel recently announced that two new Israeli banknotes will be issued shortly. They're part of a new series highlighting renowned 20th century Israeli poets whose life and work parallel the birth of the State of Israel and the fulfillment of the Zionist dream: A portrait of Rachel Bluwstein (Rachel the Poetess) will grace the new 20-Shekel note, and Leah Goldberg will appear on the 100 NIS. This seriesa welcome change from the previous series featuring Israeli politiciansalso includes 20th century Hebrew poets Shaul Tchernichovsky and Natan Alterman, who appear on the 50 and 200 NIS banknotes respectively. The planned released of the Series C NIS is late 2017.

Rachel Bluewstein featured on the 20-shekel note.

That these two women will grace two, oft-used bills is a big deal, in my opinion, because each new NIS bill is like a mini-course in Hebrew literature and Zionist history. The 20 NIS banknote with Rachel the Poetess (1890 – 1931), the matriarch of modern Hebrew poetry, includes vistas of her beloved Sea of Galilee shoreline, palm trees, and verses from her signature poem "Kinneret." The 100 NIS bill depicting Leah Goldberg (1911- 1970)poet, playwright, novelist, and beloved children's authorfeatures her well-known poem, "In my beloved land the almond tree blossoms" ("b'Eretz Ahavti ha-shaked poreah") with corresponding images.

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Author:Jacobs, Paula
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Feb 13, 2017
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