Female poets new figureheads of Israel's bank notes


The Bank of Israel has unveiled two female Hebrew poets as the figureheads of its latest bank notes.

Designs of the 20- and 100-shekel bills were released by the bank on Tuesday and are expected to go into circulation by the end of the year. They will be the only banknotes featuring women in current circulation.

The red 20-shekel note features poet, Rachel Bluwstein and words from her poem “Kinneret” — Hebrew for the Sea of Galilee.

Ms Bluwstein died in 1931 and many of her poems have been set to music.

The orange 100 shekel note features Leah Goldberg, an Israeli poet and writer along with an extract from her poem “White Days” and an image of a deer. Ms Goldberg, who also wrote plays and was a researcher of Hebrew literature, died in 1970.

She also translated the book War and Peace, by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, into Hebrew.

Former Prime Minister Golda Meir was the last woman to be featured on a bank note, appearing on the 10-shekel note, which was removed from circulation in the 1990s and replaced with a coin.

The Bank of Israel has been criticised for only selecting Ashkenazi writers for the bills.

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