Israeli

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The first name that comes to your mind at the mention of Israel might be the beautiful supermodel, Bar Rafaeli, but Israel is more than just a sea of pretty faces! Israelis are known to be intelligent, witty and astute people and that is why their nation has the highest standard of living among the countries in the Middle East. Whatever lifestyles the Israelis follow, they are definitely doing something right for this nation boasts of having one of the world’s longest life expectancies. When intelligent, hard working and long-living people live in a country they contribute not just towards the building of their own nation, but also towards the world.

Vote For Your Favourite Israeli Personality
 1 
Natalie Portman
(American Actress Known for Her Films: 'Closer', 'Black Swan' and as 'Jane Foster' in 'Thor' Movies)
Natalie Portman
76
Birthdate: June 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

Debuting at the age of thirteen, Israeli American actress Natalie Portman is today one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. Her movie list is impressive with successful projects like Black SwanJackie, Star Wars, Closer and Thor. While pursuing her passion for acting, the Academy award winning actress also ensured to complete her studies and graduated from Harvard University.

 2 
Abraham
(Religious Leader)
Abraham
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthplace: Ur Kaśdim, Mesopotamia

Abraham is an important historical character, considered one of the fathers of the human race by the Abrahamic religions, including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Abrahamic religions believe that Abraham was in contact with God; his story and life events have inspired several important paintings, sculptures, works of literature, and music.

 3 
Bar Refaeli
15
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: June 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hod Hasharon, Israel
One of the highest-paid Israeli models, Bar Refaeli topped Maxim’s Hot 100 in 2012 and has worked for GQ and Elle. She has also hosted Germany's Next Top Model, The X Factor Israel, and the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. She faced criticism for avoiding Israel’s mandatory military service recruitment.
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 4 
Mary Magdalene
(Disciple of Jesus)
Mary Magdalene
18
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Magdala, Israel

Mary Magdalene was an important biblical figure. It is said that she witnessed many of Jesus' miracles and life events, including his crucifixion and the subsequent resurrection. Since it is claimed that Magdalene was a prostitute, she has been viewed as the patroness of wayward women in the modern era. Her life has inspired several important works of art.

 5 
Solomon
(King of Israel)
Solomon
9
Birthdate: 0990 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0931 BC
Also known as Jedidiah, Israeli king Solomon, known for his wisdom, is a figure that appears in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, the Quran, and Hadiths. He ruled over the United Monarchy. His sins such as idolatry and marrying foreign women led to the disintegration of his kingdom.
 6 
Gene Simmons
(Bassist and Co-lead Singer of Hard Rock Band 'Kiss')
Gene Simmons
16
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel

Co-founder of the rock band Kiss, Gene Simmons is also known by his stage persona, The Demon.  With his band, he has over 25 gold-certified albums. A devoted philanthropist, he has donated to charities related to underprivileged children. He created an animated series and owns a magazine and a label.

 7 
Mary, Mother of Jesus
(Mother of Jesus)
Mary, Mother of Jesus
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 8, 0018
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nazareth

The mother of Jesus Christ and the wife of Joseph, Mary, also known as the Virgin Mary, finds mention in both the New Testament and the Quran. Though most Catholic scholars believe in traditional Marian dogmas, Protestants have often argued, questioning ideas such as the Assumption of Mary.

 8 
Judas Iscariot
(Betrayer of Jesus)
Judas Iscariot
22
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Jerusalem
Died: 0033 AD

Judas Iscariot was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is remembered for betraying Jesus Christ by kissing him and thereby revealing his identity as a rabbi in front of the authorities who had come to arrest the rabbi. Judas remains a controversial biblical figure and his name is used synonymously with treason or betrayal.

 9 
King David
(King of Israel)
King David
0
Birthdate: 1040 BC
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Israel
Died: 0970 BC

King David of Israel remains a significant figure not just in Christianity, but also in Judaism and Islam. The Books of Samuel describe him as a shepherd. Legends also mention how he killed the giant Goliath and had an affair with Bathsheba. He was also a poet and a psalmist.

 10 
Saint Joseph
(Saint, Biblical Figure)
Saint Joseph
12
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Bethlehem
Famous as the patron of the universal church in Roman Catholicism, Saint Joseph was married to Mary and was the guardian or foster father of JesusJoseph is revered as Saint Joseph in the Oriental Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, and the Orthodox Church. Joseph is regarded as the patron saint of workers, in Catholic traditions.
 11 
David Ben-Gurion
(Former Prime Minister of Israel)
David Ben-Gurion
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 16, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Płonsk, Poland
Died: December 1, 1973
David Ben-Gurion was the founder of the State of Israel and also served as Israel’s first prime minister. He was the leader of the Jews in British Mandate Palestine and had also been the country’s defense minister and the chairman of the Provisional State Council of Israel.
 12 
Inbar Lavi
(Actress)
Inbar Lavi
7
Birthdate: October 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ramat Gan, Israel

Inbar Lavi is an Israeli actress best known for her performance in the American comedy-drama TV series Underemployed. Lavi is also credited with playing important roles on other American TV series like Gang Related, Prison Break, and Lucifer. Her popularity increased when she landed the lead role in the dark comedy television series Imposters where she played Maddie.

 13 
Eli Cohen
(Egyptian-born Israeli Spy)
Eli Cohen
7
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 26, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: May 18, 1965
Israeli spy Eli Cohen is remembered for his espionage activities from 1961 to 1965 in Syria, where he served as the chief advisor to the defense minister. He was eventually convicted and publicly hanged. His story later inspired the Netflix miniseries The Spy and the TV film The Impossible Spy.
 14 
Golda Meir
(Former Prime Minister of Israel (1969 - 1974))
Golda Meir
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: December 8, 1978

Born in present-day Ukraine and brought up in the United States, the phenomenal rise of Golda Meir to become the prime minister of Israel was driven by her sheer leadership qualities. She steered her country amid hostilities from its neighbourhood during her eventful term as premier which also saw the Yom Kippur War. She is remembered as a strong-willed woman.

 15 
Jeremiah
(Prophet)
Jeremiah
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0655 BC
Birthplace: Anathoth
Died: 0586 BC

Jeremiah was one of the major prophets, according to the Hebrew Bible. As per Jewish tradition, he authored the Book of Lamentations, the Books of Kings, and the Book of Jeremiah. According to Judaism, Jeremiah is the second of the major prophets and the Book of Jeremiah is often considered a part of the religion's canon.

 16 
Odeya Rush
(Actress & Model)
Odeya Rush
4
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: May 12, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel

Odeya Rush is an Israeli model and actress best known for playing lead roles in American films like The Giver, The Bachelors, and Let It Snow. In 2016, Rush was honored at the Young Artist Awards with the Best Performance in a Feature Film award. In 2017, she received the Awards Circuit Community Award for her performance in Lady Bird.

 17 
Amar'e Stoudemire
(American-Israeli Professional Basketball Coach and Former Player)
Amar'e Stoudemire
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 16, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lake Wales, Florida, United States

Known as much for his basketball skills, as for his towering 6’10” height, Amar'e Stoudemire has played for major teams such as the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns. An Olympic bronze medal winner, he now coaches the NBA team Brooklyn Nets. He also founded the Each One, Teach One foundation.

 18 
Benjamin Netanyahu
(Prime Minister)
Benjamin Netanyahu
38
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 21, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

The current Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Israel. Before becoming a politician, Netanyahu had a prolific military career; he played important roles in the Yom Kippur War and the War of Attrition and participated in missions, such as Operation Isotope and Operation Gift.

 19 
Thomas the Apostle
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthplace: Galilee, Israel
Died: December 21, 0072

Thomas the Apostle was one of Jesus Christ's Twelve Apostles, according to the New Testament. He is often called Doubting Thomas as he doubted Jesus' resurrection. Widely considered the patron saint of India, Thomas is believed to have traveled to present-day Kerala, where Christianity is a major religion. Hence, he is credited with popularizing the religion in South India.

 20 
Daniel Kahneman
(Winner of 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for His Work on the Psychology of Judgment and Decision-Making)
Daniel Kahneman
5
Birthdate: March 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli economist and psychologist. He was honored with the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on behavioral economics. In 2011, Kahneman was named among the top global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. In 2015, Daniel Kahneman was ranked seventh in the most influential economist in the world list published by The Economist.

 21 
Moshe Dayan
(Israeli Military & Political Leader)
Moshe Dayan
9
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Degania Alef, Israel
Died: October 16, 1981

Born to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, military leader/politician Moshe Dayan, grew up to be an revered for his exploits against Israel’s Arab neighbors. His invasion of the Sinai peninsula is etched in his memoir, Diary of the Sinai Campaign. Following his death, his eye patch was sold on eBay for US$75,000.

 22 
Jude the Apostle
(One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament)
Jude the Apostle
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Galilee, Israel
 23 
Shimon Peres
(Former President of Israel)
Shimon Peres
7
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 2, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wiszniew, Poland
Died: September 28, 2016
Shimon Peres had been both the president and prime minister of Israel (twice). He was also part of five political parties in his 70-year career and had held important cabinet posts such as the minister of finance. He won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.
 24 
Yael Grobglas
(French-Israeli Actress Best Known for Her Roles as 'Petra Solano' in the TV Seies 'Jane the Virgin')
Yael Grobglas
5
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

Yael Grobglas is an Israeli actress known for her performance in the popular American satirical telenovela Jane the Virgin. After appearing in a couple of Israeli films, Grobglas achieved international recognition when she played Shir in a horror film titled Rabies. She then established herself in the American TV and film industry by appearing in projects like Jane the Virgin.

 25 
Oded Fehr
(Stage actor, Film actor)
Oded Fehr
4
Birthdate: November 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venezuela

Oded Fehr is an Israeli actor best known for playing Ardeth Bay in the 1999 film The Mummy. Fehr went on to reprise his role in the 2001 sequel The Mummy Returns. His portrayal of Ardeth earned him similar roles in films like Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Over the years, he has also established himself as a TV actor in America.

 26 
Melchizedek
(Priest and King of Salem)
Melchizedek
2

Melchizedek was the priest and king of Salem. He is mentioned in the Book of Genesis and is the first person to be given the title priest in the Hebrew Bible. Melchizedek is considered an important figure in Christianity and Judaism.

 27 
Samson
(Judge)
Samson
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthplace: Zorah

Mentioned in the biblical Book of Judges, Samson was an Israelite warrior, known for his long hair, which was the reason behind his superhuman strength. He had killed a lion with his bare hands but was eventually betrayed by his lover, Delilah, who cut his hair while he slept.

 28 
Hillel Slovak
(Musician)
Hillel Slovak
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 13, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel
Died: June 25, 1988
 29 
Yitzhak Rabin
(5th Prime Minister of Israel)
Yitzhak Rabin
5
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: March 1, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine
Died: November 4, 1995

Israeli politician, statesman, and general, Yitzhak Rabin, served two stints as the prime minister of Israel. As a young man, he joined the military and served for nearly three decades. He had an extensive political career as well and played a key role in embracing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He was assassinated in November 1995.

 30 
Benny Hinn
(Israeli Christian Televangelist and Host of the TV Show ‘This Is Your Day’)
Benny Hinn
21
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: December 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jaffa, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Israeli televangelist Benny Hinn gained fame with his Miracle Crusades held in stadiums across major cities and broadcast worldwide on his show This Is Your Day. He incorrectly predicted twice that the world would end. He has also authored several books, such as Lord, I Need a Miracle.

 31 
Itzhak Perlman
(Israeli-American Violinist, Conductor, and Music Teacher)
Itzhak Perlman
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
A bout of polio at age 4 left Itzhak Perlman’s legs paralyzed but could not deter his spirit. The Juilliard alumnus has won 16 Grammys and the coveted Leventritt Prize for his phenomenal compositions. He has also served as a conductor for Detroit Symphony and orchestras. 
 32 
Ezekiel
(Prophet)
Ezekiel
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0622 BC
Birthplace: Jerusalem
Died: 0570 BC

The Book of Ezekiel, or The Prophecy of Ezechiel, of the Hebrew Bible talks about Ezekiel, the prophet. He is said to have lived near the Chebar River during the Babylonian Captivity. In about 592 BC, Ezekiel received a religious call, having viewed the “throne-chariot” of God in a vision.

 33 
Ronen Rubinstein
(best known for his roles as Nathan in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black)
Ronen Rubinstein
3
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: November 7, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rehovot, Israel
 34 
Nicodemus
(Religious Leader)
Nicodemus
4
Listed In: Leaders

Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin who finds mention in the Gospel of John. According to the gospel, Nicodemus provides the embalming spices required to prepare the body of Jesus for burial after the Crucifixion of Jesus. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and in the various Eastern Churches.

 35 
Jonah
(Former prophet in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, from Gath-hepher of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BCE)
Jonah
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Nineveh, Iraq

The Book of Jonah of the Old Testament talks about Jonah, the prophet. Jonah apparently set sail to Tarshish instead of listening to God and traveling to Nineveh to warn its citizens of God’s wrath due to its wickedness. However, shipwrecked, he eventually ends up warning Nineveh of the impending danger.

Baldwin IV of Jerusalem
5
Birthdate: 1161 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Jerusalem
Died: March 16, 1185

Though seriously hindered by leprosy, Baldwin IV, who came to power at the age of 13, was successful in defending his Jerusalem kingdom during his nearly 11-year rule. His reign was marked by his confrontations with Saladin, the ruler of Egypt and Syria. Also known as The Leper King, Baldwin slowed Saladin’s military campaigns. He was succeeded by his nephew.

 37 
Bathsheba
(Queen consort of Israel)
Bathsheba
1

The wife of Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba was bathing on her roof when David saw her and had her brought to him. He then got Uriah killed and married Bathsheba. David and Bathsheba’s first child died as a punishment for his sins. She was also the mother of King Solomon.

 38 
Saint Stephen
16
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0005 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: 0034 AD
Saint Stephen is considered Christianity’s first martyr. The Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament mention him as the deacon of the Church at Jerusalem who created enmity among various synagogues. He was eventually stoned to death after he denounced the Jewish leaders in a speech.
 39 
Chaim Topol
9
Birthdate: September 9, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tel Aviv
Israeli actor Chaim Topol is best known for his Golden Globe-winning titular role in Sallah Shabati. He began his career with Israeli theater and later co-founded Haifa Theatre. He also earned an Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe for playing Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
 40 
Netta Barzilai
(Singer, Looping Artist)
Netta Barzilai
10
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 22, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hod HaSharon, Israel

Eurovision Contest-winning Israeli artist Netta Barzilai won hearts with her track Toy, a song that spoke of women empowerment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she experimented with a podcast and performances from the balcony of her Tel Aviv apartment. She also performed the track Cuckoo for an online Eurovision event.

 41 
Ayelet Zurer
(Actor, Model, Stage actor)
Ayelet Zurer
1
Birthdate: June 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tel Aviv

Ayelet Zurer is an Israeli actress best known for playing the female lead in the American mystery thriller film Angels & Demons. A celebrated actress in Israel, Zurer has won many prestigious awards, such as the Israeli Film Academy Award and Israeli Television Academy Awards. In 2003, she was honored with the Best Actress award at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

 42 
Ethan Klein
(YouTuber)
Ethan Klein
9
Listed In: YouTubers
Birthdate: June 24, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Ethan Klein is best known as part the duo h3h3Productions, along with his Israeli wife, Hila Klein. The couple has a popular YouTube channel that showcases their sketch-comedy pieces. They also own a podcast and a clothing company and are part of the h3h3 Character Pack of Payday 2.
 43 
Ishmael
(Abraham's Son)
Ishmael
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Canaan

An important figure in the Tanakh and the Quran, Ishmael was the first son of Abraham according to the Bible. He is considered to be the ancestor of the Ishmaelites and patriarch of Qaydār. According to the Genesis account, he was the son of Abraham and Sarah's Egyptian handmaiden Hagar and reportedly died at the age of 137 years. 

 44 
Andrew the Apostle
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0005 AD
Birthplace: Galilee, Israel
Died: November 30, 0060
 45 
Uri Geller
(Magician)
Uri Geller
1
Birthdate: December 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tel Aviv
Illusionist, magician, and psychic Uri Geller is best known for his spoon-bending skills, which he has highlighted on many TV shows. He has also acted in the horror film Sanitarium. He has attributed his powers to aliens. He, however, failed to bend spoons on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
 46 
Alona Tal
(Actress best known to audiences for her roles on the television series Supernatural and Cult)
Alona Tal
2
Birthdate: October 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Herzliya, Israel

Alona Tal is an Israeli actress known for playing supporting roles in popular American TV series like Veronica Mars and Supernatural. Tal is also known for her singing skills; she has recorded a song with popular Haitian rapper and musician Wyclef Jean. She has also appeared in several American films like Half Past Dead 2, Broken City, and Opening Night.

 47 
Ralph Bakshi
(Director of Animated Films)
Ralph Bakshi
1
Birthdate: October 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haifa
Animation filmmaker Ralph Bakshi revolutionized the domain of animation through adult-oriented projects. He started his career with Terrytoons and eventually launched his own studio. Some of his features include Fritz the Cat, the 1978 version of The Lord of the Rings, and the series Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures.
 48 
Ariel Sharon
(Prime Minister of Israel)
Ariel Sharon
5
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 26, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: British Mandate of Palestine
Died: January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon was the Israeli prime minister from 2001 to 2006. As a commander of the Israeli Army, he had participated in the Palestine War of 1948 and the 1967 Six-Day War. He was removed as the defense minister after he led the massacre of Palestinians in the Lebanon War.

 49 
Daniel Barenboim
(Pianist, Conductor, Music director)
Daniel Barenboim
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 15, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Buenos Aires

Daniel Barenboim is a pianist and conductor currently serving as the general music director of the Berlin State Opera and the Staatskapelle Berlin. He has previously been the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, and La Scala in Milan. He is a recipient of Spain's Prince of Asturias Concord Award among others.

 50 
Matthew the Apostle
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Nazareth, Israel
Died: 0074 AD

Israel has been considered a sacred place since the Biblical times and her population is primarily Jewish. The country has a rich cultural heritage but has unfortunately been plagued by political upheavals and turmoil over the past several centuries. Yet Israelis are resilient and bounce back to give the world their very best.  The nation is very advanced when it comes to research and technology. Six Israelis, including Dan Shechtman have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry within a single decade! Literary geniuses like Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Alterman and Amos Oz have been born in Israel. Read on to learn more about famous Israelis.