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 Swan, Jackie, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jezebel was the wife of the King of Israel, Ahab. Jezebel is credited with introducing the worship of Asherah and Baal on a national scale. She also purged the prophets of Yahweh, for which she is often associated with false prophets. An important cultural symbol, Jezebel is also associated with promiscuity and fallen women.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adam Neumann is an Israeli-American businessman. He is credited with co-founding the popular commercial real estate company, WeWork, which he established in 2010 alongside his wife Rebekah Neumann and Miguel McKelvey. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Adam Neumann had aspirations like becoming the first trillionaire, living forever, and becoming president of the world.
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.
Keren Peles is an Israeli pianist, singer-songwriter, and poet. Over the course of her songwriting career, Peles has contributed immensely to the success of other popular singers like Shiri Maimon and Miri Mesika by writing the lyrics of some of their hit songs. She has also found success as a singer as many of her albums have been certified gold.
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.
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.
Israeli-Arab travel vlogger Nuseir Yassin, better known to netizens as Nas Daily, has gained global fame with his 1000 daily one-minute Facebook and YouTube videos. His vlogs cover everything from luxury resorts to villages. He has also launched NAS Academy to train upcoming vloggers and video creators.
Being the son of basketball player and coach Zufer Avdija, Israeli-Serbian small forward Deni Avdija was destined to excel in the sport. The Washington Wizards player is known for his towering 6’9” frame. Beginning his career with Maccabi Tel Aviv, he later won 2 FIBA U20 European Championship golds for Israel.
Menachem Begin was an Israeli politician who served as the sixth Prime Minister of Israel. In this position, he signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, for which he and Egyptian politician Anwar Sadat shared the Nobel Prize for Peace. He implemented several reforms to improve the socio-economic condition of Israeli citizens and improve the general quality of life.
John the Baptist was a 1st century AD Jewish preacher. The Gospels mention John as the forerunner of Jesus, as John announces Jesus's arrival and Jesus describes him as “Elijah who is to come.” It is also believed that John had baptized Jesus. John was eventually beheaded by Herod Antipas.
Ofra Haza was an Israeli actress and singer who achieved great popularity in the Western world where she came to be known as the Madonna of the East. An influential cultural figure in Israel, Ofra Haza played a major role in popularizing the Mizrahi culture. During her illustrious singing career, Haza earned several gold and platinum discs.
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.