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.
Israeli poet and partisan leader Abba Kovner was the first person to publicly state in his manifesto that Adolf Hitler was planning to persecute the Jews of Europe. His campaign against the Germans made him join the Israeli army. His life and times have been elaborated in The Fall of a Sparrow.
Aviv Geffen is an Israeli singer, songwriter, rock musician, keyboardist, guitarist, and record producer. He is credited with co-founding the popular band Blackfield. One of the most popular Israeli artists of his generation, Geffen remains a youth icon although his popularity was at its peak during the 1990s. His music deals with themes like love, peace, politics, suicide, and death.
One of Israel’s most significant poets, Yehuda Amichai was born to Jewish parents in Germany and later moved to Jerusalem, where he fought for the British Army during World War II. His works, such as Now and in Other Days, carry themes of war, Jewish history, and the philosophy of life.
Mascha Kaleko was a poet who wrote in the German language. Born in present-day Poland, Kaleko left for Germany along with her mother and sister when the First World War began. In Germany, she became acquainted with writers like Kurt Tucholsky and Erich Kästner, often meeting them in places like the Romanisches Café. Many of her poems were published posthumously.
Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld was 8 when the Nazis captured him and his family. While he lost his mother to the Holocaust, he and his father were sent to a labor camp. After escaping the camp, he traveled to Ukraine and Palestine, took up odd jobs, and even studied philosophy.
Leah Goldberg was an Israeli poet, playwright, literary translator, and author who wrote in the Hebrew language. An important writer, Goldberg's works are generally regarded as classics of Israeli literature. In 1949, she received the Ruppin Prize. In 1970, Leah Goldberg was honored with the prestigious Israel Prize for literature.
Avrom Sutzkever was an Israeli poet who became the first Yiddish writer to receive the Israel Prize in 1985. Sutzkever, whose works have been translated into several languages, was recognized as the greatest poet of the Holocaust by The New York Times. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Itzik Manger Prize, which he won in 1969.
Yossi Sarid was a news commentator and politician who was an important member of the Knesset between 1974 and 2006. From 1996 to 2003, he led the political party Meretz. A former Minister of the Environment and Minister of Education, Sarid also served as the Leader of the Opposition between 2001 and 2003. Sarid is also remembered for his uprightness.
Samih al-Qasim was a Palestinian poet whose work is renowned throughout the Arab world. He contributed immensely to popular journals like Al-Jadid, Al-Ittihad, and Index. Samih al-Qasim is also remembered for his political career; he became part of the Israeli Communist Party after the Six-Day War in 1967.
Uri Zvi Greenberg was an Israeli poet, politician, and journalist. Greenberg, who wrote in Hebrew and Yiddish, is often considered one of the greatest poets in the history of Israel. For his immense contributions to literature, Uri Zvi Greenberg was honored with several prestigious awards like the Bialik Prize and the Israel Prize.
Dareen Tatour is a Palestinian poet, social media activist, and photographer. Tatour, who writes in Arabic, was sentenced to prison for five months in 2018 by an Israeli court for her controversial posts on social media. In 2019, she was honored with the prestigious Oxfam Novib/PEN Award for Freedom of Expression.
Anton Shammas is a Palestinian poet, writer, and translator of English, Hebrew, and Arabic languages. Shammas is credited with co-founding an Arabic magazine called The East, which he edited between 1971 and 1976. The recipient of the Whiting Award and Lila Wallace Writers' Award, Anton Shammas' acclaimed novel Arabesques was translated into several languages, including Spanish, English, French, and German.
Samira Saraya is an Israeli-Palestinian actor, rapper, filmmaker, poet, and spoken word artist. Over the years, she has won several prestigious awards including the best screenplay award at the TLVFest. Saraya is also an important activist; she is credited with co-founding a feminist organization called Aswat which aims at changing the perception of the LGBT community in Palestine.
Zohra Al Fassiya was a Moroccan poet and singer. Counted among the pioneers of modern Arabic music, Al Fassiya's songs were celebrated across Morocco and Algeria. Widely regarded as the queen of the gharnati and melhoun genres, Zohra Al Fassiya was also the first female Moroccan recording artist.
Abraham Shlonsky was an Israeli poet who played an important role in the progression of modern Hebrew in Israel. He also worked as an editor and translated several literary classics. In 1946, he was honored with the Tchernichovsky Prize for his translation of Eugene Onegin and Hamlet. He was also the recipient of the Bialik Prize and the Israel Prize.
Palestinian historian, essayist, poet, translator and diplomat Elias Sanbar serves as Palestinian ambassador to the UNESCO since 2012. He is one of the founders of Revue d'études palestiniennes (The Journal of Palestine Studies) and served as its editor-in-chief for 25 years. His book The Palestinians won the Palestine Book Awards in 2015. His works include translating Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry into French.