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.
Russian-Israeli author Dmitry Glukhovsky gained fame with his first novel, Metro 2033, which he published on his own site at age 18, and which later inspired an interactive experiment and a video game franchise. He has also worked for Mayak Radio Station, EuroNews TV, and Deutsche Welle.
John the Evangelist, or St. John the Apostle, was one of Jesus’s Twelve Apostles. The son of a fisherman, he was one of the first disciples of Jesus. He is believed to have penned Letters of John and the Fourth Gospel. He and his brother, James, were called the sons of thunder.
Yair Lapid is an Israeli politician who has been serving as the prime minister of Israel since June 2021. He is also the current Minister of Foreign Affairs in Israel. He is credited with founding the centrist Yesh Atid party. A former journalist, Lapid was also known for his skills as a writer before entering politics in 2012.
Stanley Fischer is an Israeli American economist. He was previously the chief economist at the World Bank and the vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve. In 2014, he was nominated by US President Barack Obama to be the vice-chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue as well.
Rula Jebreal is a Palestinian journalist, foreign policy analyst, novelist, and screenwriter. Her first novel Miral was adapted into a film of the same name. Directed by Julian Schnabel, Miral had Freida Pinto playing the title role.
Originally called Amos Klausner, Oz Amos was an Israeli short story writer, novelist, essayist, and educator, known for his advocacy of two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Professor Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University, he wrote forty books, many of which have been translated into forty-five languages, earning him numerous international awards and honors, including Legion of Honour of France.
A well-known human rights activist, Natan Sharansky not just campaigned for the rights of the Jews and spent 9 years in a prison in Siberia, but was also a chess prodigy, who was a champion at age 14. He has also penned books and won multiple awards.
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.
Max Brod was a Czech German-speaking Jewish author, composer, and journalist. He studied law at the German Charles-Ferdinand University and proceeded to pursue a career as a journalist and composer. He worked as an editor and literary adviser for the Israeli national theatre for three decades. He was a close friend and biographer of writer Franz Kafka.
Israeli-born British Gilad Atzmon has established himself as one of the best jazz saxophonists of his time. His collaborations include tracks with stars such as Robbie Williams and Pink Floyd. He has also been in the news for his articles condemning Zionism and for his books, such as The Wandering Who?
Nobel Prize-winning Israeli author Shmuel Yosef Agnon remains one of the most significant Hebrew authors of his time. Homeschooled by his parents, he published his first poem at 15. Best known for works such as A Guest for the Night and The Bridal Canopy, he was also inspired by German literature.
Benny Morris is an Israeli historian who was a professor at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict won him both praise and criticism from both sides of the political divide. He studied history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has a doctorate in modern European history from the University of Cambridge.
Israel Prize-winning author David Grossman is best known for his iconic books on Israel, such as See Under: Love and The Book of Internal Grammar. Born into a working-class family, he also developed his left-leaning traits early in life and later stepped into political activism, too.
Ari Folman is an Israeli film director, animator, and screenwriter. He was born to Holocaust survivors in Israel. He studied at Tel Aviv University's department of film and television and began his career producing documentaries. He directed the documentary film Waltz with Bashir, based on the aftermath of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre.
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.
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.
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.
Martin van Creveld is an Israeli military historian and theorist. He studied history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and later at the London School of Economics, from where he got a doctorate. Besides having a brilliant academic career, he is the author of numerous books on military history and strategy. He has been criticized for his anti-feminist views.
A. B. Yehoshua is an Israeli essayist, novelist, and playwright. He is one of the most influential and important personalities in the new wave generation of writers in Israel. Many of Yehoshua's works have been adapted for theatre, opera, television, and film. Over the years, he has received many awards, such as the Brenner Prize, Alterman Prize, and Israel Prize.
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.
Palestinian-Israeli author Emile Habibi was not only a prominent figure in Arabic literature but also formed his own narrative style, known as the Habibian, mixing storytelling and activism. A fine politician, too, he was part of the Knesset. He was also awarded the Israel Prize for Arabic literature.
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.
Palestinian doctor of medicine, author and academic Ghada Karmi is associated with the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter as research fellow and lecturer. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Karmi has penned several articles on Palestinian issues in Wayback Machine and in newspapers and magazines like Journal of Palestine Studies and The Guardian.
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.
Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk wrote about varied topics, such as the Holocaust and the 1948 war. Though born into an elite family, he joined the Palmach during the War of Independence and was wounded. A multidimensional man, he also studied painting and indulged in gambling and adventure in the US.
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.
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.
Yizhar Smilansky, better known by his pen name, S. Yizhar, was born into a family of writers and later grew up to be one of the most significant figures of Israeli literature. The Israel Prize winner is known for his varied books, including war literature and children’s books.
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.
Israeli author and artist Amos Kenan was born to a construction worker father and dropped out of high school to join a Zionist movement. Part of the Canaanite movement, he penned a satirical column and plays that were inspired by the theater of the absurd. He was also a talented sculptor.
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.
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.