The government on Sunday approved the images that will appear on a new series of Bank of Israel currency notes. Poetess Rachel will appear on the NIS 20 note, poet Shaul Tchernichovsky's picture will appear on the NIS 50 note, poetess Leah Goldberg will appear on the NIS 100 note and the NIS 200 note has been reserved for poet Nathan Alterman.
The decision over who would be commemorated on each of the notes was determined by chronological order based on the date of their demise: Rachel Bluwstein passed away in April 1939, Tchernichovsky died in October 1943, Goldberg in January 1970, and Alterman in March 1970.
The decision proposal presented to the government noted that Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer chose "figures that are counted among the most prominent artists in the field of poetry and literature whose life stories, works and activities are interwoven with the story of the State of Israel's national and cultural history.
The governor noted that he believes that commemorating these individuals on the State's currency would bestow their art and cultural contribution to future generations." The decision to choose two men and two women was made in order to maintain the principle of equality.
The proposal also said that "developed nations tend to replace their currency notes once every 12 to 15 years due, among other things to outdated security markings and the development of new and advanced security techniques to prevent counterfeit notes.
"In order to maintain the public's trust in the State's currency, the governor decided to replace the currency series with a new series which will include some of the world's most advanced security and identification markings in a bid to make counterfeiting more difficult."
Controversy surrounded the governor's original decision – to include former Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin on the new series of banknotes, but following opposition from the Begin family, Fischer reconsidered, saying that no political figures would be featured in the new series.
The final shape of the notes will be decided on at a later date and will be brought before the government for approval. The new series will be issued in three years.
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