Israel launched a new 50-shekel bill on Wednesday honoring a great Hebrew poet. The first in a series of new Israeli banknotes will enter circulation next week.
Israel welcomes the new 50-shekel bill – the first of several new bank notes to enter circulation. The new currency was greeted by a series of official events.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday morning with Bank of Israel Governor Dr. Karnit Flug ahead of the launch of the new NIS 50 (New Israel Shekel) note and told her that “in order for this note to retain its value, we must guard both the security and the economy.” Netanyahu praised the governor and her staff for maintaining the stability of Israel’s economy.
“We must increase the security budget due to Operation Protective Edge and guard the economy, and these items meet in the deficit which we can control and which will not topple us. This will be our policy and thus we will act, together,” said the prime minister.
The new bill “is unique both in its design and in its security technology, among the most advanced in the world,” Flug stated. “I thank the Prime Minister for supporting the process and am pleased to present the new NIS 50 note to the citizens of Israel.”
The Bank of Israel governor later presented the note to President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem. Rivlin delivered words of praise for the Bank of Israel, which has had to contend in recent years with a failing global economy. Flug responded by stating her hopes that the upcoming government budget would be formulated to maintain stability and encourage economical growth, which would benefit all of Israel’s residents.
Cutting Edge Security and Accessibility
The Bank of Israel printed a new series of banknotes with the objective of enhancing the security and accessibility of the currency. The banknotes are said to be secure and very advanced, in line with global technological trends. The developments in banknotes, the increased level of counterfeits around the world and the technology that counterfeiters possess required the Bank to bring the banknotes’ standards in line with the challenges of coming years and to incorporate advanced anti-counterfeiting security features.
The banknotes differ from each other in color and length for the benefit of the blind and vision impaired.
The existing banknotes will continue to be legal for several years, and the public will be given a time frame during which it will be possible to exchange the old banknotes for new bills.
New Line of Bills Featuring Israel’s Men and Women of the Pen
The note introduced Wednesday, predominantly green, bares the portrait of Shaul Tchernichovsky. The micro-text on the front of the note, which can be seen only with a magnifying glass, was taken from his famous poem, “Oh, My Land, My Homeland.”
Tchernichovsky, Russian-born, was one of the first modern-era Hebrew poets and considered one of the greatest. He was twice awarded the Bialik Prize for Literature.
His poetry is a blend of Jewish and world heritage; nature themes are prominently featured.
Israel is continuing to honor its leading literary figures by featuring them on the country’s currency. Rachel the Poet will adorn the 20-shekel bill, Lea Goldberg will be featured on the NIS 100 note and Natan Alterman’s portrait will be printed on the 200-shekel banknote.
Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel