Who Are Israeli Culture's 100 Most Influential People? A Special Haaretz Project

Haaretz's pick of the 100 people in art, literature, theater, dance, architecture, music, classical music, film and television that most shape the Israeli cultural scene today.

Lisa Peretz
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Lisa Peretz

Dear Readers,

"Israeli culture's 100 most influential figures" is the title of the project you are about to read. These are the 100 people who shape and define culture in the Israel of 2013. Each does so in their own way, according to their own manner, taste, and art.

If we compare Israeli culture to a powerful machine, these 100 pistons push air in, and at the same time, make up the body of the machine itself.

"Israeli culture's 100 most influential figures" is presented as a clear and schematic grid. It includes the 10 fundamental fields of modern culture: art, literature, theater, dance, architecture, music, classical music, film and television. Field number 10, titled "multidisciplinary," includes those cultural chameleons who constantly move between the different areas.

For the full list of the project's articles, click here

There are 10 candidates in each of the 10 fields. Each is ranked from 1 to 10, according to their importance, the mark of their influence, the range of their activities and the cumulative effect of these three elements. Alongside the typical cultural fields, we added fashion and design, as an expansion of the concept of “culture.”

Selecting and ranking the 100 most influential people on culture in Israel was entrusted to the critics and journalists of Haaretz’s Gallery supplement in Hebrew. These journalists are knee-deep in Israeli culture. They report on it, critique it, and reveal both its manifest and concealed aspects. Here, they shape it in hierarchical order.

A mixture of veteran and young journalists on the selection committee provided the vitality and perspective needed for compiling the list. Gallery’s critics and journalists spent many weeks narrowing down hundreds of names to the final 100.

We are aware of the built-in limitations of such lists, which tend to be rigid in their numbering and definitions. Culture, in contrast, is wild and undisciplined by nature, in a state of eternal flux; what is true today probably becomes tomorrow's anecdote. Moreover, we know that the “body” of culture is supposed to develop an immune system that would most definitely reject this kind of list in any case.

It was with these and other understandings, and with a measure of humility, that we tackled the list of the 100 people who most influence culture in Israel.

Enjoy reading.

Lisa Peretz

Editor, Gallery 

Illustrations by Leo Atelman.

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