The Top Ten |

The Most Influential People in Israeli Culture: Multidisciplinary Category

Dafna Arad
Dafna Arad
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Dafna Arad
Dafna Arad

1. Limor Livnat, 62, Minister of Culture and Sport

2. Naomi Fortis, 51, Executive Director, Jerusalem Season of Culture

Formerly the executive director of the Batsheva Dance Company, for the past few summers, Fortis, together with Jerusalem Season of Culture artistic director Itay Mautner, has transformed the traditional, sleepy capital city into a hub of secular culture and entertainment that draws visitors from all over the country. Thanks to a huge budge, polished production values, professional management and abundant creativity, Israel's capital city has become home to multidisciplinary and avant-garde art, with events such as Under the Mountain, In-Home, The Front Stage, The Israeli Festival of Sacred Music, FoodTrip and Contact Point.

3. Ron Huldai, 68, Mayor of Tel Aviv

As mayor of the White City, home to many of Israel's leading artists and most important cultural institutions, Huldai essentially serves as mini culture minister. The mayor oversees millions of shekels that are channeled from parking fines to municipal cultural facilities, to support for competitions, artists' associations, museums and the Cinematheque, as well as exhibitions and large-scale festivals such as Loving Art Making Art and White Night. At the same time, Huldai is also the inevitable target of criticism from those who are unhappy with the physical and financial conditions provided by the city, such as owners of rehearsal studios and galleries angry over their municipal tax charges, and the city council opposition, which is furious over the direction in which he is taking the city - toward more high-rise towers.

4. Guy Pines, 47, media personality

Guy Pines's strikingly blue eyes have been gracing our television screens nightly for 16 years. Pines is the creator and presenter of the best entertainment show in Israel, "Good Evening," on which he elegantly describes the latest showbiz news from an glamorous industry that also owes some of its growth to his uncompromising coverage. His show has spawned an entire genre of not-so-successful imitators. For the past few years, his company, Guy Pines Communications has also produced "A Little High," a cultural program hosted by Yair Nitzani, and "Good Evening Sports," the favorite program of soccer players' wives, hosted by Liron Weizman.

5. Gal Uchovsky, 54, media personality

Gal Uchovsky, the voice of a generation and the resolute voice of the gay community, a former journalist who left print journalism and reestablished himself on the Internet and television, works in several arenas simultaneously: from the elitist cultural program "Hazira" on Channel 1 to the Channel 24 music show "Eyal Golan is Calling You." He also continues to make films with his partner, director Eytan Fox ("Walk on Water") and to serve as the face of the gay community in Israeli culture

6. Uzi Dayan, 65, chairman of Mifal Hapayis

A military man who attained the rank of deputy chief of staff, Dayan has been chairman of Mifal Hapayis since 2011. The Hapayis Council for Culture and Art supports a wide spectrum of projects, sponsors the Sapir Prize and the Landau Prize, and distributes a NIS 30 million budget to projects in the performing arts, visual art, literature, poetry, cinema, television, music, new media and interdisciplinary art, and builds cultural centers and offers aid to artists in geographic areas that are not served by the establishment organizations.

7. The agent- Boaz Ben-Zion (pictured), Meir Kotler, Arik Kneller, Shai Nesher, Ofer Navarro and Yaron Lichtenstein

Is there such a thing as a talent without an agent? In recent years, the agent, a strong and well-connected figure, has taken over the industry like a many-tentacled octopus, making self-management a thing of the past, and dictating contracts and roles. He exists by virtue of his clients and reaps big rewards from his clients' talents without ever leaving his office. And lately, if an agent has a talent for whom he can't find a role, he brings an entire production into being just for that purpose. Not just in television and film; the leading agents also represent screenwriters, playwrights, authors and directors. The most prominent agents these days are Boaz Ben-Zion, 68; Meir Kotler, 58; Yaron Lichtenstein, 34; Arik Kneller, 51; Shai Nesher, 62; and Ofer Navarro, 57.

8. Asaf Zamir, 33, deputy mayor of Tel Aviv and chairman of the Jehoshua Rabinowitz Tel Aviv Foundation for the Arts

Big donors enable cultural institutions and independent artists to survive. Many specialize in and donate to a single cause that is dear to them, but there also foundations like the Jehoshua Rabinowitz Tel Aviv Foundation for the Arts and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, that distribute donations and prizes to artists in a wide range of fields: music, dance, visual art, cinema and theater. The latter had to cope with the loss of much of its funds in the Madoff scandal.

9. Gilad Erdan, 42, Communications Minister

Stepping into the position of communications minister after the successful tenure of Moshe Kahlon, which changed the face of cellular communications in Israel, is no easy task. Gilad Erdan is trying to outdo his predecessor, to expand free digital broadcasting, to open up the broadband network to competition, to launch new news channels and first and foremost, to deal with the Israel Broadcasting Authority - a huge and inefficient organization. Will he be the person who shuts down Channel 1? "I can promise you one thing: What has been in the past is not what will be in the future," he wrote on his Facebook page.

10. Hannah Naveh, 65, Dean of the Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University

Hannah Naveh, Dean of the Faculty of the Arts at Tel Aviv University since 2006, has trained generations of students to think critically about theater, the arts, architecture, cinema and television, as well as in the field of gender studies. Having just stepped down from this position (on July 31), Naveh will return to serving as a faculty member in the literature department, and the women and gender studies program, and continue researching Israeli culture, Arabic literature, women and gender studies, and feminist theory.

Ron Huldai.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer