Iris Mor, Former Editor of Haaretz Culture Section, Dies at 65

The 'mother of contemporary cultural journalism' spent 14 years as the editor of Haaretz's Hebrew-language Galeria section

Iris Mor in 2009.
David Bachar

Iris Mor, who edited Haaretz’s Galeria section for 14 years from 1994 to 2008, died Tuesday night at the age of 65 after a long battle with illness.

Mor, who spent the last five years as director of the Tel Aviv municipality’s culture department, is survived by her husband and two children. The funeral will be Wednesday at 5:30 P.M. at the alternative cemetery in Kibbutz Givat Brenner.

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Mor began her journalism career young: In her teens, she helped found the youth newspaper Naashush. After her army service, she began working at Haaretz, first as a reporter and then as an editor. She later studied philosophy at Tel Aviv University and then got a master’s in philosophy and film from York University in Toronto.

After returning to Israel in 1983, she went to work for the now defunct daily Al Hamishmar. She later became deputy editor of the local paper Ha’ir, which she helped make into Israel’s leading local, one that both reflected and dictated Tel Aviv’s cultural moods.

From Ha’ir, Mor moved to Hadashot, where she edited the culture section and founded a daily magazine. She remained there until that paper closed in 1993.

The following year she returned to Haaretz as editor of the Hebrew-language Galeria section, which she turned into a daily supplement that also appeared in the weekend edition. She is widely credited with making Galeria a significant player in Israel’s cultural world.

In 2008, Mor left Haaretz to become editor-in-chief of the Keter publishing house. She stayed there for four years before becoming director of Tel Aviv’s municipal culture department.

“Iris Mor ultimately was Haaretz’s Galeria,” the paper’s former editor-in-chief, Hanoch Marmari, who worked with her for years, said in a radio interview. “She left her mark with her love of culture. In a sense, she’s the founding mother of contemporary cultural journalism.”