President Reuven Rivlin boasted that there is now equality in Israel’s money after he was presented with two new banknotes on Wednesday which both feature famous women.
Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug presented the new bills to Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
The NIS 20 and NIS 100 banknotes are to be introduced into circulation on Thursday.
The bills feature two famous Israeli poets.
Rachel Bluwstein — better known simply as Rachel the Poet — appears on the red NIS 20 bill, while Leah Goldberg graces the NIS 100 note.
In a tweet, the president cited the words of the most famous of Bluwstein’s poems, “O, my Kinneret, Were you there or did I only dream?” which appear on the new bill.
He also wrote, “From now on, for the first time, there is equality which will be a source of pride in the representation of men and women in the State of Israel’s notes.”
They will be the first of the new Israeli banknotes currently in circulation — which come in denominations of NIS 20, 50, 100 and 200 — to feature women.
The NIS 10 bill issued in 1985 featured a portrait of former prime minister Golda Meir, until it was removed from circulation in the 1990s.
Meir was also featured on the 10,000 shekel bill, before hyperinflation prompted the replacement of the shekel with the new Israeli shekel in 1985. Numerous women were featured on the Israeli pound before it was supplanted by the shekel in 1980.
The NIS 50 note has an image of Shaul Tchernichovsky, a Russian-born Hebrew poet, while the NIS 200 bill has a portrait of Nathan Alterman, a Polish-born playwright, poet and journalist who wrote in Hebrew.
The new notes incorporate advanced features against counterfeiting and differ slightly in length to aid blind and visually impaired users distinguish between them.
The public can continue to use their existing bills for those denominations until they are gradually phased out.