header Notes Collection

5 New Sheqalim 1985, Israel

in Krause book Number: 52а
Years of issue: 1987
Signatures: Chairman of the Advisory Committee: Avraham Yosef Schapira, Governor of the Bank: Moshe Mandelbaum
Serie: 1985 - 1991 Issue
Specimen of: 04.09.1985
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 138 x 76
Printer: N. V. Grafische Inrichting Johann Enschede en Zonen, Haarlam

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 New Sheqalim 1985




Levi Eshkol.

Metallic thread in the middle of a banknote. When viewing a banknote in the light, the geometric figure on the obverse merges with the geometric figure on the reverse so that you can see a hexagonal hexagram - the Star of David.


5 New Sheqalim 1985

לֵוִי אֶשְׁכּוֹל

The engraving on banknote is made after this photo of Levi Eshkol.

Eshkol, who was finance minister during the twelve years preceding his premiership, is credited with extensive economic, industrial and infrastructural progress during the first two decades of independence.

Levi Eshkol (Hebrew: לֵוִי אֶשְׁכּוֹל; born Levi Yitzhak Shkolnik (Hebrew: לוי יצחק שקולניק)‎ 25 October 1895 – 26 February 1969) was an Israeli statesman who served as the third Prime Minister of Israel[3] from 1963 until his death from a heart attack in 1969. A founder of the Israeli Labor Party, he served in numerous senior roles, including Minister of Defense (1963–1967) and Minister of Finance (1952-1963).

Eshkol was first appointed as Prime Minister following the resignation of David Ben-Gurion. He then led the party in the elections to the Sixth Knesset (1965) and won, remaining in office for six consecutive years. Shortly after taking office, he made several significant changes, among them the annulment of military rule over Israeli Arabs and a successful journey to the United States, being the first Israeli leader to be formally invited to the White House. His relations with American President Lyndon B. Johnson greatly affected Israel–United States relations and later on the Six-Day War.

Eshkol was active in the Zionist movement from a young age, immigrating to Ottoman Palestine in 1914 and working in agriculture. He was among the founders of the major institutions of the Yishuv, most importantly the Histadrut and Haganah. He was treasurer of Hapoel Hatzair political party and treasurer of the Agricultural Center. In 1929 he was elected as chairman of the settlement committee within the Zionist Congress, taking a leading role in enabling conditions for new construction. In 1937 he founded Mekorot water company and was its director until 1951. Simultaneously, he held positions at the Haganah, at Mapai and as chairman of Tel Aviv Workers' Council. In 1948-1949 he was Director General of the Ministry of Defense and from 1948–1963 he was chairman of the Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency. Elected to the Second Knesset in 1951, he was soon thereafter appointed to key government roles.

He led the Israeli government during and after the Six-Day War and was the first Israeli Prime Minister to die in office.


On obverse is the Jerusalem skyline, a city reunited during Eshkol's tenure as prime minister.

Jerusalem Knesset

On top, on background, is the Knesset building in Jerusalem.

In 1949 during the first year of its existence, the Knesset was housed in several locations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, until the Knesset moved to the Froumine House at the city center of Jerusalem in March 1950. The building was meant to serve as a bank, and was adjusted to fit to the needs of the Israeli parliament. The Froumine House was to be a temporary location for the Knesset, but due to the prolonged process of the decision-making in planning and construction of the permanent Knesset building, the Knesset remained in the small-sized building on King George Street for more than 16 years.

Architect Joseph Klarwein was the winner of the 1957 contest for planning the Knesset building on Givat Ram. His initial proposal presented at the contest was ultimately very different than the building that was inaugurated on August 30th 1966. In fact, it was influenced by different architects that were involved in different parts of the planning and construction throughout its nine years, and among them were architect Dov Carmi and his son Ram.

In textbooks written on the Knesset building, it is claimed that the planners intended to build a construction similar to the Greek Acropolis. Those who worked on the building programs before the contest had very little idea on how they wanted the building to look, and the result – an architectural mixture – surprisingly resembled the building of the United States’ embassy in Athens. The embassy was designed by the renowned Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius, which was later considered as a specimen of the “International Style.”

Klarwein’s original model was comprised of a rectangular construction with 20 columns on its front and back, 15 columns on each side, and two internal yards on the eastern and western sides of the plenum hall found at the center of the building. The entrance to the building was to be on its northern front.

The constructed building was square, with 10 columns on all sides, and with no internal yards; the plenum is not at its center, but on its eastern part; and west to the plenum hall there is a reception hall. This hall is named “Chagall State Hall,” as it is decorated with art created by the Russian-born Jewish artist, Marc Chagall.

It was decided during the planning period that the entrance to the building will be on its southern side, with a wide stairway that will connect the gates with Ruppin Road. Concerns raised by the General Staff of the military about Jordanian shelling towards the southern side of the Knesset building had brought about the return of the entrance to the building’s northern side.

The construction of the Knesset building made wide use of bare concrete, both on the interior and exterior, and one of the engineers was sent abroad specifically to learn the required techniques which were popular at that time during the 1960’s. In accordance with the construction regulations of the Jerusalem municipality, the external walls of the building were intertwined with a reddish stone brought from the Galilee. A local reddish stone was found while digging for the foundations of the building, but its quarrying was too slow and expensive, while the use of explosives would have made it useless for purposes of coating. Throughout the years, most of the concrete walls were painted over, and the original concrete can only be seen when looking at the ceiling of the plenum hall.

The interior of the building was decorated by interior decorator Dora Gad. Gad made wide use of wood for covering the walls of the plenum, the committee rooms and a large part of the public areas. She made use of soft colors and only few areas were floored with polished stone, in an attempt to maintain an unpretentious atmosphere. The Chagall Hall was among the few areas to be floored with polished stone, but other areas were also floored in the late 1990’s. Other areas that had regular flooring or linoleum flooring were later covered in carpets and parquet floors.

The first Speaker of the Knesset, Joseph Shprinzak, ordered from Chagall mosaics and tapestries. Dora Gad – mostly on her own initiative - ordered different art pieces from Israeli artists and from new immigrants to decorate the Knesset building and surrounding area. Among those artists were Dan Ben Shmuel, Shraga Weil, David Palombo, Hava Kaufmann, Moshe Castel, Dani Karavan, Reuven Rubin and Buky Schwartz.

The Knesset building was inaugurated on August 20th 1966, and the next day the Knesset began to hold sittings therein.

Architecturally, most interesting areas of the original building were the plenum, Chagall State Hall, library, cabinet (government) room and the committee rooms. (

Signs for the blind: A convex square in the upper right of the banknote.


5 New Sheqalim 1985

A stylized image of the Israeli National Water Carrier against the backdrop of the view of anhydrous and arable land; the text "Bank of Israel" in English and Arabic.

Working on the National Water Carrier project, Israel, 1960s Working on the National Water Carrier project, Israel, 1960s Working on the National Water Carrier project, Israel, 1960s

Photo: Leni Sonnenfeld (Beth Hatefutsoth Photo Archive, Sonnenfeld Collection).

On reverse are coupled water pipes, flowing water, and the stark contrast between verdant fields and barren wasteland, epitomizes Levi Eshkol's preoccupation with building the fledgling nation's infrastructure, the highlight being the completion in 1964 of the national water conduit project, carrying water through underground pipes and surface canals from the Sea of Galilee to central Israel and the Negev desert.

The National Water Carrier of Israel (Hebrew: המוביל הארצי‎, HaMovil HaArtzi) is the largest water project in Israel. Its main purpose is to transfer water from the Sea of Galilee in the north of the country to the highly populated center and arid south and to enable efficient use of water and regulation of the water supply in the country. Up to 72,000 cubic meters (19,000,000 U.S. gal; 16,000,000 imp gal) of water can flow through the carrier each hour, totalling 1.7 million cubic meters in a day.

Most of the water works in Israel are integrated with the National Water Carrier, the length of which is about 130 kilometers (81 mi.). The carrier consists of a system of giant pipes, open canals, tunnels, reservoirs and large scale pumping stations. Building the carrier was a considerable technical challenge as it traverses a wide variety of terrains and elevations.


Designer: Jacob Zim.