The Israeli new sheqalim is the official currency of Israel since 1986 when it replaced the old shekel; the legal tender is also used in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The official currency symbol; ₪. The name is derived from the Hebrew root (š-q-l), meaning “weigh”. After the economic crisis in the 1980s, the Bank of Israel, commanded by the Government of Israel, decided to remain under more efficient and cautious fiscal and monetary policies, which allowed the introduction of market economic reforms, achieving a more competitive Israeli economy. In 1985, a new series of banknotes were introduced in denominations of ₪5, ₪10, and ₪50, followed by ₪1 and ₪100 in 1986, ₪20 note in 1988, and ₪200 note in 1992. Coins later replaced the ₪1, ₪5, and ₪10 notes. The second series, introduced in 1999, replaced the 2005 series and introduced the ₪500.
In 2012, The Bank of Israel announced a new series of banknotes which was introduced between 2012 and 2017; 20₪, ₪50, ₪100, and ₪200.
The 50 Israeli new sheqalim note front design features the portrait of Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888 – 1970), who was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and stood out as one of the central figures in modern Hebrew fiction, on a background with his personal library, following the portrait, is the text of the acceptance speech given by Agnon upon receiving the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966. The lettering on this side of the note is in the Hebrew language. The reverse of the note presents an illustration depicting Agnon’s writing with his glasses, pen, and sheet of paper; the overlapping texts mention the writer’s seventeen books. In the background, there is a view of the Temple Mount of Jerusalem; the image alludes to Agnon’s view from his home. The lettering on this side of the note is in the Arabic and English languages. This note is part of the 1998 – 2007 series, and its color is purple on a multicolor underprint.
Text: 50, Fifty New Sheqalim, Bank of Israel, From a historical catastrophe that Titus King Roman destroyed Jerusalem and exiled Israel from his own country, I was born in one of the Diaspora cities. But at all times, I was always like me, born in Jerusalem. In a dream in a night vision, I saw myself standing with my Levite in the Temple as I sang with them King David’s songs. Such pleasantness heard no ear from the day our city was destroyed and went with her in exile. I suspect the angels who are in charge of the singing hall will show that I will daydream what I sang in my dream, which is most common on the day I sang at night, that if my brother’s people could hear, they could not endure their grief because of the good they had lost. To appease me for taking me out of my mouth they let me do written songs.
1966, Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888-1970), 50, Fifty New Sheqalim, Bank of Israel, 2007.