The French Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres), one of France’s most distinguished titles, has been awarded to Moshe Danon, actor and producer; Alon Garbuz, Director of the Tel Aviv Cinematheque; Haim Guri, poet and filmmaker; Sayed Kashua, journalist and author; Michel Kichka, artist; Katriel Schory, Executive Director of the Israel Film Fund; and Marie Shek, curator. Celebrating achievements in the arts and culture, the many Israelis who have received this honor represent the lively cultural exchange and close relationship between Israel and France.
The Order of Arts and Letters was established on May 2, 1957 by the Minister of Culture, in recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature or the propagation of these fields. Awarded to “individuals who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the artistic or literary field, or the contribution they have made to the promotion of arts and literature in France and worldwide.” Members are not limited to French nationals, and in recent years the number of foreign recipients has grown. Israeli recipients of the title include: actor and writer Yossi Banai, director Eran Baniel, choreographer Ohad Naharin, authors David Grossman and Amos Oz, Director of the Suzanne Dellal Centre Yair Vardi, and founder and former Director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Lia Van Leer. The most recent Israeli honorees are Etgar Keret, Michal Rovner, Yossi Tal Gan, Director of the Israel Festival; James Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum; Dubi Lenz, broadcaster and lecturer on World Music, and film maker Raphael Nadjari.