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Pokémon in Israel
Pokemon logo Hebrew.png
Israel Flag.png
Flag of Israel
Language Hebrew
Continent Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 1999
DP001 2009
BW001 Never aired
XY001 September 4, 2016
SM001 September 13, 2017

The Pokémon franchise first reached Israel in late 1999, with the first broadcast of אש בוחר את הפוקימון שלו on the Israeli Children Channel.

The word Pokémon is written as פוקימון in the Hebrew alphabet. In Hebrew, unlike English, a plural form, פוקימונים (Pokémonim) is often used, and a female form, פוקימונית (Pokémonit) has also been heard in the anime. Since there is no neutral grammatical gender in Hebrew, Pokémon are always referred to as either male or female.

While all characters, Pokémon, and locations have kept their English names in the Hebrew dub, some objects in the franchise received Hebrew-sounding names.


Pokémon games

Because there is no official Nintendo distributor in Israel, Nintendo games are rarely found in Israel. Although, some stores import them from other European countries in English, and they are available around the European launch day, and sometimes earlier.

Pokémon anime

The Children Channel's logo
The Pokémon anime is dubbed in Israel by N.L.S Studios (אולפני נ.ל.ס Ulpanei N.L.S). For the first ten seasons of the series, it has been broadcasted on the Children Channel (ערוץ הילדים Arutz Hayeladim), beginning in 1999 with the airing of the first episode. Oddly enough, the Children Channel also aired the U.S. version in English with Hebrew subtitles starting in the early 2000s. Starting with the eleventh season, the anime is broadcasted on Jetix Israel since May 4, 2009. On September 9, 2009, Jetix was changed into Disney Channel Israel and continued to broadcast the eleventh season along with the twelfth. The thirteenth season and Best Wishes series were entirely skipped in the Hebrew dub and the series was ceased to be broadcasted due to Disney Channel Israel refusing to air the series despite the dubbing of the thirteenth season being already completed at the time.

The Best Wishes series was entirely skipped in the Hebrew dub. The XY series is shown on the Children's Channel since September 4, 2016 with the title XY :פוקימון - הסדרה. The first two seasons re-aired from July 3, 2016 to August 31, 2016.

Season 19 has aired since January 26, 2017 from Thursday to Sunday at 16:45.

In Israel, the anime is available on Netflix.

Pokémon movies

Pokémon: The First Movie debuted on Israeli cinemas in May 2000, scoring the biggest movie opening ever in the country.

The last movie to be dubbed in Hebrew and played in theaters was Pokémon 4Ever - Celebi: The Voice of the Forest. Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias, Jirachi: Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys were broadcasted in other channels such as the Yes satellite channel Yes 5 in English with Hebrew subtitles. In late 2010, Arceus and the Jewel of Life was broadcast on Disney Channel Israel with Hebrew dub. I Choose You! was the most recent movie to be aired on Children Channel on July 1, 2018.

Cast and crew

During the first ten seasons of the anime, the series dub was directed by Yafa Gabay (יפה גבאי), a longtime voice actress herself, who also voiced several minor characters in Pokémon. After ten years, Sharon Borgauker (שרון בורגאוקר) briefly became the director of the dub. Borgauker also dubbed several minor characters, including Conway.

The first five theme songs were performed by singer Uzi Fox (עוזי פוקס), the owner of N.L.S Studios and producer of the Hebrew dub. Fox also voiced minor characters on Pokémon, including Professor Birch.

The role of Ash Ketchum was given to Jonathan Magon (יונתן מגון). Jonathan voiced Ash for three seasons before passing the job to his younger brother, Daniel Magon (דניאל מגון). Other characters Jonathan Magon dubbed in Pokémon include Harley and Kudo. Pokémon is not the only series the Magon brothers shared roles in - they both voiced Cody Hida (among other roles) in Digimon.

Yehoyachin "Chini" Friedlander (יהויכין "כיני" פרידלנדר), a well known voice actor and theater actor, was hired as the voice of Professor Oak. Friedlander, who grew up in Kiryat Motzkin in northern Israel, is a graduate of the Nisan Nativ Acting Studio. He lives in Ramat Gan with his wife and two children.

Gary Oak has been voiced by several voice actors over the years, including Avihud Tidhar (אביהוד תדהר), Doron Ben-Ami (דורון בן-עמי), who also dubbed Butch, and Amit Yosovich (עמית יוסוביץ). The most famous one is Daniel Zilbershtein (דניאל זילברשטיין), a pop-star from Ra'anana. Zilbershtein also made musical appearances on Pokémon, such as a version of You & Me & Pokémon in Shocks and Bonds.

Misty has been dubbed by several voice actors, such as Adi Ben Israel (עדי בן ישראל) and Na'ama Ozen (נעמה אוזן). For a short time, the role was also dubbed by Talya Barkai (טליה ברקאי). Barkai's more major role in the anime, however, is that of four main characters, Dawn, Serena, Lillie and Lillie. She also voiced Duplica, Casey, Tiffany, the Sinnoh Pokédex, and for a few episodes only, Delia Ketchum (as well as in Sun & Moon). In addition, she sang the song mentioned above with Daniel Zilbershtein as well as We Will Be Heroes and the flashback song from Gotta Catch Ya Later!, and, in 2009, became the director of the series dub, taking over the job from Sharon Borgauker.

Brock was originally dubbed by Alon Goren (אלון גורן). In the fourth season, Guy Roshiniak (גיא רושיניאק) took over the role.

Maya Bar Shalom (מאיה בר שלום) gave her voice to Jessie, as well as Jessiebelle, Dora, Lola (SS001 only), Masae, Jimmy's Pokédex and the Hoenn Pokédex. As Jessie, she also had a few musical appearances, such as Double Trouble and Team Rocket Forever. Bar Shalom was also the director of the Hebrew dub of Pokémon Chronicles (פוקימון דברי הימים Pokémon divrei hayamim). Many fans praised her for keeping Jackson and Eusine's original names in The Legend of Thunder! special, correcting the mistake of the English dub. The only voice actress to voice Jessie other than Bar Shalom was Anat Niv (ענת ניב), who took over the role for 22 episodes during the fifth season.

James's first and longest running voice actor was Guy Nativ (גיא נתיב), who dubbed James for the first 6 seasons. Starting the seventh season, Liron Lev (לירון לב), who also dubbed Jimmy and sang the Hebrew versions of I Wanna Be a Hero, This Dream, Battle Frontier, and Diamond and Pearl, took over the role. Lev left the cast for the duration of season 8, though, during which James was dubbed by Gil Chernovich (גיל צרנוביץ) and the theme song, Unbeatable, was performed by Yoav Koren (יואב קורן). Liron Lev then returned in season 9.

Of all main characters, Meowth had the most voice actors throughout the series. Those include Yossi Tzabari (יוסי צברי), Yaron Malachi (ירון מלאכי), Yoav Ne'eman (יואב נאמן), and Dor Srogo (דור סרוגו), who also dubbed Tracey Sketchit. The most famous one is Ido Mosseri (עידו מוסרי), the younger brother of Children Channel star Tal Mosseri. Ido started his acting career in his early teens, and after his military service he graduated from the Nisan Nativ Acting Studio. His most famous roles include Tal Sasson in the series HaShir Shelanu (Our Song) and Oori in the movie You Don't Mess with the Zohan alongside Adam Sandler. Mosseri also sang the movie version of Born to Be a Winner.

In the Advanced Generation series, the role of May was given to Yafa Gabay's daughter, actress Dawn Lanny-Gabay (דון לני-גבאי). Lanny-Gabay, who grew up in Giv'atayim, became famous in 2005 through the role of Roni Malki in the Israeli teen drama series, HaShminiya (The Octette), and later had several other roles in the Children Channel's productions. May was not Lanny-Gabay's first role on Pokémon - she had previously dubbed Jasmine, Melody, Lisa, Luna Carson, and Diana.

Other notable voice actors in the Hebrew dub include Liraz Bergman (לירז ברגמן) as Delia Ketchum, Netta Ravé (נטע רווה) as Officer Jenny, Dana Rishfi (דנה רישפי) and Etti Castro (אתי קסטרו) as Nurse Joy, Dor Tsvigenbaum (דור צוויגנבאום) as Professor Elm, Eyal Cohen (אייל כהן) and Ido Dankner (עידו דנקנר ) as Max, דור יצחק (Dor Itskhak) as Drew and Reggie, Meron Aharonovich (מירון אהרונוביץ) as Paul, Moran Nahor (מורן נהור) as Zoey, Adi Weiss (עדי וייס) as Professor Birch, Professor Rowan, the Magikarp salesman, and Mr. Sukizo, Kobbi Likorman (קובי ליקורמן) as Barry and Hamilton, Gadi Levy (גדי לוי) as Cyrus, Liat Har Lev (ליאת הר לב) as Cynthia and Solana, and Ami Mendelman (עמי מנדלמן) as the narrator, Dexter, and singer of the Pokérap.

The Hebrew dub resumed in 2016 on the Children's Channel, with Daniel Magon, Maya Bar Shalom, and Dor Srugo, reprising their roles as Ash, Jessie and Meowth, respectively. Clemont is voiced by Yuval Binder, his younger sister Bonnie is voiced by Mia Kadosh. In Sun and Moon, new cast members included Maya Mittelpunkt as Mallow, Shirley Lilo as Sophocles, Agam Schatzberg as Kiawe and Adi Bar Lev as Lana.

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