Nechama Rivlin – condolences

June 5, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Nechama was born in 1945 in Moshav Herut in the Sharon region.

Nechama Rivlin

Her parents, Drora (Keila) and Mendy Shulman, immigrated from the Ukraine and were among the founders of the moshav. Nechama studied from kindergarten until the end of the elementary school in the area. She completed her high school studies at the Emek Hefer Ruppin Regional School, and due to back surgery, she received a postponement of her army service.


In 1964 she began studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studying natural sciences. She graduated with a BSc in botany and zoology and holds a teaching certificate in these departments.

In 1967 she began working at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a researcher in the Department of Zoology, and then moved to the Department of Ecology and the Department of Genetics. In addition, Nechama studied the history of art in the fields of modern, classical and ancient art.

In 1971 she married Reuven (Rubi) Rivlin and settled in Jerusalem. Nechama had three children – Rivi (Rivka), Anat and Ran. She was grandmother to Matan, Ziv, Shai, Karni, Maya, Daniela and Yahav, and sister to Varda.

In 2007 Nechama retired and then discovered that she had an incurable lung disease that required her to use a portable oxygen device. When Nechama moved to Beit HaNasi, she chose to focus on art, activities for children with special needs, the environment and nature, through compassion and love of people.

In a post she wrote about the book Paddington Bear Nechama wrote: “How often do we pass an injured animal or bird and look away, just so we do not have to take on the burden of caring for it?” Later, she even voiced a character in the film based on the book.

Nechama set up a community garden in the garden of the President’s Residence, where children from all over the country came to plant and plant plants, spices and flowers on a regular basis.

Nechama was a regular visitor to Israel’s cultural institutions, particularly those in Jerusalem, out of true love for art in all its forms. Nechama was particularly fond of the Cinematheque and Smadar cinemas in Jerusalem, where she used to watch films regularly.

Nechama’s fondness for Hebrew literature and art led her to write from time to time about writers and artists who particularly appreciated the posts she published on the official Facebook page of the president. She generally began her posts with the words “Hello everyone, Nechama here,” and signed them “Yours, Nechama.” They became especially beloved to followers of the page and to lovers of culture and art in Israel.

In 2018, Nechama established the President’s Award for Hebrew Poetry. On the committee’s announcement of the winner Amichai Hasson, Nechama said: “I congratulate the lovers of language and words, the writers and poets who make magic  with them and wish that our world will always have people in it who make poetry from it.”

May her memory be a blessing

יהי זכרה ברוך

Condolences from

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Together with all citizens of Israel, my wife Sara and I express deep sorrow over the passing of Nechama Rivlin, the wife of President Reuven Rivlin. We all prayed for her recovery during the recent period in which she fought for her life heroically and with strength of spirit. We send our deepest heartfelt condolences to the President and all members of his family. May her memory be blessed.

The Zionist Federation of Australia

The Zionist Federation of Australia extends condolences on behalf of the Australian Jewish community to Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin and his family on the passing of his wife and Israel’s First Lady, Nechama Rivlin z”l yesterday.

Nechama Rivlin was, by all accounts, an individual who assumed her national responsibilities with grace, bringing her innate characteristics of humanity, respect and commitment to those in need to her role. She was renowned as a staunch advocate for women, taking up the cause of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She devoted much energy and dedication to improving the lives of people with disabilities and volunteered in the Israeli Prison Service with modesty and compassion. Her own health issues did not deter her from demonstrating her passion and care for those in need.

As tributes for Mrs Rivlin pour in from world leaders, Jewish community leaders from across the world and of course from Israelis from so many parts of society, we learn more of the quiet yet profound contribution she made in Israel and beyond.

She will be remembered for her values, her warmth and her compassion to all. Her altruism and her achievements in raising awareness and sensitivity for those in need will be a legacy for Israeli society into the future.

Her loss will, of course, be felt most keenly by her family- by President Rivlin, their children Rivka, Anat and Ran and their grandchildren. We send them our sympathies and wishes for long life.

May her memory be a blessing, for her family and friends, the State of Israel and the Jewish world.


The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) offers Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his family our deepest and heartfelt sympathy on the sad passing of his beloved wife Nechama.

As Israel’s First Lady, she was widely respected for her warmth, intelligence and kindness, as well as her focus on the arts, environment and children with special needs.

Her dedication to her family and to Israel will never be forgotten, and her memory will always be a blessing to all who knew her.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rivlin family at this sad time and AIJAC wishes the entire family a long and healthy life.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry

With the passing on June 4 of Nechama Rivlin, beloved wife of Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, the Jewish people have lost a true daughter of Israel and a wonderful role model.

She was born in the Land of Israel in 1945, prior to the re-establishment of the Jewish State. After finishing high school, she went on to study the natural sciences at the Hebrew University Jerusalem, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany and Zoology.

She also had a deep interest in art, art history, cinema, theatre, music and literature, and often sent messages of encouragement to writers, actors, film makers and singers.

She was especially admired for helping children with special needs.

We extend our deepest sympathies and wish long life to President Rivlin on the loss of Nechama,  and to their children Rivka, Anat and Ran, their grandchildren, Nechama’s sister Vered, and to the Israeli people.

May her memory be a blessing.

The World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress and Jewish communities around the world are deeply saddened by the passing of Israel’s first lady, Nechama Rivlin.

“Nechama Rivlin was the very epitome of the ‘eshet chayil,’ the woman of valor immortalized in Jewish tradition. We mourn together with the Rivlin family and the whole nation of Israel,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “We will always remember Mrs. Rivlin with admiration and fondness. She was a gracious hostess to innumerable delegations from around the world, both Jewish and not, bringing the best face of Israel forward with love and compassion.”

Gad Ariely, Chairman of WJC-Israel chapter, said: “Nechama Rivlin will always be remembered for her extraordinary humility and hospitality but also for her patriotism – as a matriarch of the nation.”

Magen David Adom

This morning, the President’s wife, Nechama Rivlin has passed away at the age of 73. Mrs. Rivlin has been heroically fighting a lung disease for a few years, and today she has passed away at the hospital.

Nechama Rivlin, the First Lady of Israel, has worked tirelessly for the good of the country and its people. Her unique and humble personality especially stood out. The Rivlin family cooperated with MDAs goal of saving lives and community service, and the MDA as a whole sends its condolences to the Rivlin family and to President Mr. Reuven Rivlin

MDA Director General Eli Bin said: “We were notified this morning about the death of the President’s wife, Mrs. Nechama Rivlin, who fought her disease heroically and with great strength. MDA has a unique relationship with the Rivlin family, who always showed support for the organization and was a partner in MDA’s lifesaving activities for the citizens of Israel. The MDA management, employees and volunteers share the grief and pain of the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin and the pain of the Rivlin family.”


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