I am sorry to be the bearer of sad news.
First lady Nechama Rivlin, the beloved wife of President Reuven Rivlin, passed away today, a day before her 74th birthday.
Nechama Rivlin (Photo Credit: Jeruslalem on Line)
She was an amazing women, known for her nobility and modesty.
She is survived by her husband (President Rivlin) three children - Rivka, Anat and Ran - and seven grandchildren.
She was born in 1945 in Moshav Herut, in the Sharon region. Her parents, Drora (Keila) and Mendy Shulman, immigrated to what was then Palestine from the Ukraine and were among the moshav's founders.
In 1964 she enrolled at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she earned a BSc in Botany and Zoology, along with a Teaching Diploma. Later in life, she studied the History of Art. She became a researcher at the Hebrew University in 1967. Her initial role was in the Department of Zoology of the Hebrew University, and she later worked in the Department of Ecology, as well as in the Department of Genetics until she retired in 2007. In addition to regular employment, she engaged in a variety of volunteer assignments.
Nechama z"l suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, an interstitial lung disease, and used an oxygen tank for many years to assist her breathing. Despite this, she often accompanied her husband on trips around the world. Although she herself disliked politics, she supported her husband throughout his career.
The first lady would write from time to time on the president's official Facebook page about Israeli and Hebrew-language writers and artists whom she appreciated. She began her posts with the words "Hello everyone, Nechama here," and signed off with "Yours, Nechama."
Condolences are coming in from politicians, citizens and organizations throughout the country, including the two Ambassadors below - :.
The British Embassy in Tel Aviv shared their condolences, saying: "Sad to hear about Nechama Rivlin's death. She was an extraordinary and gentle woman who charmed wherever she went. We send our condolences to President Rivlin and his family. R.I.P."
"Deeply saddened at the passing of Nechama Rivlin, beloved wife of President Reuven Rivlin," said Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan. "We mourn her loss and honour her contributions to Israel. Our thoughts are with the Rivlin family and the people of Israel at this difficult time. May her memory be a blessing."
I have sent President Rivlin and his family condolences on your behalf (as per attachment). Please find below the translation :
HE Mr. Reuven Rivlin
President of the State of Israel
In my name and on behalf of the WIZO Federations and members all over the world, I would like to convey our condolences to you on the passing away of your beloved wife Nechama z"l . We bow our heads to honour her memory. She was an impressive woman , known for her wisdom, pleasantness, nobility and modesty.
Words are too small to contain the depth of loss, pain, and grief. It is not possible to quantify the vacuum left by the parting of a partner, who has been part of your life, and stood by you for so many years. It is hard to imagine life without her and the quiet that remains. The good memories and the wonderful days you shared will comfort and, strengthen you and your family, and as a supportive family, you will help each other. I am sure that the memory of Nechama z"l will remain in the hearts of all who knew, admired and loved her.
May the Almighty comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
President, World WIZO