Sara Netanyahu

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Sara Netanyahu
Sara Netanyahu.jpg
Sara Netanyahu in 1992.
Born (1958-11-05) 5 November 1958 (age 56)
Occupation educational and career psychologist
Known for Wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Sara on her father Shmuel Ben-Artzi's lap in 1960.

Sara Netanyahu (Hebrew: שָׂרָה נְתַנְיָהוּ; born 5 November 1958) is the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is an educational and career psychologist by profession.[1]


Sara Netanyahu (née Ben-Artzi) was born in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Tiv'on, near Haifa. Her father, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, was a Polish-born Israeli Jewish educator, author, poet and biblical scholar, who died in 2011 at the age of 97. Her mother, Hava, was a sixth-generation Jerusalemite. She attended Greenberg High School in Tivon, where she was an outstanding student. She later worked as a reporter for Maariv LaNoar, a weekly magazine for Israeli teenagers. In the Israel Defense Forces, she was a psycho-technical evaluator in the Military Intelligence Directorate ("Aman").[1]

She completed her BA in psychology at Tel Aviv University in 1984 and her master's degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1996.[1]

In the 1980s, Netanyahu married Doron Noiborgr. She worked as a psychotechnical evaluator of gifted children at the Institute for Promoting Youth Creativity and Excellence" headed by Dr. Erika Landau, and at a rehabilitation center of the Ministry of Labour. She also worked as an El Al flight attendant.[1]

In 1991, she married Benjamin Netanyahu. During her husband's first term as prime minister, she voluntarily chaired Yad b'Yad, an aid organization for abused children and Tza'ad Kadima for children with cerebral palsy. In 2000, she returned to her own profession as an educational psychologist in the psychological service of the Jerusalem Municipality.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife visit a Bedouin tent in Jordan, 1996.

She is currently a career psychologist. Her duties include the provision of psychological diagnoses and treatment for children, as well as other tasks required of child psychologists in various educational frameworks and in the field of psychological services. Within this framework, she provides almost daily assistance to children and families in distress.[1]

Netanyahu and her husband have two sons. In 2010, one son, Avner, won the International Bible Contest award on the national level, and came in third place on the international level.[1]

Her brothers are Matanya Ben-Artzi, a professor of mathematics, Hagi Ben-Artzi, a professor of Bible and Jewish Thought, and Amatzia Ben-Artzi, a technology entrepreneur. All three of her brothers were Israel Bible Contest champions.[1]

Press coverage[edit]

In her husband's first term as Prime Minister, Sara Netanyahu received much media attention, usually negative in tone, due to allegations of poor interpersonal relations. She won a libel case filed against Schocken publishers for falsely maligning her, and a libel suit in 2002 against the local paper "Kol Ha'ir," after two unfounded reports were published about her in the paper's gossip column [2][3] In 2008, Channel 10 reported that during the 2006 Lebanon War, when she travelled to London with her husband for a public diplomacy campaign, she spent a large sum of money on luxuries that was paid for by a donor in London.[4] In response Netanyahu filed a libel suit against the channel.[5][6] As Sara's trip had not been approved by the Knesset's Ethics Committee, her husband was notified by the committee.[7]

During Benjamin Netanyahu's second term, the media focus on Sara Netanyahu has also been mostly negative. In January 2010, Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported that Netanyahu family's housekeeper was suing Sara Netanyahu in the Labor Courts of Israel for withholding wages, unfair working conditions and verbal abuse.[8] Sara Netanyahu is being sued again, as of March 2014, by another caretaker, and former bodyguard to the family, over claims that she was abusive towards him.[9]