Aura Herzog

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Aura Herzog
Aura Herzog

Aura Herzog (Hebrew: אורה הרצוג born December 24, 1924) is a public figure and social activist. Wife of the sixth president of the State of Israel, Chaim Herzog. Founder and international president emeritus of the Council for a Beautiful Israel.


She was born in Egypt to a Jewish family of Russian and Polish origin. Her parents were Leah (the daughter of Yechiel Michal Steinberg, a man of origin), and Simcha Ambash (an acronym for "I believe in complete faith"), an engineer by profession. [1] Her parents had four children: Her sister Suzy (Shoshana) later married the Israeli diplomat Abba Eban .

Her parents came to Egypt from Jaffa, she was educated in French schools in Ismailia and completed her BA in mathematics and physics from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.

In October 1946, after completing her studies, she immigrated to Palestine. In the same year she was chosen to participate in the first class of the Diplomatic School established by the Jewish Agency. During these years the Haganah was active. In 1947 she married Chaim Herzog and accompanied him in his roles in the IDF and in public life.

On March 11, 1948, she was wounded in the attack on the National Institutions compound in Jerusalem. During the War of Independence she served as an officer in the Intelligence Division of the Science Corps.

Between 1954-1950 and again between 1975 and 1978, Herzog lived with her family in the United States, on the occasion of her husband's role as military attache and ambassador to the United Nations.

She served as the Director General of the Committee for the Events of the First Decade of the State of Israel (1958) and initiated the National Bible Quiz. She later served as a member of the Culture and Arts Council (1968-1959) and in 1969 she founded the Council for a Beautiful Israel.

From 1983 to 1993, Chaim Herzog served as President of the State of Israel. Aura Herzog continued to hold public positions and during this period helped  the "Council for a Beautiful Israel" to become a leading environmental organization. In the 40th year of the State (1988), she headed Operation Israel Clean-Up.

Aura Herzog (2017) continues to head the "Council for a Beautiful Israel" as its international president emeritus.

After the end of her husband's tenure as President of the State, she held various positions, including: Chairperson of the Public Committee for the Events of the Fiftieth Year (1998), Member of the Plenum of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Member of the Public Advisory Board of Mifal Hapayis, Member of the Board of Governors of the Tel Aviv Museum, and Chairperson of the  Friends of Schneider Children's Hospital.

In 1971 her book "Secrets of Hospitality" was published for the teaching of  manners and customs.

Personal life[edit]

Aura Herzog is the mother of four children, grandmother to 11 grandchildren and great-grandmother to two great-grandchildren. Her children are attorney Yoel Herzog, Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog (former military secretary to Defense Minister Mofaz and Prime Minister Ehud Barak's Chief of Staff, Isaac Herzog (Boujie), a Knesset member and minister in Israeli governments, and Ronit, a clinical psychologist.


Council for a Beautiful Israel,


University of the Witwatersrand