First Lady of Israel

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First Lady of Israel
Flag of Israel.svg

since June 4, 2019
ResidenceBeit HaNassi
Inaugural holderVera Weizmann
FormationFebruary 17, 1949

First Lady of Israel is the unofficial title of the wife of the president of Israel.[1] The position has been vacant since June 4, 2019, when First Lady Nechama Rivlin, wife of President Reuven Rivlin, died in office.[2]


There is no official role or office of the first lady of Israel,[2] although President Reuven Rivlin bestowed the title of First Lady on his wife, Nechama Rivlin, shortly after taking office in 2014.[1][2]

First ladies of Israel[edit]

Name Portrait Term Began Term Ended President of Israel Notes
Vera Weizmann Vera Weizmann portrait 1929-30.jpeg February 17, 1949 November 9, 1952 Chaim Weizmann Wife of the first President of Israel. Born in the Russian Empire and immigrated to the United Kingdom.
Rachel Yanait Ben-Zvi PikiWiki Israel 2821 Itzak Ben-Tzvi ביקור הנשיא בן צבי.jpg December 16, 1952 April 23, 1963 Yitzhak Ben-Zvi Born in present-day Ukraine, Ben-Zvi was an author, educator and leading proponent of Labor Zionism.
Rachel Katznelson-Shazar Rachel Katznelson-Shazar 1964.jpg May 21, 1963 May 24, 1973 Zalman Shazar
Nina Katzir Nina Katzir, 1973.jpg May 24, 1973 May 29, 1978 Ephraim Katzir
Ofira Navon Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Mrs. Ophira navon.jpg May 29, 1978 May 5, 1983 Yitzhak Navon
Aura Herzog Mrs-aurora-herzog.jpg May 5, 1983 May 13, 1993 Chaim Herzog Founder of the Council for a Beautiful Israel[3]
Reuma Weizman Dov.jpg May 13, 1993 July 13, 2000 Ezer Weizman
Gila Katsav Gila Katsav D653-076 (cropped).jpg August 1, 2000 July 1, 2007 Moshe Katsav Gila Katsav's tenure ended on July 1, 2007, when her husband resigned the presidency.[4]
Sonia Peres Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Sonia and Shimon Peres (cropped).jpg July 15, 2007 January 20, 2011 Shimon Peres Sonia Peres, who was Polish-born, disliked the role of wife of a politician and public figure. Though the country's first lady, she and Shimon Peres became estranged circa 2008 over his decision to remain in public office during their later life; the couple lived apart for the remainder of their lives.[5][6] Sonia Peres died in role on January 20, 2011, at the age of 87.[5][7]
Position vacant January 20, 2011 July 24, 2014 Shimon Peres First Lady Sonia Peres had died on January 20, 2011, while Shimon Peres was still in office.
Nechama Rivlin Nechama Rivlin (cropped).jpg July 24, 2011 June 4, 2019 Reuven Rivlin Nechama Rivlin was a researcher and scientist at Hebrew University. She died in role from complications of a lung transplant on June 4, 2019.[2]
Position vacant June 4, 2019 Present Reuven Rivlin First Lady Nechama Rivlin died on June 4, 2019.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The First Lady: Nechama Rivlin". Office of the President of the State of Israel. Archived from the original on 2019-03-25. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cashman, Greer Fay (2019-06-04). "Nechama Rivlin, scientist, art lover, wife of president, passes away". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 2019-06-09. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  3. ^ Cashman, Greer Fay (2012-04-25). "All In The Family: The legacy of Labor MK Isaac Herzog runs deep". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 2019-05-15. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  4. ^ Meranda, Amnon (2007-06-29). "Katsav submits letter of resignation". Ynet. Archived from the original on 2016-04-03. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  5. ^ a b Kaplan Sommer, Allison (2011-01-26). "Sonia Peres, Intensely Private Wife of Israel's President, Shunned the Spotlight". The Forward. Archived from the original on 2016-11-05. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  6. ^ "Politics broke up my marriage, Peres says". Associated Press. Times of Israel. 2014-05-05. Archived from the original on 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  7. ^ "Sonia Peres, president's wife, dies at 87 in Tel Aviv". Jerusalem Post. 2011-01-20. Archived from the original on 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2019-07-02.