Meet Israel’s New President: The Noble History of the Rivlin Clan – Eetta Prince-Gibson (Ha’aretz)
(dailyalert.org, Jun. 11, 2014)
Israeli President Reuven “Rubi” Rivlin’s family traces their history back more than 450 years, across at least 22 generations, to an early ancestor in Vienna in 1550 and to the revered Gaon of Vilna in the 18th century.
Hillel Rivlin moved from Shklov, Lithuania, to Jerusalem in 1809 (about the same time as the disciples of the Gaon of Vilna – and more than 70 years before the first wave of Zionist immigration.)
Rivlin’s father, Yosef Yoel Rivlin, was the author of the first Hebrew edition of the Koran.
More than 35,000 members of the Rivlin family are thought to live in Israel. At an international family reunion in 2009, between 3,000 and 5,000 Rivlins took over Jerusalem’s largest convention center and organized a massive family walk around the Old City walls.
See also Meet Israel’s 10th President – Jonathan Lis (Ha’aretz)
Reuven Rivlin was born in 1939 in Jerusalem’s Rehavia neighborhood, in a home that supported the Beitar movement. His father, Middle East professor Yosef Yoel Rivlin, was a candidate to be the third president of Israel.
Rivlin has been a vegetarian by conscience for nearly 30 years and is a loyal fan of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team.
Rivlin, married to Nehama and father to four children, lives in the capital in an old apartment building, where his neighbor is former Minister Benny Begin.
Rivlin served as an intelligence officer in the IDF, reaching the rank of major. He was first elected to the Knesset in 1988 and first became Knesset Speaker in 2004. He was elected to a second term as Speaker in 2009.