The Noble History of Reuven Rivlin’s Family


rivlinIsraeli 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.

R’ Hillel Rivlin moved from Shklov, Lithuania, to Yerushalayim 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.

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.

Reuven was born in 1939 in Yerushalayim’s Rechavia 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 Yerushalayim soccer team.

Rivlin, married to Nechama 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.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. Aren’t all of us members of the noble family of Avraham Ovinu?-then why reverence about being a biological but not a spiritual descendant of somebody two hundred years ago?! Even a new ger might have more in common with Vilna Gaon than some of Gro’s irreligious biological descendants.

  2. Jo Shmo, we all admire your frumkeit, but if you can’t say something good about a worthy person, your frumkeit turns into krumkeit. Reuven Rivlin is a mensch and an ehrilich Yid, a Yid with ahavat Israel and ahavat Eretz Israel.

    How about you?

  3. Jo Shmo–With youre rambling here, your spiritual part is non existant, you are full of hate for others not like you shame on you

  4. Rivlin is not a descendant of the Vilna Gaon!

    Rather, he is a descendant, many generations removed, of a talmid of the GRA. Big difference.

  5. Rivlin’s mother is a decendant from the same Rivlin family chasidim of the Baal Hatanya, the Mechaber of Lomdeshe seforim ohel yosef on hilchos kiddush hashem and vestos, and sefer oholei yosef on shas

  6. According to other sources, R. Rivlin has Lubavitch roots:

    His ancestor, Rabbi Hillel Rivlin, a relative of the great Vilna Gaon, came to Ottoman Palestine 73 years before the first glimmerings of political Zionism. Rabbi Hillel came because the Gaon instructed his students and family to do so, in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah.

    Thirty years later, Rivlin’s mother’s family, followers of Chabad chassidut, arrived, impelled by the wishes of the founder of chassidut, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, who also foresaw the beginning of the Messianic era.

    Rabbi Hillel, a follower of the Gaon, married his 7th cousin, the Rivlin girl from the Chabad family — the first marriage in Ottoman Palestine between Chassidim and their opponents, the “Mitnagdim.”