Jerusalem, Israel - Jan. 12, 2022 - The flags at Beit Hanasi, the official residence of the Israeli President were flying at half-mast on Wednesday morning, January 12, 2022, in Jerusalem, Israel

On Monday, January 10, 2022 / 8 Shevat 5782, the Office of the President announced with great sorrow Aura Herzog. a'h, mother of President Isaac Herzog and wife of the late sixth Israeli President, Chaim Herzog z"l, had passed away overnight at her home at the age of 97. A prominent public figure and social activist for many decades, she was the founder of the Council for a Beautiful Israel among a long list of accomplishments and is credited with initiating the Bible Quiz, which has taken place every year since its inception in the 1950s.

In 1946, she made aliyah to Israel and joined the Haganah. That year, she was elected to participate in the first class of the Jewish Agency’s diplomatic cadet school. In 1947 she married Chaim Herzog and accompanied him throughout his roles in the IDF and public life

Beit Hanasi was opened to the public on the warm and sunny morning, to pay last respects and condolences before burial next to her husband at the Great Leaders of the Nation Plot at the Mount Herzl Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. With the Omicron health situation, the casket was positioned outside of the main hall. All entering the grounds were required to wear a mask and have a green pass scanned and present an ID.

Former President Reuven Rivlin was among the first to enter and greet President Herzog and his family. Former Ambassador Dore Gold was also among the first to arrive at Beit Hanasi.

Aura Herzog (née Ambache, acronym for ‘I Believe with Complete Faith’) was born in Egypt to parents born in Jaffa and Motza. Her parents were expelled by the Turks during the First World War and reached Egypt from Jaffa. She grew up and was educated in Ismailiyah and Cairo and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics at Witwatersrand University in South Africa.

Her parents Leah and Simcha Ambache had four children. Her older sister, Suzy Ambache, was married to the late diplomat and former foreign minister Abba Eban. In1950-1954 and in 1975-1978, Mrs. Herzog lived with her family in the United States when her husband served as the military attaché and Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Aura and Chaim Herzog had four children: Joel Herzog; Brig. Gen. (res.) Michael (Mike) Herzog, currently Israel’s ambassador in Washington DC; President Isaac Herzog; and Ronit Herzog, a clinical psychologist. They also had eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The funeral was not open to the public due to the health situation, but broadcast on social media channels. Shiva is to be in her former residence, not in Jerusalem.