Moshe Rivlin, the former world chairman of the Jewish National Fund and director general of the Jewish Agency for Israel, died Tuesday at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan following a heart attack. He was 79.
Mr. Rivlin, a seventh-generation Sabra who retired from JNF in 1997 after 21 years, lived in Jerusalem with his wife, Ruth. He and his wife were in the city visiting their two daughters.
“He was from one of the seven prominent Jewish families that built the neighborhoods in Jerusalem outside of the Old City,” said Avinoam Binder, JNF’s chief Israeli emissary.
Binder noted that while with JNF, Mr. Rivlin initiated several projects, including building Jewish communities in the Galilee, land reclamation in the Negev and the Galilee, and water reservoirs throughout Israel. There are now 167 water reservoirs in Israel.
“He was one of a vanishing breed of Israelis who helped shape the country into what it has become today,” said Russell Robinson, chief executive officer of JNF. “He is a part of Israel’s history.”
Mr. Rivlin’s family is asking that donations in his memory be made to the Hebrew University.