Wife of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Her first name is sometimes spelled Lea; both spellings are correct. Born Leah Schlossberg, in Königsberg, East Germany, of well to do Jewish parents who immigrated to Palestine in 1933, when the Nazis came to power. After World War II, she entered training to become a teacher, and joined the Palmach, a Jewish commando force that was fighting the British for control of Palestine, working on the group’s newspaper. There she met Yitzhak Rabin, and following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War for Independence, they were married. She finally earned a teaching degree, but worked only for a brief period teaching in 1958. Most of the time she was a home-maker, but she worked continuously with her husband to further the peace process with the Palestinians, who she argued, needed to be worked with if peace in Israel was to be obtained. In 1974, her husband became the youngest Israeli Prime Minister, but three years later, his coalition crumbled when it was revealed that she had a bank account in the United States, an action that was then illegal under Israeli law. For six years, Yitzhak Rabin stood by his wife, and withdrew from public life. In 1992, her husband again became Israeli Prime Minister. In 1993, when her husband, Shimon Perez and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Peace Agreement, she warmly hugged Arafat, a peace gesture that left many Israelis uncomfortable. She was with her husband in 1995, when he was assassinated in Tel Aviv following a rally in support of the Oslo peace process. In the spring of 2000, she was diagnosed with cancer and flew to the United States for treatment, but the cancer returned and she died at her home in Petach Tikva, Israel. She and Yitzhak had two children, daughter Dalia Rabin-Pelossof, a lawyer and member of the Israeli parliament, and son Yuval Rabin, who after serving as an officer in the Israeli Army, became a representative of an Israeli software company in the United States.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson