Ruth Rappaport, 1924-2018

The Technion mourns the profound loss of Mrs. Ruth Rappaport, who passed away this week: “We lost a dear and devoted friend,” said Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie, “an exceptional woman for whom ‘Tikun Olam’ was a guiding principle. Ruth devoted her life to people, to the State of Israel, to the city of Haifa and to the Technion in particular. The Technion is indebted to Ruth, together with her late husband Baruch, for the establishment of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at Technion.

Ruth and Baruch were the generous benefactors behind the establishment of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at Technion and the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences, which they continued to support over the years out of the conviction that, “Patients have no borders and therefore medicine can be a bridge to peace.”

Ruth Rappaport was born in Berlin on April 6, 1924. In 1933, following Hitler’s rise to power, her family immigrated to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv and later in Haifa. At the age of 18, she met Baruch, a meeting that led to 65 years of marriage, which ended with Baruch’s passing in 2010. Baruch, a native of Haifa, served in the British army and the IDF, completed law studies and established successful businesses in banking, shipping and oil.

Ruth Rappaport dedicated her life to helping others and over the years served as Co-Chair of World WIZO and as Chair of the Inter-Maritime Foundation for the Advancement of Humanitarian Projects. She raised funds for daycare centers around the country believing that, “The future lies in children and the family, and every amount collected today will bear fruit in future generations.”

In the early 1970s, the Rappaports enlisted to aid the Technion, which sought to expand the newly-founded Faculty of Medicine, then operating out of a former monastery adjacent to Rambam Hospital. Ruth and Baruch responded to the plea of Prof. David Erlik and donated the money to build a 14-story tower building, home to the medical faculty to this day. The building was inaugurated in June 1974, and even then the Rappaports firmly believed that medical faculty members would one day win the Nobel Prize – a prophecy that was realized in 2004 with the winning of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry by Professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover.

In 2014, the Technion awarded Ruth Rappaport an honorary doctorate “In gratitude for your work as a philanthropist of the first rank; in recognition of your generous humanitarian spirit and support of a variety of cultural, social, and health initiatives; and in appreciation of your support of numerous educational and child welfare projects, which improve the quality of life in Israel.”

The Technion mourns the passing of Mrs. Ruth Rappaport and extends heartfelt condolences to the entire Rappaport family.