President Rivlin picking Rivlin grapes, named in memory of his wife. (Mark Neiman/GPO) Mark Neiman/GPO
President Rivlin picking Rivlin grapes, named in memory of his wife.

The president thanked the scientists, saying: “I know Nechama would be delighted that there is a new, native grape variety which is so delicious and that bears her name.”

By United with Israel Staff 

President Reuven Rivlin and members of his family were presented with a new variety of grapes on Thursday named ‘Rivlin’ in memory of his late wife, Nechama.

The president’s wife died in June, a day before her 74th birthday.

The presentation was made on a visit to the Hebrew University Veterinary Hospital and the Ministry of Agriculture’s Research Organization in Beit Dagan, near Tel Aviv.

“They taste like ‘nechama,'” the president said, using the Hebrew word for “comfort” and “consolation,” which is “nechama,” his late wife’s name.

Agriculture Ministry Chief Scientist Dr. Avi Pearl said that the new variety is “exceptionally sweet, seedless and with a very thin skin.”

“I did not know Nechama personally, but I was glad that you agreed to name this grape variety for her,” he told the president.

“Every variety has a name [that] expresses its character and its beauty,” said Pearl.

He said that these grapes are “hard on the outside, yet soft and sweet on the inside. Each grape holds within it the sweetness of good deeds in a person’s life. And the whole bunch represents Nechama.”

Nechama had received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology and Zoology and a teaching certificate in natural sciences, working afterward for many years at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Life Sciences.

“Her love of nature and its conservation were and will continue to be a part of her legacy,” said the chief scientist, adding that he was “delighted that on this visit, we have been able to contribute even a little bit to it.”

After a tour of the University Veterinary Hospital, Rivlin, whose own dog had been treated by doctors there, said: “Anyone with such compassion for caring for our animals must surely also know how to relate to humans properly.”

“I see our successes in the fields of water desalinization, in agricultural developments, and in fighting desertification being used all over the world,” the president told the Agriculture Ministry researchers.

“Agriculture is a strategic asset for Israel – it is values, economy, security, and independence,” he said.

The president thanked the scientists personally and on behalf of his family, saying: “I know Nechama would be delighted to know that there is a new, native grape variety which is so delicious and that it bears her name. I thank you very much on her behalf and on behalf of my family.”