16 Years Since the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin who was Prime Minister, Chief of Staff and a Nobel Prize Winner was assassinated 16 years ago on the 4th November 1995 at the age of 73 years and left behind him a great heritage. But apart from Rabin the statesman and the public figure, there was the ‘private’ Yitzhak, an avid sports enthusiast, a fervent fan of the game of tennis, both as a player and a spectator. Rabin and his wife Leah z”l were great friends of the Israel Tennis Center and were both very good tennis players who regularly came to the Tennis Center to play tennis together.
Leah Rabin, as wife of the Prime Minister, was the one to cut the ribbon at the inauguration ceremony of the first Tennis Center in Ramat Hasharon in 1976. Together with her husband, they came on a regular basis to watch the Davis Cup games, and the Riklis and Eisenberg tournaments which were held at the Tennis Center in Ramat Hasharon – they were always hosted in the President’s box. In Rabin’s memory, his tennis racket was framed and put on display at the center in Ramat Hasharon.
Liora Gertler used to play with Leah Rabin and two other women regularly. They sometimes played against Yitzhak and Leah in a double’s game as well. The last time she played against the Rabin’s was two weeks before Yitzhak’s assassination. Speaking about that time, Liora recalls: “They were immensely competitive and ambitious but also very fair and pleasant. Yitzhak was a real gentleman, before he commenced a serve he would ask Leah if she is ready, and when someone played exceedingly well, he would always give a compliment and a hand shake. It was real fun to meet them, play with them and then afterwards sit down for a drink and some talk after the game”.
Yitzhak Rabin playing tennis in the Israel Tennis Center, Ramat Hashaon
Yitzhak and Leah Rabin together with President Haim Herzog and Ian Froman,
one of The founders of the Israel Tennis Center
Yitzhak Rabin together with Ian Froman and young tennis player Yael Segal
Leah Rabin cutting the ribbon at the inauguration ceremony of the first Tennis Center in Ramat Hasharon
Leah Rabin at the opening of the Israel Tennis Center in Ramat Hasharon
Leah and Yizhak Rabin sitting in the Presidential box at the Canada Stadium at Ramat Hasharon
In the Presidential box with Yitzhak, Leah and Marjorie Sherman
Leah Rabin and Ian Froman at a special tennis tournament in memory of Yitzhak Rabin at the Israel Tennis Center.
The framed tennis racket of Rabin on display in the Israel Tennis Center, Ramat Hasharon