Tatiana Edelstein, wife of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, passed away Thursday night at the age of 63 after battling a serious illness.

The couple had been married for 33 years, and have a son and daughter.

They met when Tatiana, also known as Tanya, studied Hebrew under Yuli in the Soviet Union. When her husband was sentenced to three years in prison for Zionist activities, Tanya led the efforts to free him.
Tanya taught Hebrew and promoted emigration to Israel while living in the Soviet Union, and worked as a civil engineer after moving to Israel.

“For many months we knew about the great suffering of Tanya Edelstein,”  said MK Reuven Rivlin, according to Maariv, “and we were pained, along with Yuli Edelstein, over the pains and difficulties she went through. In these difficult times, Yuli bore his personal sorrow while he served as the Knesset speaker with the eager support of Tanya, despite her serious illness. As a woman who knew how to fight for the Jewish people’s honor, Tanya supported Yuli and did not want her suffering and pain to keep him from fulfilling his government role. I knew Tanya as a Zionist woman and an activist for aliyah, who stood by her husband while he was a Prisoner of Zion, and on his public journey here in Israel.”

Edelstein was buried Friday in Alon Shvut in the Etzion Bloc, south of Jerusalem.