Tatyana (Tanya) Edelstein, wife of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, died overnight between Thursday and Friday at age 63 after a long battle with a serious illness that the Knesset did not specify. The couple was married for 33 years.
She was a Hebrew teacher in the Soviet Union and encouraged aliya before moving to Israel herself in the 1980s. In Israel she worked as an engineer for the Civil Aviation Authority.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post last year, the Knesset speaker recounted how he and his wife became observant as underground Hebrew teachers in the USSR.
“People would come from abroad and not eat in our house,” he said. “At first, my wife and I started keeping a kosher house because we said people endangered their lives to bring us books and recordings of Hebrew lessons, so how can we not serve them food?”
Edelstein told of how, after he was arrested on trumpedup drug charges for being a Hebrew teacher, his wife would sneak matzot into prison by breaking them into small pieces and labeling them as crackers.
Tatyana Edelstein’s funeral took place on Friday at the Gush Etzion cemetery.