Yael Feldboy, US Embassy in Israel's legendary media adviser, passes away

During Feldboy's 27 years at the embassy, she worked with 12 US ambassadors and met several US secretaries of state and presidents.

YAEL FELDBOY, flanked by US Embassy spokeswoman Valerie O’Brien (left) and deputy chief of mission Leslie Tsou, displays the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award in recognition of her distinguished service. (photo credit: US EMBASSY)
YAEL FELDBOY, flanked by US Embassy spokeswoman Valerie O’Brien (left) and deputy chief of mission Leslie Tsou, displays the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award in recognition of her distinguished service.
(photo credit: US EMBASSY)

The US Embassy in Israel’s legendary media adviser, Yael Feldboy, has died, the embassy announced on Tuesday.

“It is difficult for diplomatic correspondents of the Israeli media to imagine the public diplomacy department of the United States Embassy without Yael Feldboy, who has spent the last 27 years as a senior media adviser, having started as a Hebrew teacher to ambassadors and senior embassy staff,” The Jerusalem Post’s Greer Fay Cashman wrote in 2017 upon Feldboy’s retirement.

Feldboy began working at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv in the late 1980s.

US Embassy Tel Aviv 311 (credit: Wikimedia Commons)US Embassy Tel Aviv 311 (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Her 27-year career at the embassy spanned 12 US ambassadors, starting with Thomas Pickering. After him were William Brown, William Harrop, Edward Djerejian, Martin Indyk, Ed Walker, Indyk again, Daniel Kurtzer, Richard Jones, James Cunningham, Dan Shapiro and David Friedman.

She also got to meet former US secretaries of state George Schultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and was given a career achievement award signed by then-incumbent Rex Tillerson. Over her career, she also met several US presidents and vice presidents, as well as other high-ranking US civilian and military personnel.

Former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, who worked with Feldboy from 2011 to 2017, took to Twitter to express condolences.

“I’m heartbroken by the passing of Yael Feldboy, longtime media adviser at @usembassyjlm,” Shapiro wrote. “She dispensed daily advice, wisdom, friendship, & laughter. A consummate professional & deeply loyal friend to me @JulieFisher4 and our girls. Hugs to Yigal and her loving family.”

When she first arrived at the embassy, Feldboy had a four-year-old daughter. Today she is survived by her husband Yigal, two daughters and seven grandchildren.

Feldboy, who was expected to be ready to deal with an emergency or crisis 24/7 – everyone at the embassy was known to have her on speed dial – said that Yigal was the main beneficiary of her retirement.

Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.