We Honor Shmuel "Shmulik" Rifman

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Shmuel “Shmulik” Rifman, the Mayor of Ramamat Hanegev, passed away this week at the age of 68 after a long and hard fought illness. He is survived by his wife, Talia, his three children Aya, On, and Elul, and six grandchildren.  For the last six years, Shmulik was instrumental in forming a strong partnership between Ramat Hanegev and the Adelson Educational Campus.
Shmulik, who was born in Bnei Brak, moved to Kibbutz Revivim at the age of 12 and made HaNegev his home. At the age of 18, he joined the IDF Paratroopers and was released from military service with the rank of Major.
The list of the roles he served in is long. However, here are few of them:
Mayor of Ramat Hanegev’s Council
Chairman of Ramat Hanegev Planning Development Committee
Chairman of Ramat Hanegev Economic Development Company
Board member Ben Gurion University
Ramat Hanegev Water Corporation
Associate Member of the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel
We will remember him as a man of action. Under his leadership, Ramat Hanegev became a creative, vibrant and attractive region. A quick summery of his achievements will include: The city of military training bases which you dreamed on with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, new schools, Pre Military academy, The Shanti House for at – risk youth, four new villages, Ayalim Student Center, the Spirit of the Desert organization for residents struggling with addiction and national projects  of solar energy and agricultural advancements.
One area which was very dear to his heart was Ramat Hanegev’s partnership with Las Vegas.  Under his leadership, we had the pleasure of sending our science teacher, Mrs. Samantha Koehler, to work with her science colleagues in Israel and hosted six amazing Young Ambassadors. One of them, Shahaf Moskovich, not only served as a Young Ambassador in 10th Grade but also returned as one of our current Shinshinim. Our Seniors who visit Israel every year after a year - long “Modern Israel” course, were always greeted with open arms. Leaders and community members were hosted in his home in the Kibbutz and enjoyed his amazing cooking skills. There was no doubt that when visiting Shmulik, one felt as if he was home.

Our Shinshinim Eyal Amit, Tal, Shahaf and Eyal with Shmulik (above).
Our Shinshin, Shahaf (right), representing our community in Shmulik’s funeral which was held yesterday with more than 1,000 mourners.
Our school and community are saddened by the loss of a true dear friend.
May he rest in peace and may the Almighty comfort his family among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Shabbat Shalom,
Amir Eden
Director of Israel Education