Rona Ramon

CEO of Ramon Foundation
Rona Ramon (cropped).jpg

Rona Ramon (16 April 1964 – 17 December 2018) was an Israeli public activist. She was a supporter of the education and advancement of youth in Israel through STEM.

Early life and educationEdit

Rona Ramon was born in Kiryat Ono, on April 16, 1964, to Yaacov and Gila Bar Siman-Tov. Her parents emigrated from Turkey as part of the Youth Aliyah when they were 15 years old. As a youth, Rona volunteered in the Scouts movement. She served as a paramedic during her army service.[1]



As part of Israel 's 68th Independence Day celebrations, Rona Ramon held a torch at the annual torch lighting ceremony at Mount Herzl.[2] In June 2018 she was awarded an honorary fellowship by the Technion, in recognition of her many years of work and contribution to Israeli Society. [3]


She was the widow of Israeli air force Colonel Ilan Ramon, the only Israeli astronaut, who was killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.[4] The couple had four children, the eldest age 15 when they were orphaned.[5] Assaf, the eldest son, followed his father in joining the air force and became a pilot. Shortly after completing his course, he was killed in a training accident, crashing his F16 fighter jet.[6] This was six years after his father's death. Assaf Ramon was promoted to the rank of Captain upon his death.


Ramon died at the age of 54 from pancreatic cancer on 17 December 2018.[4]


  1. "Rona Ramon website". Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  2. Oster, JTA | Marcy. "Rona Ramon, widow of astronaut killed in Space Shuttle Columbia, dies at 54". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  3. "Honorary Fellowships 2018 "Continuously pursuing Tikkun Olam"". Technion. June 11, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bachner, Michael. "Rona Ramon, widow of astronaut killed in Columbia shuttle disaster, dies at 54". Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  5. "Rona Ramon, wife of first Israeli astronaut, passes away at 54". December 17, 2018.
  6. "Late Astronaut's Pilot Son Killed in Crash". 13 September 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2018.