Bilha Levy Bryant, 88, passed away peacefully after a short illness on Nov. 16, in Washington, D.C. Born Billi Mosheva in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria, in 1934, she and her family survived the systematic persecution of the Jews in German-allied Bulgaria and narrowly avoided being sent to the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. They emigrated to Israel by cargo ship in 1948 once the Communists took power in Bulgaria. She learned Hebrew on a kibbutz, served in the Israeli army with the Mixed Armistice Commission, and went on to become an Israeli foreign service officer.
Her first posting took her to the Hague in 1960, where she met and fell in love with American foreign service officer Edward W.M. Bryant (Ted). They married in 1963, had three daughters and served in Mozambique, Ethiopia, Korea, Pakistan and India. After Ted’s retirement, she started her second career in the State Department on the Eastern European desk and earned a distinguished service award before retiring in 1994.
Bilha was preceded in death by her husband, Ted, in 2006 and her brother, Moshe, in 2006. She is survived by her loving daughters, Penelope Bryant Catterall, Deborah Bryant Keeley (Greg) and Alexandra Bryant Whitaker (Jeff); as well as by five adoring grandchildren, Philip, James, Sophia, Anna and Jack; and numerous nieces and nephews.