Photo: Reuters
Shimon Peres
Photo: Reuters

Peres' birthday celebrations kick off in his hometown

Village of Vishnyeva in Belarus marks Israeli president's 90th birthday with photo exhibition, water well reconstruction and extensive renovations

BELARUS – While Israel is set to launch events marking President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday next week, celebrations have already kicked off at his hometown of Vishnyeva in Belarus.


Peres' daughter, Prof. Tsvia Walden, and officials from the Minsk County participated in Thursday's festivities.


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Locals take pride in the fact that their village has produced a president and are making the event with a series of events.


The village's water well, which Peres used as a child and which is said to grant longevity, has been renovated.

פרופ' ולדן עם בנות הכפר (צילום: בתיה דורי)

Prof. Walden with local women (Photo: Batya Dori)


Prof. Walden placed a sign on the cabin where her father was born which reads: "Here lived Shimon Persky Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Israel's ninth president who was born on August 2, 1923."


Local authorities also used the event, which were held as part of the Limmud FSU Learning Festival founded six years ago by Chaim Chesler and Sandra Cahn, to renovate infrastructure and painted fences in the district in blue in white in honor of the occasion.

ליד באר המים המחודשת (צילום: בתיה דורי)

Restored water well (Photo: Batya Dori)


In addition, an exhibition of photographs titled "From Vilna Street to the President's Residence in Jerusalem" opened in the city of Valozhyn.


The photographs were selected by Yoram Dori – Peres' adviser of 20 years, and include a photo of Peres' grandfather Rabbi Zvi Melzer, as well as rare images of a synagogue burned down by the Nazis.


Vishnyeva also hosted a memorial for 2,000 local Jews who were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

משפחת פרסקי הצעירה (שמעון מימין). גרו בבית מעץ (צילום: בתיה דורי)

Peres as a child (R) with his family (Photo: Batya Dori)


Walden was particularly moved by the tribute and promised to bring back a bottle of water from the restored well to her father.


"My parents named me after my great grandfather Zvi Melzer who led the community holding a Torah scroll and donning a prayer shawl as they were being taken to their slaughter. Today we do not celebrate my father's birthday but the establishment of the State of Israel," she said in the memorial service.


Walden also met with locals who now reside in the Peres' old house.




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פרסום ראשון: 05.31.13, 15:11
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