VISHNEVO, Belarus — The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation marked the 100th birthday of the late Israeli president Shimon Peres on Wednesday, with representatives of the organization taking part in the unveiling of a monument in Vishneva, Belarus, where the Nobel laureate was born.The ceremony was the first of a number of events planned in conjunction with the Peres Center over the next year.
The monument, which stands in the courtyard of the house where Shimon Peres was born, features inscriptions in three languages, symbolizing the universal impact of his life’s work. Peres, who passed away in 2016, was born Szymon Perski, on Aug. 2, 1923, to Yitzhak and Sara Perski. Throughout his life, he held prominent positions in Israeli politics, serving twice as the nation’s prime minister and subsequently as president from 2007 to 2014.
The establishment of a monument at the site of Peres’s birth was made possible through a joint effort between the Jewish communities in Belarus, the Israeli Embassy in Minsk, and the support and participation of the Governor of the Minsk Region. Ambassadors from various countries attended the unveiling along with Rabbi Shaul Chababo, Chabad’s envoy in Bobruisk.
Peres was instrumental in forging the 1993 Oslo Accords with the Palestinians and earlier played a crucial role in strengthening Israel’s defense and security, overseeing the establishment of significant military and strategic assets. “By unveiling this monument to mark the 100th anniversary of Shimon Peres, we pay homage to his exceptional life dedicated to peace and innovation,” said Peres Center Director General Efrat Duvdevani.
The construction of this monument was the result of a joint effort between the Jewish communities of Belarus, the Israeli embassy in Minsk and the support of the governor of the Minsk region. This ceremony was the first of a long list of events planned by the Peres Center over the next year to mark the centenary of Peres’ birth and his impact on the world.
The small town of Vishnyeva, where Shimon Peres – born Szymon Perski – had his roots, is nestled between the Belarusian capital of Minsk and the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. He lived there until the age of 11, after which his family moved to Israel. Former Prime Minister and President of the Jewish State, Peres played a leading role in the Oslo peace process with the Palestinians as well as in the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty.
Peres died in 2016, aged 93. The 100th anniversary of his birth “is an opportunity to recognize his universal impact and to be inspired by it to continue his legacy of coexistence and progress for generations to come” said Efrat Duvdeni
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Eunice Anyango Oyule and Judy J. Rotich