Path from Vishnevo to Jerusalem

Commemorative plaque placed on site of Belarusian village home where President of Israel Shimon Peres was born
By Svetlana Komanova

An Israeli delegation, comprising political, cultural and business representatives, recently travelled to Vishnevo to attend the unveiling of the plaque honouring the place where President Peres was born, nearly 90 years ago. His daughter, a professor of philology, Tsvia Walden, accepted the traditional offering of bread with salt, in welcome. She appeared nervous on seeing the site where her ancestors once lived and died. Only ruined foundations remain from the old house, which has now been rebuilt by the current occupants. However, the old well still stands; Mr. Peres drew water from it during his visit some time ago.

Ms. Walden emphasised, “Today, I am my father’s daughter, my grandfather’s granddaughter, my great-grandfather’s great-granddaughter, the daughter of the Jewish people and a citizen of the world. I’m sincerely grateful for what has been done here. This part of history has, for many years, been familiar to me, held in my heart. Now, it is in front of my eyes.” The memorial plaque reads: ‘Here, on August 2nd 1923, Shimon Peres was born: son of Yitshak and Sara Persky. Nobel Laureate and President of the State of Israel.’

Other events were held in celebration, including the opening of a photo exhibition entitled Path From Vilenskaya Street in Vishenevo to Presidentskaya Street in Jerusalem, hosted by Vishnevo’s Rural House of Culture. The Limud project saw united efforts from the Israeli Embassy to Belarus and the Union of Belarusian Jewish Public Associations and Communities, with various photos donated depicting Mr. Peres throughout his life.

The Sonorus chapel choir from the Minsk Region gave a concert, as did an amateur folk group called Gostinets; both events were hosted by the Rakov House of Folklore in the Volozhin District.
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