Sonya Gelman Peres Israel’ Shimon Peres’ Wife

Sonya Gelman Peres

Sonya Gelman Peres was the wife of former Israeli President Shimon Peres. She is the mother of Peres’ three children Yoni Peres, Nehemia Peres,Tsvia Valdan. Mrs. Gelman Peres passed away in 2011. Check these ten facts about her below.

In the first place Sonya Gelman’s husband Shimon was born Szymon Perski August 2, 1923 in Wiszniew, Poland now known as Vishnyeva, Belarus to wealthy timber merchant father Yitzhak and librarian mother Sara Meltzer Perski.

Eventually his family moved to Palestine settling in Tel Aviv in 1934, while in Israel, he attended at Balfour Elementary School, Geula gymnasium and Ben Shemen agricultural school.

He was elected Secretary of Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed in 1941, that same year all of his relatives who remained in Wiszniew were murdered during the Holocaust.

He was subsequently elected Mapai’s Secretariat a few years later and was chosen as delegate in the Mapai delegation to the Zionist Congress in Basel in 1946. In the early 1950’s, he served as director of the Defense Ministry’s delegation in the US. While living in the US he enrolled at The New School and New York University to pursue his studies in economics, english and philosophy, he also studied advanced management at Harvard University.

Shimon Peres Highlights

* He was appointed Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Defense in 1952, and became Director-General in 1953.

* He was Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, in 1954.

* As a member of the Mapai party was elected to the Knesset in the 1959 elections.

* He became minister of Immigrant Absorption in 1969.

* Minister of communications and transportation in 1970.

* Minister of Defense in 1974.

* Won the Nobel Peace Prize while serving as Rabin’s foreign minister in 1992.

* Appointed 8th Prime Minister of Israel in November, 1995

* In 2001 became Minister of Foreign affairs.

* On June 13, 2007 he became the ninth president of Israel.

* His efforts to achieve Middle East peace awarded him the title of Sheikh in 2011.

* Received the Presidential medal of honor from President Obama in 2012.

As has been noted, the wife of former President Peres was a remarkable although private First Lady. In order to meet her we have some interesting facts you might want to know.

Sonya Gelman Peres Top Facts


#1 Sonya Gelman was born in Ukraine in  1923.

#2 She was four when her family moved to Israel, her father was a carpenter teacher

#3 She met  her husband in the Ben Shemen Youth Village in May, 1942.

#4 She was 18 when she served in the British Army as a truck driver as well as a nurse during World War II.

#5 In 1945 after she finished her military service, they got married.


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#6 They had three children, Tsvia Walden, Yoni and Chemi Peres

#7 Her daughter Tsvia was born October 20, 1946 she is a professor at Ben Gurion University; Yoni their eldest son is the director of Kfar Hayarok Campus’s veterinary hospital Village Veterinary Center; Chemi Peres their youngest born Nehemia Peres a former helicopter pilot is managing general partner and co-founder of Pitango Venture Capital.

#8 She remained out of the public eye during her husband’s political career.

#9 She was  hospitalized due to a heart condition in 2007, therefore unable to attend her husband’s 2007 presidential inauguration ceremony.

#10 Sonya Gelman Peres was 87 years-old when she passed away in her sleep on January 20, 2011.


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