ALEH Congratulates President Peres on Award
When Israeli President Shimon Peres received the USA Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor – Aleh dignitaries were in attendance to laud his vision and cheer him on.
Peres’ connection with Aleh goes back quite a way. In a 2003 letter, co-signed by Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, Peres wrote that “the Aleh network of institutions, which views all of its activities as a sacred mission and commitment on behalf of special needs children and the mentally disabled, is one of those organizations that deserves the highest praise for its initiatives, activities and endeavors that have broken records in the advancement and rehabilitation of individuals.”
At the time, Peres was praising the establishment of the Aleh Negev rehabilitation village in the south of Israel. He went on to visit other Aleh facilities over the years; more recently he was an honored guest at the inauguration of the Aleh Jerusalem High Dependency Wing.
So it was no surprise that several distinguished members of the extended Aleh family accompanied Peres to Washington, to watch as US President Barack Obama awarded the medal in a special ceremony at the White House. Major General (res) Doron Almog and his wife Didi, who helped found Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran, as well as Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer and his wife Rhoda, the honorary President of Aleh Negev, joined Peres at the ceremony, which was followed by an intimate black-tie dinner and an after-dinner reception featuring renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman.
88-year old Peres has held many government positions within his career. President Obama toasted him as “an indomitable spirit” and someone who "teaches us to never settle for the world as it is."
At Aleh, we raise a glass in toast to the same ideals and congratulate President Peres on his achievement. May he merit many more years of helping the weakest members of Israeli society and working to build a better future of hope.