Sharon to be Commemorated in Belarus
Chaim Chesler and Sandra Cahn, co-founders of Limmud FSU (Former Soviet Union), announced on Monday that the upcoming Limmud FSU conference in Belarus, taking place this summer, will feature a special event in memory of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon whose parents were born in Belarus.
The event is expected to take place in Sharon’s father’s hometown city of Brest. Sharon’s sons, Omri and Gilad, will be invited to the event, Chesler and Cahn said in a statement.
The event, which is expected to attract some 700 Russian-speaking young adults from across Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and the Baltic states, is also expected to have an official representative from both the Belarus and Israeli governments.
Sharon’s parents were Shmuel Scheinerman (1896–1956) from Brest-Litovsk and Vera Scheinerman (1900–1988) from Mogilev, both towns are in what was then Belorussia and is now Belarus. The family immigrated to Israel, then Palestine under the British Mandate, in 1922, in the wake of the growing persecution of Jews in the region by the local Communist authorities and settled in the agricultural village of Kfar Malal in the Sharon plain.
Limmud FSU is operational in eight countries and this will be the second Limmud FSU conference to be held in Belarus.
The first was held in Vitebsk, the birth place of Marc Chagall, and honored the memory of two other prominent Israeli leaders, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Shimon Peres, both of whom were also born in Belorussia.
Sharon, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 85 after more than eight years in a coma, was laid to rest on Monday.
The funeral procession for Israel's 11th prime minister began Monday morning at the Knesset at a formal event attended by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, and former British prime minister Tony Blair.
The casket was then taken by motorcade to Sharon's Havat Hashikmim (Sycamore Ranch) in the Negev, where he was buried on Monday afternoon, next to his late wife, Lily.
On Sunday, Israelis were given the chance to pay their last respect to Sharon, as his coffin lay in state at the plaza outside the Knesset.