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Sharon’s Life And Family Roots Celebrated In Belarus

Sharon’s Life And Family Roots Celebrated In Belarus

Sandee is the arts and culture editor at the Jewish Week.

Ariel Sharon’s grandfather moved to Palestine in 1910 from the town of Brest Litovsk in White Russia. But after two years in Rehovot, enduring hardships, he returned to his native town. Then, in 1922, his son (Ariel Sharon’s father), also made aliyah, to escape persecution. A student of agronomy, he and his wife settled on a moshav northeast of Tel Aviv, where their son was born six years later. Ariel Sharon would often speak of his childhood on the moshav, Kfar Malal, where his love of the rural life took root.

In tribute to Sharon and his family’s background, the National History Museum of Belarus in Minsk is featuring an exhibition of photographs drawn from the life of the late statesman and general who served as Israel’s 11th prime minister. The opening of the exhibition was held as part of the Limmud FSU Belarus festival of Jewish learning. The exhibition was curated by Marit Danon, Sharon’s personal secretary, who also served under five previous prime ministers.

"I am very excited to stand here today at the opening of the exhibition on the life of my father," Gilad Sharon said at the opening ceremony. "My father's life stations integrated in Israel's history, and I hope this beautiful exhibition will be another step in deepening the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jews, and maybe some of them will go to Israel."

Heeding Gilad Sharon’s words, maybe someone’s son or daughter will go on to become prime minister.

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