‘Never Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy of Shimon Peres’ is a Netflix documentary film about Shimon Peres, the legendary Israeli politician and statesman who transformed his country into an economic, military, and technological powerhouse before devoting his life to bringing peace in the Middle-East. Peres was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for the pivotal role he played in the signing of the Oslo Accords along with then-PM Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine leader Yasser Arafat. Peres and his wife Sonya (also spelled Sonia) had three children together. Here is everything you need to know about them.
Who Are Shimon Peres’ Children?
Born Szymon Perski in 1923 in Vishnyeva, Belarus (then Wiszniew, Poland), Shimon Peres relocated to Tel Aviv in 1934 with his family. During his time at Ben Shemen Youth Village, Peres met Sonya Gelman, the daughter of a carpentry teacher. For Peres, it was love at first sight. The couple parted way during World War II when Sonia decided to serve in the British Army as a truck driver. Despite the separation, Peres and Sonya maintained contact throughout the war. After its conclusion, they resumed their relationship.
Sonya and Peres married in May 1945. Their honeymoon involved a few nights in a tent set up down the hill from Alumot Kibbutz (a type of agricultural community) on the banks of the Jordon River. Their eldest, a daughter named Tsvia (also spelled Zvia, nicknamed Tsiki or Zviki), was born in 1946. She was followed by Yonatan or Yoni, Peres and Sonya’s oldest son, in 1952. Six years later, in 1958, Peres and Sonya welcomed their third child, another boy whom they named Nehemia or Chemi.
Where Are Shimon Peres’ Children?
Shimon Peres’ daughter, Tsvia is a psycholinguist. She received a doctoral degree in Psycholinguistics at Harvard University in 1981. She also has a B.A. in Psychology. She earned a teaching certificate in French from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Tsvia was a psycholinguist professor at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev from October 2006 to September 2016. She has reportedly worked as a teacher of Hebrew as a second language at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a senior lecturer at Beit Berl Academic College and Ben-Gurion University.
Tsvia’s husband is Professor Raphael Walden, a Vascular Surgeon who serves as the Deputy Director of the Sheba Medical Center, a Professor at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine, and a Co-Chair of Physicians for Human Rights. Dr. Tsvia Walden advocates social constructionism through language, language and gender, language acquisition, literacy, digital literacy, research of Jewish texts, and the preferability of books over textbooks to teach children.
Peres and Sonya’s middle child, Yoni, is a retired veterinarian. He served as the director of Village Veterinary Center, located on the Kfar Hayarok Agricultural School campus, not far from Tel Aviv. His specialty reportedly was treating guide dogs. He is a member of the board of directors of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation along with his siblings.
Chemi is the only one among Peres’ three children that appears in ‘Never Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy of Shimon Peres’. His parents named him after Nehemia Argov, a close friend of Peres. Argov served as the Military Secretary to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Chemi earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Management and an MBA from Tel Aviv University.
Chemi served in the Israeli Air Force as a helicopter pilot. He participated in the Operation Grapes of Wrath in 1996. After his military service, Chemi set his eyes on the public sector. In 1988, He became involved in the Israel Aerospace Industries as an adviser. Utilizing his past in the air force and science, Chemi became part of the IAI Lavi project, the fourth-generation, single-engine jet fighter. Chemi is the co-founder of MOFET Israel Technology Fund. Established in 1992, MOFET is one of the earliest venture capitalist companies listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
After leaving MOFET in 1996, Chemi co-founded Pitango Venture Capital, one of the major venture capitalist funds in Israel. According to one report, they had $2 billion in managed capital in 2009. As of July 2022, Chemi serves as the managing partner of Pitango, which has allowed him to be part of several of its portfolio companies, including Taboola, Via Transportation, and Radwin. He is the Chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. Chemi has three children with his wife, Gila, and is a resident Ra’anana, Israel.