Peres and his kids on roots visit to Kibbutz Alumot

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January 21, 2008 21:30
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President Shimon Peres, one of the founders of Kibbutz Alumot in the Jordan Valley, will close a circle Tuesday when he returns there during a day-long tour of the area. Although he has played in integral role in shaping the destiny and history of Israel and the Middle East since his departure from Alumot, where he worked as a shepherd and a farmer, the years he spent there prior to the establishment of the state remain engraved on his heart and mind. He even recalled Alumot and Ben-Shemen, the agricultural youth village where he went to school, in his acceptance speech when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in December, 1994. Peres will be accompanied on the nostalgic tour by his daughter Tzvia (Tziki) Walden, who was born in Alumot, and sons Yonatan and Chemi. His first stop for the day will be at the kibbutz, where he will meet with veteran residents of the Jordan Valley and Alumot, several of whom he knew in his youth. Overlooking the Sea of Galilee with views of the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley, Alumot is an agricultural kibbutz which breeds livestock and also has a tourist division that includes a guest house, a beach and a water park. Peres will inspect the livestock and will also be briefed on Alumot's livestock revenues. He will participate in the cornerstone laying ceremony of a kibbutz expansion project and as a pioneer of the kibbutz will sign a scroll that will be placed in a time capsule in the foundations of the new structure. Peres will also visit the Jordan Valley College, after which he will deliver an address at a memorial service in Naharayim for 11 school girls from Beit Shemesh who were shot to death by a Jordanian soldier in March, 1997. He will meet with 10 female peace activists from the Jordan Valley in the Beit Gavriel Cultural Center, built by the late Gita Sherover in memory of her son Gavriel. Beit Gavriel has also served as a venue for high level Middle East peace talks. Following the meeting Peres, will receive honorary citizenship of the Jordan Valley from the Jordan Valley Regional Council.

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