The apples sometimes fall far from the tree

The offspring of Israel's most prominent founder have chosen mostly to live lives outside of the public sphere.

May 29, 2006 23:32
2 minute read.
The apples sometimes fall far from the tree

apples 88. (photo credit: )


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The three children and seven grandchildren of David Ben-Gurion are remarkable for their ordinariness. In a country where a famous last name - think Herzog, Dayan, or even Sharon - can add significant political capital, the offspring of Israel's most prominent founder have chosen mostly to live lives outside of the public sphere. Ben-Gurion and his wife, Paula Munweis, had three children: a son, Amos, and two daughters, Geula Ben-Eliezer and Renana Leshem. Amos was police deputy inspector-general, as well as the director-general of a textile factory. He married a non-Jewish Irish woman, Mary, who converted to Judaism. They had three children. Galia and Ruth, their daughters, are both married and living in Ra'anana with two children each. Amos's son, Alon, was a paratrooper who saw battle in the Yom Kippur War. While he was being treated for war wounds in 1973, his grandfather lay dying in another hospital. After his military service, Alon entered hotel administration and in 1997 reached the pinnacle of his career when he became the general manager of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. He married a non-Jewish Greek woman and has had two daughters with her. Alon has come the closest to picking up the Ben-Gurion legacy. He had been actively promoting development in the Negev, one of his grandfather's passions, except that Alon had been focused more on bringing a string of casinos to the region, telling London's The Guardian newspaper that he thought Eilat was the ideal place for a "a Middle East Las Vegas." Geula Ben-Eliezer, now deceased, had two sons, Yariv and Moshe, and a daughter, Orit. Both sons received doctorates in mass media from New York universities. Yariv is a professor of mass communication at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, where he recently analyzed polling data from the March election. He has a daughter and two sons. Last year Yariv received some negative press after telling Yediot Aharonot that he didn't mind that teenagers from a local Sde Boker high school had reportedly made a ritual of having sex on his grandfather's grave: "If the information is true, I think it's great. I'm happy that years after my grandfather died, he continues to inspire our youth and still gives the country an erection." Moshe Ben-Eliezer is the co-director of the Bureau of Insurance Agents and lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and two children. Orit is a teacher in Ra'anana and has three children. Renana Leshem, Ben-Gurion's other daughter, also now deceased, worked for decades as a microbiologist at the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona. She had one son, Uri.

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