Dear Peres Family,
We are writing to express our condolences for the loss of your father and grandfather, Shimon Peres. He was part of Israel's founding history and an elder statesman of international acclaim. But his greatest legacy is the future he worked tirelessly to achieve, for you, his children and grandchildren, and for all Israelis. We, supporters of the New Israel Fund, are committed to working for that vision of Israel as a shared society at peace with its neighbors and at peace with itself.
A week after his passing, we remember President Peres’s legacy. He was not afraid to make unpopular choices in the pursuit of a better future for Israel. He was committed to peace. He believed in equality for all Israelis. And he invested in Israel's future by fostering initiatives that brought Jewish and Arab students together to model life in a shared society.
President Peres was the last of his generation. And we mourn his passing. We believe that he would be proud of the many Israelis, young and old, who work passionately to fashion a better Israel.
All of Israel came to a halt this week when we heard the news that Shimon Peres had passed away.
The man was a figure of historic proportions. He was the last of his generation. He had been a part of setting Israel's course, in one capacity or another, for more than seventy years. We all knew that this day would come, but that made it no less of a surprise.
Anybody who serves in public life for that long has a complicated history rife with contradictions. That is true for President Peres as well. Today, I remember him as a man who worked tirelessly for peace, as a man who believed in education for coexistence, and as a champion for democracy.
Most of all, I remember him as a leader who was not afraid to dream big and to labour to make those dreams a reality. In a radio interview yesterday President Peres’s son Chemi said that his father's only regret was that he did not dream big enough. Chemi added that it was up to us, to the next generation, to fulfill President Peres’s dream of making peace.
This is a legacy worth remembering.
Today, as Israel prepares to part with this leader, I'd like to share with you a letter that I've prepared for President Peres’s children and grandchildren -- some of whom are our ongoing partners in the push for a better Israel.
Please consider signing this letter as well to remember President Peres and to help reinforce his legacy.
May his memory be a blessing.