Itongadol.- On Monday, one day before the big bash planned to celebrate the 90th birthday of President Shimon Peres, a more intimate, emotional gathering was held at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. Singer-actress Barbra Streisand who is visiting Israel, met with Peres and with 21 children with life threatening illnesses, aged 3-18, who came via Israel’s Make a Wish foundation.
For the children, who spend their days in a struggle to survive, meeting Streisand was one of their wishes and an escape from the realities of dealing with their illnesses. Streisand hugged the children and was visibly moved by their stories. One of the girls, Coral Veder, 16, a cancer patient, performed Streisand’s song, People.
Raphael, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, told Peres and Streisand, "This is very exciting for me, I cannot find the words to describe my feelings. This was my dream."
He told Streisand how much he loved her version of the prayer, "Avinu Malkeinu," saying that it gave him strength to deal with the disease. Peres also expressed his appreciation for the song, telling Streisand that every time he heard the song, his eyes filled with tears.
Streisand told the children: "It’s so powerful to be in a room with you all, and especially the children, who touched my heart. When I sing ‘Avinu Malkeinu’ tomorrow night for President Peres at his birthday party, I will sing it for you all, so you hear the hope I have for you, for this country, for the world."
The main birthday celebration is to be held Tuesday. Scheduled to participate in the birthday happening, in addition to the general Presidential Conference itself, are over 5,000 guests from 20 countries, including Streisand, Eyal Golan, Shlomo Artzi, four Nobel Prize winners, six presidents, and 20 Emmy, Grammy and Oscar winners. The events will be covered by 500 news/media outlet teams.