Shimon Peres will soon receive a major honor for a non-New Yorker: the late Israeli prime minister will have a New York City street corner named in his honor.
The intersection of West 95th Street and Riverside Drive will be renamed “Shimon Peres Place” after the New York City Council recently approved nearly 200 new street names to honor various people.
Peres, who died in 2016, served three times as Israel’s prime minister in addition to serving as president of the country from 2007 to 2014. In 1949, he and his wife Sonia and their young daughter moved to an apartment on the corner of West 95th Street and Riverside while Peres studied at New York University and the New School.
In his memoir, “No Room for Small Dreams,” Peres remembered his years in New York fondly, despite the challenge he faced in learning English.
“I loved, too, the myriad accents that punctuated the city—so many of us still learning to speak English. It seemed the ambitious promise of the United States was alive in the minds of all who had come there—as though the ‘American Dream’ were its own force of nature,” he wrote.
Peres is far from the only notable Jewish figure to get a street named for him in New York City.
Among the streets named for Jewish historical figures in New York City and catalogued by the unofficial “NYC Honorary Street Names” blog are: a section of 33rd street named for the Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem in 1996; the corner of Bank Avenue and Greenwich Avenue named for the liberal activist and politician Bella Abzug; an area near the Museum of Jewish Heritage named after the banker and philanthropist Edmond J. Safra.
Shira Hanau is a contributing writer to JTA and Jlife magazine.