Friday, 18 Sep 2020 - 29 of Elul, 5780

Belgium’s first female Prime Minister, Sophie Wilmès, is Jewish.

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By JNS

Belgium’s first female prime minister, Sophie Wilmès, is Jewish.

On Sunday, she replaced Charles Michel and will lead an interim government until a coalition is formed. Michel left for the position of president of the European Council after his cabinet broke up last year. Both belong to the center-right MR Party.

Wilmès’s mother is an Ashkenazic Jew who lost several relatives in the Holocaust.

The 44-year-old holds a degree in applied communication and a degree in financial management, and previously worked as an economic and financial adviser in a law firm.

Wilmès is married to an Australian named Christopher Stone, and they have four children: Jonathan, Victoria, Charlotte and Elizabeth.

Around 35,000 Jews live in Belgium, mainly in Brussels and Antwerp.

In recent years, the country has seen an increase in anti-Semitism and even physical attacks on Jews.

Nevertheless, the city of Aalst has continued to depict anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews and fostered old tropes in the forms of floats at its annual carnival.

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