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In Gratitude: Vida (Veta) and Haïm Victor Mionis

Home PageWe Thank YouIn GratitudeMionis Vida (Veta) and Haïm Victor

2012 Yakir Keren Hayesod Award recipients

Athens, Greece

On June 18, 2012, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, our dear friends Vida (Veta) and Haïm Victor Mionis were awarded the 2012 Yakir Keren Hayesod Award by President Shimon Peres and KH leadership.

Vida (Veta) and Haïm Victor Mionis

Vida (Veta) and Haïm Victor Mionis with President Peres z”l, at the Yakir Ceremony

Haïm Victor and Vida (Veta) Mionis spent World War II in hiding, together with their families, but Veta’s father was caught and murdered in Auschwitz. They were married in 1967, and became the parents of two sons, Sabby (Yakir KH 2006 recipient) and Ari. Both very successful professionally, Victor and Veta became respected leaders in their community and made Keren Hayesod the central address for supporting Israel, with impressive Campaign results.

Vida (Veta) and Haïm Victor Mionis

Vida (Veta) and Haïm Victor Mionis with the Yakir Award and from left to right: Greg Masel, KH Director general; Julia Koschitzky, KH Honorary President ; Moodi Sandberg, KH World Chairman and Yohanna Arbib-Perugia – Chair, KH World Board of Trustees

Haïm Victor Mionis was born in 1935, the youngest in his family. His hometown, Agrinio, was a small city with only six Jewish families, all of whom were devoted to Jewish tradition. The Mionis home was the center of communal life. When the Germans took over the Italian zone of occupation in Greece, in September 1943, the Mionis family fled to an isolated village in the mountains, and with the help of the Greek resistance, stayed there until liberation in October 1944.

Vida (Veta) Mionis, née Cohen, was born in 1939 in Thessaloniki, (“the Jerusalem of the Balkans”), the youngest of three daughters. After the Germans occupied the city, the family managed to reach Athens, but her parents were eventually caught and deported to Auschwitz, where her father was murdered. She spent the war hiding in the nuns school of Saint Joseph and various homes of Greeks (Orthodox and Catholics) indicated by the priests. Her mother survived deportation and returned to Greece, devoting her life to her three children, while helping in the reconstruction of the community. She was particularly active on behalf of the newly established Children’s Center and later, in WIZO.

Vida Mionis

Mrs. Mionis addresses the audience at the Yakir Ceremony

Mutual friends in Athens introduced Victor and Veta in November 1965. They married in February 1967 and are the parents of two sons: Ari (named after Ari Ben-Canaan, the hero of the movie Exodus), who lives in Athens and is married to Meghana, and Sabby, named after his grandfather who was murdered in Auschwitz. He immigrated to Israel in 2006, and sits on KH executive. He received the Yakir Keren Hayesod Award in 2006 in recognition of his generosity and dedicated activism.

For many years, Victor ran a textile business and Veta worked in the Economics Section of the Embassy of Israel in Athens. The education they gave their children, together with all their activities and endeavors, were based on Jewish and Zionist values, identity and pride. It is thanks to their boundless energy and dedication that Keren Hayesod has thrived in Athens, bringing impressive results in all areas.

For their leadership, generosity and unswerving devotion to Israel and its people, Victor and Veta Mionis are most deserving of being Yakir Keren Hayesod Award recipients.