Shalom Life | April 12, 2014

Shimon Peres Sets Two World Records

The Israeli President earned two spots in the Guinness Book of World Records after teaching an online civics class to over 9,000 students, and discovering he is currently the oldest Head of State in the world

By: Daniel Koren

Published: February 6th, 2014 in Business » World

Shimon Peres Sets Two World Records

Shimon Peres, the technologically inclined 90-year-old President of Israel and avid social media promoter, was looking to break the Guinness World Record when he taught an online civics class to over 9,000 students.

And, of no surprise, the Israeli President managed to do just that.

“I’m excited to see you all this morning and to be your teacher – I’m also jealous that you are all still pupils," Peres said to the students. "Israel is a small country and as young people you are in competition with young people all over the world, you have to excel. Each of you has more potential than you realize. If you study you will soon learn your qualities and that you can achieve things you never thought possible. As citizens of Israel the most important thing is to preserve your values – it is easier to love the other than to hate.”

Delivered from Cisco Systems headquarters Thursday, via its advanced Telepresence technology, Peres broke the standing record of 5,000 students. His initial goal was to reach out to 6,500 participants, but easily surpassed that goal.

“We immediately liked this new record idea for three reasons,” said Senior Vice President Marco Frigatti, Senior Vice President of the Guinness World Records, arriving in Israel in time to record the event.

“First, because talking about civics and talking about democracy is relevant for everybody in the world and the contribution we make is so important a topic for the young generation. The second important aspect was that we had a special feature, a person who has seen the country from its origins to today and who better to speak to the students. The third part was about the technology, a web based solution that can be used within education to keep everyone connected and informed,” he said.

The next part of Frigatti's speech surprised everyone in attendance, including the Israeli President, when he added: “I have an interesting surprise because you’re holding two records; not only have you taught a wonderful civics lesson but you’re also the oldest head of state in the world.”

In response, Peres said that the record really belonged to "all the students who participated."

"We have to spread education; this is about encouragement of that goal. The more that can participate in these sorts of lessons the better. What we have to do is invest at least as much in education as we have in entertainment and make it approachable to all pupils.”

Then, he smiled and added, “About the second record, I suggest people start earlier and not to wait until my age.”

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