Sophie Wilmès. Photo: Damien Caumiant via Wikimedia Commons.
JNS.org – 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 a European Union position after his cabinet broke up last year. Both belong to the center-left 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.
January 17, 2021 6:07 pm
Wilmès is married to an Australian named Christopher Stone, and they have four children: Jonathan, Victoria, Charlotte and Elizabeth.
The Jewish population of Belgium numbers about 35,000.
In recent years, the country has seen an increase in antisemitism and even physical attacks on Jews.
Nevertheless, the city of Aalst has continued to depict antisemitic caricatures of Jews and fostered old tropes in the forms of floats at its annual carnival.