Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Center Bulletin 3 No. 38

Volume 3, Issue 38
July 4, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 298,655

Begin Center Hosts Film Festival

The 24th Jerusalem International Film Festival opens at the Sultan's pool on Thursday July 5, and will continue until Saturday July 14. Hundreds of films from Israel and abroad will be screened in different venues around the city, including the Reuben Hecht Auditorium of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, which, in recent years, has proved to be a popular venue. There are specific facilities for entry to the auditorium without having to go through other sections of the building. Around the auditorium there is ample lobby space for pre-screening time and intervals.

This year, about 40 films will be screened in the Begin Center Auditorium.

An Evening Of Poetry By Uri Tzvi Greenberg

On Monday, July 2, an anthology of poetry by Uri Tzvi Greenberg was launched in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. Over 200 people, including renowned poets Chaim Guri and Meron Isaacson, attended the launching of the book, which features previously unpublished poems by the man who was once considered Israel's national poet.

The event began with opening remarks by former Minister of Education Aharon Yadlin, who spoke of his admiration of Uri Tzvi Greenberg as one of Israel's greatest poets and praised his connection to Judaism and the national spirit of Israel.

The audience was greeted on behalf of the Begin Center by Herzl Makov. Geula Cohen, director of the Uri Tzvi Greenberg Institute, told of the great friendship between the poet and Menachem Begin, calling them "the prophet and the leader." She praised the combination of the Begin Center and Greenberg's poetry, saying that Begin would have approved of using his Center as a place of culture.

In addition, Dr. Ariel Hirschfeld, Professor Dan Meron and Dr. Aliza Korev addressed the audience, discussing the Uri Tzvi Greenberg's influence on modern Hebrew poetry and Israel's cultural life. Poetry was read by Dan Kanner, and musical interludes were played by Yonatan Niv and Asaf Kleinman.

L-R: Aliza Tur-Malka Greenberg, the poet's widow; Dr. Ariel Hirschfeld; Dr. Aliza Korev; Aharon Yadlin, Head of Mossad Bialik Publishing House; Mich Yinon, Head of Ministry of Education's Cultural Directorate.

and part of the evening's audience:

ACLJ Visits the Begin Center

Last week, a group of 300 activists from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a prominent evangelical lobby headed by J. Sekulav, visited the Begin Center as a part of their mission to Israel. The group saw a movie about Menachem Begin and was addressed by Harry Hurwitz, founder of the Menachem Begin Memorial Project, about Begin's role in history.

Mr. Hurwitz told the visitors that the best tourist guidebook for Israel is the Bible. "Every step of the way, one realizes that this is for real," he said. He told them that minutes away from the Begin Center are the roads to Bethlehem and Hebron, with their deep historic meaning, and across the valley is David's tomb and tower, as well as Mt. Zion and all of the thousands of years of history in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The activists also heard a lecture by Brigadier General Relik Shafir, one of the pilots sent to destroy the nuclear reactor in Iraq. He told them about the flight and its dangers, and showed them a video clip filmed from the plane, which shows the destruction of the reactor.

"A Jewish Child Shall Not Lack For Bread"

Once again, there are strong indications that the price of bread will be increased in Israel by 8%, as the state budget is reduced. This prompted a number of TV radio and print commentators to recall the attitude of Menachem Begin as leader of the Opposition and as Prime Minister. The well-known economic expert, Oded Shachar, said on a previous occasion when such an increase was contemplated, that Menachem Begin always opposed raising the price of bread.

"This especially reminded me," Shachar explained, "that the late Menachem Begin opposed raising the price of bread even during the years of inflation. He said 'A Jewish child shall not lack for bread,' and he did not permit the price of bread to be raised. He was very firm on this matter."

In the Menachem Begin museum, a brief commentary in the presentation of his years in premiership says that Begin's approach to the economy was based on the common man: "He may not have known the price of a motor-car or of an apartment, but he certainly knew the price of a loaf of bread."

Louis H. Reich Honored

The Beit Midrash Menachem at the Begin Center was full with members of the staff and some visitors to the building last Wednesday morning, when the yahrzeit of the late Louis H. Reich of Scranton, PA was observed. The founder of the Menachem Begin Memorial Project, Harry Hurwitz, spoke meaningfully of Louis H. Reich and his wife, Anna Reich, who had survived him by a number of years, the parents of Al Reich, who particularly wanted the annual memorial prayers to be recited in the Beit Midrash Menachem. Hurwitz said that Al Reich was truly fulfilling the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother."

Yisrael Medad, the director of information and educational resources at the Begin Center, recited the appropriate prayers for the departed and led the congregation in the public presentation of Kaddish.

In Memoriam

We deeply regret to record the death at the end of last week of Mr. Maurice Wohl, husband of the late Vivienne Wohl. They were originally from London and Geneva, and lived in Jerusalem for some time. He was president of the Great Synagogue in the capital city.

Mr. and Mrs. Wohl were early members of the International Board of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation. They admired Israel's great Prime Minister very much.


Mr. and Mrs. Jack Carlin of Jerusalem and their son Ira Carlin of New York visited the Center and were briefed by its founder, Harry Hurwitz.