Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Center Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 46

Volume 3, Issue 46
August 29, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 323,241

Pre-Holiday Lull in Begin Center Programs

With the big summer vacation ending, much of the holiday program of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center is being replaced by routine work.

For the next few weeks, until the schools settle in and the parents are no longer on leave, there will be fewer public events but more concentration on the resumption of routine programming.

For example, the very popular and exciting Rohr Family Parashat HaShavua program is now on a few weeks break and it will resume in September with parashat Bereshit, when Dr. Micha Goodman, the dynamic lecturer, will be back at the mike. Before his break of several months, the weekly lectures were attended by up to 500 people, religious and secular, young and old, men and women, who rushed to the building long before 7pm on Thursday to be seated in the Rosh Hashana Auditorium and not in the overflow section, which, nevertheless, was filled to capacity.

Work is now proceeding on the preparation of the first book of lectures that have taken place in the Begin Center on the Parashat HaShavua.

During the vacation period this year, the Begin Center was crowded with visitors from all over the world and all over Israel. Strangely most came as individuals and not through groups. There were days when the Center was packed from early morning until the last group went into the museum. In the months of July and August, nearly 30,000 people visited the Center and were mainly attracted by the outstanding hi-tech museum.

And now preparations are being made to receive the large number of visitors that are expected during the days of Chol HaMoed Sukkot. Many have made reservations for museum tours from overseas. In the three previous years, Sukkot was one of the busiest periods in the museum calendar.

Rose Family from Toronto at the Center

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Rose of Toronto, their sons and their grandchildren spent Tuesday morning at the Begin Center by prior arrangement. The were met and welcomed by Harry Hurwitz, Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, who accompanied them for the first part of the museum tour and then met them inside the museum at the end of the tour when he explained the essence of Menachem Begin's life philosophy. On the way out of the museum, membe rs of the Rose family entered the Beit Midrash Menachem—the small synagogue—where they were given an explanation of the Rohr Family Bible study circle which is modeled on the weekly discussion groups that met at the official residence of Prime Minister Menachem Begin every Saturday evening.

After discussions on the background of the creation of the Begin Center, Mr. Jack Rose, who was one of the heads of the United Israel Appeal in Canada and held other top position in the community, led his family into the White Nights restaurant where they had a relaxed lunch before proceeding with their other tours.

Begin Prize 2007 Nominations Due

Numerous recommendations have been received for the 2007 Menachem Begin Prize and Awards of Honors. The closing date for nominations is tomorrow 30 August. The committee to consider these nominations, which is headed by Adv. Moshe Nissim, will meet between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in Jerusalem for the first round of discussions. The Awards will be announced closer to the date of the ceremony, which will take place during the Chanukah week.

J'lem City Event in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium

The Jerusalem city has arranged one of its evenings of entertainment for citizens and visitors at the Reuben Hecht Auditorium on Wednesday evening, 29 August. It will be an evening of Piyutim, which is religious liturgical poetry, with the participation of artists and well-known interpreters of this unique liturgical singing.

Archeological Site Featured

The Al Reich Archeological Garden served this week as an outdoor film studio for the popular television series, "The Naked Archeologist."

The famous archeologist, Dr. Gabi Barkai, was interviewed for an upcoming segment dealing with the Center's archeological garden with its First and Second Temple finds, as well as Roman and Turkish remnants.

Beautification Project

The Jerusalem Municipality has been engaged in a beautification effort that is also beneficial to the Begin Center. In its last stages is the construction of a new sidewalk on both sides of David Remez Street that leads from the Old Train Station above the Center to the Pierre Mendes France Square, at the top of Nahon Street where the Center is located. The sidewalks are not only an aesthetic improvement, but are an added safety feature for pedestrians. They will make the approach to the Center more pleasant.


Annie and Rick Weisbrod with their children and their friends were welcome guests on Sunday. Annie is the daughter of Harry and Florence Taubenfeld who now live in Westchester. The family was met by, and spent time with, Freda and Harry Hurwitz. They were all greatly impressed by the building, the museum and its location.

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Fred and Nora Rothstein of Portland, Oregon, visited the museum last week and thought it was a wonderful and inspiring institution. Mr. Rothstein is the director of a large, Conservative synagogue in Portland.