Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Center Bulletin, Volume 3, Issue 37

Volume 3, Issue 37
June 26, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 295,876

Book Launches At The Begin Center

Next Monday, July 2, there will be the festive launch of a new book of poetry of Uri Tzvi Greenberg, regarded as the national poet in his time. The book has been published as a joint venture of the Uri Tzvi Greenberg Center, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and the Bialik Institute. The book is an anthology of Uri Tzvi Greenberg's poems, published after years of research.

Opening remarks will be given by Geula Cohen of the Uri Tzvi Greenberg Institute and Herzl Makov of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. Dr. Ariel Hirschfeld, Prof. Dan Meron and Dr. Aliza Korev will be speaking, and Dan Kanner will be reading Uri Tzvi Greenberg's poetry.

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Last Friday morning, 250 people attended the launching of the book "Blood Libel at Dir Yassin," by Dr. Uri Milstein, the well-known military historian.

In his lecture, Dr. Milstein dealt with the distortion of history against the Irgun Zvai Leumi for its attack on an Arab stronghold in which Iraqi soldiers hid in homes and shot at the advancing Jewish forces, threatening the road to Tel Aviv.

An appearance was made by Shimon Monetta, who was a Hagana agent at the time acting undercover with the Lechi. He reported to Ben-Gurion that there had been no massacre and that the stories emanating from Dir Yassin were lies.

Shulamit Livnat participated in the entertainment with songs from the underground.

Begin In Cuba – New In The Archive

Some items of unusual interest were received recently by the archive of the Begin Center. Among them are photographs taken during Menachem Begin's first visit to Havana, Cuba, soon after the end of the struggle against the British Mandate authorities. He was the guest of the enthusiastic Jewish community and appeared at numerous events. Photographs now in the archives show Menachem Begin addressing the enthusiastic audiences. He was wearing a white suit, typical attire in Cuba at the time – and probably even today.

Feinstein And Barazani In The Media

This past Saturday night, Channel One TV's religious-oriented program, entitled "Motzei Shabbat", broadcast an interview with Advocate Tuviah Goldman, the son of Rabbi Yaakov Goldman. As already related in this bulletin, the Begin Center sponsored last April, together with the Underground Prisoners' Museum in the Russian Compound of Jerusalem, a special ceremony marking the return to the Feinstein Family of the illustrated Bible that Meir had presented to the British policeman, Thomas Goodwin, on the eve of his hanging.

Rabbi Yaakov Goldman spent the last evening with the two underground fighters, Moshe Barazani of Lechi and Meir Feinstein of the Irgun, just prior to them taking their own lives in a grenade blast. The TV program interviewed him and then broadcast a film clip on the ceremony and thus reinforced the historical heritage pursued by the Menachem Begin Center.

Begin Center Hosts City Of David Program

Very attractive posters in various parts of Jerusalem proclaim "Where it all began" – The City of David. This advertises a special course for potential tour guides to study the period of the Second Temple in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The course will be conducted by Professor Isaiah Gafni, Dr. Hagi Amitzur, Avner Goren, Ahron Horovitz and others on Tuesday, July 17 to Thursday July 19.

The participants in the course will meet at the Begin Center at the start of each day and will proceed from there to the different sites in The City of David and other parts of Second Temple Jerusalem. The buses will return to the Begin Center at the end of each day.


The Begin Center apologizes to members of the public who had reserved tours of the building and the museum on Thursday, June 21 and were unable to gain admittance. The same applies to the regular participants in the Parashat HaShavua program of that week.

The center was closed on instructions of the police, who had thrown a ring of security precisely around the area in which the Begin Center is situated – opposite the Liberty Bell Park. It is there that clashes were expected between the participants in the gay parade and the ultra-orthodox community.

As it was, the program in the Liberty Bell Park was called off by the authorities, and the activities ended much sooner than anticipated. Nevertheless, it was too late to resume the regular program at the Begin Center.


Jane and Larry Sherman of Detroit, Michigan, who are staunch supporters of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation visited the Center last week and held discussions with the founder of the Institute, Harry Hurwitz. They discussed various aspects of the development of the commemorative program and especially the Junior Knesset, which they specifically support.

Ivan Ferrer, a member of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation board, visited the Begin Center and held discussions with Harry Hurwitz. He was in Jerusalem for the meeting of the Actions Committee of the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency Assembly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Center Bulletin Volume 3, Issue 36

Volume 3, Issue 36
June 20, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 294,541

Popular Events At The Begin Center

The Begin Center is a popular venue for many events arranged by important government departments, City of Jerusalem and other public bodies in these weeks marking the end of the school year, the start of the summer vacation, and festivals in Jerusalem.

At the beginning of July, the Ruben Hecht Auditorium will be one of the central venues for the Israel Film Festival, which will run for several weeks.

The last weeks of June will feature a major event organized by the Hasbara Center for teachers and schools.

On Monday evening, June 18, the B'nai Brith held its annual award ceremony for journalism. The principle award was given to Avner Hofstein, a certificate of merit to Amir Mizroch, and a lifetime achievement award to Yeshayahou Ben-Porat. The guest lecture on the subject of "The Media in the Second Lebanon War" was given by the Justice (ret) of the Supreme Court of Israel, Dalia Dorner, President of the Israel Press Council.

On Friday, June 22, a book on the subject of Dir Yassin will be launched in the Center. The author of the book, military historian Dr. Uri Milstein, is expected to present an insightful lecture on the subject.

An evening devoted to the poetry of the national poet Uri Tzvi Greenberg is to be held on July 2.

Junior Knesset on Television

The Begin Center's leading educational program, the Junior Knesset, was again featured on Israeli television, which highlighted a discussion among students from Kiryat Gat that participated in the program, and told the story of the Junior Knesset.

The director of the Begin Center, Herzl Makov, was interviewed briefly, and he used the occasion to explain the purpose of the Junior Knesset and its operational program.

Begin Center Founder Addresses 500 Guests

The founder of the Menachem Begin commemoration project, Harry Hurwitz and his wife Freda were guests of honor at the inaugural dinner for a group of nearly 500 participants in the 20th anniversary celebration tour of Israel for the Word of Life organization.

The organization's leaders, Pastor Ulf and Birgitta Ekman, were the hosts of the evening. In his brief address to the gathering of people from 34 different countries, Mr. Hurwitz spoke of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem and what these events meant to the people of Israel at the time and now. He said that the war, in advance of which Nasser of Egypt threatened to destroy Israel, is still going on. He asked these devoted friends of Israel to pray for the kidnapped Israeli soldiers: Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

Pastor Ekman led the assembly with prayers for their safety and early release.

Ariel College Visits The Begin Center

Among the groups visiting the Begin Center in the past ten days was a top-level mission from the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, which was led by the retiring director of external affairs, Michael Stoltz.

The mission included a number of professors of the college and supporters of it.

After a tour of the Begin Center, they gathered in the Ben and Rose Milner lecture room, where they were addressed by Danny Ayalon, who was until recently Israel's ambassador in Washington D.C. and is now the chairman of Nefesh B'Nefesh.


We congratulate Yisrael Medad, the director of information and educational resources at the Begin Heritage Center on the recent celebration of his 60th birthday.

A private function was attended by members of his family from Israel and the US and a small number of persons with whom he has worked over the years, from his days in Betar New York to the Knesset, where he was secretary of the Techiya faction, his efforts for Israel's Media Watch and in recent years, his role at the Begin Center.

Recently, a special invitation was extended to Mr. Medad, to participate in an academic seminar addressed by University of Pennsylvania's Professor Ian Lustick. The seminar, convened by the Political Science Department of the Hebrew University on June 13, heard Prof. Lustick lecture on "Leaving the Middle East: Israel and the Middle East Muck" in which he expanded, inter alia, on the current perspectives and trajectories of Jabotinsnky's "Iron Wall" policy. Present at the seminar was the chairman of the Political Science department, senior professors and doctoral students.


New York State Senator Seymour Lachman and his wife Susanne visited the Begin Center at the end of last week and were greatly impressed by its educational activities and moved by the hi-tech museum. Senator Lachman was a friend of Menachem Begin and especially of his son Dr. Ze'ev Benjamin Begin.

Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Halperin of Detroit, Michigan, visited the Begin Museum on Wednesday and were greatly impressed by its presentation and message.