Thursday, May 22, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 12

Volume 4, Issue 32
May 21, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 400,861

More Than 400,000 Visitors

On Sunday of this week the attendance numbers at the Begin Center passed the 400,000 mark.

This is an extraordinary achievement for an institution of this sort in Jerusalem. The visitors have been young and old, religious and secular, people from abroad and Israelis—soldiers, sailors, airmen, police, students, school groups, community groups, retirees, etc.

The number in real terms is higher than most Presidential Libraries in the US and in relative terms is greater than all the Presidential Libraries.

President of Poland Visits Center

The President of Poland, Mr. Lech Kaczynski and his wife, accompanied by the Ambassador of Poland, Mrs. Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska and a large entourage visited the Menachem Begin Heritage Center on Thursday of last week at the President's request.

He said that Poland was proud of the fact that Menachem Begin, who was born in Poland, received the Nobel Prize for Peace (1978)—the only son of Poland thus far to have attained this honor.

He recalled that there is a plaque in front of the Warsaw University Law School which reads:






He was received by Harry Hurwitz, Founder and Head of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Prof. Moshe Arens, who recently headed a delegation to the Warsaw Ghetto, where a plaque was unveiled in Muranowska Square where the headquarters of the Betar-Irgun-Revisionist fighting force in the Ghetto Uprising had been located.

An exchange of ideas followed and it was agreed to continue to discussion about cooperation in the cultural field with the Ambassador and other on the President's staff.

The party entered the museum but could only see part of it because the President was due at another engagement in connection with Israel's 60th annual President's Conference taking place in Jerusalem.

Yom Yerushalayim תשס''ח

This year's Yom Yerushalayim on 2 June will, of course, highlight the most popular of Israel's songs in 60 years "Yerushalayim shel Zahav" (Jerusalem of Gold) by Naomi Shemer.

The Begin Center will have a special event in its synagogue and will recall the special role of Menachem Begin in the liberation and unification of the capital city. It will be recalled from his writings and speeches that, as was his custom, he rose early on the day of the liberation of Jerusalem and lis tened to the BBC news. There he heard that the UN Security Council was about to call for a truce in Jerusalem. Begin at once called Prime Minister Levy Eshkol and urged him to order the liberation of Jerusalem. Eshkol agreed but asked him to get also the agreement of Moshe Dayan. When that was done the order was given to Israel forces in the area to enter Jerusalem and enter the Temple Mount. It is now 41 years since the city was liberated and reunited.

Recalling Dr. Reuben Hecht

Dr. Reuben Hecht, for whom the auditorium of the Begin Center is named, was recalled at a seminar in Haifa to mark 15 years since his passing. He was a close friend and colleague of Menachem Begin and served as one of his advisors. The seminar was sponsored by Haifa University's Department of Humanities and was held on May 15. Among the lecturers were Mr. Stef W ertheimer, Gen. (Ret.) Amos Gilad, Prof. Rakefet Sela-Shefi, Dr. Yaakov Toubi and Prof. Esther Levinger. The Hecht Award for Academic Achievement was given to Prof. Aviva Chalamish for his book, In the Race Against Time: The Zionist Immigration Policy in the 1930s. Among the topics addressed were the Jabotinsky Movement's Pre-State Clandestine Immigration operations, the Sussita archeology finds and The Yekkish Culture Temperament in the Yishuv.

Mazal Tov

A family Bar Mitzvah of Yonatan Fishzon was celebrated in the Begin Center restaurant on Monday morning, 19 May. The Bar Mitzvah boy had read his portion at the Kotel and then the family and guests came across to the Begin Center for brunch where they were joined by members of the staf f. Yonatan is the son of Miriam and Yechiel Fishzon. His father is a librarian in the Hasten Family Library of the Begin Center.

Documentary About Shmuel "Moekie" Katz

Yuval, the son of the late Shmuel Katz, has informed the President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, Harry Hurwitz, that he is working on a documentary film about his late father's life and accomplishments. Hurwitz immediately offered him access to the archives at the Begin Center where there must be considerable material of interest to him.

The Begin Center also calls on readers of this bulletin and others who may have access to film footage to advise us as soon as possible.

Restaurant Under New Ownership

The restaurant in the Begin Center is now under new ownership and management and is attracting a large number of long-time clients and many news ones.

The new owners previously managed the Taverna at the Sherover Cultural Center. However, this is now being remodeled and rebuilt and so the owner, Tal Rosenzweig, who ran the Taverna, took over the contract from the original owners of the restaurant in the Begin Center and has called it Terasa.


Curt Lahti of Sweden, who was formerly a prominent leader in the World of Life movement, visited the Begin Center on Tuesday. He now heads a global television program –"God TV"—which is broadcast by satellite daily to close to 200 countries. He was delighted to learn of the success of the Begin Center.

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Jonah and Anne Lerman of Palm Beach, Florida, veterans of the War of Independence, visited the Begin Center in the company of Benny Raphael, originally from South Africa, who guided them to various places of interest.