Thursday, June 12, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 35

Volume 4, Issue 35
June 12, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 407,440

Enormous Shavuot Success

The biggest number ever at a one-time event — 1,500 people — filled the Begin Center for learning sessions with a group of top lecturers on the night of Shavuot (Monday night to Tuesday morning). They came from as far afield as Pisgat Ze'ev, Ramot and other distant parts of the Jerusalem area. They were attracted by the facilities of the Begin Center, the level of the lecturers and their subjects and the spirit which was created around this annual event.

Between 3:30am and 4:00am on the day of Shavuot, the people in the building were asked to get organized to leave on the walk to the Kotel where they joined the many, many thousands of worshippers for the Shacharit services of Shavuot.

A small number said they preferred to remain in the Begin Center, but they were told firmly that the building had to be cleared. The Begin Center has received many calls and messages of appreciation from the participants for a wonderful experience. And they hoped that it will be repeated aga in next Shavuot.

4th Anniversary for the Begin Center

This week marks four years since the official opening of the Begin Center on June 16, 2004. The unforgettable event—the first official public reception in the magnificent Begin Center—is still talked about by many who were present.

Although the building was opened on 16 June, the public could only start visiting the hi-tech museum in October after all the technology was installed and fully functioning.

Since then, to this morning 407,265 visitors from all over the world have been at the Begin Center and toured the Menachem Begin museum, which is one of the most popular attractions in the city of Jerusalem.

Altalena Memorial Regatta—Civil War, Never!

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center, in cooperation with the Israel National Yacht Club, the Tel Aviv Marina and Atarim, has organized a two-day regatta from Kfar Vitkin beach to the Tel Aviv beache where the Altalena came to shore and was eventually sunk by the Israel Defense Forces in 1948.< /SPAN>

The Altalena was an Irgun-sponsored ship bringing arms and 900 Holocaust survivors to Israel to help in the fight for independence. The only request was that a part of the arms go to Irgun fighters in Jerusalem to help liberate it from the crippling siege. Ben-Gurion did not agree and issued order s for the Israel Defense Forces, led by Yitzhak Rabin, to shoot on the ship and not allow it to dock with its cargo. 16 members of the Irgun were killed and 3 soldiers of the IDF were killed. Menachem Begin forbade anyone on the ship to return fire proclaiming, "Civil War—Never!"

The Memorial Regatta will take place on June 19-20. The event will start at 11:00am with an assembly of yachts at Vitkin Beach, the first landing place of the Altalena. Then they will sail down to Frishman Beach dock ing at the Tel Aviv Marina where at 7:00 the evening events will start.

In the evening there will be a movie and an address by Yoske Nachmias who not only was on the Altalena and survived, but also was the one who threw Menachem Begin into the water to get him off the sinking ship.

On Friday morning, the yachts will again assemble at 8:30am to be briefed and head out to sea. At 10:00am at Frishman Beach all the yachts and navy vessels will gather to have a naval memorial service. At 11:00am the Altalena Tournament of Yachts will begin. Finally, at 3:00pm on Frida y afternoon, the awards ceremony will take place followed by Kabbalat Shabbat.

Those with a yacht wishing to participate in the regatta can contact Moshe Fuksman-Sha'al at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center at (02) 565-2004.

In Memoriam

We deeply regret to record the death of Mrs. Rachel Dahan, wife of Mr. Aharon Dahan, who is a staunch supporter of the Menachem Begin Commemoration Project. The heads of the Begin Foundation and the Begin Center together with the President of the US Friends of the Begin Foundation, Mr. Hart Hasten, sent their condolences to Mr. Aharon Daha n, his sons Nissim and Eliav and the entire family.

Mr. and Mrs. Dahan have done sterling work for Jewish education, religious institutions and the preservation of the Sephardic heritage at the Bar Ilan University.

Aharon Dahan is the honorary global Chairman of the Bar Ilan University.

* * * * *

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Shlomo Kor who passed away last week.

He is survived by his wife Sarah, his sons Avshalom and Zore'ach, his daughter Miriam Tirush, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Shlomo Kor was one of the leaders of the remnant of the European Betar after World War II and later served in the Ministry of Defense in Israel, on the management of the Ma'ariv newspaper for many years and as acting head of the Broadcasting Authority.< /SPAN>


Mrs. Vera Segal, mother of Harry Posin, of Boca Raton, Florida, visited the Begin Cent er with a number of her friends last week. She was received by the Chairman of the Center, Herzl Makov, who told her about the Center and its facilities and arranged for her to tour the Begin Museum, which impressed her and her group very much.