Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 53

Volume 4, Issue 53
October 7, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 441,046

Goodbye, Harry

The funeral of the founder of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and the President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, Harry Hurwitz, took place on Friday, Oct. 3 at the Har Tamir section of the Har Menuchot Cemetery in the area reserved for members of the Irgun Tzvai Leumi.

In the presence of his family, his wife, Freda, son, Hillel, daughter-in-law Jennifer, grandchildren Nirit, Ilan and Sharon and her husband, Jay, together with hundreds of friends, comrades, admirers and fellow workers, the traditional Jewish service was conducted with decorum and respect.

The ceremony was introduced by Yosef Wittelson, a fomer Irgun fighter imprisoned at British detainee camps in Africa. He recalled Harry’s aid with others of the Revisionist Movement in South Africa on their behalf.

Former Defense Minister and Foreign Minister Moshe Arens, former Speaker of the Knesset MK Reuven Rivlin, Dr. Beny Begin, son of Menachem Begin and MK Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud Chairman and Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center eulogized Harry at the service. In addition, Dr. Hillel Hurwitz and Nirit Hurwitz spoke on behalf of the family. Moshe Arens said that in his work with Harry at the Israel Embassy in Washington DC, Harry was a tremendous he lp in public diplomacy efforts because of his broad knowledge and excellent speaking skills. MK Binyamin Netanyahu praised Harry's efforts in building the Begin Center and marveled at his fundraising ability.

MK Reuven Rivlin said that Harry's life effort was Zionism and the Begin Center was the crowning achievement. He mentioned a conversation they had regarding the fact that he came from a family that immigrated to Israel 200 years ago, but he felt that Harry had an advantage over him, because Harry had to make the decision to leave the land he grew up in—in essence living the dream of Zionism—whereas he was born here, never having had the experience of having to choose Zionist ideals. Dr. Beny Begin said that only a person who had a complete belief in the justice of his cause could speak so convincingly of his cause and that describes Harry's devotion to Zionism and the land of Israel.

Herzl Makov talked about his partnership of 10 years with Harry. He quoted the late Shmuel Katz, who wrote in a premature obituary, that "we lost a noble spirit." The Jerusalem Post published an obituary for Harry in 2001 by mistake and asked Shmuel Katz to write a few words. Makov said that the excellent tribute while premature at the time was true then, and is even more true today.

Dr. Hillel Hurwitz and Nirit Hurwitz spoke as representatives of the family. Dr. Hillel Hurwitz outlined Harry's life as a man and spoke of the loss of not only his father, but really of his best friend. Nirit Hurwitz said that as Harry's granddaughter, she knew very little about his work because when Harry was with the family, the family was the only thing that mattered and that today, she had lost the best grandfather.

All the speakers reminded everyone present that Harry lived a full life and gave himself totally to every endeavor. He was an active Zionist leader, a loyal supporter of Menachem Begin, a dynamic public speaker, a tireless fundraiser, a good friend, a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Each person that knew him had a special relationship with him feeling that Harry gave him or her the entirety of his attention. Each person counted himself or herself blessed to have known him.

After the traditional graveside ceremony, the members of Betar who were present sang the Betar Anthem.

Thank You to All who Sent Condolences

Thank you very much to all who sent condolences this week. They have been collected and will be presented to the family. Your kind wishes and thoughts are a tribute to Harry Hurwitz and his impact on many people around the world. May his memory be a blessing to us all.

Tributes and condolences can be sent to the Begin Center at 6 Nahon Street, Jerusalem, 94110, ISRAEL, or via email to ilanab@begincenter.org.il . Condolences can be sent to the family at HaNachal 4/2, Givat Tzarfatit, Jerusalem.

Shana Tova and G'mar Hatima Tova

We wish all our readers a Shana Tova, a G'mar Hatima Tova and a meaningful fast over Yom Kippur—a year of success, health and happiness for all of us and for Israel.

We also remind our readers that due to the holiday season the Bulletin may not be published every week.

Events Continue at the Begin Center

Reverend Robert Stearns celebrated his birthday at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. He was received by Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Begin Center. Rev. Stearns expressed his commitment to the heritage of Menachem Begin and the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and promised to send his Israel Experience students, as well as missions from the US to the Begin Center.

In Memoriam

The Begin Center extends its condolences to Dov Shilansky on the passing of his wife Rachel. Mr. Shilansky was a former speaker of the Knesset, an Irgun commander in Italy and Germany, and came to Israel on the Altalena.
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