Thursday, April 19, 2007

Center Bulletin - Vol. 3, Issue 27

Volume 3, Issue 27
April 19, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 274,324

Begin Center Beflagged for Yom HaAtzmaut

Once again the Begin Center is beflagged from end to end and as the flags flutter they can be seen even across the valley at the foot of Mt. Zion and near David's citadel. In the evenings, the building is illuminated. All this is to mark the great national holiday of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel's 59th Independence Day). The Center is full of activities that bring hundreds of people to it every day.

Yom HaShoah Ceremony

As the siren sounded at 10:00am on Yom HaShoah (Heroes and Martyrs Remembrance Day), the staff, volunteers, students, and some visitors stood on the upper terrace at attention before entering the Ben and Rose Milner Seminar Room for a short memorial service for the 6 million Jews who were murdered by the Germans.

Yisrael Medad recited the El Malei Rachamim. Gaby Mizrahi read an excerpt from the booklet by Rav Menachem Hacohen, The Silver Platter, and Harry Hurwitz introduced the playing of a recording of the Hatikva sung by the remnants of survivors upon their rescue by British Forces. Chap. Rev. Leslie Hardman invited the inmates to sing in the first hours of their freedom. This recording was recently discovered and circulated. (To listen please click here.)

A Small World, Indeed: A Hero Remembered

The story of Virginia Tech engineering professor Liviu Librescu has now appeared all over the world where tribute is paid to his courage in saving his students from the mass killer who took 32 lives, including Prof. Librescu's.

His two sons live in Ra'anana, Israel, and they arranged for his body to be flown here. He is to be buried in Ra'anana. In addition to the many details that have appeared in the world press, it has now been revealed that he was kept in restriction by the Romanian authorities and only when Prime Minister Begin visited Bucharest in 1977 to meet Nicolae Ceau┼čescu he presented a list of Jews and asked for their release. Librescu was among them, according to Marlena, Librescu's wife, who will now be returning to Israel from the US where the professor worked for a number of years. According to his son, Prime Minister Begin intervened to get the family an immediate exit permit. They moved to Israel in 1978.

Tammuz Premier Packed to Capacity

Last Friday, close to 1,000 people crowded the Begin Center as hundreds moved out of the Reuben Hecht Auditorium while others moved into fill the seats again. Several hundred more filled the large seminar room. All this for three screenings of the film Tammuz, produced by Nir Toib, which was also screened on TV last night.

The documentary details the planning, preparation and execution of Prime Minister Begin's decision to destroy Iraq's atomic reactor at Osirak near Baghdad erev Shavuot, 1981. The pilots who took part in the operation speak about it in the documentary. "There is only one hero of the operation—Prime Minister Menachem Begin."

Singer Family Celebration

Carole and David Singer of Sydney, Australia and members of their family who live there and in Israel celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson Sam Weiss at a lunch in the Asper Grand Foyer of the Begin Center on Wednesday. Sam is the son of Debbi (the Singer's daughter) and Greg Weiss. The grandparents, children and their friends first attended the Bar Mitzvah service at the Kotel and then came to the Begin Center for the festive lunch.

Haifa High School Reunion

Ruth Borman and her husband, Prof. Joe Borman, hosted thirty friends on their visit to the Begin Center. They were all together at school in Haifa with Ruth Borman. They were received and addressed by Harry Hurwitz, the founder and head of the Begin Center, and Herzl Makov, its Director General who accompanied them part of the way in the museum and met them again as they exited at the end of the tour. They were then shown the Reuben Hecht Auditorium and the Beit Midrash Menachem.

Publishing Committee Makes Plans for 2007-8

The Begin Center Book Publishing Committee, chaired by Basil Gamsu, gathered to discuss a plan for publishing or participating in the publication of a number of books in 2007-2008, which marks thirty years after Menachem Begin led the Likud in the successful Knesset election in 1977.


Hart Hasten, President of the US Friends of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, who with his family spent Pesach in Israel, had a meeting with Harry Hurwitz and Herzl Makov at the Center. They discussed plans for extending various activities in the US.

* * * * *

Dr. Ra'anan Dinur, Director General of the Prime Minister's Office, and Yisrael Maimon, Secretary of the Government, were in the Begin Center for discussion with its heads on various topics.

* * * * *

Yossi Achimeier, Director of the Jabotinsky Institute, and Ephraim Evan, recently elected Chairman of the Irgun Veterans Association, held a meeting with the heads of the Begin Center on Tuesday. They discussed a detailed program of events in which the three organizations will cooperate.

* * * * *

Floyd and Shula Berman of Birmingham, Alabama, who spend some time every year in Israel, came to the Begin Center where they met with Harry Hurwitz. They visited the Menachem Begin Museum and were greatly impressed by it.

Visitor Comments:

v Fantastic, new, nice, interesting museum! In Dutch you say "Geweldig!" – Holland

v We enjoyed a very informative and interesting experience. We wish the Museum much success in its work. – Melbourne, Australia

v An astonishing experience—very powerful and informative. Wholly worthwhile. – Cape Town and Durban, South Africa