Thursday, July 19, 2007

Center Bulletin Volume 3, Issue 40

Volume 3, Issue 40
July 18, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 312,292

Foreign Minister of Nepal at Begin Center

The Foreign Minister of Nepal, Mrs. Sahana Pradhan, and her entourage were guests at the Begin Center last Thursday when she lectured before the Israel Council of Foreign Relations of the World Jewish Congress. The event was chaired by Amb. (ret.) Dr. Moshe Yegar, senior editor of the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, who gave a personal insight of Israel's standing in Asia where he had served for a number of years.

At the end of her address on the situation in Nepal the Minister announced that her country will open an embassy in Tel Aviv very soon to promote trade and tourism and also to attend to the needs of the many citizens of Nepal who are working in Israel.

Harry Hurwitz, the Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, welcomed the Minister and all the guests to the Begin Center and also the Israel representatives to Nepal. He then described Prime Minister Menachem Begin who is honored and recalled in this living memorial. He spoke of Begin's striving for democracy, justice and peace and said that Begin was Israel's first statesman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (together with Egypt's Anwar Sadat).

"Our small nation," said Hurwitz, "has been at war 120 years and it is still continuing." The day of the Foreign Minister's visit was exactly twelve months after the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, which started the second Lebanon War. Hurwitz asked the distinguished guests and the audience to rise and called for Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit to be released and brought back alive and well to their families, their comrades and the nation.

Rise in Begin Center Numbers

The number of visitors to the Begin Center rose dramatically this week following the inclusion the total number of patrons who attended film screenings in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium during the Jerusalem Film Festival. Numbers were given to us by the organizers of the festival who had records of the tickets sold per day.

Some of the patrons first toured the Begin Museum and then went to see the movie of their choice or vice versa.

At any rate, the number now stands at 312,292.

Israel Government Fellows Program

Starts in September

The Israel Government Fellows (IGF) program is a new long-term 'MASA' initiative of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. The program is unique in that it is backed by the Israeli Government and the Government Secretary.

IGF Fellowships offer interns firsthand experience working in Israel's government, and is the first program that opens the door for non-Israelis to intern in the core of Israel's policy-making method, while offering extensive educational programming.

Our inaugural session has eighteen college graduates from the US, Australia, Switzerland, Hungary and England. For the six-month session, participants will work at their internships four days a week and will use their additional time for other educational programming such as Hebrew classes, seminars in leadership training, Israel's history, Israeli society and the governmental system and an understanding of the basic values of the Israeli democratic system. In additional to all this, participants will go on trips all over Israel. The Israel Government Fellows will leave this program with a solid base to be strong, well-informed Jewish leaders.

Israel Government Fellows Program is to be launched in September and will be based in the Begin Center where Tamar Darmon, who directs the program, can be reached.

Rohr Family Parashat HaShavua

Starting the Fifth Book

A new series in the Rohr Family Parashat HaShavua Lectures will open this Thursday when Ari Alon, the third brother of the well-known Alon family, will deliver the first lecture and will continue throughout the book of Devarim (Deuteronomy).

Following his lecture there will be two short talks to mark the launch by Dr. Micha Goodman and Danny Segal.

Begin Center T-Shirts Available Soon

Among the activities during Emunah's two-week art display held at the Begin Center was the presentation of prizes for the designs for a Menachem Begin Center T-Shirt, which will be on sale in the souvenir shop.

First prize was awarded to Esther Zisman for her design which was a play on words in Hebrew. "Not by right of power, but by power of right." In second place was Odelia Nechamny who designed a shirt that said "Peace". The "A" is an Egyptian pyramid. In third place was Ortal Sheetrit with a t-shirt that used the Begin Center logo and listed the address.

The prizes were presented by Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

Important Facts of History

An interesting, little-known episode in the early life of Menachem Begin was revealed in the HaAretz weekend magazine, which claimed that in the years following 1948, Israel had destroyed more than 100 mosques in local Arab villages incorporated into the State. On Friday, July 13, a letter to the editor was published in HaAretz from a Yossi Renart of Tel Aviv.

He made the point that mosques and their minarets were used as sharpshooter's posts and over 1,000 Tel Avivians had been either wounded or killed by sniping until the Irgun conquest of Manshieh. Nevertheless, when one of the Irgun commanders suggested that the Hassan Bek mosque in Jaffa be blown up, Menachem Begin, upon hearing of the plan, informed the officer and others in strict terms that no holy site of any religion was to be harmed by the Irgun in any of its operations.


· Mr. Hart Hasten, President of the US Friends of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation held discussions in the Begin Center with the President of the Foundation, Harry Hurwitz, and Chairman of the Center, Herzl Makov. He was also interviewed by Iris Berlatzky, the chief archivist for the video records of the archives.