Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Center Bulletin Vol. 3, No. 42

Volume 3, Issue 42
August 1, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 316,205

Begin Prize 2007

Preparations are now underway to invite nominations for the 2007 Menachem Begin Prize which will be awarded during Chanukah, according to the precedent set in previous years.

As a first step, advertisements will appear in the media shortly inviting nominations of individuals or organizations who performed extraordinary deeds to the benefit of the people of Israel, or the Jewish people, or Eretz Israel.

Thereupon, the special committee, which in recent years has been headed by Mr. Moshe Nissim who was a senior Minister in the governments of Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, will be convened to start the considerations.

Publications in Progress

There has been significant progress in the preparation of a number of books and brochures in Hebrew and English connected with the monumental events that occurred 30 years ago—Prime Minister Begin's invitation to President Sadat to visit Israel; the Peace Process; the signing of the Peace Treaty between Israel and Egpyt; and related events.

From a production point of view, the most advanced books are the new edition (in English) of White Nights, incorporating extracts from the NKVD interrogation records and secondly, Menachem Begin's famous "Outlook" on personal and national issues.

Also, a number of documentary movies being made by private producers are known to have advanced in recent weeks.

Begin's Birthday Celebration

A festive evening to celebrate the 94th birthday of Menachem Begin will take place in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center on 15 August 2007 at 8:00pm.

The evening will comprise songs, recollections and stories about Menachem Begin and will recapture the atmosphere that prevailed in the Begin home when his birthday was celebrated by people from the "fighting family"—his comrades of the Irgun, his political associates and friends.

The evening's program including music and short movies will be conducted by Yehuda Blecher. The musical portion was arranged by Uzi Rosenblatt with singing by Lior Yaini.

Troy Family Celebrates at the Begin Center

The bat mitzvah of Lia, daughter of Prof. and Mrs. Gil Troy of Montreal was the occasion for a family gathering in Israel this past week.

Two grandfathers were the honored guests for the celebration. They are Mr. Marcel Adams from Montreal and Mr. Bernard Dov Troy, who, in his younger days, was first the Secretary of the American Betar and later the head of American Betar. He has three sons. Dr. Tevi Troy, who has recently been nominated to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, his brother Dan Troy who was Chief Counsel of the Food and Drug Administration and, of course, Prof. Gil Troy who is a professor of history at McGill University in Montreal.

They and their families all joined together at the Begin Center for a special tour during which they met and heard from Harry Hurwitz, the founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation and from Yisrael Medad and the various guides who showed them different features of the building.

For Bernard Dov Troy, this was his first visit to the Begin Center and he was greatly impressed.

Jewish Republican Coalition Visits Center

A large group of the Jewish Republican Coalition of the USA was on an intensive tour in Israel last week and among other things visited the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. The senior personality of the group was former US Senator Rudolph E. (Rudy) Boschwitz who represented Minnesota from 1978 to 1991. He was warmly greeted by Harry Hurwitz and they recalled their meetings when Hurwitz was the Minister of Information at the Israel embassy in Washington, DC (1980-1983). Boschwitz described Menachem Begin in most laudatory terms and said he was a "strong and courageous leader of the people of Israel." His oratory was "unique", he said.

At the end of the visit, Senator Boschwitz wrote in the Visitor's Book: "To my friend Harry Hurwitz who preserves the memory of the greatest Prime Minister. Senator Rudy Boschwitz (1978-91)."

In Memoriam

We deeply regret to record the death of Yehudit Heilberg, a well-known partisan in World War II, an officer in the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the head of the group of women on the Altalena.

She was a close friend of many of the veterans of the "fighting family"—especially Esther and Yechiel Kadishai.

Her funeral was attended by a large number of Irgun veterans who assembled at the Irgun section of the Holon cemetery.

In Brief

On Saturday night, the Begin Center's Reuben Hecht Auditorium was filled to capacity for a night of Carlebach singing. The event was organized by the Jerusalem City Council.


· Joseph Neuman, Roby and Poussy Spiegl, their families and friends came to the Begin Center this week. Roby is the former head of Likud in Belgium and is now in charge of Israel Bonds in Belgium. Everyone in the group was very impressed by the museum and took time to meet with Harry Hurwitz and Herzl Makov. The family is visiting Israel from Brussels.