Thursday, August 9, 2007

Center Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 43

Volume 3, Issue 43
August 8, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 317,968

Menachem Begin's Birthday Celebration

There has been so much interest in the casual form of celebration of Menachem Begin's birthday on Wednesday, August 15, that there is simply no more seating available. People are coming to the event from near and far. Some enthusiasts are organizing buses from Tel Aviv, Haifa and the costal area.

There will be no formal program of speeches but the evening will consist of songs, some stories and movie clips.

Menachem Begin was born in 1913 and would have been 94 this year. He died at the age of 79.

Mazal Tov to Moshiko

We are happy to extend a hearty Mazal Tov to Moshiko Sharon who celebrated his Bar Mitzvah last week. It will be recalled that in 2004 this little boy was in very critical condition suffering from a kidney disease and requiring an urgent kidney transplant. All attempts to find a suitable donor in Israel proved unsuccessful. And then, miraculously, an American, Eric Swim, from Kansas City, decided to offer one of his kidneys for this purpose.

At the Begin Prize Award ceremony in 2004, Eric Swim was called upon to accept a certificate marking his honorary award. When he came on to the stage, the large audience rose to give him a standing ovation and did so again during his short remarks when he broke down with emotion. He said it was an honor beyond imagination for him to receive a recognition bearing the name of one of the great leaders of Israel and the Jewish people.

Eric Swim arrived in Israel last week specially to participate in Moshiko's Bar Mitzvah celebration. Moshiko has done well in his health and education and offered a prayer of thanksgiving to his mother and father who brought him to this stage in life. And then added: "I thank also Eric Swim who saved my life."

This advertisement appeared in last week's press calling for nominations for the Begin Prize 2007.

Letter in the Jerusalem Post

A reader of the Jerusalem Post Lily Polliak has recalled that Menachem Begin praised the Bergson group (Hillel Kook) for its extraordinary efforts in the United States to highlight the German plan to destroy the Jewish people. In The Revolt, Begin lauded Bergson for having the ingenuity to "keep the fierce light of publicity" upon the vicious German plans and that his group's persistent efforts ultimately contributed to establish a Refugee Rescue Board. This Board's national efforts warned the Germans of dire consequences if they did not desist from their plan.

Congratulations to Ariel University Center

We congratulate the leadership of the Ariel University Center of Samaria which last week changed its name and its status from "The College of Judea and Samaria." The Institute was authorized to announce this upgrade as part of a five year time table.

The move immediately received the blessing of Prime Minister Olmert.

University Center President Prof. Dan Meyerstein has stated that this unprecedented move in Israel's history marks the first time that a "college," originally established to provide only undergraduate education, has made the transition to "university" status.

In Memoriam

We deeply regret to record the death on Monday of Ida Kaplan, a prominent leader of the World Betar Organization from her early youth in Lithuania to her University days in South Africa and in Israel after her aliyah in the early 1950s. In Israel, she became a leader of the Herut Women's organization which was actively involved also in establishing kindergartens in needy areas. For this she was recognized as a "worthy citizen" of Ramat Gan.

She is survived by her husband, Julius Kaplan, who too was a leader of the world Betar an active supporter of the Irgun and one of the founders of the Jabotinsky Order.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Shmuel and Michal Kaplan, and her daughter and son-in-law, Ilana and Moshe Navot, and by her brother and sister-in-law, Leon and Menorah Charney, by her grandchildren and a great granddaughter.

Water Available

In these very hot August days, many visitors to the Center find the need to drink water when they enter the building and before they go to the museum. This will advise visitors that the White Nights restaurant sells bottled water and there are a number of water fountains situated on the third floor near the elevators.