Thursday, November 8, 2007

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 4

Volume 4, Issue 4
November 8, 2007

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 337,364

View from Begin Center is Part of Ad Campaign

The Israel Government Tourist Ministry has placed a special advertisement in the New York Times, the New Yorker Magazine and other publications in the US. It features a close-up shot of the Tower of David and the Citadel which, according to the caption in the advertisement, was taken from the balcony of the restaurant in the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

The terrace and the restaurant area are favorite spots for photographers to take pictures of the view which the Begin Center faces across the Ben Hinnom Valley. This advertisement has already elicited numerous phone calls and casual visitors who would like to photograph the scene from the building.

A Visit From Israel's Ambassador to the US

Ambassador Sallai Meridor, Israel's Ambassador to the United States, met with the students from six countries who are part of the Israel Government Fellows program. The meeting was held in the Silver Executive Boardroom at the Begin Center. He gave them a general review of the situation as seen from Washington, DC, and answered many questions. The students, who are all doing internships in various government offices, were thrilled at the opportunity to exchange views with such an important representative of the State of Israel.

A Personal Brush with History

In preparation for next week's exhibition opening to commemorate President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem, the staff of the Begin Center came across remembrances from people who recalled those historic events. One such story belongs to Reuven Gargir, who visited the Begin Center in March 2005 with a group from Yad Sarah.

Reuven Gargir, a former policeman, said that "soon after I joined the police force, one of my assignments was guarding Begin at the time of the visit of Anwar Sadat. This was very exciting for Jerusalemites and many came to greet him when he arrived at the Knesset. I also remember that Sadat's daughter had given birth in Egypt and Begin sent one of his assistants to buy a doll at Mahane Yehuda."

After concluding the museum tour, he said, "I will never forget this visit. Begin was such a simple person and, really, just an ordinary citizen of our nation."

We invite our readers to send their remembrances of this historic visit to us for possible publication in the Bulletin.

Reuben Hecht Autobiography Added to Library

The Begin Center's Hasten Family Library has been enriched by receiving a copy of the newly published autobiography of the late Dr. Reuben Hecht, formerly advisor to Prime Minister Menachem Begin as well as a long-time personal friend and comrade. This autobiography is in Hebrew.

The book of over 300 pages is entitled The Last Gentleman, An Autobiography and is published by the Moledeth Development Company. It covers Hecht's life experiences from early childhood in Antwerp, Belgium; Basel, Switzerland; and Haifa, Israel with many way-stations along the road including meetings with Ze'ev Jabotinsky and activities in the Irgun operations across Europe as well as his personal business successes.

Dr. Hecht, for whom the Begin Center's auditorium is named, served as Prime Minister Begin's personal advisor for six years, accompanying him to meetings with Presidents and other heads of state as well as the United Nations and other international bodies. The book's observations and testimony provide a rich addition to the information resources of the Center and will well serve students and researchers.

In Memoriam

It is with profound regret that we record the death of Mr. Josef Jaglom at the age of 104. He was buried at the Trumpeldor Cemetery in Tel Aviv. We extend deep condolences to his wife Raya, their children, grandchildren and great grandsons. Josef Jaglom was a well-known financier a generous supporter of many causes. His wife Raya was for many years the president of World WIZO and is now the honorary Life President. She is a member of the International Board of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and serves on its various committees, including the Board that selects the individual or organization who receives the annual Begin Prize.

* * *

We deeply regret to record the death of Ann Roth of Sydney, Australia, and extend our heartfelt sympathy to her sons Stanley and John Roth and their families.

The two brothers established the Avenue of the Heritage in the Menachem Begin Museum at the Begin Center, Jerusalem, in honor of their parents Ann and Henry Roth. Stanley and John are devoted supporters of the Begin Center among all their other prominent activities on behalf of Israel and on behalf of the Jewish community of Australia.


Mr. Harry Taubenfeld, a member of the International Board of the Begin Center, and his wife Florence visited the Begin Center on Monday where they met with the founder Harry Hurwitz and the Chairman of the Center, Herzl Makov. They had been to the museum previously, but went back especially to see some of the new developments such as the Jerusalem Elevator and the archeological garden at the back of the building. Mr. Taubenfeld was one of the early supporters of the project and is one of its founders.

* * *

Sixty children from the Menachem Begin School in Beit Shemesh visited the Begin Center and the hi-tech museum at the beginning of the week. They were very enthusiastic about what they saw and heard. The children will receive one of the new Menachem Begin t-shirts selected in a recent public competition.