Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Center Bulletin Vo. 4, No. 24

Volume 4, Issue 24
March 26, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 385,959

"Avshalom, Avshalom"

The Begin Center hosted, as co-sponsor, a most memorable and stirring evening commemorating Avshalom Feinberg, one of Israel's courageous pre-state heroes who was a leader of the Nili spy ring during World War I. Together with the initiator, the Uri Tzvi Greenberg Heritage House under the directorship of Geula Cohen, they welcomed an overflow crowd of some 450 persons sitting in both the Hecht Auditorium and the Lecture Hall, where a closed-circuit broadcast was made available, and witnessed an emotional and informative event for over two hours.

Following a short film reenacting Feinberg's life and death as well as the rediscovery of his grave under a palm tree near Rafiah, Micha Yinon, head of the Culture Ministry's Popular Culture Department, greeted the assembled participants.

Center Chairman, Herzl Makov then spoke of the exclusion and inclusion in the nation's pantheon of memory.

His words were warmly received.

The evening, emceed by Dan Kaner, was interspersed with testimony in film and sound, songs, family reminiscences and academic analysis of Nili's wartime contribution, by Dr. Ronen Bergman.

The famous actor Haim Topol thrilled the audience with his reading of selected poems composed by Avshalom Feinberg.

Former Labor MK Tamar Eshel, a frequent guest at the Center, spoke of Avshalom Feinberg who was her uncle. The evening ended with the singing of HaTikva and many of the guests were observed wiping tears from their eyes.

Unique Event in Warsaw

Sixty-five years after the start of the Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943, an historic event will take place at Muranowska Square, Warsaw, where the headquarters of the ZZW were located. The ZZW was the fighting organization of the Betar and Irgun in Warsaw headed by Pavel Frankel. < /SPAN>Their tenacious fight caught the Germans completely by surprise.

In a unique event on Tuesday, April 15, the plaque will be unveiled by the President of Israel, Shimon Peres; former Israel Defense and Foreign Minister Moshe Arens (who initiated the whole process to get the ZZW role officially recognized); Yechiel Kadishai, Chairman of the Public Council of the Begin Center; representatives of Betar; and the Jabotinsky Order. Moshe Fuksman-Sha'al, who is organizing the event, will be present as a representative of the Begin Center. Polish government officials and Warsaw City officials are expected to be in attendance.

Pesach at the Begin Center

With Pesach rapidly approaching, visitors from abroad and Israelis are urged to make reservations ahead of time if they intend to visit the Begin Museum during the Chol HaMoed Pesach Days.

Special arrangements have been made by the Center to keep the museum open till 7:00pm when the last group will go into the museum.

The White Nights restaurant will be closed during that period, but arrangements will be made for a drinks service for visitors.

Official Visit by Oved Yeheskel

Oved Yeheskel, the Secretary to the Government of Israel, paid an official visit to the Begin Center on Tuesday. He was received by the Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, Harry Hurwitz, and the Chairman of the Begin Center, Herzl Makov who briefed him on various aspects of the activities of the Begin Center, the plans and their aspirations. They accompanied him on the museum tour at the end of which he said that he now understands fully why visitors from all parts of Israel and from abroad were so impressed when they came to the Begin Center.

Mr. Yeheskel was accompanied by Avi Wiederman, advisor to the Prime Minister.

Meeting of the "Camp David Committee"

Another meeting of the "Camp David Committee," which originally planned the program of activities to mark the events leading up to the visit of President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem at the invitation of Prime Minister Menachem Begin 30 years ago and all that followed including the Camp David discussions, took place at the Begin Center this week.

At this latest meeting the participants included Prof. Efraim Inbar, the Director of the BESA Institute at the Bar Ilan University; Advocate Meir Rosenne, who had been the Foreign Ministry advisor in the whole process and later Israel's ambassador to France and the US; Mr. Avi Entebbe, from the Egyptian Department of Israel's Foreign Ministry; Mrs. Levana Zamir, head of the Israel-Egypt Friendship Association; Mr. Efraim Dubek, former ambassador to Egypt; and Dan Pattir, who was Menachem Begin's media advisor. The Begin Center was represented by Harry Hurwitz, Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation and Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Moshe Fuksman-Sha'al, Deputy Director of the Center in charge of events. The group discussed the program which will take place over the next three years to commemorate major events including the meetings at Camp David in September 1978; the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat on December 10, 1978; and the signing of the Israel Egypt Peace Treaty on 26 March 1979, which was a major turning point in Israel-Egypt relations and a break-through for Israel in the region.