Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 23

Volume 4, Issue 23
March 19, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 384,097

16th Yahrzeit of Menachem Begin

The 16th anniversary of the death of Menachem Begin was observed in many ways in different parts of the country.

First, there was the family ceremony at the grave on the Mount of Olives to which Knesset Member Binyamin Netanyahu, leader of the Likud Opposition, and also other members of the Knesset and the past Deputy Prime Minister David Levy.

Immediately after that there was a program of reminiscences at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in which hundreds of people participated. The event was emceed by Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, who spoke during the evening about the leadership role of Menachem Begin and his great impact on the nation over the years.

Harry Hurwitz, Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, recalled several examples to illustrate that Menachem Begin never gave up his ideals and principles to gain popularity with the public in Israel or abroad.

Yechiel Kadishai, Begin's personal secretary, recalled a number of his actions and quoted from his statements about the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt.

Prof. Moshe Arens spoke of the role of members of Betar and the Irgun Zvai Leumi in the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt. This chapter of history was completely overlooked in the stories emanating from the Establishment and is now rapidly coming to the fore.

Yair Stern, son of the late Avraham (Yair) Stern, whose 100th birthday was marked recently by the State, paid high tribute to Menachem Begin for always recalling and honoring his father's memory on the anniversary of his death under the most difficult wintry conditions year after year.

The poet Eliaz Cohen, this year's Prime Minister's Prize winner for poetry, read extracts from his poems on the attitude to the Underground and paid tribute to them.

The last speaker was Dr. Udi Lebel, author of the popular book On the Way to the Pantheon which deals with the discrimination by David Ben Gurion and his governments against fighters of the Irgun and Lehi who were denied State recognition and veteran rights.

A number of songs were sung by Shalva Berti who recently appeared in New York at the reopening of the Plaza Hotel.

"Avshalom, Avshalom"

Another facet of the Aaronsohn saga will be portrayed at the Begin Center next week when a program under the title "Avshalom, Avshalom" will be presented by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; the Uri Tzvi Greenberg Heritage House; and the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. It is the story of one of the members of the NILI spy organization of World War I, Avshalom Feinberg, who died in the desert.

Among the speakers will be former Knesset Member Tamar Eshel, who is the niece of Avshalom Feinberg. Haim Topol will read appropriate extracts about this group.

Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Begin Center, will open the proceedings and Geula Cohen, Director of the Uri Zvi Greenberg Heritage House will describe an interview she had with Rivka Aaronsohn, sister of Sarah Aaronsohn. The event will be filmed for television's Educational Channel as well as recorded for broadcast by Galei Tzahal, the Army Radio.

Two More Books to be Launched at the Begin Center

Gefen Publishers will be launching two more books (in Hebrew) which they have just produced. Both deal with the strong support for Israel by the large and influential Evangelical Christian community in the US and elsewhere. The books are: In Defense of Israel by Pasto r John Hagee and Standing with Israel by David Brog.

Pastor John Hagee himself will participate in the event and will speak about the role of the Evangelical community in the US. He is one of the most effective and powerful leaders of that community.

David Brog lectures all over the US and was an attorney in Israel and Philadelphia and also worked in the US Senate.

Harry Hurwitz, Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation will bring greetings to the audience and Knesset Member Benny Alon, Chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus will make opening remarks.

The guest speaker for the occasion is Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat who will address the topic of the importance of Christian-Jewish relations for Israel.

The event will take place on Friday, April 4 at 10:45am at the Begin Center. Reservations are required and should be made to:
or 02-538-0247


Len Kohll, who was head of Betar in South Africa at the time of Menachem Begin's first visit to that country in 1953, visited Israel after an internval of many years last week. He was warmly received by his former colleagues and by the Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, Harry Hurwitz, and his wife, Freda. Kohll brought some interesting archival material to the Center and was highly impressed by everything he saw and did on his short visit. He complimented the founders and head of the Institution and all who work for it and in it.

He was brought to Jerusalem by Hertzel Katz, a member of the International Board of the Heritage Foundation and his two children, Sharon and Baruch.

New Center Brochure in Hebrew

A very attractive new Hebrew brochure about the Begin Center has been produced and is now available to visitors and at various hotels and other public institutions in Jerusalem and elsewhere. Unusual photographs of the exterior of the building and many interior shots make this a useful little guide in itself. It provid es technical information about the hours of operation and stresses the need for reservations to join tours. There is also a small map showing the location of the Begin Center and various ways of getting there.

This brochure will be coming out soon in English.