Thursday, July 10, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 39

Volume 4, Issue 39
July 10, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 414,280


The editors of this bulletin apologize for misstating the total number of visitors that have been to the Center since October 2004. It was certainly not intentional; it was a transposition of the numbers. In fact, as you will see in today's bulletin, the total number of visitors is 414,280.

We were pleasantly surprised to receive a number of emails and calls from regular readers of the bulletin questioning the number and pointing out the mistake.


Begin Center Welcomes Jerusalem Film Festival

The Reuben Hecht Auditorium in the Menachem Begin Heritage Center is once again one of the major venues of the Jerusalem Film Festival which will function from 10-19 July. Dozens of movies in all categories will be screened at the Begin Center as in the previous 4 years. However, this year the major event of the Festival will be highlighted at the Begin Center. It is the rescreening of the movie EXODUS to honor the ship's commanding officer, the late Yossi Harel, who passed away last April when the highest tributes were paid to him by the government and many elements in the country.

The program at the Begin Center will take place on Wednesday evening July 16 and will include a short address by the Executive Vice President of MGM Networks, Bruce Tuchman, who is coming specially for the occasion; Sharon Harel, daughter of the late Yossi Harel, who is a film producer; Prof. Foster Hirsch, lecturer at City University in New York, who has published numerous articles, the latest of which is a biography of Otto Preminger who was producer and director of the movie. The moderator is Micha Shagrir.

At the beginning of the evening archival footage of the Exodus will be screened and tributes will be paid to Yossi Harel. The preliminary program will be followed by the screening of EXODUS, starring Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint, based on the novel by Leon Uris, screenplay by Dalton Trumbo and filmed on location in Israel.

Sadat's Family Angered by Movie

The family of the late President Anwar Sadat is furious about a new Iranian film Assassination of a Pharaoh which glorifies one of the Egyptians who shot President Sadat at a military parade on October 6, 1981, eight years after the start of the Yom Kippur War. The assassin, Khalid Islambouli, was brought to trial in Cairo and was hanged for the killing in 1982. Subsequently a Teheran road was named after him.

Sadat's daughter, Roqeya, said that "such slander will receive a strong response." And Sadat's nephew, Talat, who is a member of Egypt's Parliament, said that "making this film is a low attempt to tarnish the image of the man and falsify history."


Malka and Robert Beren of Kansas and Florida came on a visit to the Begin Center on Wednesday and were very impressed by many aspects of it. Mr. Beren had visited the building when it was in the last stages of construction and spoke highly of the way the building was created and its content. They met with Harry Hurwitz, the Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation who accompanied them into the museum. They asked many questions about features in the museum and attendance and about the sort of people that come to it from Israel and abroad.

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Members of the Executive of the Anti-Defamation League who were visiting Jerusalem and met with leaders of the State came to the Begin Center and visited the Museum which impressed them very much.

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Mr. Nachman Shai, the CEO of the United Jewish Communities of North America and a number of his associates met with members of the Begin Foundation and the Begin Center to discuss a program in the Center at the time of the GA which will take place in Jerusalem from November 16 to 19. They are anxious that some of the young members of the North American Jewish Community should see the Center, hear the story and learn more about Menachem Begin.

It was also pointed out to them that 19 November is the date now inscribed in Israel's history when President Sadat of Egypt arrived in Jerusalem at the invitation of Prime Minister Begin. There is a temporary exhibit in the Center marking that historic event and the start of the Peace Process 30 years ago.