Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 41

Volume 4, Issue 41
July 23, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 416,901

Successful Jerusalem Film Festival Concludes

By all accounts, this year's Jerusalem Film Festival was one of the most successful ever. Close to 250 movies were shown in eight locations including the Reuben Hecht Auditorium of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

Hundreds of people from all parts of Israel came to the Begin Center every day. Some arranged to arrive several hours before the screening so they might, by arrangement, enter the Menachem Begin Museum or to do so after th e screening of the movie.

Many of the cinema goers commented on the impressive building and auditorium and were very complementary about the screening and the sound. The management of the Cinemateque who organized the Festival had installed a special wider screen.

One of the highlights of the whole festival was the screening of the long-time favorite movie EXODUS, which this year was combined with a special tribute to the commander of the ship, the late Yossi Harel, and the 4,500 refugees it carried and who were forcibly removed from the vessel by the British and sent back to Europe.

Another special event attracted a capacity auditorium of younger people who are engaged in the movie industry.

The Begin Center is, of course, pleased that it is part of this internationally known and acclaimed Festival.

DCM of South Africa Visits

The Deputy Ambassador of South Africa Elizabeth Smith and the Embassy's First Secretary Tsoloo spent almost a whole morning in the Begin Center last week and especially studied the Menachem Begin Museum which impressed them very much.

They were brought to Jerusalem by Adv. Hertzel Katz, a leader of the South African community in Israel, and by the current Chairman of TelFed, Mr. Maish Isaacson. They were met by Harry Hurwitz, the Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation. The visitors had many questions which were answered and they requested explanations for various events portrayed in the museum. The location of the Center, op posite Jerusalem's Old City walls, had a great impact on the visitors.

Geula Cohen's Book Launch

The Begin Center, in cooperation with the Reuben Maas Publishing House and the Uri Tzvi Greenberg House, hosted a book launching party for a second volume of memoirs written by former MK and Deputy Minister Geula Cohen on Tuesday evening, July 22. Approximately 450 people were present filling not only the Reuben Hecht Auditorium but also the large seminar room.

Ms. Cohen's book, entitled I Haven't The Strength To Be Tired, fills in certain events not covered by her first book of reminisces, first published four decades ago as Woman of Violence, and adds her experiences as a politician as well as her activities on behalf of the settling of the Land of Israel, Soviet Jewry, Jews of Ethiopia and many other areas in which she was involved.

In her book, Ms. Cohen notes the importance of the need for a Zionist "cultural struggle", one which encourages the creation of poetry, art and literature. And she writes: "Encouraging indications of a recent awakening in this direction can be seen in the varied and wonderful cultural activity taking place at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem".

Part of the crowd

Publisher Miri Maas

Geulah Cohen and Herzl Makov entering

Speakers included Miri Maas, the Begin Center's Herzi Makov, the poet Miron Issacson, Yesha Council Chairman Dany Dayan, and the journalist Ya'akov Achimeir. Boaz Sharabi provided musical entertainment and Dan Kaner was MC.

1 Rosenbaum — An Historic Site

Efforts are being made by the Begin Center and associates to have the small apartment where the Begin family lived for more than 30 years declared a national historic site. It is situated in 1 Rosenbaum Street near the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv.

The matter has been discussed with the mayor's office and the special department that deals with such historic sites. These are the first steps in what will likely be a very long process.

Menachem Begin, his wife Aliza and their son, Benny, and their daughter, Hasiya, lived in that apartment in the last stage of the Irgun struggle against the British Mandate Auth orities. After the proclamation of the State of Israel, they remained there 29 more years, until Begin, as he had often said, moved out of the apartment to Jerusalem to the official residence of the Prime Minister in 1977.


Dr. and Mrs. M. Shalit who now live in New York came to the Begin Center last Friday and visited the museum and the other facilities. Mary and Maish are long-time friends of Dr. Hillel and Jennifer Hurwitz and Freda and Harry Hurwitz. Their summing up of the Begin Center was one word: "Outstanding!" They had not expected to find such an elaborate educational, cultural Institute and congratulated all those responsible for it.

* * * * *

Mr. Danny Ofir, the Director of the non-profit organization devoted to the preservation and publication of the story of the Hurwitz Family throughout the world. There is a large organization in Israel and he was happy to meet personally with Harry Hurwitz who founded the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. A group of members of the Hurwitz "Clan" will be visiting Jerusalem soon and Mr. Ofir hopes to include a visit to the Begin Center and to have a discussion with its initiator.


David said...

Shalom. Great bulletin. I'd like to share photographs from Geula Cohen's Book Launch.