Monday, August 11, 2008

Center Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 43

Volume 4, Issue 43
August 7, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 426,090*

Begin's 95th Birthday and 60 Years of Herut

Next week, the Begin Center will host a special academic event to mark two major milestones in the life of Menachem Begin—his 95th birthday on Shabbat Nachamu and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Herut Party soon after the creation of the State of Israel. This event will be presented jointly by the Begin Center and the University of Haifa. It will take place on Thursday, 14 August, starting at 9:30am with opening remarks by the Founder of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, Harry Hurwitz Three sessions, devoted to various aspects of the political and social activities of the Herut Party, will then follow to be chaired by Prof. Yechiam Weiss; Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Yechiel Kadishai, Menachem Begin's Bureau Chief. A panel discussion with the participation of Ronni Milo, Prof. Weitz and Dr. Udi Lebel will close the day.

The 60th anniversary of the founding of Herut Party will also incorporate the launch of its newspaper Herut. There are still a number of active people around who played a part in those dramatic developments.

Menachem Begin Prize Nominations

By the end of this week the first official advertisement will appear in the press (and in this bulletin) calling for nominations for this year's Menachem Begin Prize. According to the conditions of the Prize, it is awarded to a person or organization who accomplished something extraordinary for the benefit of the State of Israel and/or the Jewish People.

Over the years, the Prize was awarded to numerous exceptional individuals and organizations such as: Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut who died in the Columbia disaster; Kaare Kristiansen, the Norwegian statesman who resigned from the Nobel Prize Committee when it awarded the Prize to Arafat; Rabbi Avraham Elimelech Firer, the remarkable founder of "Ezra L'Marpeh" an organization that has helped thousands in their medical treatment and ability to overcome illness; and many others.

This year's ceremony will take on a special character because it will be thirty years after Menachem Begin received the Nobel Prize for Peace in Oslo—the first Israeli statesman thus to be recognized and honored. Special plans are now in preparation for this unique event.

Cooperation with the Cinemateque

A very interesting meeting was held on Tuesday between the heads of the Begin Foundation and Begin Center and the two principle directors of the nearby Cinemateque which recently completed the 2008 Jerusalem Film Festival in which the Reuben Hecht Auditorium was a popular and attractive venue. The Cinemateque Directors Ilan Defris and Yigal Hay were particularly pleased that the film Exodus could be shown to great advantage in the auditorium in the presence of Bruce Tuchman, Executive, Vice President, MGM Networks; Sharon Harel, daughter of the late Yossi Harel who was the commander of the ship and who passed away a few months ago; and Prof. Foster Hirsh, lecturer at City University of New York, who published a biography of Otto Preminger, producer and director of the film.

The new facilities of the Cinemateque were explained and their expertise in preserving footage, especially from the early part of the 20th century, were offered to the Begin Archives. Now it is up to technical experts from both organizations to pursue the matter.

Discussions with Siebenberg House Museum

The heads of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation and the Menachem Begin Center were happy to meet with and have wide-ranging discussions with Mr. and Mrs. Theo Siebenberg of the Siebenberg House Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem. The possibility of active cooperation between the two was canvassed and further discussions will be held in the coming months.

*Visitor Number Jumps

In the past week, we have incorporated into the total number of visitors to the Begin Center the people who saw the movies in the Begin Center during the recent Film Festival.


The Ambassador of Poland Madame Ambassador Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska and her assistant Alexandra Buchovska visited the Begin Center to discuss plans for various cultural, educational programs in the coming year.