Thursday, April 30, 2009

Center Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 26 | 23 April 2009



The intermediary days of the Passover holiday were extremely busy at the Begin Museum. During the two full days and two half days of operation between the two holidays of Passover, 1,200 visitors came to visit the museum. We are very pleased to see this incredible increase during the holidays and hope to see similar, if not higher, numbers for the Sukkot holiday in October.


In cooperation with the American Friends of Likud, the Begin Center hosted a special breakfast briefing with Minister Moshe Ya'alon. The group was a combination of Americans who were visiting Israel and Americans living in Israel. We were also happy to see Philip Rosen who is the Chairman of the Board of American Likud; Shalom Helman, head of Likud Anglos in Israel; and Sol Unsdorfer, Chairman of Likud-Herut UK. Everyone was very interested in what Minister Ya'alon had to say and stayed for follow-up questions with him.

At the end of the event, Philip Rosen presented the Minister with a Pesach Haggadah, dedicated to Israeli soldiers, that was specially created and printed by Rosen's family in memory of his uncle. Photographs of Israeli soldiers were used that related to the various sections of the Haggadah and since Minister Ya'alon was featured in so many of the pictures, Rosen said it was only fitting that Ya'alon should have it.


Two events were held at the Begin Center in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. In the morning, the Jerusalem district police officers held a special memorial service in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium. The event is usually held at Yad Vashem, but this year the Jerusalem district decided to hold the ceremony here at the Begin Center. Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Begin Center, opened the event with a few words about Menachem Begin mentioning the Holocaust in his speeches and the lessons to be learned. Commissioner Aharon Franco spoke about the need for Israel to stay strong with a moral certainty and a military presence or the Holocaust could happen again.

The second event was held in the evening and focused on the recently published book by Professor Moshe Arens, Flags Above the Ghetto, detailing the Betar involvement in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Herzl Makov was the master of ceremonies and Prof. Arens spoke about his book.

Minister Yossi Peled presented a personal story about his survival during the Holocaust. When he was a baby, his mother gave him to a Christian family to protect him. He grew up not knowing his real mother and not knowing his history. When he was 6 years old his mother came to take him back and he simply didn't know her anymore. His father had died in Auschwitz. They made aliyah and made their lives in Israel at Kibbutz Negba. He grew up in Israel and served in the military reaching finally the rank of General in charge of the Northern Command. Musical interludes were provided by The Tel Aviv Hazanut Institute.


The Begin Center was honored to welcome the Lord and Lady Leonard Steinberg, of Manchester, England, who were visiting Israel during the Pesach holiday. They toured the museum and had a meeting with Moshe Fuksman-Sha'al, Deputy Director of the Begin Center, and David Posner, of the Begin Foundation.

Erwin and Ilse Lamm, of Melbourne, Australia, long-time friends of the Begin Center and its founder, the late Harry Hurwitz, brought their relatives to the Center for a special tour.


To our Assistant Archivist Rami Shtivi and his wife Karen who welcomed their new son into the world last week. At the brit milah ceremony, the boy was given the name Yonatan.


For the Soldiers' Remembrance Day, the Hebrew University Student's Union will be holding a ceremony in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium. Students will perform readings and Osnat Vishinsky will sing. Shlomo Grohnich will give a concert as a public sing-along after the ceremony of memorial songs. All reservations for this event are handled through the Student Union and will not be handled by the Begin Center.
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