Thursday, May 21, 2009

Center Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 30

Menachem Begin Heritage Center Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 30 20 June 2009



The Menachem Begin Heritage Center, located on the Hinnom Ridge overlooking the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, will be sponsoring and hosting four events leading up to the celebrations of Jerusalem Day.

The first event took place on May 13 at 5:30pm with 90 people filling the seminar room at the Begin Center to capacity. The event was co-sponsored by the Movement for Strengthening Jerusalem which is an organization established by the Zionist Council in Israel. The panel discussion was on the topic of strengthening Jerusalem as a national mission. On the panel were Minister Beny Begin, Prof. Ephraim Inbar, head of the BESA Center at Bar Ilan University and Avi Ro'e, head of the municipality of Mateh Binyamin.

On May 17, more than 200 people attended a special commemorative evening for Ethiopian Jews. Jerusalem Day has been designated as a national commemoration day for Ethiopian Jews who died trying to make the journey from Ethiopia to Israel via the Sudan by foot. At the ceremony survivors spoke movingly of the lengthy and dangerous journey. Tzipi Livni, Head of the Opposition in the Knesset; The Minister of Immigration and Absorption, Sofa Landver; former head of the Mossad during Menachem Begin's second term, Nahum Admoni and representatives from the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews all spoke during the evening. Part of the evening was dedicated to a very interesting panel discussion and traditional Ethiopian music was played on traditional instruments. The evening concluded with a special prayer sung by the "Kaysim" (Elders) of the Ethiopian community which was dedicated to those Ethiopians that died on the way to Israel.

On May 19 at 8pm, the Reuben Hecht Auditorium was filled to capacity with a boisterous and enthusiastic crowd for another evening of songs, poems and sing-a-longs with Nahum Heyman, recipient of this year's Israel Prize. The first half of the evening was dedicated to songs about Jerusalem and the second half was dedicated to the songs of David Zahavi and Mattiyahu Shalem, as representatives of the Labor-affiliated cooperative settlement movement.

Upcoming Events:

On May 21, Jerusalem Day, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center will launch its newest program National Films at the Begin Center, in coordination with the 12 Tribes Foundation. Films will be on the subjects of Judaism, Zionism, History of Israel and the Jewish People. There are 6 films in the series and will be shown every three weeks after the Parashat HaShavua program. All films will be subtitled in English, but discussions will take place in Hebrew with either the director of the film or people who are related in some way to the subject matter of the film. Dates for the program are as follows: May 21; June 11; July 2; July 23; August 13; August 27.

The first film will be shown at 8:30pm, May 21, and is called Alone on the Walls. This is a documentary about the battle for the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948 using interviews from the participants in the battle. Natan Gini, a fighter in that battle, will speak after the film. The film is in Hebrew with English subtitles and the discussion afterward is in Hebrew. The admission is 30 NIS and reservations are required (02) 565-2020.

Details of other films will be featured in future bulletins.


It has become an annual tradition for the Begin Center to sponsor all-night learning on the evening of Shavuot and usually filling the whole Center to capacity. The Begin Center is located a short walk from the Old City of Jerusalem which allows participants to walk to the Kotel (Western Wall) for sunrise prayers in the morning.
The schedule for Shavuot 2009/5769 is as follows:

The main lectures, with simultaneous sign language translation, will be held in the Reuben Hecht Auditorium from 11:00pm until 3:00am. Lecturers will be Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Begin Center; Mrs. Bilha Ben Eliyahu; Dr. Aviad HaCohen; Dr. Ido Chevroni; and author, Chaim Be'er. Other lectures will be given in the Seminar Room by Jessica Sacks, Eliezer Schwartz and Baruch Barzel. Also, three locations will be set aside for learning groups.

At 3:30am, two guides will take groups to the Kotel for sunrise prayers.


Citizens of the city of Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, wanted to name the main square with their famous clock tower after Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, but were thwarted by the City Council who decided to name the square after one of the founders of Tel Aviv University.

The naming of the square at the entrance to Jaffa for Yossi Carmel, the late military attaché and one of the founders of Tel Aviv University, has angered local residents, who want the square be named in honor of the Nobel Peace Prize winners Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. The square, to be dedicated tonight, abuts the well-known Jaffa clock tower. Residents say they want the landmark to bear a name that represents co-existence between Jews and Arabs.

(To read more, please click the link to our blog.)


The annual Begin Center employees' trip took place on Tuesday, May 19, with 25 persons visiting the Achiyah community in the Benjamin Region and listening to the emotional story of Ronit Schuker, the olive factory at Shiloh, Tel Shiloh including a weaving workshop and wine tasting at the Psagot Winery at Migron. A good time was had by all.

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