Sunday, July 19, 2009

Center Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 38

Menachem Begin Heritage Center Bulletin 38, v 5 | 16 July 2009



The Menachem Begin Heritage Center in cooperation with the Public Council of the Prime Minister's Office will host an evening commemorating Ze'ev Jabotinsky at 7:00pm on July 21, 69 years after his death. The theme of the evening will be "Ze'ev Jabotinsky: The Poet and the Author". Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Begin Center, and Roni Milo, of the Public Council, will give opening remarks. Poet Miron Isakson and Prof. Yehuda Friedlander will give speeches. Hanan Yovel will premier a new song set to the words of a Jabotinsky poem. The Binyaminim will sing Betar songs and songs written by Jabotinsky. The event will be in Hebrew. Entrance is without cost, but reservations are required. A bus will leave Metzudat Ze'ev in Tel Aviv at 4:00pm and costs 10 NIS per person. Please make reservations for the evening and the bus at the Begin Center (02) 565-2020.

***For all our readers in Israel: A special informational insert about Jabotinsky will be published this weekend in the Ma'ariv newspaper. The insert contains an excerpt from Samson, a few poems and highlights from Jabotinsky's life.


In the Ha'aretz newspaper this week, an article about Michal Aharoni Regev, author of the fantasy book The Journey to the Kingdom of Oridor, discusses the fact that this is the first book written originally in Hebrew in the fantasy genre. Regev, a religious woman with 11 grandchildren, talks about some of the literary influences throughout her life – one of which was spending time in the Begins' living room.

She says:

Every Saturday evening they [her family including her father Yaakov Aharoni, who had been in the Irgun] would visit friends from the Irgun in Tel Aviv, Aliza and Menachem Begin and sometimes poet Uri Zvi Greenberg. The Begin home was like a cultural and literary salon.

"I was an absolutely still audience when they read aloud, Greenberg's 'The Streets of the River,' with pathos," she says. "I was enchanted. Those meetings shaped me. Those people were imbued with a sense of mission."

To read the text of the whole article, click here.


On 23 July at 8:30pm the movie Hitna'ari will be shown as part of the National Movies series at the Begin Center, a series that is co-sponsored by the 12 Tribes Foundation and the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. The movie is a documentary utilizing the personal point of view of the director about the expulsion of Jews from their homes and how it affects their attitudes about the State of Israel and Israeli society. Menorah Hazani, the director, will be on hand for the discussion afterwards.

The movie is in Hebrew with English subtitles and the discussion afterwards will be in Hebrew. The cost is 30NIS.


New acquisitions were received in both the archives and library this week. Dan Pattir, former press secretary to Menachem Begin, donated 59 audio tapes to the archives named in honor of Yechiel and Esther Kadishai. The contents of the tapes are Menachem Begin's speeches and interviews over the years. The audio tapes will be digitized for easier access for researchers and will be transcribed.

The Hasten Library received a newly published book, Memories: A Lawyer's Life, by Irwin Yitzhak Heimowitz. Yitzhak Heimowitz served as Menachem Begin's personal lawyer before and after Heimowitz's Aliyah to Israel in 1968. Heimowitz, formerly head of Betar USA and a Revisionist and Herut/Likud activist for several decades, reveals many interesting and riveting behind-the-scenes incidents involving Begin, including documentation as well as the history of Betar USA and, of course, his own family and professional life.


The Junior Knesset has had quite a number of groups from South and Central America participating in the shortened workshop developed by the Education Department at the Begin Center. Groups have come from Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela. There are preparations being made for a group that may come from Brazil. The program is not yet in Portuguese, but many of the guides for the program speak Brazilian Portuguese.
The army workshops are continuing through the summer. The first Air Force group of high level officers in the engineering corps came to participate in a Judaism and Democracy workshop. This signifies that all the branches of the Israeli military have participated in the workshops in the Begin Center. More importantly, Major Ainav Kaduri wrote a letter of thanks to the Begin Center's Education Department which she sent copies of to her colleagues in the Air Force in the hope of encouraging them to come to these very valuable workshops.

For one special group of officers in the Reserves, Yoske Nachmias spoke about the struggle for independence and Begin's leadership in the Etzel. Nachmias runs Beit Gidi, a museum of the Irgun, and was a representative on many missions for the Irgun in both English-speaking and Arabic-speaking countries during the years of Irgun activity.


This week is the last lecture of the Parashat HaShavua for this year. The Parashat HaShavua lecture series will begin again after Sukkot in October. Tonight's lecturer is Rabbi Aviah HaCohen.


A special group of Republican Jewish Coalition Board members came to the Begin Center for a special luncheon that included a discussion with Yechiel Kadishai, former secretary to Menachem Begin. Kadishai also led them through the museum. One of the members of the group was especially enthusiastic about the recreation of 1 Rosenbaum, the Begins' living room, and discussed his memories of visiting there.
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