Thursday, July 23, 2009

Center Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 39

Menachem Begin Heritage Center Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 39 | 23 July 2009



The special evening hosted by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in cooperation with the Public Council of the Prime Minister's Office to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the passing of Ze'ev Jabotinsky was conducted at the Center in an extremely successful and honorable manner. The theme of the evening was "Ze'ev Jabotinsky: The Poet and the Author". This kind of event for Jabotinsky is unique because it highlights the artistic side of Jabotinsky as a poet and writer and how these qualities informed his leadership.

More than 500 people crowded into three viewing areas – the Hecht Auditorium, the Lecture Hall and the Israel Asper Foyer (the latter two with closed-circuit viewing) – and were treated to a more than two-hour program that began with the singing of the Betar Anthem. Herzl Makov, Chairman of the Begin Center, opened the ceremony and began his remarks with a quote from Menachem Begin who described Jabotinsky as "one of the few giants and geniuses in the world on par with Aristotle, da Vinci and Maimonides" because of the variety of talents demonstrated by Jabotinsky as an author, a poet, a translator, a great orator and a visionary. Makov went on to say that Jabotinsky was a herald of national liberalism in Jewish history. Roni Milo, chairman of the Public Council for the Commemoration of the Legacy and Achievements of Ze’ev Jabotinsky of the Prime Minister's Office, also gave opening remarks praising the Center for the event and for the insert in the Ma'ariv newspaper (mentioned in last week's bulletin). He went on to describe the importance of Jabotinsky's heritage today in all aspects of life. Izzy Mann of Kol Yisrael was the moderator for the evening.

Chanan Yovel sang several of his previous tunes set to poems of Jabotinsky and premiered a new melody to a Jabotinsky translation. The Bnei Binyamina Choral Group sang Betar favorites, including Shir Assirei Acco and "Two Banks Has the Jordan".

Prof. Yehuda Friedlander spoke on the topic a Jabotinsky as an author, writer, translator and a poet noting the tension Jabotinsky successfully contended with as a cosmopolitan and Jewish nationalist, trying to awaken the spirit of his people to a nationalist idea on one hand and on the other hand, the spirit of Jabotinsky the artist as a writer. Poet Miron Isakson said that Jabotinsky was a dreamer and a visionary and that through his poems and stories we can see his dreams and aspirations.

Rami Shtivi of the Begin Center produced two moving video clip compilations of Jabotinsky in sound and video which was much appreciated by the audience. Thespian Oded Tehomi read excerpts from Jabotinsky’s articles, poems and from the novel Samson.

Special guests included the Ze'ev Jabotinsky (the grandson) and Dr. Karni Jabotinsky and their families, former MK Geula Cohen, Freda Hurwitz, Basil Gamsu, Ariela Cotler, Matti Drobles, Israel Prize recipient and and lecturer/singer of the Begin Center's program on national songs, Nahum Heyman, the mayor of Binyamina, Motti Kirmeyer, officials of the Begin Center and Foundation.

For video clips from the evening, please click the link here.


Walter Cronkite, the legendary CBS newsman, was the voice of the news for many years in the United States. Many people in older generations remember that it was his voice and image that informed them of the ordinary day's events, but also the events that marked world history. One such event was the history-changing three-way conversation on November 14, 1977, between Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin; President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat; and Walter Cronkite. This conversation led to Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem the following week. Variety has listed this as one of Cronkite's top ten moments. The link to the article is here. For a transcript of this conversation, readers may refer to this site.

In Israel this week, another death was recorded. Former Minister, Knesset Member and third Mossad Chief Meir Amit has passed away. Born in Tiberias in 1921, he spent the majority of his life serving Israel from gaining independence, serving in the army and intelligence, serving in the government and also using business to help build Israel. In 1977, he served as transportation minister and communications minister in Menachem Begin's government.


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 Tribe 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.


The Menachem Begin Heritage Center is planning an event to celebrate 5 years since the building on Ketef Hinnom was opened to the public and having welcomed over half a million visitors. The event will be on August 27. Details will follow in later bulletins.


The Begin Center has replaced its sign on the corner of David Remez Street and King David Street where it merges with Emek Refaim.

Also, the retractable pillars are complete and in use, both as a clear barrier in the evenings and as a safe and effective method of easing delivery truck entry.

See here.
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