Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Center Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 44

Menachem Begin Heritage Center Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 44 | 27 August 2009



August 30 – September 27

"Slichot" an art exhibition hosted in cooperation with M'mizrach HaShemesh (Jewish Traditional Social Responsibility – founded by Avi Chai and Kol Israel Haverim). The opening night of the exhibit will be August 30 at 5:00pm. A panel discussion will take place with Rachela Arel, an attorney, Head of the Prisoners' Rights Clinic; Rabbi Wisner Yukutiel, Head Rabbi of Prisoners' Services; and Mrs. Debbie Sagi, head of the Therapy and Rehabilitation Department of Prisoners' Services. Those interested in a group tour of the exhibit can call Elisheva Blum at 050-433-6366. For more information, please go to their website:

September 9, 8pm

"Mystery of Kol Nidre: Kol Nidre in Film." This lecture reviews the elements that make this prayer so mysterious as reflected in its cinematic treatment. Video clips will be shown from 'The Jazz Singer' and 'The Chazzan of Vilna' as well as other movies that highlight Kol Nidre.

The lecture will be given by Dr. Moti Friedman, who produces the Traditional Chazzanut concert at the Tower of David Museum, is a lecturer in the History of Traditional Music and Prayer and is the director of the Herzl Museum. Yohanan Henning will be the chazzan and Michael Lukin will play the flute.

Reservations can be made at (02) 565-2020. Cost of the show is 40₪ and will be in Hebrew.

October 21
Open House for new courses at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. Seven new courses will be taught on subjects ranging from Judaism, the History of Israel, Promoting Israel, etc. The courses will be in Hebrew. This is the second year of courses at the Begin Center and we look forward to another successful year.


Last week we had a visit from Dov Hikind, Assembly Member from New York, with his wife, Shani, and their son. They came to the Begin Center with Helen Freedman of AFSI (Americans for a Safe Israel) and Dr. Tzvi and Debbie Briks of New Rochelle, New York, who are members of the Young Israel Synagogue of Scarsdale.

All of the guests were there to meet with Yisrael Medad, Director of Information Services at the Begin Center, and his wife Batya.



The Education Department at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center is a hive of activity. Ilan Cohen, the Education Coordinator, has structured the education programming to deal with four main types of activities: lectures, tours, educational programs and workshops.

This bulletin will describe two of our programs. The Junior Knesset, which helps students learn about the parliamentary system, and the Soldier/Police Workshops, which teach leadership skills through role-playing and teamwork through activities.

The Junior Knesset program, in its full form, is taught to 13-14 year old students as a course in school taught by their own teachers with the approval and support of the Ministry of Education. The concluding day at the Begin Center is the culmination of everything they have learned in the semester in a role-playing simulation of the Knesset passing a law. The Reuben Hecht Auditorium was specially designed to resemble the Knesset hall. The students take on various roles in the law-making procedure and by the end of the day have either passed the law or decided not to pass it. Teachers are amazed by the high level of enthusiastic participation and students are engaged and interested in the subject matter because they are participating rather than sitting and listening to lectures.

The Junior Knesset program was modified and shortened to be able to use it with small groups of students who are participating in long-term programs in Israel. In an hour and a half, these students are given a solid framework with which they can understand the process in the Knesset and how democracy works in Israel. These students often compare Israel's system to their own and gain a new perspective on the reality of Israel as opposed to the Israel that is seen on television through the prism of the media. To work with these young people from abroad the program was translated into Spanish and English and we hope to translate it into more languages.

Soldier/Police Workshops is a new program and was developed under the umbrella of Menachem Begin's heritage and the principles of value-driven leadership that he espoused. The Begin Center is one of the few places in Israel outside of the army that teaches leadership skills, using the workshop environment as an opportunity to learn and practice the methodologies being taught. Many units in the army and the Israeli Police force use the Begin Center exclusively for their leadership training, their team-building and their public service training. In fact, the Begin Center workshops are the only place that non-commissioned officers are provided leadership training.
Currently, there are five different types of workshops. Synergy, a team building workshop; Values-Driven Leadership, a role-playing simulation with scenarios that require a choice between two values; The Importance of Public Service, a workshop that helps illustrate the social importance of the work of the police and army; Israel as a Democratic and Jewish State, a workshop that revitalizes the importance of the ideals of Zionism; and Dilemmas of Military Leadership, which presents typical scenarios faced in the military and how to best handle them using the principles of leadership provided in the workshops.

Participants in the programs rate it very highly and have said, "the workshop was interesting, fun and unified the group," and "excellent workshop that came at the right time for our team and the things we learned will help us in the future." These comments illuminate one of the main goals for the workshops which is to teach these young people who are new to leadership to think in terms of values and long-term goals rather than only for the short-term outcome.

In order to encourage commanders to send their soldiers to the Begin Center, another program has been initiated to provide a sample of all the educational programs available. Groups of high-level commanders in the Israeli army are invited to come for an all-day series of activities. They go through the museum and they go on a tour outside of the Center that highlights a particular theme such as "From the Underground to Independence" or "Begin's Leadership". They participate in a workshop—one of the ones mentioned above. And, to complete the day, a lecturer is brought in based again on the theme for the day.

Your tax-deductible donation can help us to continue to provide these effective, dynamic, successful programs to a wider audience. Funds will be used to train facilitators, translate material into more languages, develop additional programming and provide young people the skills to lead, not just in the short term for a single goal, but for the long term and based on values that society holds dear.
Checks may be sent to:

US Friends of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation
3901 West 86th Street, Suite 470
Indianapolis, IN 46268

USA Canadian Friends of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation
One Yorkdale Road, Suite 601
Toronto, ON M6A 3A1

Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation
c/o Mr. Eric Graus
139a, New Bond St.
London WIS 2TN

Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation
6 Nahon Street
Jerusalem 94110
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