Sunday, September 20, 2009

Center Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 45

Menachem Begin Heritage Center Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 45 | 3 September 2009



On 27 August, 2009, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center celebrated in grand style the tenth anniversary of the Center, the 5th anniversary of the permanent building and passing the 500,000 visitor mark. Approximately 1,400 people attended the variety of events that evening. The auditorium was full, in addition to the overflow seating, for the lectures by Dr. Micha Goodman and Dr. Udi Lebel and nearly full for the movie, The Band's Visit. All the museum tours were fully booked and eight walking tours, necessitated four guides, around the neighborhood to the King David Hotel and the Old Railway station were fully booked almost totaling almost 250 participants on the walking tours alone.

Everyone enjoyed the music provided by the Dondorme orchestra, including many who spontaneously broke out dancing. (Video can be seen on the Begin Center blog here, as well as on our YouTube channel here.) In addition to all the exceptional events, special night lighting highlighted the building and lit up the sky, including a special light with the Begin Center logo.


August 2009 was a stellar month in terms of number of visitors to the Museum. 8,237 visitors came to the museum from August 1 to August 31. In comparison with last year in August, a traditionally busy month in the museum, there was a 32% increase in visitors. The difference between July 2009 and August 2009 is even greater, showing a 50% increase in visitors.

This news is especially exciting given that on August 27, 2009 we held our great celebration to mark ten years of the Center, five years of the permanent building and 500,000 visitors to the Center.


Alex Grass, founder of RiteAid drugstores, prominent philanthropist and one of the Begin Center's early supporters, passed away this week at the age of 82 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We send our condolences to his family.


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). 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.


The heart of the Begin Center's connection with the general public is our activities. Ariel Cohen plans and coordinates events and activities for the Begin Center based on the mission of the Begin Center. Our events and activities are sometimes about Menachem Begin himself, but also about his legacy, his life story, his interests and others people connected to him. The Activities Department has initiated many projects this year increasing both the number of activities, the variety of activities and the attendance at each event.

One of the ways we encourage attendance is to offer free events or events at very low cost. This makes all events accessible to all people. This is very much in line with the Begin Center's mission of passing on the legacy and ideals of Menachem Begin.
Our first and longest running program has been the Rohr Family Parashat HaShavua following in the tradition of Menachem Begin's joy of learning the portion of the week, a tradition he maintained in his home at 1 Rosenbaum and continued when he was Prime Minister in the Prime Minister's residence. This is a hugely popular program, with sometimes up to 500 attendees. It is especially unique in that it is attended by such a diverse group of people. Men and women, religious and secular, young and old, all come together for an hour of study together. This program is free to the public every week and for special sessions like the all-night study for Shavuot.

This past year, the Activities Department has created several series, in cooperation with other organizations, both of which were very successful. The National Movies series, which ended this week, was a series of six movies that focused on different cultural elements in Israel. The Nahum Heyman series brought music to the Begin Center in the form of national poetry that had been turned into musical songs.

Several memorial events took place over the past few months including for Rabbi Aryeh Levin, Yair Stern and Ze'ev Jabotinsky, all of whom were connected in some way to Menachem Begin.

For the second year the Begin Center will be offering courses that meet over several weeks. The open house for the new year's courses will be on October 21.
Whenever there is an occasion to commemorate a historic event, the Begin Center also sponsors conferences, lecture evenings and other kinds of special events which could be as diverse as evenings of songs, films or family-friendly entertainment.

Contributions designated to Activities could be used for increasing the variety of activities and quality of each event, advertisement to increase attendance, continuing to offer free or heavily discounted admission fees to allow all members of the public to attend, recording events (audio/video) for possible posting on the internet to introduce the world to the activities of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, etc. Larger contributions would allow the Begin Center to dedicate an activity in your name.
Your tax-deductible donation can help us to continue to provide these effective, dynamic, successful programs to a wider audience.
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