Sunday, September 20, 2009

Center Bulletin, Vol, 5 No. 47

Menachem Begin Heritage Center Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 47, | 17 September 2009


Table of Contents:
Shana Tova
Upcoming Events
Yahrzeit for Harry Hurwitz z"l
In Memoriam: Capt Asaf Ramon z"l and Shirley Coblentz z"l
Fundraising: Highlight on the General Fund




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 18
The Begin Center will be closed for Erev Chag. Chag Sameach!

September 20

The Begin Center will be closed for Rosh Hashanah. Chag Sameach!

September 21 at 5:30pm and 7:15pm
Yahrzeit for Harry Hurwitz z"l.

September 27
The Begin Center will be closed for Erev Yom Kippur.

September 28
The Begin Center will be closed for Yom Kippur.

8 October at 9:00pm
Hoshana Raba Evening of Learning. To open the new year of the Rohr Family Parashat HaShavua, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center is sponsoring an evening of learning on October 8, 2009, for Hoshana Raba. The three main lecturers for the year will each present lectures that evening, including Dr. Shelly Goldberg, Mr. Baruch Barzel and Dr. Ido Hevroni. The evening will conclude with Yonatan Razel who will sing religious songs in the spirit of Hoshana Raba. This event is free and is in Hebrew.

October 15 at 7:00pm
First Parashat Hashavua with Dr. Ido Hevroni.


On September 21, ג תשרי, it will be one year since Harry Hurwitz z"l, former Head of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation, passed away. Because it is also the Fast of Gedaliah, the timing of the memorial events have been pushed toward the end of the day and in coordination with the breaking of the fast. The short ceremony at the cemetery will be at 5:30pm. At 7:15pm, the fast will be broken with light refreshments at the Begin Center and a memorial ceremony will take place afterwards. Hillel Hurwitz, Harry's son, will speak on behalf of the family and Ilana Brown, Harry's former assistant, will also speak. Herzl Makov will speak on behalf of the Center.


Captain Asaf Ramon, son of the late Israeli astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon, was killed in a tragic F-16 plane crash over South Mt. Hebron this week. Ilan Ramon posthumously received the Begin Prize in 2003 for being the first Israeli astronaut and representing Israel in such an honorable way. Ilan Ramon also was the youngest pilot in the mission to bomb the nuclear reactor at Osirak in Iraq in 1981. His son, Asaf, followed in his father's footsteps graduating this past June with honors from the Israel Air Force pilots' course. Our hearts grieve with Rona Ramon and her family. The Menachem Begin Heritage Center sends its deepest condolences to the Ramon family and hopes that they should know no more sorrow.

* * * * *

Shirley Coblentz

Shirley Coblentz, long-time secretary of the late Harry Hurwitz, passed away last week at the age of 89 and was buried in Gush Etzion. She also had been for a time the secretary of the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, L.I. Rabinowitz. She spent much of her career working with Hurwitz including in the Revisionist Party in Johannesburg, South Africa, and after her aliyah, at the Prime Minister's Office as the only typist in English.

She stayed at the Prime Minister's Office even after Hurwitz left working through the Begin, Shamir, Rabin and Peres administrations. The final position in her long career was as Hurwitz's secretary at the Begin Foundation. She is survived by her daughter Barbara and her son Cecil, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. We send our condolences to the Coblentz family.


We have spent the last few weeks focusing on specific programs at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, all of which are important and worthy of dedicated funding. But individual programs cannot exist in a vacuum separated from the Menachem Begin Heritage Center itself. This week we will focus on general funding.

A General Fund limits our dependency on the government and protects us from the fluctuations of the government's budget. Over the years we have faced budget cut after budget cut from the government and this year, because of the global economic situation, our budget was cut to the extent that it has jeopardized our ability to maintain the building and staffing requirements and has limited the quality and quantity of our programming. A General Fund would allow us the freedom to expand our services and maintain our physical structure without requiring an extensive bureaucratic process for additional funds.

Day-to-day maintenance for the building and replacing furnishings worn out by normal use is a minimal requirement to continue to function as a cultural center in Jerusalem and even this too is at risk. The legacy and heritage of Menachem Begin resides in the Center and, while modest, it requires upkeep to maintain a level of dignity on par with Presidential Libraries in the US.

General funding can be used for capital projects such as developing and building additional exhibit space or additional meeting rooms. Our central feature, the museum, requires technical upgrades and exhibit adjustments to continue to draw individuals to the museum.
The museum, in addition to being upgraded, could be made accessible to many more people by extending its hours if additional staff and other associated expenditures could be approved. To enhance the main exhibition in the museum, we would have funds available for temporary exhibitions, such as the one launched to commemorate 30 Years Since the Peace Process, to expand on various elements of the museum, such as Begin's speeches, events at 1 Rosenbaum, the Lebanon War, etc. General funds could also be used to launch an Information Center so that visitors to the museum would have access to source material to help them research questions that they may have after visiting the museum.

General funds might also be used to promote the Menachem Begin Heritage Center locally and internationally by having a webmaster to continually update the website in Hebrew and also one in English as well as have funds for dedicated marketing campaigns within Israel and internationally.

Contributions to the General Fund are not limited to these ideas, but are a sample of additional projects that can be undertaken that do not fall within the guidelines of other programs. We hope that you will consider contributing to the General Fund so that we can operate independently, promoting the heritage and legacy of Menachem Begin to future generations.

Please direct any inquiries to
Checks may be sent to:

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

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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