Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Center Bulletin Vol. 4, Issue 12

Volume 4, Issue 12
January 2, 2008

Total Number of Visitors Since October 2004: 356,530

The Begin Foundation Reaches Out

A very impressive advertisement of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation appeared in a special supplement of the Jerusalem Post on Sunday with the aim of promoting philanthropy. The advertisement shows Menachem Begin speaking at a podium under the headline: "Menachem Begin speaks to the nation."

It announces that there are still important naming opportunities in the building and that the Endowment Fund has been launched to ensure the ongoing educational, research, publication and museum activities. It is our hope that the Center may benefit from the largesse of Jewish philanthropists so that our activities will not be so dependent on the fluctuations of the state budget.

Visits to the Archeology Garden

Two classes of tour guides in training, one in English and one in Hebrew, spent some time last week at the Begin Center archeology garden named for the late parents of Alfred Reich in Pennsylvania, where they heard lectures and discussions about the biblical significance of the location and findings.

The site at the back of the Begin Center is archeologically very significant. It is dated as being active during the First Temple period (2600-2700 years ago). The hills around Jerusalem w ere a kind of "necropolis"—a city of the dead—as no bodies could be buried within the city walls. Archeologist learned very much about the burial process of the time.

The most significant finding was the silver amulet with the oldest Biblical text ever found—the priestly blessing--"Hashem bless thee and keep thee, Hashem cause his face to shine upon thee peace." (Num 6, 24-26) This text is dated to be 700 years older than the Qumran scrolls. This is the only evidence we have of the usage of biblical texts used in that period. This item and all the other thin gs that were found are part of the exhibits at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

That means that in future more and more people will be brought to the Begin Center by tour guides to view this important attraction.

All this is described in a booklet recently produced by the Begin Center called The Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Its Vicinity" which is available at Klein's souvenir store at the Begin Center on the entrance floor.

Junior Knesset in English

The Junior Knesset program has been revived following a short break because of the school strike. However, the new impetus has come from several sessions of the Junior Knesset in English for the Senior Educators Leadership of Young Judea which were opened and facilitated by Yisrael Medad.

Scholarship Awards 2007

As in previous years the event opened with a tribute to the late Izzy Asper, media magnate in Canada, who was a major supporter of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. One of the scholarships is in the name of the Asper Foundation. In his remarks, Harry Hurwitz spoke of the younger generation's leadership of the strong beliefs and manifold activities for the people of Israel and the Jewish world which characterized the life of Izzy Asper and is now continued by his family.

At the recent, day-long seminar at the Ariel University Center, Leonard Asper had given the keynote address in which he challenged Israeli officials to do a better job of making Israel’s case in the media.

The Izzy Asper Scholarship was given to Uriya Melamed for her work entitled "Lehi Fighters against the British Court, Summer 1944." Six prizes were given, two for graduate level work and four for seminar papers. Herzl Makov spoke on behalf of the Begin Center as its Chairman and Dvora Eldar spoke in the name of the recipients. Hanoch Bazov presented his work "Intellectuals in Egypt and their Attitudes toward Israel and the Peace Process. Prof. Gerald Steinberg, head of the Begin Center's Research Institute and the head of the Political Science department of Bar Ilan University, was joined by Prof. Margolit Shiloh, also of Bar Ilan, and together they presented the awards. A marimba musical interlude was provided by Meir Yeniger.

Memorial "Elitzur" Lecture in February

This year's "Elitzur" memorial lecture will take place on Sunday 24 February at 6:00pm when members of the Friedman family and friends from Israel and abroad will be present.

The second part of the evening will be a recognition of one of the greatest examples of the Jewish people's heroic spirit which was manifested in the struggle that began 40 years ago of Soviet Jewry.

A leading Prisoner of Zion, now Knesset Member, Yuli Edelstein will speak of his experience and those of his generation. He is presently the Chairman of the committee that is organizing the 40th anniversary commemoration in different parts of Israel and the Jewish world. A short movie depicting the struggle will be shown.

The evening will be mainly in English.


Prof. Avi Beker of Georgetown University in the Department of Government, his wife and in-laws visited the Begin Center on Monday. He is a leading researcher at the Intercultural Center in Washington, DC, and is currently working on the Camp David Process of 1978. He met with Harry Hurwitz, Founder and President of the Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation.

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Rabbi David Fuld and his wife from New York visited the Begin Center and toured its museum. He is a disti nguished leader in the field of Jewish Education in the US.