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Museums in Jerusalem: The Menachem Begin Heritage Center

This museum is inspired by the life and leadership of Menachem Begin, a former Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Harry Hurwitz, Begin's longtime friend, is responsible for the creation of the center.

The architecture of the heritage center is actually designed to represent Begin's own character. The structure itself is modestly built and has an air of dignity, just as Begin did.

The center displays Menachem Begin's research in the form of original documents and photographs. The structure was also built atop an archaeological site and a replication of the findings are exhibited in the museum. Also in the center are conference rooms, a café, an auditorium, and even a small synagogue. A small replica of the Knesset has been built so as to educate students on the legal processes of the Israeli government.

The main goal of the center is to serve as an educational outlet for young people. It is meant to help bring about strong and passionate Israeli leaders. This mission is also inspired by Begin's own work and his personal philosophies.

On March 28, 1998, the Knesset of Israel passed the Menachem Begin Commemoration Law as an official state memorial project. The law established a Center that would preserve the achievements and legacy of Menachem Begin and serve as a Research Institute of the Struggle for the Independence of Israel and its future security and development.

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center is a living memorial and the nation’s tribute to a courageous fighter and fearless leader who worked for the freedom, future and security of the Jewish People in its own land. The Center is being built on the Hinnom Ridge, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. One of the most important archeological sites in Israel lies behind the Center. In one of the burial caves was found the silver scroll pendant containing the Biblical Priestly Blessing in ancient Hebrew script.

Menachem Begin, 1913-1992, filled many leadership roles in his life as a Pre-War Zionist Youth Leader, Prisoner of Zion, Commander of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, Minister in the first Government of National Unity, Sixth Prime Minister of Israel and Noble Peace Prize awardee. As Prime Minister, 1977-1983, Begin was engaged in Israel’s defense and security, settlement of the Land of Israel, Project Renewal, Ethiopian immigration, the Soviet Jewry struggle and achieving peace with Egypt among other agenda items.

The Begin Center includes the following units and departments: an Archives; Research Institute; Museum; 300-seat auditorium; exhibit gallery; Bible Study Learning Center and Synagogue; Junior Knesset Educational Unit; Library as well as study rooms, seminar facilities and other conference features.

The museum, based on the cutting-edge of modern technological advance, is designed by Uri Shaviv and curated by Orit Gover. It creates an intellectual and emotional experience for the visitors through use of films, recordings and graphic employment of documents, posters and even the original furniture from the Begins' Rosenbaum Street apartment in Tel Aviv. Begin's story, from Brisk to Vilna, from Betar to the Irgun, from opposition to government, is related in a riveting but instructive manner.

The Center also contains the White Nights dairy restaurant and coffee shop.

The Center is open for groups and individuals through prior reservation Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:00 – 16:30,

Tuesday 9:00 – 19:00, Friday and Holiday Eve 9:00 – 12:00. For further information:

[email protected] or (972) (0)2 5652020

Source: The Menachem Begin Heritage Center