This establishment is not only a museum, but it also has an archeological garden, a Library with over 5,200 titles, archives containing over 4,300 documents and records, 5,000 files, 10,000 photographs, and another 530 films, audio recordings of speeches, interviews or lectures. It stands as the home of the Begin Prize, which annually recognizes an extraordinary contribution to the people and the State of Israel.
The museum is the Center’s most notable feature, as it has many experiential and multimedia exhibits. Each effectively tells the fascinating and noble story of one of Israel’s most influential figures. The exhibits go through some of the most important chapters leading up to official independence, and it explores the struggles citizens and officials faced afterward. Through the perspective of Begin, the history of Israel unfolds. Visitors are taken on a journey through historical reenactments, dramatic documentaries, interactive touch-screen exhibits, and surround-sound narration. Just by walking through the exhibits, outsiders feel as though they are taking part in the fascinating different parts of Begin’s life, starting from his childhood in Poland, through his time as head of the Irgun, then the leader of the Opposition in the Israeli Parliament, and finally his term as Prime Minister.
What separates this museum from the rest is that it has a highly personal feel to it. For example, one exhibit is a recreation of his living room designed exactly as it stood, and it contains his personal furniture and books, as well as a number of photographs of him together with his beloved wife, Aliza Begin. This Prime Minister was known for his hospitality because upon winning the premiership, he invited every citizen to come by for an open house. It was stopped after one time for obvious security reasons, but to continue on this legacy of welcoming the stranger, the Center hosts a learning and discussion group every Saturday night.
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday: 9:00am-4:30pm
Friday & Holiday Eve: 9:00am-12:30pm
By Jasmine Esulin