Menachem Begin 1.
(photo credit: kkl)
Meeting Menahem Begin with KKL-JNF in the Judean Hills
As is the case every year, about 1 million visitors filled KKL-JNF's parks and forests throughout Israel during the recent Sukkot holiday. KKL-JNF organized various activities for the vacationers, including guided tours and arts and crafts workshops for the children. One of the main attractions was Begin Park in the Judean Hills, where it was possible to participate in walks suitable for experienced hikers or for families. Many of the trails that were chosen follow the Israel National Trail and showcased beautiful, panoramic views of the local scenery. The events were in commemoration of the 100th birthday of Israel's former Prime Minister, Menahem Begin. Speaking at the ceremony that took place at the end of the day's activities, KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler said that "KKL-JNF decided to commemorate the memories of Israel's great leaders by naming parks for them, and Menahem Begin stood out as a great leader since he was a young man. Begin Park covers an area of 8,000 dunams in the most beautiful area of the Judean Hills." Begin Park, like all KKL-JNF parks, includes forests, archaeological sites, communities, fields, vineyards and fruit tree plantations.
KKL-JNF's National Service volunteers led groups of families on hikes around the park. The walks included games and stories, and parents and children participated with great enthusiasm.
After hiking, everyone gathered for a ceremony organized by KKL-JNF in honor of the holiday and Begin's birthday. Galila Ron-Feder-Amit, a popular author of children's books, told about Begin's life, particularly his childhood. The audience was very moved when she described how at age 19, she started writing a book about the Irgun: "I wrote a letter to Begin asking him to recommend someone who would read my manuscript. To my great surprise, Begin called me up and invited me to meet him personally. I told him that I was debating whether to write a book for children or for adults, and he said that if I wanted to write for the mind, I should write for adults, but if I wanted to speak to the heart, I should write for children. 'Personally,' he said to me, 'I would suggest that you speak to the heart.' I accepted his advice and am grateful to him to this day."Read more about the commemoration of Menahem Begin's 100th birthday at Begin Park
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