Academic Unit

“The Jewish mind is the condensed result of 120 generations, 120 generations of thinkers who sought out God and found Him.  The creative force of this mind is our greatest and unlimited “natural treasure.”       
Menachem Begin, May 15, 1948  

The Academic Unit is comprised of a Research Center and an Annual Academic Awards Section. 

The Research Center seeks to deepen and enrich our knowledge in the fields of policy, society, culture, law, economy, and security of the state of Israel.  Emphasis is placed on the vision, achievements and legacy of Menachem Begin.  The Center directs separate research groups according to the relevant theme who publish their findings and conclusions.  In the past, the following groups have been engaged in specialized projects:

1.  Dr. Rafaela Bilsky researched violence  in Israeli society and a position paper was issued dealing with the roots of the problem of violence and the approaches needed to deal with it.
2. Prof. Moshe Maor, at the conclusion of his research project, published “The Right Wing Social Path”, Hakibutz Hameuchad Publishers ["Red Line" series] in conjunction with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem, 2004 (Hebrew) 

The book includes principles for using political tools that are identified with the economic right-wing for the purpose of attaining goals that are identified with the Israeli social left-wing. The book points to the need for strengthening the apparatus of solidarity of Israeli society for all its citizens. Realization of the path will be accomplished in the framework of a market economy that grants a strong and stable social net, through forming an adjusted national ethic – ‘social Zionism’ – that sees in the strengthening of the joint anchors in society a central path for basing the sovereignty of the state as Zionist and Jewish. 

3.  The current project being dealt with at the Research Center is headed by Prof. Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University and deals with the 1978 Camp David Conference and the process of the Israel-Egyptian negotiations that led to the first peace treaty with an Arab state.  The research focuses on the paradigm of an international conference and its role in peace-making.  During the research efforts, including archival work in the United States, important materials were discovered that shed new light of the personalities and the maneuverings.  The publication of the project’s summary is now in an advanced stage.  As a result of an earlier conference, the Center published “25 Years Since Peace With Egypt. Roles of The Leaders”, Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem 2004. (Hebrew/English). 

The Award Competition: The Academic Department of the Begin Center organizes an award competition every year among excellent academic papers. It is possible to present research papers at the seminar level or at the level of master’s thesis or doctorate, after they receive a grade or are approved. For papers for advanced classifications one should attach a candidacy form. For seminar work one should attach a letter of recommendation and grade approval (on the back of the work signed by the lecturer, in the lecturer's letter or in an official statement of the university). The papers are submitted for academic judging. 

The competition opens every year at the beginning of May, and one should send the papers to the Begin Center by the middle of August (precise details will be published on the notice boards in the academic institutions and on this website when the competition opens). The prize awarding ceremony takes place at the end of December. It is possible to present papers for the competition that were presented during the last three years.  Three prizes, each of 10,000 NIS, are awarded for outstanding theses and doctoral works.  In addition, another three prizes of 3,000 NIS each are granted for seminar papers of excellence.

The fields of research are: 
a. Menachem Begin, his Life and Legacy
b. The Zionist struggle for the Establishment of the state of Israel
c. The Irgun Tzvai Leumi
d. Israel as a Jewish Democratic state
e. The Zionist doctrine of Menachem Begin
f. The Peace Process with Egypt
g. Social Justice
h. The Ethics of Government 

For further information and assistance, please contact: Ariel Cohen, 02-5652026,
The cut-off day for 2009 was August 13. 

Members of The Begin Center Academic Board: 
Prof. Yehuda Lapidot – Hebrew University
Prof. Moshe Maor – Hebrew University
Prof. Yisrael Shatzman – Hebrew University
Prof. Yoav Gelber – Haifa University
Prof. Mordechai Tamarkin – Tel Aviv University
Prof. Gerald Steinberg – Bar Ilan University
Prof. Ella Belfer – Bar Ilan University

מנחם בגין בגבול הצפון
במסיבת עיתונאים עם אנואר סאדאת
מנחם בגין מבקר בכותל
אוהל השלום
מרכז מורשת מנחם בגין
מנחם בגין בחתימת הסכמי קמפ-דייויד
אסיר בלוקישקי בוילנה
נאום בכנסת בעת ביקור סאדאת