DURING THE week of Jerusalem Day celebrations, there were frequent radio commercials in which singer/actor/current affairs commentator Yehoram Gaon urged Israelis to go to Jerusalem to participate in the events that celebrated the conclusion of the 40th anniversary year of the capital's reunification. Born and raised in Jerusalem, and a former member of the Jerusalem City Council, Gaon now lives in Ramat Hasharon, where he gave a Jerusalem Day outdoor concert last Sunday at the initiative of the Cultural Department of the Ramat Hasharon Municipality. Gaon, whose performances evoke both patriotism and nostalgia, received a standing ovation.
MAINTAINING A marriage is difficult at any time, but more so when the partners come from completely different backgrounds - and doubly so when both are entertainers with all the hang-ups and special needs of celebrities. When Assaf and Michal Amdurski tied the knot nine years ago, few people thought that the marriage had much of a chance. Despite clashes, for a long time love conquered all. But love is apparently not strong enough to hold the marriage together. The two have not made a secret of the rift between them, but as yet they haven't filed for divorce and continue to share a home with their two daughters Mila, seven, and Nina, nine months. The agreement to terminate the marriage may just be temporary - it's a matter of wait and see.
SHE SHOULD only live and be well, but in the event that something unforeseen should happen to her, supermodel Bar Rafaeli has signed an ADI organ donor card instructing that her organs be transplanted to save the life or sight of another person. It will be interesting to see how many other members of the modeling industry follow suit.
DIFFERENT PEOPLE give of themselves in different ways. Shalom Kital, the former head of Channel 2's News Corporation, is a member of the board of directors of an organization that goes a step further than the international Big Brother groups (in which youngsters are mentored by someone a few years older than they are). Kital's organization can be characterized as "surrogate goodwill grandparents." Composed largely of retirees with professional experience, members go to schools to share their know-how as well as "adopt" individual kids who need someone to guide them; the volunteer "grandparents" fill some of the gaps created by the education system. They will help the children with their schoolwork and instruct them in practical fields, such as gardening. Aside from Kital, the project will include a number of well-known communications and entertainment figures, which will hopefully make the youngsters more responsive to the help of older people.
ALREADY WELL-known in the Far East, singer David De'or, who is about to embark on another tour, will become even more recognizable there due to a documentary being produced by Taiwan Television. De'or will appear in a series of concerts on behalf of earthquake victims and will feature in a documentary related to how survivors of the earthquakes are coping. His 12 scheduled performances in venues holding 5,000 people are already sold out. In addition to helping people in other parts of the world, De'or is also winning friends for Israel, and proudly wears a very large Star of David around his neck.
SOME 3,000 people filled the plaza of Yad Lebanim in Ramat Hasharon to pay tribute to composer, arranger and conductor Effi Netzer for his extraordinary contribution to Israeli song. The evening was also a nostalgic sing-along to mark 60 years of Israeli music. Among the singers who joined in honoring Netzer in an emotional lifetime achievement concert were Yardena Arazi and Yizhar Cohen. They, like the other singers (who included singing mayor Itzik Rochberger), presented songs written by the colorful Netzer, who is known to play an accordion as he leads audiences in communal singing of Israel's most beloved songs.
AN ATTEMPT by actress and model Orly Weinerman to advance her career in London has not yielded the desired results. Weinerman, who rose to fame in the Israeli television sitcom Shemesh, did not become a supermodel, nor did she land herself a plum acting role. But on a return visit to Israel, she took a modeling assignment at Beauty City, where she appeared in a white halter-neck dress in the style immortalized by Marilyn Monroe. She also chose a similar hairstyle - but the resemblance ended there. She just didn't have Monroe's magic.
AMERICAN SUPPORTERS of a Jewish presence in Hebron and fans of popular Hassidic singer Chaim Dovid Sarachik, who was closely connected to the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, will be able to enjoy Carlebach's music while contributing to a cause. The fourth annual Hebron Fund Cruise 'n' Shmooze on the Hudson River will be held in New York on June 19. Sarachik, who lives in Israel, is back in his native country to help raise funds for Hebron and will be joined on the cruise by storyteller Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum.
Given the depleted value of the dollar, it's almost worth flying to New York to take in the show. In addition to the concert, there will be a glatt kosher buffet dinner, an open bar, dessert and a four-hour cruise for only $85 for those who pay in advance, and $100 for those who pay on boarding. There's also a raffle - with a trip to Israel as the prize. Proceeds will enable Hebron children to attend summer camp.