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(photo credit: Asaf Kliger )
HAUNTED BY the "Song of Peace" (Shir Hashalom) since the fateful night of November 4, 1995 when she sang it at an open air rally in Tel Aviv less than an hour before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Miri Aloni - who was once regarded as one of Israel's most promising singers - has not had an easy time in the interim. Soon after Rabin's assassination, Aloni was approached by Shaul Dor, who had written "On that Night" (Balayla Hahu) in memory of Rabin. Dor asked her to record it, but anything related to Rabin was too painful for her. He remained persistent, and eventually she agreed to record the song as part of her first album in 21 years.
The album, which includes several new songs plus old favorites, may prove to be a turning point in her career. "Balayla Hahu," the music for which was composed by Sharon Flavin, will be played on radio many times this week as Israel commemorates the 13th anniversary of Rabin's assassination.
WITH ALL the nostalgia-laden reruns that have been screened on television this year showing our graying, balding and pudgy middle-aged (and older) stars when they were young and beautiful, it is a little difficult to picture singer, television host and actor Gidi Gov in the role of grandpa. But he and his wife, prize-winning scriptwriter Anat Gov, have earned the titles of saba and savta thanks to Danielle, the eldest of their three children, who has presented them with a granddaughter.
IT'S BEEN 10 years since actress and model Linor Abargil won the Miss World title. In her case, it was a particularly special triumph, because she was raped in Milan only two months prior to the finals. At age 18, she had the courage to file a complaint against the perpetrator, who was subsequently charged and convicted. Abargil urged other rape victims to follow her example. In July 2006, she married Lithuanian basketball star Sarunas Jasikevicius in Barcelona and the couple returned to Israel to pose together for underwear commercials. The marriage was short-lived and now she's embarking on a new role - that of law student. She begins her studies Sunday at the Law School of the Netanya Academic College, where her younger sister Adi - who is also a model - completed a first degree in law and is now taking a course in business administration.
THOUGH BETTER known abroad than she is at home, pop singer Liel Kolet, who last week wowed President Shimon Peres and international dignitaries at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Peres Center for Peace, is so famous a figure that she could very easily get out of army service if she were so inclined. In fact, at 19, she's already a little late in donning her uniform. But like many kibbutzniks, Kolet, who hails from Kibbutz Kinneret, sees army service as a sacred duty; as of this month, she will be part of the IDF. Not surprisingly, Kolet, who has performed with some of the world's leading pop stars, has been assigned to the army's entertainment unit.
DESSANGE, THE renowned French beauty salon with franchises around the world, attracts a clientele that includes the rich and famous. Among the Tel Aviv branch's clients last week was Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, generally known as Fergie. One of more than 300 dignitaries and celebrities who came to Israel for the Peres Center for Peace festivities, Fergie happily posed for photos with big-time boxing promoter Don King, who was also in Israel for the celebrations. King, who has numerous Jewish contacts, made a point of visiting the Western Wall so that he could put a note into one of the crevices with the prayer that Barack Obama would win the US presidential race.
VETERAN BROADCASTER and Israel Prize laureate Haim Yavin, who started his career at Israel Radio and later became Mr. Television, returned temporarily to Israel Radio last week as a guest interviewer on Keren Neubach's Agenda (Seder Yom). Yavin, who has his own program on a rival radio station and who is making a documentary for Channel 2, will in a month's time add a Lifetime Achievement Award to his many prizes when he attends the second annual Journalists' Convention in Eilat. Others who will also be cited for Lifetime Achievement will be the late Tommy Lapid and legendary military correspondent Ron Ben-Ishai. Among the subjects that Yavin discussed with Neubach was the popularity of reality shows on television, which some critics have said that despite the high ratings, appeal to the lowest common denominator of viewers. "Not all is bad in reality shows, but most of it is, because this kind of reality reflects banality," said Yavin.
THE RECENT visit to Israel by Sir Paul McCartney sparked renewed interest in Beatles songs, as a result of which none other than Ninette Tayeb will sing some of their more famous numbers at a benefit performance for youth at risk. Tayeb will join other well known singers, such as Meir Banai, at Hangar 11 on November 8. On the day prior to the performance, Tayeb's former boyfriend Ran Danker will be among celebrities donating their services to Larger than Life, with proceeds going toward medications and equipment outside of the health basket for children with cancer. The event, which will be broadcast on Channel 10 and hosted by news anchor Miki Haimovich and comedienne Tzipi Shavit, will take place at 3 p.m. at the home of the Moldavski family (Rehov Amirim 25, Savyon). It will include performances by Pablo Rosenberg, Margalit Tzanani and others. The highlight will be a make-a-wish auction to win a lesson in windsurfing from Olympic bronze medalist Shahar Tzuberi, a training session for 10 youngsters with former basketball star Mickey Berkowitz, a cooking workshop with Phyllis Glazer, a tennis racquet autographed by Shahar Pe'er or a tennis lesson by Shlomo Glickstein - plus many other celebrity-oriented items and services. Larger than Life is a nonprofit organization that devotes its efforts to improving the quality of life for children stricken with cancer.
GIVEN WHAT her family can contribute to Israel's economy, it is doubtful that rabbis will raise objections to incoming member of the tribe Ivanka Trump, the 27-year-old daughter of real estate magnate Donald Trump. She is reportedly converting to Judaism so that she can marry New York businessman Jerard Kushner, whose family was opposed to the marriage while Ivanka remained non-Jewish. The rabbi who, according to reports, has been teaching her and will oversee her conversion has impeccable credentials; Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the spiritual leader of Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side, is a past president of the Yeshiva University Rabbinic Alumni. Lookstein is very well known in Israel, and frequently brings Jewish groups here.
Trump was in Israel in May of this year to look at potential projects in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Her father's company, of which she is vice president of Estate Development and Acquisitions, has since announced that it is also interested in property in Eilat, which could well prove to be a honeymoon destination.
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