BIRTHDAY GREETINGS are in order for pop star Arik Einstein, who on Saturday celebrated his 70th birthday. A talented actor as well as a singer and songwriter, Einstein in his younger days was also a fine athlete and was the Israeli junior high jump champion. His career has spanned more than 40 years, and he remains a favorite even with a generation young enough to be his grandchildren. Speaking of grandchildren: He has 18, plus a great-grandchild. Israel Radio's Reshet Gimmel broadcast a marathon tribute to Einstein over the weekend, playing listeners' favorite songs and albums. Ten of Einstein's most popular albums were played in full.
WITH MONEY getting ever tighter, many of the celebrities who were paid vast sums for endorsing or presenting a huge variety of products and services will find themselves either out of work or having to compromise on their fees. Upscale fashion designer Dorit Sadeh decided that she was sufficiently good looking to model her own clothes and features prominently in her latest advertisements. But some companies still believe in adding celebrity status to their products - and in paying big money for the privilege. According to a report in Yediot Aharonot, comedian Eli Yatzpan has signed a three-year contract to tell the public that Wissotzky is definitely his cup of tea. His fee: NIS 1 million a year. Nice work if you can get it.
THERE ARE others with big money to spend. Dancer, choreographer and occasional fashion designer Ido Tadmor, who is well known to Channel 2 viewers as an adjudicator of dance contests, has joined forces with the Go Active fitness promoters to start a national chain of dance schools under the title "Go Dancing." Go Active, which has infinite faith in Tadmor's talents, is putting up NIS 4 million for a pilot project of three schools in Bat Yam, Rishon Lezion and Ness Ziona.
IF HANUKKA has already been and gone, it means that Purim and Pessah will be upon us before we know it. Despite the economic crisis, people will most likely continue the increasingly popular tradition of relocating to hotels during Pessah - it's easier than all that cooking. Ruby and Lenny Davidman have, for years, been organizing Pessah hotel groups; in recent years they've selected Yehuda Katz of Reva L'Sheva to be the program and entertainment director. This year is no exception, though the venue has moved from a Dead Sea resort to Eilat's Crowne Plaza. Scholar in residence will be Rabbi Ari Berman, the former rabbi of the Manhattan Jewish Center in New York. Other lecturers will be Rabbi Reuven and Shani Taragin, who are each very well known on the kosher lecture circuit.
POPULAR SINGER-guitarist David Broza will perform a benefit concert for the Jaffa Institute at its annual gala dinner on January 13. Well known radio personality Amnon Pe'er will conduct an auction to help swell the proceeds of the dinner, which is being held to support children and youth at risk.
ISRAEL RADIO'S Yaron Dekel was in South Africa last week and accompanied a group of 90 new immigrants to Israel. He returned to Israel just in time to get ready for the Sokolov Prize ceremony taking place on Monday at Tel Aviv's Einav Center.
ALTHOUGH RESISTANCE to Greek influence and conquest is detailed in one of the verses of the Hanukka song "Maoz Tzur," it did not deter the powers that be at Jerusalem's Mamilla Mall from inviting famous Grecophile Shimon Parnas to host a musical event at the mall during Hanukka. Parnas has hosted the Greek-oriented Taverna on television, Greek musical programs on radio and Greek concerts across the country, so of course the flavor was Greek. The mall's owner, Tel Avivian Alfred Akirov, came to the capital for the candle-lighting ceremony.
TELEVISION MORNING show hosts Sigal Shahmon and Moshe Datz have parted company. The chemistry between them was never particularly good, and it deteriorated rapidly because she needed heat while he wanted to be cool. Datz insisted on having the air conditioner on in the studio, a factor that caused Shahmon to grow cold toward him. The situation became intolerable when a second air conditioner was installed. When Datz wasn't looking, Shahmon occasionally turned it off, but she still had to bring a heater from home to keep warm. This did not go down well with Datz. In addition, the show's producers were looking for ways to cut costs, so for the foreseeable future Datz will be a solo anchor.
IN THE musical comedy Annie Get Your Gun, there's a song that starts "Anything you can do, I can do better.." and that apparently is the theme song for the rivalry between Yediot Aharonot and Maariv. After Yediot's endless promotion for its tell-all interview with Big Brother winner Shifra Kornfeld, Maariv came out on the same day with an equally candid interview with runner-up Yossi Bublil. In Kornfeld's case, everyone's getting on the bandwagon: Her siblings and her hairdresser have been interviewed, and she's gotten a couple of interesting job offers. Meanwhile, Bublil has also had a couple of offers to boost his income - and considering that he lives in Ashkelon, which is now part of the confrontation line, chances are that more such offers will be forthcoming.