barbra streisand 88.
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ANYONE STANDING at the entrance to the Tel Aviv Cinematheque tonight will be catch a glimpse of showbiz personalities including Yael Goldman, Yael Bar Zohar, Karin Magrizo, Kobi Arieli and Kobi Oz. The stars will be on hand for the second season launch of Once in a Lifetime, an absorbing YES reality series in which the celebs spend two weeks with families whose heritage and lifestyles are vastly different from their own. Through these individual experiences, the series highlights cultural and social conflicts, as well as the personal challenges faced by the participants.
As part of the show, Arieli, a well-known TV personality and haredi journalist, goes with Oz to spend time with an Arab family living on the confrontation line. Goldman's stay with the family of alleged crime czar Yaacov Alperon has already been widely covered in the Hebrew press, while Bar Zohar and Magrizo leave the country entirely to live with a family in rural Ethiopia. The series, which will be shown nightly Sunday through Thursday, hits the air October 29.
YES HOSTED a similar launch last week at the Ayalon Mall in Ramat Gan. The inspiration for that event was I Didn't Promise You, a comic drama which in some ways might be considered the Israeli version of Friends. In the show, Eli Finish, Gur Alfi and Danny Geva star as three 20-something friends who haven't quite found themselves. The series deals with the three and the women in their lives, played by Hila Ofer, Efrat Boimvald, Riki Blich, Racheli Zinder and Meital Dohan.
IT'S BIRTHDAY time: the Israel Police Band is gearing up to celebrate its 85th anniversary at a gala concert in Ra'anana Park on October 26. Menashe Lev-Ran, the conductor of the Police Band since 1980, says that one of the first things the British did after taking over Palestine was to bring musicians together to create local orchestras. The end of British rule didn't mean the end of the Police Band, which has continued to play at major ceremonies around the country and to represent Israel abroad in the many years since. Among its recent trips, the band toured Germany last year as part of a concert series celebrating 40 years of German-Israeli diplomatic ties.
Diplomatic events are routine for the Police Band, which traditionally also plays at Beit Hanassi when new ambassadors present their credentials to the president. As a result, Lev-Ran may know more foreign national anthems than anyone in Israel. The Beit Hanassi events have proven a challenge at times, with the Police Band racing to learn the national anthems of newly formed countries in places like the former Soviet Union.
Among Lev-Ran's favorite anecdotes is the story of an ambassador whose country hadn't yet adopted a national anthem. After asking the ambassador what to play, Lev-Ran was instructed to select whatever he deemed appropriate. The ambassador was very pleased with the impressive piece of music Lev-Ran chose, and promptly announced that his country would adopt it as its new national anthem. Lev-Ran gently discouraged the ambassador, explaining that classical music fans might object to the ambassador's unconventional re-appropriation of Beethoven's music.
Troubled relatives have a way of bringing their families unwanted attention, especially if one of those family members is already famous. That's exactly what's happened to singer and TV host Orna Datz, whose brother, Yaron Cohen, has been convicted of distributing pirated CDs, video games and movies. The Hebrew press regularly mentioned the family connection near the start of her brother's case, and took to re-printing photos of Datz after his conviction.
Making charitable use of her amazingly successful N. American concert series is Barbra Streisand, who's raising money on the tour for her own philanthropic organization, the Streisand Foundation. Since its inception in 1986, the foundation has distributed some $15 million to charitable causes, including some in Israel.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the Oscar winner will do "meet and greet" sessions backstage for fans willing to donate $50,000 or more to the foundation. As part of the deal, donors will receive four autographed souvenir photographs - and the knowledge they've contributed to a worthwhile cause. Among the organizations currently receiving support from the Streisand Foundation are environmental and human rights groups, and American's National Breast Cancer Coalition.