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(photo credit: Courtesy)
THAI CITIZENS around the world paid homage last week to King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the occasion of his 79th birthday. As part of his birthday celebrations, the king will be treated this week to a performance by Israeli counter-tenor David D'Or at a charity concert to benefit the the king's Chaipattana Foundation, which assists victims of local floods.
The king, a talented musician and composer in his own right, created a new song to mark his birthday and has invited D'Or to sing it. The fundraiser, which was coordinated with the Israeli embassy in Bangkok, will include a buffet dinner featuring Israeli delicacies.
A likely Oscar nominee for her work designing the costumes in The Devil Wears Prada, Emmy-winning stylist Patricia Field paid her first visit to Israel last week. Field had been invited to make the trip by Ruthie Leviev-Eliazrov, the general manager of the Ramat Aviv Mall, and while here Field helped her host with the launch of an exciting new lottery contest taking place this month at the upscale shopping center.
At a brunch held in Field's honor, the Sex and the City costume designer told fellow attendees that although this was her first trip to Israel, it certainly won't her last. After receiving praise from a number of the celebrities in attendance, among them actress Gilat Ankori, Field revealed that she expects work on a much-delayed Sex and the City feature to begin next year.
SPEAKING OF fashion, model Yael Goldman has beaten out her rivals to be hired for a second season by couture designer Ronen Chen. Goldman still has a long way to go to catch up with the likes of Galit Gutman, but the recent re-hire is a major vote of confidence in the still up-and-coming Goldman.
PERIPATETIC VICE Premier Shimon Peres hobnobs with celebrities all over the globe, naturally inviting them to pay him a subsequent visit in Israel. Plenty of dignitaries have come to events organized by the Peres Peace Center, but there's also a number of non-political figures who have come at Peres' behest.
Next on the list may be Oscar-winning actor George Clooney, who recently met Peres in New York as they awaited separate tapings of The Charlie Rose Show. Clooney, who is already scheduled to visit Egypt, reportedly told Peres that he's interested in seeing Israel as well, and that he may try to combine the two trips.
Arye Mekel, Israel's consul in New York and a former director of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, told Clooney during the same conversation about his memories of the Syriana star as a young boy. In those days, Mekel was frequently interviewed by Clooney's father, the anchor of a local news channel in Ohio. The interviews, Mekel recalled, used to take place at the Jewish Community Center - a place the younger Clooney was happy to visit because of its great swimming pool.
THE VICE premier has been a busy man recently, meeting a little over a month ago with Sarah Ferguson, who's perhaps better known as Fergie or the former Duchess of York. Ferguson, the former wife of Andrew, the Duke of York, expressed interest in coming to Israel - a trip that would distinguish her from most other members of the royal family.
The number of royals who've visited Israel remains small - the late Princess Margaret once popped over the border during a visit to Jordan, and Prince Charles came to Israel in 1995 as his country's representative for the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
More closely connected to Israel is Prince Phillip, who in October 1994 became the first member of the royal family to publicly visit Israel during a Yad Vashem ceremony honoring his mother, Princess Alice of Greece, who saved the lives of three Greek Jews by sheltering them in her Athens home during the Holocaust.
In his weekly current affairs commentary for Israel Radio, actor and TV host Yehoram Gaon recently came down hard on municipal authorities who have failed to pay city employees for months on end.
As a young man, Gaon's father had worked for Jerusalem's Sephardic Burial Society. Then, too, there had been a period in which local employers had been unable to pay workers. The burial society, however, had tried to compensate Gaon's father in a different way, providing the family two gravesites free of charge.
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