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(photo credit: Courtesy )
THE SHALEM Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1983 to provide services to the brain-damaged with the aim of helping them find their place in society, has named actor Guy Zuaretz the recipient of a special award. He is being recognized for his work over the past five years creating a theater ensemble for the mentally challenged. The ensemble has successfully performed all over the country in two productions, Acco-Dimona-Acco and Our Street. According to Shalem Foundation director-general Riva Muscal, Zuaretz has the ability to get the most out of his actors to the extent that one would never know they have limited mental abilities. Moreover, he makes a point of meeting with them at least once a week. For that, she says, he is more than worthy of an award. To Zuaretz, the award will probably be more meaningful than any stage role he has played. It will be presented to him in February in the presence of Social Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog and other dignitaries - and at least one celebrity, his wife Yael Bar-Zohar. The couple recently became first-time parents.
IT WAS a difficult decision, but when Yair Lapid had to choose between anchoring the Friday night news on Channel 2 or continuing to earn big bucks as a presenter for Bank Hapoalim, he chose to forfeit Bank Hapoalim. His contract was reportedly coming to an end anyway, but there was little doubt that it would be renewed if he wanted. But Lapid, a third generation journalist, put professional considerations ahead of financial considerations and opted for the news desk. Not that he'll be doing so badly there. His salary is expected to be in excess of NIS 140,000 per month. Lapid is due to take over from Aharon Barnea in January when the latter goes to Washington as Channel 2's correspondent.
JUDGES AT the culinary contest held last week at Jerusalem's Inbal Hotel between a team of Jerusalem chefs and a team of Tel Aviv chefs included food expert and cookbook writer, Phyllis Glazer, who early in her career in Israel worked for The Jerusalem Post; celebrity chef Chaim Cohen, who is the star of his own show on Israel Television; and Sarit Vinod Elad, an actress and singer who occasionally appears on food related television shows. Of the three, Cohen, who also runs his own restaurant, is probably the most famous and most knowledgeable in culinary circles, but when any comment was needed during the contest, the rambunctious Vinod Elad upstaged him again and again, causing one of the spectators to remark: "She must have been one of those children who always craved attention - and never grew out of it." The mild-mannered Cohen, for his part, maintained equanimity, and even got a word in edgewise to say to her: "Maybe I should invite you to my show..."
IT'S NOT every day that the waiters at a function put down their trays to solicit autographs from the guests. But that's what happened when some of the leading exponents of what is known as Mizrahi music got together at the Muscat banqueting hall in Rishon Lezion to join Meni Eliahu, the lead guitarist for singer Haim Moshe, in celebrating the bat mitzva of his daughter. It goes without saying that Haim Moshe not only came to express his good wishes, but also to sing, as did Zahava Ben and many other well-known entertainers. Among the stars who came to greet and eat were Ron Shoval, Yoav Yitzhak, Liran Tal and Shimon Buskila. For the waiters, it was an experience to be remembered.
THE LONG drawn-out dispute between supermodel Bar Refaeli and fashion company Renuar, which is largely responsible for Refaeli's rise to fame, has finally been settled according to a report in The Marker. Refaeli and Renuar parted ways four years ago when Refaeli refused to be photographed naked or in provocative poses. Refaeli had been contracted to be the company's house model for two seasons, and Renuar regarded her refusal as a breach of contract. It's her word against theirs, but the highly publicized dispute brought both the model and the company to far greater attention than any photo in a catalogue. In the interim, Refaeli has posed in the skimpiest of swimwear for Sports Illustrated. The selection that can be viewed on the Internet includes several topless shots, and the poses are certainly not those of a demure little girl. Still, she was young and possibly more naÃ¯ve four years ago, even if she had entered into a fictitious marriage to evade army duty. Perhaps that's why the arbiter in her case against Renuar awarded her damages of $35,000, which is really a drop in the bucket compared to her overall earnings.
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