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The message in the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" still holds true, as evidenced by the turnout of female celebrities at the opening of Lev Leviev's American flagship diamond store on Madison Avenue.
Among those present were Susan Sarandon, Isabella Rosellinni and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Although Leviev has highly diversified business interests in different parts of the globe, and in recent times has become better known for his mega deals in real estate, he continues to keep his jewelry business separate from what he does as the head of the Africa Israel group. The New York City Leviev store is located in a historical building that dates back to 1920.
THERE WAS just a tiny abdominal bulge that made the statuesque, immaculately dressed model and television presenter Anastasia Michaeli look a trifle different than usual. She mingled happily with guests at the state dinner hosted by President Shimon Peres for visiting Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko. The next morning she gave birth to her seventh child, a girl, at 7 a.m. at Tel Hashomer. The 32-year-old Russian language network presenter is a devoted wife and mother with an amazing ability to divide her time - so much so that she almost became a member of Knesset. She was 44th on the Kadima list and her candidacy was promoted by Shimon Peres. Even though she didn't make it in the political arena, she is frequently in demand as an emcee for all kinds of events and has worked with the Jewish Agency on matters relating to immigration and absorption of people from the former Soviet Union. Given her busy social life, it's doubtful Michaeli will take much time for maternity leave.
PRIOR TO shooting of the second season of the YES soap opera Ulai Hapa'am (Perhaps This Time), the whole cast turned up at the salon of celebrity hair stylist Michel Mercier for an evening of pampering. Ofer Shahar, who is responsible for hair styling on the set, also came along to help out. Well over a dozen people crowded the salon after regular business hours to have their heads massaged and their hair washed, cut and styled. Among them were Aki Avni, Nati Kluger, Vered Feldman, Keren Berge, Lior Miller and Yaron Barovski.
Incidentally Lior Miller is going to spend a lot of time on phone calls to Italy over the next year. His fiancÃ©e, Michal Ansky, is training to be a chef and left for Italy last week for a year's training course.
FOR ALL the criticism heaped on local celebrities for draft dodging and egocentricity, quite a few actually give of themselves to various charitable causes. But no one can be all things to all people, and everyone is entitled to have their pet charity. Pitchon Lev, a non-profit organization that cares for the hungry and the homeless, was miffed when Orna Banai and Dov Navon declined to appear in a video clip that will be shown on Hanukka to alert the public to the plight of the needy. Dekel Shichrur, who does the PR for Pitchon Lev, approached the legendary Zohar Jacobson, the agent for the most of Israel's stars, to ask her to make some of the people on her books available for the clip - especially Banai, whom he wanted to play the role of a homeless person. Jacobson, whose job it is to look out for the professional and financial interests of her clients, said that she would not be involved in pushing any entertainer to perform without a fee. Some of them do anyway. Orna Banai, for instance, is a passionate advocate for stray dogs and for animal rights in general. Pitchon Lev also got a negative reaction from Dov Navon, who appears on behalf of the mentally ill, and who donates his services to Enosh. However Mosh Ben-Ari, Din Din Aviv and Efrat Gosh were more than willing to donate their services. They will record "The Man from Below," written by Amnon Ben-Yair, with all the song's proceeds going to Pitchon Lev.
FATHER AND daughter team Chuck and Katie King will be playing in the new Jerusalem English Theater Production of Peter Pan. Katie King will be starring as Peter and her father will play Captain Hook. Chuck King is an experienced songwriter and recording artist and is the musical director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. Peter Pan premieres on November 28 at the Hirsh Theater at Beit Shmuel with additional performances on November 29 and December 4.
IT MAY be wishful thinking, but according to Yediot Aharonot, there seems to be a comeback in the on-again off-again romance between Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli and Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The paper reported that the two are back together and that Rafaeli, accompanied by her father, traveled to Morocco where DiCaprio is shooting Ridley Scott's new film Body of Lies. Rafaeli allegedly spent five days on the movie set with DiCaprio, but attempts to find other Internet references to the get together brought no results. The story, with or without Rafaeli, does have Israeli interest. There are three Israelis in the cast: Alon Abutbul, Sala Bachiri and Clara Khouri. The film is about the pursuit of al-Qaida terrorists.
ALTHOUGH SHE turned 24 just over a month ago, it feels like Ninette Tayeb has been around forever. In truth, its only been four years since she won the first Kochav Nolad contest. Since then she's starred in the television series Our Song and has worked with Aviv Geffen (who helped her to produce her first record album, Yehefa). She also had two highly publicized romances, one with Ran Danker and the other with Yehuda Levy, to whom she is rumored to be engaged. She also does a fair amount of charitable work, most notably in soup kitchens, where she doesn't mind playing waitress. Now she's making her big screen debut in Walls, an action-drama directed by Danny Lerner.
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