Menachem Zilberman with two members of the Smokin’ Gun band in Herzliya Pituah in 1994..
(photo credit: Jerusalem Post archives)
Israeli comedian and songwriter Menachem Zilberman, who is best known for the TV
series Hedva Ve’ Shlomik, died from a heart attack Monday at age 67. The funeral
will be held in Los Angeles where Zilberman lived since 2000.
is survived by his three children, two of whom are from his marriage to
Dr. Dorit Zilberman. Although Menachem and Dorit Zilberman separated in
1998, Dorit said that she and Menachem remained close because they are “family.”
She eulogized Zilberman as a comedic “genius” and a “perfectionist,” just as she
said every great comedian should be.
Zilberman was born in Israel in
1946. In 1965, he became a star in the IDF’s immensely popular Nahal troupe that
sang and performed for military and civilians audiences throughout
After his discharge from the army, Zilberman got his big break in
1971 with the lead male role in Hedva Ve’ Shlomik. In the Israeli TV series,
Zilberman starred as Shlomik Geffen, a kibbutznik who is lured to the big city
by the cosmopolitan Hedva, played by Yael Aviv.
The award-winning show
became a local icon in the 1970s, when there was only one Israeli television
Zilberman, however, in a 2011 interview with Yedioth Aharonot,
admitted that he wondered if his role as Shlomik stymied his career.
was sure that if I played a leading role on television, all the doors would open
to me,” Zilberman said. “But, in fact, the exact opposite happened... I became
too identified with Shlomik.
Zilberman was also celebrated for appearing
in the 1976 cult-classic film Giv’at Halfon Eina Ona as the soldier
He was also behind several of the hits of the superstar group
Kaveret, writing, among other songs, “Baruch’s boots” (Hamagafayim shel
After continuing a career in entertainment and music through
most of the past decade, Zilberman moved to Los Angeles in 2000 where he mostly
owned and operated “Zilbertours Travel Makers,” a tour guide company that
catered to Israeli tourists visiting California.