Israeli TV is about to get healthier
On June 11, Ananey Communications will launch a new health channel, Arutz HaBriut on HOT (77) and YES (43). The channel will focus exclusively on health, fitness and lifestyle issues. From the comfort of a couch - or, perhaps, a treadmill at the gym - health-conscious viewers will be able to watch "courses" on topics like quitting smoking, preparing for birth, healthy cooking, exercise and relationships.
The channel's flagship program will feature television personalities Efrat Raytan and Dror Rafael, who will report on daily breakthroughs in health and answer viewers' questions. In addition, teams of fitness and diet experts will be on-air "counselors" who will guide viewers in making positive changes in their daily habits. Among them is "Chinese Caesar" Boaz Yeshayahu, who will focus on Eastern medicine, and an as-yet unnamed personal trainer who is slated to headline a program called In Fitness and in Wealth. - Paula Margulies
Clinton chastises Coulter
New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused commentator Ann Coulter of making a "vicious, mean-spirited attack" on outspoken 9/11 widows whom the television pundit described as "self-obsessed" and enjoying their husbands' deaths.
Coulter writes in a new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, that a group of New Jersey widows whose husbands perished in the World Trade Center act "as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them."
Clinton, who has felt Coulter's criticism over the years, responded on Wednesday. "Perhaps her book should have been called Heartless," the senator said. Coulter's new book was Amazon.com's most popular selection Wednesday night. - AP
Leshem wins first Sapir Prize
Ron Leshem must feel like he's in heaven. Last week, Leshem won Israel's prestigious Sapir Prize in Literature for his inaugural book, If There is a Heaven, the story of a commander and his troop in the Lebanon war.
The prize, which is widely considered to be the most prestigious literary award in Israel, is granted annually by Mifal HaPayis. As the winner, Leshem receives a grant of NIS 75,000, plus another NIS 25,000 to have his book translated into a foreign language.
A distinguished panel of judges, including the poet Meir Wieseltier, Professor Dan Laor, writer Eleonora Lev and Dr. Chaim Nagid, chose Leshem from a group of five finalists. The Sapir Prize was first awarded in the year 2000 to Haim Sabato for his book Adjusting Sights. In subsequent years, David Grossman, Gail Hareven, Amir Gutfreund, Dan Tsalka and Alona Frankel have all won the award.
The Sapir Prize is not the first time If There's a Heaven has been singled out. Director Joseph Cedar (Time of Favor and Campfire) chose to adapt the book for his upcoming film, Beaufort, which will appear in theaters next summer. - Paula Margulies
Bring the Fiesta back
Billed by organizers as the "largest Latin festival in the world," the Fiesta Festival kicks off July 4 at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv. Roughly 60,000 attendees took part in last year's Fiesta Festival, with promoters suggesting that three times that number may show up for this year's event. Now in its second year, the three-day festival features food, music and dance from across the Spanish-speaking world, with daily raffles of tickets to Cuba or Brazil. Nightly salsa and reggaetown dance parties are among the other highlights of the festival, with the winner of a separate Latin dance contest to be awarded round-trip tickets to Cuba. - Nathan Burstein