Celebrity Grapevine

Noa Tishby was in Israel to be the guest of honor at her bachelorette party.

NOA TISHBI  1 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
NOA TISHBI 1 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
WIDELY RECOGNIZED as the pioneer of Moroccan liturgical music in Israel, Joe Amar was honored last week by Bar-Ilan University. Now ailing with Parkinson's and confined to a wheelchair, Amar, who was born in Oujda, Morocco, had already made a name for himself as a singer by the time he arrived in Israel in 1956 at age 26. At that point, Moroccans were not widely accepted in the local music scene. Amar was part of the wave of protest against this discrimination, but in 1970 he moved to the United States where he would earn more respect, more popularity - and, of course, more money. He performed across the US and Europe as a cantor and a singer of popular songs, recorded profusely and published an anthology of Moroccan liturgical music. From time to time he returned to Israel to perform. Amar wanted to return to Israel permanently more than a decade ago, but his wife Raymonde preferred to stay near their children and grandchildren in the United States. When Raymonde died from cancer, he brought her body to Israel for burial and decided to remain. Until five years ago, he appeared frequently with Avihu Medina, but as illness gradually overtook him, he had no choice but to forsake the stage. ALSO HONORED by Bar-Ilan with a life achievement award was poet and songwriter Yoram Taharlev, whose songs have become Israeli classics. Taharlev was born a decade ahead of the state in Kibbutz Yagur. However, the concert of his works performed by Yardena Arazi, Nurit Hirsch, Ohad Hitman, the Parvarim and Gabi Berlin, among others, was in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary. FOR LOVERS of Greek music, it's important to be on the guest list of Greek Ambassador Nicholas Zafiropoulos and his wife Lynne. Just a couple of weeks back, they had Glykeria performing in their garden, and this week they will have the remarkable Haris Alexiou, who is coming to Israel for two performances at the Roman Amphitheater in Caesarea - for which the tickets were sold out long ago. SOME ENTERTAINERS are married to people who hang around on the celebrity circuit but remain more or less anonymous because they're not in the business. That's not the case with television personalities Oded Menashe and Eden Harel, who were invited by Haifa University to participate in the 36th meeting of the university's Board of Governors. No, they were not there for light relief from heavy discussion, nor did they perform. But they did participate in a conference on parenthood in the 21st century. Menashe said that many singers, actors and actresses choose not to have children for fear that it will negatively impact on their careers. It certainly doesn't seem to have had a negative effect on Menashe and Harel, though, who take their baby with them to many of their assignments. Harel suggested that people learn to strike a happy balance between career and parenthood, but confessed that whenever she says this, she feels somewhat conceited. She happens to be one of the lucky ones whose work enables her to strike a balance, but she knows many young women don't have the luxury of being able to bring their babies to work. Harel admitted that she has not yet reached the stage when she can tear herself away from her infant son Uriah, who is not yet four months old. AWARD-WINNING reporter Marvin Kalb, who was recruited by the legendary Ed Murrow to join CBS News and who was later the chief diplomatic correspondent and host for Meet the Press at NBC, will be in Beersheba on Monday for a conference. He will receive the Robert St. John Chair for Objective Middle East Reporting at a Ben-Gurion University symposium on Israel and the Palestinians on the Brink of Change. Kalb is now with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is professor emeritus and senior fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy; he will be the keynote speaker at the symposium, which will be held under the auspices of BGU's Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies & Diplomacy. His topic will be "The next American President and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Interestingly, Robert St. John, who was also a celebrated journalist, wrote the definitive biography on Herzog's brother-in-law, Abba Eban. LIVING AND working in Los Angeles but planning a wedding in Israel has cost actress Noa Tishby a pretty penny. For the past several months, she's frequently commuted to oversee details related to her upcoming June 26 wedding in Caesarea to Andrew G. (Andrew Jonas Ginsberg), the host of Australian Idol. She was back in Israel again in the middle of last week not only to check on final details, but also to be the guest of honor at her bachelorette party.