EVEN THOUGH home for actress Natalie Portman is New York, when she is asked to do something for Jerusalem (her birthplace), she seldom refuses. Thus, when the Jerusalem Foundation invited her to attend its gala fundraiser at Carnegie Hall, not only did she accept, but she was the first of the guests to arrive. Jerusalem Foundation President Ruth Cheshin arrived soon afterward and the two exchanged reminiscences of Jerusalem, where Portman spent time at the Hebrew University earning credits for her college degree. The fundraiser was to benefit the Music Center at Mishkenot Sha'ananim, and the entertainment was provided by the Ariel Quartet, which received a big boost from the Music Center. In encouraging other guests to contribute, Portman stressed the importance of Jerusalem being not only the spiritual and political capital of Israel, but also the cultural capital, noting that cultural institutions could not thrive and survive without sufficient financial support.
DOUGHNUTS IN window displays of pastry shops are a reminder that Hannuka is just around the corner, and an ever-growing number of people are hoping for an economic miracle this season. In the interim, organizations that care for children and youth at risk, as well as for poor families, are pulling out all the stops to raise funds for those in need. Of course, the entertainment world has been recruited to help various causes. Leading figures from Israel's business community will gather at the Mann Auditorium on Monday at the annual gala benefit for Yeladim - The Council for the Child in Placement. They will respond to the invitation of Leumi CEO Galia Maor, who for many years has been involved with making sure that children at risk in their family settings are placed in group homes instead. Stars of this year's gala are Ilanit, Marina Maximilian-Blumin, Harel Skaat, Liel Kolet, Izhar Cohen and Rutie Rosenfeld, who will sing compositions by Nurit Hirsh. The evening will be emceed by Michal Yanai. David Broza will be appearing with Mayumana at Mayumana House in Jaffa on Thursday in a benefit performance organized by the Mercaz Mazon food distribution center. A huge number of entertainers will give their services free of charge at noon on Friday for a memorial performance for Lior Vishinski, the son of actor Shlomo Vishinski and comedienne Osnat Vishinski (who is now married to singer and comedian Moti Giladi). Lior's parents created a foundation in his memory to enhance soldiers' cultural lives after Lior was killed four years ago in active duty in Rafah. The memorial concert at the Tel Aviv Center for the Performing Arts will include the participation of Lior's parents, the casts of the Cameri's Fiddler on the Roof, Sallah Shabati and other productions, with performers including Natan Datner, Itzik Cohen, Sarit Vino-Elad, Rama Messinger, Shlomo Bar Abba, Anat Waxman, Gila Almagor, Avi Kushnir, Sharon Elimelech, Ben Artzi, David D'Or, Ohad Hitman, Harel Skaat, Idan Yaniv, Shiri Maimon, Shlomi Shabat, Maximilian-Blumin and many others. The performance will be broadcast live on Reshet Gimmel. On November 30, Shalom Assayag, Adi Ashkenazi, Nadav Abecassis, Ori Hezkiya, Maximilian-Blumin, Israel Bar-On and Yuval Samo will participate in a benefit for children with cancer, organized by the Haim (Life) organization at Yad Lebanim in Kfar Saba. On December 15, it's back to the Mann Auditorium where David D'Or, together with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of George Pehlivanian, will perform on behalf of Reuth, the veteran Tel Aviv-headquartered organization that provides a caring home to people in need, the elderly, accident and terror victims, wounded soldiers, the handicapped and the chronically ill. The concert will be emceed by Channel 10's Miki Haimovich.
FANS OF Dana International who would like to see her home life and who she's dating can watch a new kind of reality show. Cellcom's "third generation" has produced a mini-movie in which the diva was videotaped in her house over 24 hours. The production can be viewed via cell phone.
ALTHOUGH FORMER football star Haim Revivo and his wife Sagit, who is a jewelry maker and designer, have been living in Los Angeles for only a couple of months, they've already penetrated Hollywood society. According to an interview that Revivo gave to Ma'ariv, Madonna and Angelina Jolie fell in love with Sagit's jewelry, bought it and wear it often.
NOT EVERYONE falls over backwards to accommodate a celebrity. Notwithstanding her fame, the Israel Airport Authority refused to allow Bar Rafaeli to pose on the tarmac for a fashion shoot that focused on a collection of skimpy underwear. The reason: The airport is a state-owned property, and as such should not be used for photo shoots which could be offensive to any sector of the public.