Celebrity Grapevine

THE MEDIA focus on Zubin Mehta's 70th birthday was of course the gala concert and festive dinner at the Mann Auditorium that helped raise funds for his beloved Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and for the Buchman-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University. But the night before that particular celebration Mehta enjoyed another, less formal celebration at the Herzliya Pituah restaurant of his good friends Reena and Vinod Pushkarna - where some of the guests included people who had been unable to purchase a ticket for the concert, but wanted to have the opportunity to congratulate the maestro. Interviewed on Channel 2 by Oded Ben Ami, Mehta was asked about his long love affair with Israel, and whether he would describe himself as a Zionist. He wasn't sure what a Zionist is, he told Ben Ami, because every Jew he asks gives him a different definition. But he would describe himself as a good friend of Israel "now and forever." SPRING IS in the air, which means new beginnings. But new beginnings are often preceded by the ending of something else such as the much publicized romance between stage and screen star Agam Rodberg and Yoni Dotan which has run its course - unless they happen to reach the decision that it was more fun being together than being apart. IT DOESN'T matter whether one is secular or religious, a Seder is a Seder. Case in point is TV and print media personality Yair Lapid, who was brought up in a totally secular home and doesn't pretend to be any different in that respect from his dad who came into politics waving a secular, anti-religious flag. Lapid Junior, who a couple of years back played auctioneer at a charity event at which the items for sale included bottles of kosher wine, at which time he joked that it was difficult for him to believe that his father's son was selling kosher wine, hosted a seder for 40 people in his home last week. DESPITE THE serious plight of the impoverished in this country, at the opposite end of the spectrum lies affluence and opulence. Proof of the pudding lies in the fact that Rolls Royce, the acme of automobiles has decided to open an agency in Israel. Channel 2's Danny Kushmaro - who has a thing for cars - got behind the steering wheel of a NIS 4.3 million Rolls Royce and drove it around Tel Aviv. Then he switched to the back seat with its numerous push-button extras and had the pleasure of being chauffeured like royalty.