Celebrity Grapevine

At the IDB, the world's largest tourism fair, Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations were launched with a performance by Rita.

Rita 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rita 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
THE FAMILY of prolific lyricist and composer Naomi Shemer is threatening to sue the Tel Aviv Municipality unless it coughs up NIS 250,000 for plagiarizing and distorting the first line in "Jerusalem of Gold" to suit a promotion for the city. The family is angry that the alteration of the second word in the song (from "hills" to "cities") rather changes its meaning. But the affair may be an instance of people in glass houses who shouldn't throw stones. Shemer admitted before she died that the melody for "Jerusalem of Gold" was adapted from an old Basque song. HER LOCKS continue to be the focus of public attention. Singing star Ninette Tayeb returned from the US last week with a different hair color. Unlike a couple of months back, when mobile phone company Cellcom paid her a hefty sum to shear her tresses to a crew cut length, her current flirtation with a new shade of aubergine, which is actually closer to bright purple, is strictly for fun. EVEN CELEBRITIES aren't immune from the law. Singer Eyal Golan was caught driving under the influence and beyond the speed limit. His license was suspended for 30 days and his car impounded. Golan, however, did not seem to feel obligated to show up at his court hearing. INTREPID INVESTIGATIVE reporter Anat Saragusti, who was a photojournalist for the now defunct 'Ha'olam Hazeh' before joining the news division of Channel 2, has moved to Sderot to get a better feel for what is actually happening there. Saragusti has signed a one-year lease on an apartment. She previously used to venture into Gaza for a week at a time to be able to report more thoroughly. LAST YEAR when Isaac Herzog was minister of tourism, he absorbed some criticism for choosing Bar Refaeli to promote Israel at a major tourism fair in London. Refaeli had dodged army service with a fake marriage and reportedly made pejorative remarks about serving in the IDF. This time the ministry played it safe. Last Thursday in Berlin at the IDB, the world's largest tourism fair, Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations were launched with a performance by Rita. Against the backdrop of events in the South and in Gaza, the 850 sq.m. Israel booth at the fair attracted the interest of German television as well as television crews from other countries. THE LATE Shlomo Carlebach, known as "the singing rabbi," strongly believed that music was an important catalyst in bringing people closer to religion. When people are clapping, singing and dancing together, he said, the things that divide them tend to fade into the background. That might also be one of the reasons why so many people in the music business have traded in a bohemian lifestyle for one with more religious content. Now that more haredi rock and hip hop singers are coming to the fore and mingling socially with secularists, music is becoming a stronger bridge than ever. All it needs is a little give and take on both sides. The growing popularity of haredi rock and hip hop will bring entertainers such as Harel Moyal, Din Din Aviv, Dana International, David Broza and Shlomi Shabat among others to Tzavta on Monday, to pay tribute to Gad Elbaz, one of the hottest singing stars in the haredi world. Elbaz sings around the globe, and has sold more than 200,000 albums. Elbaz dresses in modern garb, and his suits are highly fashionable. Although popular among haredim, he easily fits into any society and also chooses to sing at secular venues in Tel Aviv. Carlebach also sang to secular crowds, saying that he could not expect non-observant Jews to come to him if he didn't go to them.