Celebrity Grapevine

Newspapers in New York are still agitating over hassidic actor Abe Karpin's decision to drop out of a short film co-starring Natalie Portman.

Natalie Portman 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Natalie Portman 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
NEWSPAPERS IN New York are still agitating over hassidic actor Abe Karpin's decision to drop out of a short film co-starring Natalie Portman. Karpen's rabbi reportedly informed him that if he didn't quit the movie, his children would not be allowed to continue to attend their hassidic-run school. The sect does not merely object to Karpin holding hands with Portman in the movie, but is opposed to his involvement in Hollywood altogether. The movie, entitled New York I Love You, is one of a collection of five-minute films set for release later this year. One would have expected a more lenient attitude in the US than in Israel, where actor Shuli Rand was given permission to continue acting by his rabbi after he became a Breslav hassid. His rabbi concluded that Rand's talent was God-given, and should therefore be used for the benefit of Judaism. The result was the internationally acclaimed movie Ushpizin, a love story in which the husband and wife never once touch each other on screen. Rand's co-star was his real-life wife Batsheva, and most of the other actors were members of Rand's own Breslav community, who filled the Jerusalem Cinematheque on the night of the premiere. SEEING IS not always believing. Anyone who caught sight of Rami Kleinstein planting a kiss on the cheek of his wife Rita last week, might be forgiven for thinking that there was a reconciliation in the works. But no, the scene at a Tel Aviv restaurant was part of a double celebration - Rita was celebrating her 45th birthday and receiving a platinum record for her album Remazim (Hints), for which Kleinstein wrote five of the songs. The album has sold more than 40,000 copies. The event was attended by family and members of the entertainment industry. Rita and Rami are in the midst of an amicable separation, similar to that of actress and super-model Galit Gutman and her husband fashion photographer Ziv Koren. WHILE ON the subject of separations, enigmatic model and television hostess Shirli Glick has also split from her husband Gabi. Glick has said she is exercising more to get herself back into shape (not that she ever really lost it) so that she can further her career. DOES BUSINESS tycoon and mega-philanthropist Arkady Gaydamak have a future as a TV star? Gaydamak was poised to appear as a mentor to owners of small businesses in a new Channel 2 reality show in which he would guide them on the path to success. However MK Shelly Yacimovich, a former media star herself, has raised objections on the grounds that Gaydamak would use the program as a political tool in his efforts to become the next mayor of Jerusalem. After all, what better way to run a campaign than to show what a mayoral candidate can do to improve the fortunes of the little guy? ACTOR AND businessman Robert de Niro, who has already invested in an exclusive restaurant in Israel, is reportedly interested in investing in the construction of a hotel in Herzliya. IT'S GOING to be a big celebrity night at Tzavta theater in Tel Aviv on Monday night, March 31, when Avi Toledano celebrates his 60th birthday along with the 60th anniversary of the State. Fellow entertainers who will join him in the festivities include Israel Catorza, Ofer Levy, Haim Moshe, Izhar Cohen, Dudu Topaz, Kobi Oz, Nurit Hirsch, Israel Gurion, Yehuda Barkan, Effi Netzer, Hanan Yovel and several other well known personalities, including Minister of Culture, Science and Sport MK Raleb Majadele. Toledano who was born in Morocco on April 4, 1948, has been in the entertainment business for three quarters of his lifetime. He came second in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1982 with his upbeat version of "Hora," and the following year wrote the song "Chai," which was sung by Ofra Haza at Eurovision and also came in second place. Izhar Cohen was the first Israeli to win the Eurovision Song Contest. He romped into first place in 1978 with "A-Ba-Ni-Bi," with lyrics written by Ehud Manor and melody composed by Nurit Hirsch.