Grapevine: A family that plays together, eats together

The Family Friday campaign approached the chairman of the Maccabi TA Basketball Team and asked him to shift the first match in the Euroleague Cup from Friday to another night.

mac ta fans 88 224 (photo credit: Jerusalem Post Archives)
mac ta fans 88 224
(photo credit: Jerusalem Post Archives)
It couldn't have been more than a publicity gimmick when the various well-known figures behind the Family Friday campaign, aimed at restoring the Friday night family dinner tradition, approached Shimon Mizrahi, the chairman of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Team. They asked him to appeal to the Euroleague executive and ask them to shift the first match in the Euroleague Cup from its Friday night schedule to another night so that hundreds of Israeli families who get together only once a week - on Friday nights, would not have this tradition disrupted. The reasoning was that screening the match on television on Friday night would take many families away from the dining room table and thus spoil the Friday night meal. It's a little difficult to believe that weatherman and sports buff Danny Roup, who is one of the Family Friday promoters, would actually go along with this request, knowing full well that in the past, international sports contests in which Israel or prominent Jewish players have been involved have not been rescheduled just because they happened to fall on Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur. So there was no reason to harbor even the faintest hope that they would be rescheduled because of Friday night dinner. There's also another side to the coin. While many Israelis who might usually join in a Friday family dinner will be in Madrid tonight, there will be many more gathered in front of television sets - and still very much in the family circle. Indeed, it's fairly common for sports team loyalties to be multi-generational. And yes, family members will still talk to each other as they pass plates of food around, rejoice whenever Maccabi Tel Aviv scores, criticize whenever the team does something wrong and cheer whenever their players get the better of their adversaries. In fact, the Euroleague might pat itself on the back for bringing more Israeli families together tonight. MEANWHILE, EVERYONE seems to be taking a ride on Israel's 60th anniversary bandwagon. Anything that can in even the most remote way be linked to the anniversary is being used to lure the public, be it a purely commercial venture, a charity fund-raiser or something of a cultural nature to remind us of historic figures and events. There's a little bit of all of that in the WIZO benefit night at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv on May 13, the anniversary week according to the Gregorian calendar of the actual 60th anniversary of the State. The production is Fiddler on the Roof, easily one of the most globally recognizable examples of Jewish literature and drama. Initially, it was originally the story Tevye the Dairyman by Shalom Aleichem, and was subsequently adapted for stage and screen as Fiddler on the Roof, numerous productions of which have taken Haim Topol, its most famous star both on stage and on screen, on tours to many parts of the world. Fiddler on the Roof was the longest-running musical in Broadway history. Topol won numerous prizes and nominations for prizes for the 1971 screen version. And he's still in demand to play the role on stage, which he still does. Last year he played it on tour across Australia. He won't be playing it at the Cameri, but it would not surprise anyone to find him in the audience. The cast on this occasion will be headed by Natan Datner, Rama Messinger, Itzik Cohen, Sarit Vino Elad, and Ido Musari. Gazit Globe chairman Chaim Katzman, who is chairman of this year's WIZO fund-raising campaign focused on providing shelter for children at risk, notes that WIZO has been caring for children for over 60 years, but within the framework of the 60th anniversary is urging the public to combine community concerns and philanthropy with a little nostalgia. Proceeds will also be used in WIZO's ongoing efforts to prevent domestic violence. ONE DOESN'T expect to see a fashion designer wearing the clothes of a rival - much less parading them on the runway. But considering the cause and the fact that they're friends and colleagues as well as being rivals, it was not altogether surprising to see the strikingly beautiful Raziella Gershon - sister of famed basketball coach Pini Gershon - showing off a black, frilled evening gown by Yaron Minkowski. The show at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv featured 70 of Israel's leading socialites, entertainers, models, former models and former beauty queens. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of "LO," which in Hebrew means NO - protesting violence against women. The organization was founded by feminist activist Ruth Rasnic, the pioneer in Israel of shelters for battered women and their children. LO maintains shelters in Herzliya, Hadera and Rishon Lezion, and depends largely on volunteers, not only for fund-raising efforts, but to help women who have been battered to start life anew. When LO chairperson Ruth Giladi approached Minkowski, whom she calls "a rare feminist," to put on a benefit show to mark the anniversary, he immediately agreed, and assembled a large collection of evening and cocktail wear designed to a large extent for women no longer in their first flush of youth, and for those who are carrying around a few additional bulges. Minkowski convincingly showed how strategically-conceived tone on tone coloring and chiffon overlays can disguise the less attractive parts of the fuller figure. Among the models was television personality Eden Harel, who recently gave birth to her second child. Husband Oded Menashe was in the back of the crowded hall rocking the infant in his perambulator. As soon as the show was over, Harel, still clad in her brilliant turquoise Minkowski creation, rushed over to her husband and baby to ensure that all was well. NOSTALGIA CONTINUES to be a major theme in 60th anniversary celebrations by organizations, institutions and individuals. Seizing on this, MK Amira Dotan (Kadima), who heads the Beduin lobby in the Knesset, decided that if fashion in general was moving toward retro, with the slightly revamped styling of today, it was just the right time to revive the embroidered blouses that were part and parcel of Israeli fashion in the nascent years of the state. Impressed by the intricate embroideries of Beduin women, who despite their gradual transition into the 21st century, continue with time-honored traditions such as embroidered clothing and home wares, Dotan spoke to the Hafatzim chain about marketing a line of Beduin-embroidered blouses and received a positive response. Who knows, they may meet with the same success as the beautifully embroidered blouses once sold by the now-defunct Maskit stores, which were founded more than half a century ago by Ruth Dayan to provide employment for immigrant crafts people. As it happens, Dayan, now 90 plus, but still one of the most active people in Tel Aviv, is also very much involved with the Beduin and their crafts. Hafatzim chief designer Noga Preis said that the relationship between the company and the Beduin women was completely natural because Hafatzim is dedicated to promoting local creativity. The only hesitation, said Preis, was in deciding whether to market Beduin-embroidered blouses or scarves. The conclusion reached was that blouses were easier to sell. Preis was ecstatic over the quality of the embroidery. SILICON VALLEY'S leading technology bloggers - including Robert Scoble of Fast Company and Scobelizer; Sarah Lacy of BusinessWeek and Yahoo!; Craigslist founder Craig Newmark; JD Lasica, author and CNET Top 100 Media Blogger; Susan Mernit, a former VP at Yahoo, Netscape, and AOL; Cathy Brooks of Seesmic; consultants Deborah Schultz and Renee Blodgett - were spotted meeting with Israeli counterparts at the Mish-Mish cocktail lounge in Tel Aviv at a party hosted by ISRAEL21c and the Isreality blog. Also seen milling about: ISRAEL21c staffers Nicky Blackburn, Karin Kloosterman, Benji Lovitt and new team member Rachel Neiman, along with Roi Carthy of TechCrunch, Ami Ben Bassat of Katze, Dan Brown of eJewishPhilanthropy, and Ayelet Noff of Blonde 2.0. The US bloggers were in Israel on a tour organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and, true to their trade, posted their impressions about Israeli technology and culture on a blog created especially for the trip: