Grapevine: Burstyn with support

Mike called from his home in LA to wish his friend Olmert a full recovery.

Mike Burstyn 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Mike Burstyn 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Writing in the current issue of 15 Minutes Magazine, of which he is the editor and publisher, Tim Boxer makes mention of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's prostate cancer, and the reassurances that he received from singer/actor Mike Burstyn, who visited Israel a couple of months back with his wife Cyona. Burstyn, 62, had surgery for prostate cancer nine years ago in Los Angeles, writes Boxer. So when Ehud Olmert, also 62, announced in October that he was going to have prostate cancer surgery, Mike called from his home in LA to wish his friend a full recovery. "Welcome to the club," Mike said. Olmert told Burstyn that his was the second phone call he got that day. The first was from Rudy Giuliani, 63, the Republican frontrunner in the race to the White House and a cancer survivor in 2000. A month later, Burstyn was in Tel Aviv to perform at ZOA House. He dropped in on the prime minister in Jerusalem for a half-hour chat. "I wanted to share with him what to expect from personal experience," he said. "I assured him that he would come through with flying colors and be cured, just as I was. We plan to meet again this year to celebrate together." GOVERNMENT MINISTERS and party leaders have to take time out occasionally to relax with their families. Thus Shas chairman and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai temporarily escaped the cold of Jerusalem to enjoy the warmth of Eilat. While in the south, he took his sons, aged five and nine, to the City of the Kings theme park, where they got a great kick out of all the attractions. Yishai appeared to be enjoying himself, as well. SDEROT CONTINUES to remain in the headlines to the extent that some electronic media anchors feel the need to interview residents even when Kassam rockets are not landing in their backyards. One such resident, Zohar Avidan, interviewed by Israel Radio's Amikam Rotman on his weekly show That's Life, remarked that political leaders, so busy discussing how they would have dealt with some national crisis, are too busy with the past to deal with the future. However, any politician who wants to float a new idea comes to Sderot, said Avidan. "It's a virtual studio because all the media is here." WHEN YOU'RE in the movie business you can always oblige a charitable organization by making a movie available for a premiere. That's what happened this week, when Haifa supporters of Libi, the Soldiers Welfare Association, were given the opportunity to see Charlie Wilson's War with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts before it hit the screens in Globus Group movie houses around the country. Patrons paid NIS 100 per ticket to see the film, which was specially screened in Globus Max Kiryat Bialik. Libi Haifa chairperson Rachel Vardi said that proceeds would be used on behalf of soldiers in the north. EUROPEAN AMBASSADORS are inclined to be supportive of each other, so when Slovenian Ambassador Boris Sovic organized a photo exhibition at the Givatayim Theater, it was not surprising that some dozen European ambassadors showed up. The photographs are by internationally acclaimed Slovenian photojournalist Arne Hodalic, whose work is often seen in National Geographic. There were also some European ambassadors at the Herzliya Pituah residence of Hungarian Ambassador Andras Gyenge and his wife Aniko, who hosted a reception in honor of visiting Hungarian Education and Culture Minister Istvan Hiller. And of course the Tel Aviv Cinematheque was buzzing at the opening of the annual Murphy's Irish Festival hosted by genial Irish Ambassador Michael Forbes, where invitees not only downed at least a pint of Murphy's brew, and heard some great Irish music, but also saw the Israeli premiere of the modern-day Irish musical Once - set in the streets of Dublin. FOR MANY recent immigrants, the first year away from the motherland can be a little empty without the traditional celebrations of the old country. Thus on Australia Day, which fell last weekend, Gayle Fantl, an olah from down under, invited Aussies and non-Aussies to get together at the English Pub on Allenby Street, Tel Aviv. As yet, there's no Australian pub in Israel. There used to be an Australian restaurant in Jerusalem that specialized in Australian-style steaks and chops - but alas, it's long gone.