Grapevine: Radio days

The Voice of Israel from Jerusalem - A State Behind the Microphoneis written is full of anecdotes about radio personalities and programs.

radio mc 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
radio mc 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
IN 2006, Israel Radio celebrated its 70th anniversary with a series of nostalgic broadcasts that brought back the voices of former radio celebrities, several of whom are no longer around but whose sound and style have been preserved by modern technology. The re-enactment of the first broadcast at Jerusalem's impressive Palace Hotel (which is now undergoing reconstruction), was the work of Yoav Ginai and Izzy Mann, whose laborious research gave rise to numerous follow-up programs which gave pleasure to many listeners, especially veterans who could remember the days when Israel Radio was a monopoly and almost everyone in the country was tuned to it. Ginai and Mann, who specialize in nostalgia programs, were the natural choice to bring the past into the present. Now, two years later, Mann, who started his own Israel Radio career in 1979 as a producer of documentaries, has completed the book The Voice of Israel from Jerusalem - A State Behind the Microphone. The book is written in Hebrew and is full of anecdotes about radio personalities and programs. Many of the book's anecdotes involve characters such as Yoav Ginai, Yaacov Ahimeir, Yigal Ravid, Menashe Raz and lots of others who are both radio and television personalities. Raz, who started his broadcasting career in radio, now has a weekly TV program called 'Press Conference.' Ahimeir presents local news on radio and foreign news on TV, while Ginai and Ravid are currently engaged in nostalgia programs related to the upcoming 40th anniversary of Israel Television. They also continue to broadcast on radio. Certainly, between them, Israel Radio and Israel Television have the best documented history of the development of the state in that they have the audio and visual recordings of events as they happened with the voices of those who made them happen. SOLIDARITY WITH the population of Sderot has become a lot more than lip service for literally hundreds of people around Israel and thousands of Jews abroad, thanks to the efforts of a relatively new non-profit organization called Standing Together. The brainchild of David Landau, who is its director, Standing Together initially started out in 2004 as an organization dedicated to showing appreciation to soldiers at Israeli checkpoints - soldiers who have prevented untold numbers of terrorist attacks by detecting people carrying weapons and explosives. Although Standing Together continues to focus primarily on soldiers - with special campaigns during Jewish holidays - and personalized gifts for wounded soldiers, the situation in Sderot also caught the organization's attention, giving birth to a nation-wide project that enables people to demonstrate solidarity on a regular basis at minimal cost. The project is called Challot from Sderot. Even people who don't necessarily observe Shabbat, buy Challot on Fridays. Through its Website: - Standing Together takes orders every week and has pick-up points at the homes of private individuals in different parts of the country from which people can collect their Challot. The project keeps Sderot bakers in business and helps to boost their morale. Just another example of how one man made a difference. THE ISRAEL Middle East Model United Nations was hosted by the Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel in conjunction with Merrill Lynch and Global Classrooms. The school's Even Yehuda campus, which was opened last year, became a mini United Nations, replete with flags from member countries, many of whom were represented not only by students participating in debates but also by diplomats who are parents at the school. The event was introduced by US Ambassador Richard Jones. Walworth Barbour, for whom the school is named, was the longest-serving US ambassador to Israel, holding tenure from 1961 to 1973. Current ambassador Jones will complete his period of service in Israel some time in the summer. IT WAS the emotional closing of a circle for internationally acclaimed conductor and musical director Avi Ostrowsky when he conducted the Beersheba Sinfonietta, which he founded in 1973 and directed until 1978. Since then, Ostrowsky, who had previously founded the Kibbutz Orchestra in 1970, has been invited to conduct major orchestras in many parts of the world. After conducting the premiere concert in the Classics 5 series in the concert hall of the Beersheba Conservatorium, Ostrowsky, who lives in Tel Aviv but commutes frequently to Brussels and Mexico City, was feted at a reception at the home of Aviva and Shlomo Segev. The event was also attended by MK Haim Oron, who Ostrowsky said had been of great assistance to him in creating the Beersheba Sinfonietta. He added that when conducting earlier in the evening, it had been both a thrilling and nostalgic experience to be standing on the same stage as he stood 35 years earlier when he conducted the Sinfonietta's first concert.