Grapevine: Boom Boom hits Tel Aviv

Matthew 'Boom Boom' Reed, a dominant force in the triathlon world, is in Israel and he is making the Hilton Tel Aviv his home away from home.

boom boom reed 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
boom boom reed 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Generally known as Boom Boom, Matthew Reed, a dominant force in the triathlon world for several years, is in Israel, where he is making the Hilton Tel Aviv his home away from home. Famous for his strength across all three disciplines, Reed is widely regarded as one of the few true all-round triathletes. He has won international titles such as the French Irontour, World Aquathon Championships and World Teams Title. Reed is looking forward to competing in his first Olympics as a member of the American team in Beijing. THE RAMAT Aviv Mall was over-run with celebrities on International AIDS Day, in a mega fundraising event sponsored by the international cosmetics company M.A.C., which also used the occasion to promote its new Viva Glam lipstick series. Nearly all of the 40 celebrities who solicited donations throughout the mall were wearing black tee-shirts with the Viva Glam logo. Among them were Roni Superstar, Gilat Ankori, Michal Amdurski who came with her new baby Nina, Eliana Bakier, Yona Elian, Einat Erlich, Dana Berger, Michal Yanai, Orna Datz, Hanna Laszlo, Margalit Tsanani and a bunch of other household names. Shoppers in the mall were overwhelmed by seeing so many celebrities in one fell swoop. NOT EVERYTHING works out according to plan. Case in point is the English-language publishing company Ang-Lit Press, which a year ago launched its first anthology of short stories Jane Doe Buys a Challah, which despite a good deal of positive feedback was not exactly the success that the publishers had imagined. The brainchild of Shelley Goldman, the veteran editor of City Lights, which was the successor of the original Metro, which returned to its initial title following her resignation, Ang-Lit is a joint effort of Goldman and like-minded friends. Goldman and her co-founders thought that the book would be a natural buy on the part of a variety of Israel-based organizations that host people from abroad. As far as they could see, it was a wonderful gift to give someone visiting Israel, something that could provide some kind of understanding of what life is like in Israel for the native English speaker. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. They got lots of encouragement, but few orders, although the books are still selling in books stores throughout Israel. Bewildered by the stonewalling on the part of the organizations, they started asking around why this was happening and were told by one publisher: "These bodies would rather give their visitors monogrammed baseball hats or towels made in Taiwan than a book of stories written by Israeli English-speaking authors reflecting life in Israel." They quickly discovered that most organizations are interested in traditional Jewish content, which means that almost anything secular is out. "It was a bitter lesson," says Goldman, "but we learned a lot this year." One of the things they learned was not to allow themselves to be defeated by disappointment. So in spite of everything, they're going ahead with their next project, which is to publish a book of short stories to be released in 2009 in conjunction with Tel Aviv's centenary. All the stories in the book will in one way or another relate to Tel Aviv. Taking into account that the centenary will be very much a cultural happening, given the number of embassies that have already announced their cultural involvement in the festivities, an anthology of short stories set in or around Tel Aviv should sell like hotcakes, or so they hope. Submissions have already begun to arrive. Whereas the first volume was devoted to stories written only by residents of Israel, for the Tel Aviv centenary issue, Ang-Lit is broadening its base and will consider material by writers from anywhere in the world, providing that there's some reference to Tel Aviv in the story. WELL-KNOWN personalities from Netanya, Kfar Saba, Herzliya and Caesarea, including Netanya Mayor Miriam Fireberg Ikar, gathered at Kibbutz Lehavot Haviva for a fund-raiser for the new emergency pediatrics ward at Lianado Hospital. Both Fireberg Ikar and Dr. Yaacov Shechter, head of the Pediatrics Department, paid tribute to the late Dr. Mordechai Schreiber, whose vision of a children's hospital in Netanya is on the way to becoming a reality. Emcee for the evening was well-known singer and television personality Yoni Ro'eh. The crowd went wild over the appearance of Yehudit Ravitz who sang songs from her new show Small Town. BUSINESS TYCOON Yuli Ofer and his wife Ruthie want to establish a rehabilitation center at Assaf Harofeh hospital, and have invited 50 of their highly affluent friends from Israel and abroad to join them in achieving this goal. The Ofers set the ball rolling by contributing $8 million.