Eight spectacularly 'blond' Israeli blonds

4 blondes a (photo credit: Courtesy)
4 blondes a
(photo credit: Courtesy)
1 Yael Bar-ZoharHair color: Beach blond Claim to blond fame: Shot to stardom in the mid-'90s in a series of swimsuit ads, and later as an actress in soap operas Ramat Aviv Gimmel - roughly the equivalent of Beverly Hills, 90210 -- and Telenovela, Ltd. Bar-Zohar surprised critics with her performance in the musical Marilu, earning strong reviews as the title character, Miriam Lubovich, a young woman whose (blond) beauty causes a young man to leave his girlfriend to pursue her. Briefly went brunette: Bar-Zohar ditched her signature blond hair last December to play the heroine in Beauty and the Beast, the Hebrew musical adaptation of the Disney cartoon and stage show. Points for honesty: On her Web site, the 27-year-old describes her hair color as "brown (natural)." Natural blond? No. 2 Pnina Rosenblum Hair color: Presumably "Pnina Blond," a shade of hair dye offered by her cosmetics company Claim to blond fame: At 52, Rosenblum remains the grande dame of local blonds, having parlayed her chemically altered hair into one of the longest and most lucrative modeling careers in the country's history. In addition to her modeling work and a failed attempt to represent Israel at the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest, Rosenblum has written for publications including Ma'ariv and La'Isha. Blond ambition: Rosenblum fell just 3,000 votes short of entering the Knesset in 1999 as the head of the Pnina Rosenblum Party. The would-be legislator got her political wish six years later, serving for the final eight days of the 16th Knesset as part of the Likud following the departure of prime minister Ariel Sharon and other party MKs to form Kadima. On the side, Rosenblum also runs a multimillion dollar cosmetics company she founded in her own name. Points for upkeep: Wins the prize among blonds for being least likely to appear in public as a sh'chordinit, an artificial blond with clearly visible roots. Natural blond? Obviously not.
  • Four non-blonds 3 Moshik Afia Hair color: Dirty blond Claim to blond fame: A singer of traditional Mizrahi and Turkish music, the 32-year-old Afia has released more than 10 albums since the mid-'90s, but is just as well-known for his brave forays into the world of blond hair. Fully commits: In addition to the top of his head, Afia occasionally appears to have dyed his eyebrows as well. A man apart: In contrast to his female counterparts, Afia's artificial hair color places him outside the mainstream. Though Dani Rom, the owner of Tel Aviv's Blondie hair salon, notes that blond dye jobs became a brief but widespread fad among men earlier this decade, Afia's hair seems a conscious effort to play up his Mizrahi background. Frequently poorer and less educated than their Ashkenazi peers, Mizrahi men took on a disproportionately prominent role in the country's barber shops early in its history, and perhaps as a result have typically been more open to experimenting with adventurous hairstyles and colors. Natural blond? Is the pope Jewish? 4 Nadia Hilu Hair color: Legally blond Claim to blond fame: A Labor Party MK, Hilu is the first female Christian Arab member of the Knesset. A resident of Tel Aviv, she joins other blond MKs in the current Knesset including Ruhama Avraham (Kadima) and the Russian-born Sofa Landver (Israel Beiteinu). Busy blond: Fluent in four languages and the bearer of two social work degrees from Tel Aviv University, Hilu serves on Knesset bodies including the Committee on the Status of Women, the Committee on Foreign Workers and the caucus for Jewish-Arab coexistence. Natural blond? Not exactly. 5 Mary of Nazareth Hair color: Heavenly blond Israeli? Not strictly speaking, but she was from Nazareth, so we'll give her a pass. Claim to blond fame: May not have gone blond until 1,300 years or so after her death. Portrayed by early Christian artists with her hair covered - the preferred look of Middle Eastern Jewish women of her time - she was later depicted as a blond both literally and symbolically, with Christian artists of the Middle Ages often framing her face in a halo of golden light. Natural blond? Lord only knows. 6 Adi Himmelblau Hair color: Sometimes more blond, sometimes less Claim to blond fame: Perhaps the rising star in the universe of blonds. An alumna of children's TV program Hashminiya, Himmelblau graduated last year to The Champ, the cable soap opera about a Jerusalem soccer team and its players' many romantic intrigues. For much of the show's first season, Himmelblau's character, the innocent blond Liann Zelig, unknowingly competed for her husband's affections with Meital Ognissian, a dastardly black-haired temptress played by Liraz Charki. She's grown as an actress: Now playing mother to a baby girl in the show's second season, Himmelblau has darkened her hair slightly to signal the character's newfound maturity. Another reason to watch: Himmelblau and her hair people often waited a tad too long between touch-ups during The Champ's first season. Consequently, part of the show's suspense derived not from its characters' romantic maneuverings and criminal plots, but rather from interest in just how long Himmelblau would wait before dealing with her roots. Natural blond? A cover story about Himmelblau earlier this summer in Pnai Plus magazine quoted the actress as saying, "I'm not just a blond." Actually - and The Jerusalem Post says this with love - she's not technically a blond at all. 7 Sarit Hadad Hair color: All over the place, but occasionally blond Claim to blond fame: A gifted performer blessed with an unusually emotive voice, Hadad famously tends to fare less well on issues connected to hair dye. Like fellow singer Zehava Ben, Hadad on occasion provides a vivid example of the sh'chordinit, a naturally dark-haired woman seemingly endowed with two hair colors at once. Natural blond? Not so much. 8 Miri Bohadana Hair color: Honey blond Claim to blond fame: The dark-haired runner-up at the 1995 Miss Israel contest, Bohadana went blond not long thereafter and has been one of the country's highest paid models ever since. Raised in Sderot, Bohadana's TV biographers couldn't resist a bit of visual word play at her expense last year, showing off images of the Mizrahi model with her hair au naturel in a clip about her "roots trip" to Morocco. Natural blond? Methinks not.