Grapevine: Tel Aviv baby boom

Tel Aviv City Council member Karnit Goldwasser gave birth to a girl at Ichilov Hospital.

A baby sits in front of an Israeli flag (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A baby sits in front of an Israeli flag
■ There's A baby boom among celebrities and public figures in Tel Aviv.
Towards the end of last week, Tel Aviv City Council member Karnit Goldwasser gave birth to a girl at Ichilov Hospital. Goldwasser, 38, initially came to public attention in 2006 when she campaigned for the return of her husband Ehud Goldwasser, who as an IDF reserves soldier had been captured near the Lebanese border by Hezbollah in July of that year. It took two years before his body was returned, together with that of Eldad Regev. By that time, everyone in Israel and many people abroad had heard of Karnit Goldwasser; she had become a celebrity as a result of her efforts to bring her husband back to Israeli soil. Her mother-in-law, Mickey Goldwasser, who also campaigned vigorously for Ehud to be brought home, said afterwards that Karnit deserved to be happy and should find another life partner. Karnit has since been in a long-term relationship with Amnon Miranda, deputy editor-in-chief of Ynet; the little girl is their first child.
■ Speaking last week at Ben-Gurion University at a conference on pensions, Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug said that women retiring from the workforce at an earlier age than men results in them having less money in their pension. In general, she observed, women live longer than men, and therefore there is no option but to raise their retirement age. But even if women’s retirement age is raised from 62 to 64 in 2017, it will not lead to a significant improvement in women’s finances in terms of pension, she conceded.
Attempts by the Finance Ministry to raise women’s retirement age to 67, thereby putting them on equal footing with men, have been blocked by labor and social welfare committees in the Knesset as well as by women’s organizations, which for some strange reason do not seem to comprehend that the longer a woman stays on the job, the higher her pension will be when she finally does retire.
■ Traditionally, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but they’re also pretty friendly to rabbis who are doing something constructive to alleviate health problems. That’s why Shmuel Schnitzer, president of the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange, is committed to the Sderot health clinic set up by Rabbi Elimelech Firer, founder of Ezra Lemarpeh. Schnitzer was among those who came to pay tribute to Firer at a gala fund-raiser at Tel Aviv’s Charles Bronfman Auditorium. Speaking on behalf of the diamond exchange, Schnitzer told Firer that, by and large, its members are known for their generosity and volunteerism, and are very happy to be able to help the Sderot Health Clinic get off the ground.
■ Move over, Mom – here comes Shiri. For more than 20 years, supermodel Galit Gutman has held sway over Israel’s modeling scene, appearing on many runways and advertising campaigns. It’s a tough business at any time, but now Gutman, 42, has competition from her own flesh and blood. Shiri Gutman Koren, 15, the daughter of Gutman and her ex-husband, photojournalist Ziv Koren, has already posed for several advertising campaigns. Though Gutman, who is both an actress and model, knows it’s a rough business with many pitfalls, she has done nothing to discourage Shiri from following in her footsteps, and even says she’s proud of her. Shiri has been accompanying Mom to photo shoots since she was an infant, so she knows exactly what to do in front of the camera. She has no problem being photographed over and over, because her father has photographed her countless times – so she’s had plenty of practice.
■ Irish ambassador Eamon McKee hosted a reception at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque to celebrate the launch of the annual Irish Film week. It opened with Mister John, produced by husband-and-wife team Joe Lowlor and Christine Molloy, and starring Aiden Gillen, who received rave reviews when the film was first shown a little over a year ago. Gillen does not take the title role, simply because Mr. John is dead and Gillen plays his brother Gerry, a London businessman with an unfaithful wife who travels to Singapore to sort out his brother’s estate. Gerry had never visited while John was alive, and is welcomed by his Chinese sister-in-law Kim, who asks him to wear John’s clothes because it will give her some comfort. It doesn’t take long before Kim makes a play for Gerry – who unwittingly begins to take on his brother’s persona, and discovers some rather unsavory information. For some odd reason, the Irish Film Week is always limited to Tel Aviv, whereas similar events organized by other embassies in conjunction with the cinematheque are usually held either simultaneously or in quick succession at the Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa cinematheques.