Grapevine: So close...

Fatherhood is a serious business, especially the first time around, and more so in the case of a multiple birth.

Cameri theater cabaret 311 (photo credit: courtesy)
Cameri theater cabaret 311
(photo credit: courtesy)
■ HISTORY REPEATS itself in variations on a theme. It was bad enough two years ago when Alon Hilu’s book The Dejani Plantation, which had been declared the winner of the Sapir Prize for literature awarded by the National Lottery (Mifal Hapayis), was disqualified because it was discovered that former education minister Yossi Sarid, who headed the panel of adjudicators, was closely related to Rena Verbin, who had edited the book.
One would think that with all the media hype that this generated, organizers of subsequent competitions would make doubly sure that there was no relationship between any of the adjudicators and contestants for any major prize. But no. The snatched-from-glory situation resurfaced this weekend when the organizers of the Jerusalem Film Festival, who only a few days earlier had given the NIS 35,000 Van Leer Prize to Hadar Friedlich for her film Glorious Valley, had to disqualify her and cancel the prize for this year because it was discovered that Michel Reilhac, executive director of ARTE France Cinema and director of film acquisitions for Arte France, which invested in Friedlich’s film, had been a member of the judging panel. Sometimes too much support can be worse than no support at all.
■ FATHERHOOD IS a serious business, especially the first time around, and more so in the case of a multiple birth. Singer Kobi Oz was invited to perform at a private event at the Inbal Hotel.
Because his show ended late at night, a room was reserved for him and the hotel prepared a luxury suite for its celebrity guest.
Alas, in vain. After the show, Oz apologized, saying that he could not bear to be parted for even one night from his recently born twin daughters and drove back home despite the lateness of the hour.
■ YALLAH, BEITAR! The six-year Gaydamak era is over, and Dan Adler and Adam Levin, the new Los Angeles-based owners of the controversial team that has certain fans who are prone to racism, will not be as lavish in their spending as Arkadi Gaydamak, nor will they be tolerant of intolerance. They intend to make the players and the fans more tolerant of the other. The day may even come when not only will there be Arab players on the team, but they will be cheered by all the Beitar fans.
Those fans with xenophobic tendencies would do well to remember that Adler and Levin saved the financially strapped Beitar from fading out of the picture of Israeli soccer. Too many people making vile racist remarks may cause the Americans to retract, and Beitar’s future would then go up in smoke. Political differences have, for the time being, been put on the back burner.
■ ALTHOUGH he was born in April, Israel’s first native-born president, the country’s fifth, continues to celebrate his 90th birthday every month. This month, in fact today, the Cameri Theater will honor Jerusalem-born Yitzhak Navon with a musical tribute – which is entirely fitting given that Navon authored the enduring musical Bustan Sfaradi (The Sephardi Orchard) 40 years ago.
Last year, the Cameri Theater honored President Shimon Peres on his 87th birthday. Peres, who celebrated his fourth year in office last Friday, turns 88 on August 2. Of Israel’s nine presidents, only two have been sabras. The other was Ezer Weizman.
The sabra record in the Prime Minister’s Office is considerably better. Sabra PMs include Yitzhak Rabin (twice), Binyamin Netanyahu (twice), Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. If one counts Yigal Allon, who was acting prime minister for a month from February 1969, the list gets even longer ■ HIS MANY followers in Bnei Brak and beyond were extremely concerned when sage and scholar Rabbi Ya’acov Galinsky was taken to Ma’ayanei Hayeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak after suffering heart palpitations. The 90-year-old rabbi was kept in for observation for several days before he was permitted to return home. But apparently he comes from hardy stock.
Immediately following his release from hospital, he set off from home to Jerusalem, where he performed the wedding ceremony for his great-granddaughter.