Grapevine: Still going strong

Hundreds of judges, lawyers specializing in family law gathered last week at the Royal Beach Hotel Eilat for a conference on family law.

grapes 521 (photo credit: AP)
grapes 521
(photo credit: AP)
■ START-UP-NATION, Dan Senor and Saul Singer’s best-selling book about Israel’s economic miracle, has already been published in 13 languages and is still going strong, with the greatest following in the United States.
The launch of the Hebrew edition took place last week at the Crowne Plaza City Center Hotel in Tel Aviv, where the authors presented a copy to President Shimon Peres, who wrote the preface. The Hebrew edition was co-published by Matar Publishing House, Tel Aviv and Zmora Bitan. Peres described the book as an eye-opener and forecast that the next decade in Israel would flourish with start-up enterprises.
■ BIG RED hearts on display at the Ayalon Mall were not an early-bird promotion for Valentine’s Day. They were there as a joint campaign by the mall management and the Cardiac Department of Sheba Medical Center in the hope that the public would take heart and engage in the three-day fitness programs that Sheba staff had organized for visitors to the mall.
The fitness campaign was welcomed by Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar, and introduced by Sheba CEO Prof. Ze’ev Rotstein. Experts on sports activities and healthy-heart nutrition were on hand to advise the public. Also in attendance were Rina Tal, general manager of the Ayalon Mall, and Pierre Nadir, CEO of the Azrieli Group, which built and owns the mall.
■ HUNDREDS OF judges and lawyers specializing in family law gathered last week at the Royal Beach Hotel Eilat for a conference on the many aspects of family law. However, it wasn’t all work and no play. There was also entertainment in the evening. In fact, singer Keren Peles was surprised by the arrival of her good friend Miri Mesika, who came to say “bon voyage” before Peles flies off to Australia for a month. The two even sang a duet.
Among the guests in the audience largely made up of jurists was Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i, who though already aware of the political drama that was to be enacted this week with the breakaway from Labor by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and some of his cohorts, enjoyed himself as if there was nothing untoward in the offing.
■ TWO MONTHS after hosting a tribute concert for Yaffa Yarkoni on her 85th birthday, Tzavta in Tel Aviv will host a similar event to mark the fifth anniversary of the passing of another of Israel’s great legendary singers, Shoshana Damari. At age 82, less than a year before her death, Damari recorded two tracks for the Mima’amakim album, which was produced by the Idan Raichel Project. She also participated in live performances with Idan Raichel and had planned to enter into another joint project with him when she was stricken with pneumonia. She died on February 14, 2006. No doubt “Kalaniyot” will be among the many Damari favorites performed by Yonit Shaked Golan at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, February 14.
■ VETERAN ACTOR and comedian Sefi Rivlin, who has waged a long battle with throat cancer, returned to the spotlight and received a particularly sustained ovation from the first-night audience at the Habimah production of Heroes, in which he appears with Yossi Polak and Aharon Almog. His family was also present to cheer him on. Reviews of the show have been particularly favorable to Rivlin, noting his courage in returning to the stage after a prolonged absence.
■ STILL IN the realm of theater, on at least three separate occasions this month performances had to be canceled because actors took ill.
The first time was on January 4, when the Cameri Theater had to cancel the premiere of Romeo and Juliet because Dan Shapiro, who plays Romeo, took the old thespian good-luck wish literally and broke his leg when he missed his footing on a staircase after the dress rehearsal. Then two weeks ago, Beit Lessin’s Maya Dagan collapsed on the way to Ashkelon, where she and Lior Ashkenazi were due to perform in Love Is Not Everything. It transpired that she had a mild case of pneumonia and couldn’t go on with the show. Then toward the end of last week, some 1,400 theater subscribers in Tiberias received letters of apology saying that a series of performances of the Habimah production of Dinner with Idiots had to be canceled because Ya’acov Cohen, one of the star players, had been hospitalized.