Grapevine: Tribute to Kirschenbaum

A round up of the latest happenings around the country.

Moti Kirschenbaum (photo credit: HANAY)
Moti Kirschenbaum
(photo credit: HANAY)
■ A MEMORIAL tribute will be paid today, Friday, to Israel Prize laureate, iconic broadcaster, satirist, producer, director and film maker Moti Kirschenbaum, who died of a heart attack just under a year ago on the day after his 76th birthday. The event will be held at Tzavta in Tel Aviv, with participation by most of the team of the satirical television program Nikui Rosh (Cleaning the Head).
Kirschenbaum created the program in the mid-1970s, when there was only one television channel, and when black and white still reigned supreme on the small screen. The show poked fun at Israeli politics and was much more sophisticated than successor shows attempting to do the same. Members of the team who will appear on the Tzavta stage include Rivka Michaeli, Tuvia Tsafir and Dubi Gal. Also appearing will be Efraim Sidon and B. Michael, who wrote much of the material.
Kirschenbaum was one of the pioneers of television in Israel, and over the years held most of the executive positions at Channel 1. In the years prior to his death, he co-hosted a current affairs program with Yaron London on Channel 10. The two were not only colleagues, but close friends – following Kirschenbaum’s death, London said he felt like an amputee. London will also appear on the Tzavta program, as will actors Avi Greinich and Alon Neuman; entrepreneur Tomer Sharon; musician Roni Weiss; and Lior Schlein, on whose satirical Gav Ha’uma (Back of the Nation) show Kirschenbaum appeared as a guest and was roundly roasted.
Also on the Tzavta program will be Canaan Kirschenbaum, who shared his father’s love of nature and often worked with him on nature documentaries, especially those related to birds. The elder Kirschenbaum’s other great love was sport, and he was an avid soccer fan. There will be no soccer stars on stage, but there might be some in the audience.
■ GENERALLY SPEAKING, children who undergo long-term hospitalization catch up with their studies by using laptops or tablets. Lessons are often given via Skype or other means, enabling long-distance communication between teacher and pupil. But at the Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Dr. Masad Barhoun, the hospital’s director, decided it would be healthier for young long-term patients to study together. Therefore, he set up 10 classrooms in different departments of the hospital for children ranging from kindergarten to their final year in high school.
“We are partners not only in the healing process of the children,” says Barhoun, “but also in the learning process. Children should not be denied an education just because they can’t go to school.” The team of 35 educators comes from the Afik school network, which is directed by Yael Koppel and supported by the Education Ministry.
Afik has also proved to be effective in other hospitals throughout Israel, and teachers are available to any child hospitalized for more than three days.
■ PEOPLE HAVE different ideas about how to celebrate a bar mitzva or bat mitzva. Some go to Masada. Some go to the Western Wall in Jerusalem/ Some go to Safed, the city of mysticism. But few do what Ron Gurfinkel did. He went to the Neonatal Department at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba – where he spent the first two months of his life after having come into the world in his mother’s 31st week of pregnancy. At birth, he weighed 1.194 kg.
Ron’s mother Shlomit was so impressed with the treatment she and her baby received that she decided to learn midwifery, and today she works as a midwife at Soroka. Essentially, she switched from one medical field to another (she’d previously been interested in Chinese medicine). Ron was taken on a tour of the Neonatal Department, where he looked at the preemies, finding it difficult to believe that he was once the same size. He spoke to some of the anxious parents of preemies, who could hardly wait for the day when their babies weigh enough and are healthy enough to be taken home. To them, Ron represented a ray of light and hope.
Some of the people who had treated him as a preemie are still working at the hospital, so it turned out to be an emotional meeting.