Israeli Big Brother Celeb VIP

March 2, 2009

Here we go! The “VIP celeb” version of Big Brother in Israel is off to the races. You can actually subscribe to a 24/7 live feed from the house! They’re giving a free preview for another day or so and I highly recommend you tune in (channel 20 on satellite provider Yes). So far, from what I can tell, they do a hell of a lot of singing. Israelis love singing! Actually, about 50% of the participants are singers.

Some of the participants include A-grade Israeli celebrities such as:

  1. Yossi Milshtein – famous for being a business strategist who was recently arrested on tax evasion and may or may not be living in his mother’s home. See this article in the Jerusalem Post: Gaydamak adviser posts bail after arrest for tax evasion.
  2. Pnina Tornai – designer of wedding dresses… boasts on her About Me page: “In the last to years Pnina has expended herself over seas: New-York, Los-Angeles, Miami, and Cyprus.
  3. Kochi Mordechai – famous for being the ex-wife of the first Israeli minister to be found guilty on sexual assault charges (Yitzhak Mordechai).
  4. Sharona and Daniela Pick (Pik) – famous for being the daughters of extremely popular Israeli musician Tzvika Pick. Yeah, they also sing:

Check out the official website for more details on the stars.

The Hebrew-Israeli Language

February 27, 2009

There is a fascinating documentary series airing now in Israel that explores the evolution of modern day Hebrew. Below is an outtake from Haaretz:

Hebrew: ‘London, Corner of Ben Yehuda’
For the proponents of good Hebrew, and also for those who are interested in an intelligent, horizon-expanding television program, Channel 10 is now broadcasting a weekly series (on Wednesdays) entitled “London, Corner of Ben Yehuda.” In the series, veteran journalist Yaron London examines the ways in which our use of the Hebrew language has changed, from its revival by Eliezer Ben Yehuda to the present day. Along the way, London addresses subjects such as the generation gap, slang and “sub-languages” – including those of the Internet and of the settlers in the territories. A fascinating conversation between London and the writer Meir Shalev is a balm for every language-loving dinosaur, as London calls himself. In the second episode, which deals with the language of love – or, as poet Michal Zamir puts it more accurately, the language of erotica – London turns out to be an excellent writer of love poems (he wrote two especially for the program). And he proves, with his body and voice, that curiosity, intelligence and articulateness are enough to turn him, too, despite his age and pot belly, into an erotic object. (Neri Livneh)

Vote this November!

November 8, 2008

This November be sure to cast your vote! No, I’m not writing this post a week too late… November 11th is Tel Aviv municipal election day! Below is one of the “viral” election ads for Dov Khenin (bio on Wikipedia) of the City for All party that’s filled with Israeli celebs. Yeah, by the way, he’s a communist (not that there’s anything wrong with that)! His videos, interviews and positions (especially on the environment and high costs of rent in Tel Aviv) seem to make a lot of sense and are presented professionally and without many typos.

Banji Jamping Sommeliers

October 29, 2008

Premier Cru is a new company offering sommelier services for private events in Israel. Their site is enticing, getting the user to read almost every page and build interest in their offering. We can set aside the fact that Israelis don’t drink very much and, when they do, are not known for their interest in high quality wines. The most interesting part of the site, however, is “The Team,” where they provide detailed bios on all their wine connoisseurs.

In this case, knowing the people behind the company makes you lose any interest in actually working with them. The impression you get is that most employees are students at Tel Aviv University (many seem to be majoring in biotechnology) and are also children of the former soviet union. This is not necessarily the profile that springs to mind when thinking about wine experts you’d invite to your next high-profile private event.

And if you have any doubt, make sure to read Tal’s profile, where you’ll learn that she enjoys “light athletics” (don’t ask me what that means) and “banji.” I wonder if she packs a beg of mashrooms while on her way to do banji.

Does anyone get the impression from the website these people can do what they claim? No references, no real pictures, no stories… just glamorous-sounding mumbo jumbo. And, by the way, all the pictures on the site were taken in a furniture store. After seeing the exhaustive bios, professional make-up job and fancy photo shoot it seems the site is more about feeding their own ego than anything else.

Beware of plastic begs

October 2, 2008

There are some common mistakes Israelis make when writing English. Here is a great status update on Facebook but what makes it perfect is the response. The status says “begs” instead of “bags” and the responder repeated the mistake!

Other golden ones are “sabmit” for “submit,” “massages” for “messages” and “cat and paste” for “cut and paste.”

Share yours in the comments!

Miki Buganim Rocks America!

September 20, 2008

Check out Best Week Ever’s coverage of visiting Israel and enlistign the help of Ivri Lider to get an appointment with the fa-bu-lous Miki Buganim.

Tu B’Av = Sexy Israelis + Silly Americans

August 15, 2008

On the mystical, magical “Jewish Valentine’s Day” Zabaj would like to make fun of Americans for a change (Americans who’ve moved to Israel, of course). Check out this video made by our friends Benji and Molly: