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Feeling the show must go on, the Mann Auditorium held its first concerts in the Israel Philharmonic’s new-old home, before the last touches of the huge renovation were completely completed.

            How are the acoustics? Can one hear a pin drop? Time will tell. 

            In the meantime, during one of the opening concerts, a “heavy object” fell from the scaffolding still hanging above the stage, narrowly missing the musicians in the orchestra, and stopping the music (albeit momentarily) while the performers investigated.  

            City Hall said the projectile was only a bottle of mineral water left by a workman…not one of the spotlights, as one patron claimed. 



Moran Mordo, a 31 year old Tel-Aviv single has a singular occupation: She’s a family photographer but doesn’t do bar mitzvahs or weddings.  Mordo runs Olamot-Art, which documents funerals in video or stills…

            The strange funeral service began when a colleague quietly took some arty cemetery photos at Mordo’s mother’s funeral; soon afterwards, Mordo had the opportunity to return the favor in a roundabout way, by offering the same to one of the mourners at the event, 60 year-old Shuli Cohen whose husband died.

            Cohen admitted this wasn’t exactly one on her husband’s bucket list* and certainly wasn’t his last wishes... “I don’t think [he would like it] since “he didn’t like to be photographed in his lifetime” admitted Cohen, but she figured it wouldn’t kill him. “He won’t be the one enjoying or not enjoying the photos.”

            Some clients order a published album as a family legacy, said Mordo, others simply place the prints on a table in the living room for friends and relatives to leaf through when making a shiva (condolence) call.

 * A list of things made by the terminally ill of what one wants to do before ‘kicking the bucket’.  See the 2007 flick The Bucket List.



Geva Tzin found a unique vehicle to keep an eagle eye on his goats without being constantly sleep-deprived. For those familiar with the popular online game FarmVille which allows urbanites to ‘play virtual farmer,’ the moshavnik from Beer-Tuvia set up a surveillance camera on the roof of his goat pen and set up a Facebook account called Geva the Domestic Goat Grower, calling on  surfers to help keep an eye on his livestock, saying “the only thing that deters rustlers is the thought someone is actually watching them.”

            In return for watching out for his organically-raised goats, surfers are invited to ‘manage’ the farm remotely and give Geva orders … and even visit the farm in person, get a guided tour, and buy milk products from ‘their’ very own goats in the process.   

            Response has been enthusiastic with perfect strangers reporting which goat they felt needed to be fed and which pen required extra bedding. Geva Tzin has complied with each and every request, and so far, none of the directives have gotten his goat, including demands that he give each of his guard dogs a well-deserved walk.  



While visiting Israel in March 2013 Barak Obama said he ‘wished he could don a false mustache and wander about Tel Aviv and strike up a conversation with average Israelis at the bar.’

            Well Mr. President, now you can act out your fantasies…with the real McCoy!

            A Turkish plastic surgeon is now offering relief to virile men from the Middle East who suffer from low self-esteem because they can’t grow a decent mustache.  While the number of Turkish men with mustaches has declined from 77 percent in 1993 to 34 percent in 2011*, the plastic surgeon says he has no shortage of customers and most candidates for facial hair transplants – some 60 patients a month - won’t settle for anything short of the bushy mustache sported by Turkish-Kurdish pop singer İbrahim Tatlıses, revealed the physician.

 * Unfortunately, the number of beards is on the rise, due to Islamization.



            When the Brooklynite who lived next door to the sainted Lubavitcher rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson z”l expired, his heirs decided to sell the house to the highest bidder; people from around the world are lining up, sending the value of the Williamsburg property skyrocketing to at least twice the value of similar property in the neighborhood. 

            Could this be what motivated Tuvia Friedman’s nephew to put the deceased Nazi hunter’s modest 100 square-meter* four room, 2nd floor walk-up in Haifa for sale for a whopping 3.6 M NIS (approximately one million dollars!) when a 30 percent larger and newer apartment just down the street recently sold for 2.3 M NIS, arguing the flat had “historic value” and had been recognized as a “heritage site.” 

            The listing was accompanied by letters from the President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister, a picture of Friedman, but not one photo of the apartment itself.

 *1,076 sq. foot



Get a load of the fancy 1.8 meter-high 13-stick candelabra made of nine kilograms of sculpted sterling silver, flanked by two pure gold flamingoes with 4 carat diamonds for eyes. The fancy $400,000 work of art weighs 40 kilogram. Designed by Yaacov Mardinger from one of Israel’s leading silver-smithing houses, Hazorefim, the candelabra was custom-ordered for his palace by an unnamed Moslem leader from the former Soviet Union, designed to fulfill one of his greatest fantasies.