Iconic singer Cyndi Lauper boarded an EL AL plane in January for her
first ever trip to Israel. She finished her 30th
anniversary international concert tour at the Nokia Arena in Tel
Aviv. During her weeklong visit she spent time in Jerusalem and the
Dead Sea. The ‘80s legend is known for musical hits such as Girls
Just Want to Have Fun, All Through
the Night, and True Colors.
Etai Eliaz, general manager of the Dan Tel
Aviv, welcomed Lauper to the beachfront hotel’s Royal Suite.
Photo by Shahar Azran
SECOND TIME AROUND
The former Baywatch bombshell Pamela
Anderson, 46, who retied the knot with film producer Rick Solomon,
spent her honeymoon at the King David in Jerusalem. The couple also
spent a moment with hotel manager Dror Danino. Pamela first married
Solomon in 2007, and divorced two months later. She recycled her ex
in a secret walk down the aisle on Jan. 11, 2014. She wrote in the
King David Hotel's famous guestbook: "A meaningful, lovely
honeymoon. We'll be back." What! She’s already thinking of a third
Francois Hollande, president of France,
is welcomed to the Dan Tel Aviv by general manager
The French president participated in a France Innovation Day
held by the Israel Export and International Cooperation
Institute at the hotel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and President Shimon Peres mingled with representatives from
80 French companies from new media, energy and life
sciences. Also present were Dan Hotels chairman Mickey Federmann, high-tech entrepreneur Yossi Vardi, Check Point
president Amnon Bar-Lev, and Intel vice president David
In Praise Of Caesar
right, honors Sid Caesar on his Jewish humor in 2000
ID CAESAR, the pioneer of television
sketch comedy who died on Feb. 12 at home in Beverly Hills,
grew up in a Yiddish speaking home in Yonkers, in
Westchester County, N.Y. He lived above the family diner,
the St. Clair Buffet, that catered to the European immigrant
workers from a nearby hat factory. His Russian-born mother
Ida held forth at the cash register; his
three older brothers also helped out.
Sid evolved his
hilarious double talk routine by mimicking the accents of
the German, Italian, Greek and Polish customers. He’d pick
up exotic phrases from these ethnic people who delighted in
teasing him. Everyone had a hearty laugh with the
five-year-old kid. Little Caesar suddenly found himself
When Sid was nine his
Polish-born father Max said, "Sidney, you’re going to
be different. I want you to play the saxophone."
left one here."
While waiting the
required six months to join the musicians union Local 802 in
Manhattan so he could work in bands, Caesar took a job as
doorman at the Capitol Theatre. The previous guy quit and
Caesar was the only one who fit his coat.
Sid the saxophonist
played in several bands in Manhattan and in the Catskills
until World War II interrupted his budding career. He
enlisted and got lucky, appearing in the Coast Guard hit
revue, Tars and Spars, which toured the country and
became a movie in 1946.
After the spectacular
success in the 1950s with Your Show of Shows and
Caesar’s Hour, both on NBC, the prince of television’s
Golden Age plunged into the abyss of a 20-year blackout. The
Caesar salad days came crashing down in a total emotional
and physical collapse. He endured a life-threatening
dependency on drink and drugs. "I didn’t unwind," he said.
Caesar recounted his
early years when I visited him at his fabulous home in the
Trousdale Estates of Beverly Hills for my first book, The
Jewish Celebrity Hall of Fame, in the late ‘80s.
He told me how he
went to cheder (Hebrew school) for eight years after
school—and learned nothing. He said he studied his
haftorah for his bar mitzvah phonetically. "I don’t know
what I was talking about. Nobody ever explained it."
He recalled how "the
fellow sat in the front with a stick and a schmaltz sandwich
with a piece of herring, and that was it. ‘You’ll read next.
You’ll be next. You’ll go.’ That was going to cheder.
That was teaching. So you grow up and say enough. "
If that turned him
off to a large degree, he still absorbed something in his
comprehension of life and the universe. "I believe there are
some very wise things in the Torah—they argue back and
forth. I have nothing against religion. I believe there is
something, an energy, a force."
Caesar had two
daughters, Michele and Karen, and a son
Richard. He made sure his son the doctor had a bar
mitzvah. "As for religion, it’s up to him," Caesar said.
Last time I saw Sid
Caesar, he was being honored at the Third Annual Alan King
Award in American Jewish Humor, sponsored by the National
Foundation for Jewish Culture, in 2000 at the Pierre Hotel
in New York.
one of the writers on Caesar’s Hour, admitted he’s
also not much of a Jew "except those times I got beat up for
Mel Brooks, a
writer on Your Show of Shows who presented the award
to Sid, cracked, "I’m not here to bury Caesar, I’m here to
Never Again The Beatles
Sid Bernstein meets the Backwards, a Beatles parody
group, in 2008 at the 92nd St. Y
the producer and promoter who started the British invasion
to America with the Rolling Stones, Beatles and
Herman’s Hermits, told me how he was introduced to the
world of music.
He was born in New
York City to Israel and Ida, who came from a
shtetl near Kiev, Ukraine. "I was raised in Harlem by my
grandmother. She used to take me to see Cantor Yossele
Rosenblatt at a nearby synagogue." A child prodigy,
Rosenblatt was acclaimed as the Jewish Caruso.
Then Sid set his
sights on rock ‘n’ roll. He read in the British papers about
the rise of the Beatles. He made a deal with their manager,
Brian Epstein, to bring the group to Carnegie Hall on
Feb. 12, 1964.
Before the group
landed on these shores, Ed Sullivan asked Sid what he
thought of them. He assured the TV host that they were going
to be the biggest attraction in the world. Three days before
the Carnegie Hall concert, Sullivan rushed to introduce the
Beatles to America on his CBS variety show.
Following his Beatles
triumph, Sid set out to promote other rock groups. For three
years he managed the Rascals, who hailed from New
Jersey and New York. Their Groovin’ became the
biggest sound in the country. He also promoted such
established stars as Duke Ellington, Judy Garland,
Ray Charles, Dion, Bobby Darin and Chubby
After Sid returned
from scouting new talent in Britain in 1988, he told me he
had Shabbos dinner with Brian Epstein’s mother in Liverpool.
Brian, the mastermind behind the Beatles’ success, had died
in 1967 of an accidental drug overdose.
"His mother keeps
kosher and is very Orthodox," Sid said. "Her other son,
Clive, is in real estate. He’s also Orthodox. In fact his
son and two daughters attend a cheder [Jewish religious
Sid never stopped
looking for talent. In 2008 he attended a concert of Beatles
music at New York’s 92nd Street Y where he met
with an enthusiastic young group calling itself the
Backwards, a parody of the Beatles.
"I wanted another
Beatles," he said. "There will never be another Beatles."
Sid Bernstein died of
natural causes on Aug. 21 at Lenox Hill Hospital in
Manhattan. He was 95.
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