It's always a treat to introduce Israeli icons to friends of Israel around the world who might not be aware of them. While the above video was taken many years ago, it's a good introduction to this week's Israeli You Should Know, Rivka Michaeli. The Times of Israel's Steve North tells us about this singer, actress, and comedian who turned 80 this year and who is continuing a 66-year-long career in Israeli media:
If you could combine Bette Midler, Oprah Winfrey and Amy Schumer, you might end up with someone approximating the diverse talents of Rivka Michaeli, one of Israel’s best-known personalities, who will be making a rare appearance in New York City on September 1.
A mainstay of Israeli media for 66 years, the energetic 80 year old has worked as a comedian, an actress on film and stage, a singer on Israel Radio, and a talk show host on radio and television. She’s charmed multiple generations of fans — including Israeli-born actor, singer and composer Danny Maseng, who has known Michaeli for more than half a century, since he was a rising teenage star.
“She is a lioness, the Elaine May of Israeli comedy, popular, sharp-witted and knowledgeable. I cannot imagine Israeli broadcasting without her,” Maseng says.
How does Michaeli react to such extravagant praise?
“It’s flattering — and encouraging!” she laughs. Speaking from Tel Aviv, she adds that she likes it “more than when I hear bad remarks. Having performed since I was a child, I guess there should be some reaction.”
Born in Jerusalem in 1938, Michaeli first sang on Israel Radio at age 14...