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A Couple of Newsmakers

Rachel Ginsberg

Television newscaster Sivan Rahav and radio personality Yedidya Meir are the closest thing the Israeli chareidi world has to a celebrity power couple. For Israelis across the religious spectrum, they represent an island of positivity, ahavas Yisrael, and grounded values in a confused world where religiosity has been hijacked by a sensationalist media.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sivan, 34, is a high-energy, never-waste-a minute media star who began her career as a child reporter for a kids’ news magazine when she was just six years old. Growing up in a secular, liberal family in affluent Herzliya, she interviewed then-prime minister Yitzchak Rabin for a youth television show when she was 14, graduated high school at 16, and by the time she was old enough to go to the army at 18, she’d already completed a BA in political science from Tel Aviv University. As an open-minded, multicultural teenager, Sivan was honest enough to admit that the “right-wing fanatics” seemed to be the only ones with substantive knowledge about Judaism and Torah. She began seeking out Jewish knowledge, devouring books on Jewish thought and ethics, and slowly adopting Torah observance. After university, she did her IDF service as a hardworking reporter for Galei Tzahal Army Radio. At the time, Yedidya Meir was a 20-something former yeshivah student with a black yarmulke who had found his niche covering the chareidi beat for the IDF journal Bamahane after serving a year and a half in the military rabbinate. Shabbos, he says, was actually their shadchan. “We had a mutual friend at Bamahane who was making a birthday party,” says Yedidya. “He wound up switching it from Friday night to Motzaei Shabbos thanks to two of the guests — me because I was frum, and a girl named Sivan who ‘had this thing about Shabbat.’ He introduced us as ‘the two nudnikim who made me change my party.’ ”

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