As 5775 rears its head and 5774 waves goodbye, people are gathering around dinner tables and kitchen counters — at the water cooler and the coffee machine as well — and talking about their hopes, dreams and wishes for the next year.
At one recent party, a friend challenged us to come up with our most absurd wish; responses included a trip to Mars, a Saturday afternoon nap and a vacation.
At another gathering, those around the table didn’t even mention peace in the Middle East, good health or a strong relationship with one’s partner; those were a given.
The answers ranged from personal wishes about hearth and home to professional challenges, hopes for more patience and resolutions toward better communication and understanding. In other words, the kinds of hopes and dreams that everyone strives for in their life.
It makes you wonder: what do the rich and famous, or just famous, hope for in the new year? When you’ve achieved fame and fortune, or even a modicum of it, what are your New Year’s resolutions?
We asked a round of well-known people, mostly Israelis and one American, what they’re hoping for in the new year. Here’s what they had to say.
1) Singer/songwriter David Broza is currently on tour promoting his latest album, “East Jerusalem West Jerusalem,” made in an East Jerusalem studio last year with Israeli, Arab and American artists. He has made more than 20 albums.
The past year has been a year of challenge and achievement for me. The completion of the album “East Jerusalem West Jerusalem” and the journey that has followed in giving it the push and exposure needed was a revelation. It’s one thing to think up and visualize a project and another thing to present it as a done piece. The audiences’ reaction was outstanding from coast to coast in the US.
In Israel, the radio has embraced it and the single “What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding” was an instant hit. It gave a boost of happiness to all involved. Then the summer came and with it the hostilities in the region leading to the war on Gaza. So much pain and damage. It is now a time of conclusion and closure. The year is about to be over with, and a new year is about to open its secret gates of promise. I praise the strength I find in music and song and wish for a year of giving and forgiving. A year of healing and compromise. A year of progress, growth and health. A year of love. A year that will be better (yihye tov). — David Broza
2) Actress Mayim Bialik, known for her role as the title character in 1990s TV show “Blossom,” as well as her Emmy-nominated role in “The Big Bang Theory,” is an observant Jew and a single mother following her 2012 divorce. She has two young sons.
I want to stop dividing myself and my efforts into 15% chunks: a chunk of me with this charity, a chunk of me with my kids, a chunk of me “relaxing” – or trying. I would like to focus on the 4 or 5 main parts of my life that I need to focus on and do those well and to feel serenity and completeness, not perfection, in those arenas. Giving everyone and everything 15% of me is leaving me frazzled and always feeling incomplete. It’s time to shake that up and prioritize where I want my main focus to be. — Mayim Bialik
3) Screenwriter and director Gideon ‘Gidi’ Raff is best known for creating the award-winning Israeli television series “Prisoners of War” along with “Homeland,” its US adaptation. His latest shows are “Tyrant” and “Dig,” which is currently in production. Raff currently lives in Los Angeles with his partner.
As a devout vegan and animal rights activist, I wish this year will be filled with compassion – to people and to animals and that people consume less meat and less dairy, understanding that every life is precious and animals are not ours to wear or to eat. They are our neighbors on this earth and they, just like us, have only one chance to live. We can’t take that away from them. — Gidi Raff
4) Actress and producer Noa Tishby is perhaps best known as the co-executive producer of “In Treatment,” the US television show based on the Israeli drama B’Tipul, and credited as the person who connected Israeli entertainment content with the US market. Her production company, Noa’s Arc, is developing television, film and theater projects from Israel and other parts of the world.
For the new year I wish, may I dare, peace. This summer has been a long and challenging one for Israel and the rest of the Middle East. Smart people say that it’s always darkest before the sun rises again, and I really hope it’ll be true in this case. May radicals on all sides be overtaken by reason, compassion and communication. May we find the courage to move forward and create a new reality for the next generation. Shana tova! — Noa Tishby
5) Actress Moran Atias, known for her roles in drama series “Crash” and in the film “The Next Three Days,” is currently acting in Raff’s latest show, “Tyrant.”
She shared her New Year’s wish with us via Twitter:
This year I was lucky enough to work with and get to know amazing people — and professionals who help me fulfill the films…so many people who always remind me that it’s worth fighting for what I believe. Thank you of course to my amazing friends and family who are my real anchor. And thanks to all of you who hold me in a virtual hug all the time. Success in the world is amazing and an honor but not as emotional as anything blue and white. Shana tova, that we’ll be a nation that is united, helping one another and offering inspiration. Amen. — Moran Atias