Gaydamak is the new Rothschild.

I learned a new word today – or is it metaphor? – from my landlady’s son. He’s here to do some repairs and got to asking us if when we move, we’re buying or renting. He mentioned how this building we live in is a wealthy kablan’s (contractor) dream. In his words:

“All you need is some ‘Gaydamak’ to come here and buy all the property from the owners, knock the building down and build a tower of apartments.”

Until now, the wealthy Jewish gabillionaire that Israelis would use as their metaphor in conversation was Rothschild – not a specific one, just the famous European family of wealth. In fact, in the Hebrew version of Fiddler on the Roof, the song “If I was a rich man” is translated as, “If I was a Rothschild.”

Well, according to my landlord’s son, the Rothschild example is going out in the 21st century and a new guy has stepped up to be the wealthy, dreamy metaphor of Israeli money conversations: Arcadi Gayadamak, Russian-Israeli king of Jerusalem, Sderot and massive amounts of charity.

Welcome to a new age of the Israeli wealth-dream.





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