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Governor aided in Israel by two lookalikes

Posted by Metro Desk  March 9, 2011 07:21 AM

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HAIFA, Israel – Who’s the bald guy standing next to Governor Deval Patrick in all the pictures and videos from Israel?

There are two of them actually, a pair of key handlers for the governor’s maiden voyage to the Holy Land.

Shai Bazak is the 43-year-old consul general of Israel in charge of New England. He’s often whispering into Patrick’s ear — coaching him on the background of the people he’s about to meet, pulling him aside for a quick history lesson, or directing him to a good cup of coffee.

Bazak is veteran of the Israeli government. He’s served as a spokesman for Benjamin Netanyahu when he led the opposition party, as well as during his first term as prime minister from 1994 through 1998. (Before that, he was a sharpshooter and commander in special units of the army.)

After that, Bazak went to Miami as the youngest consul general in Israel’s history. He took Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Rossello on separate missions to his country just over a decade ago.

A charmer in two languages, Bazak loves to joke with the business delegates and the
press. And he loves it even more when his picture is in the paper or on television.

He came to Boston four months ago and lives in Brookline, the home of many Israelis and the center of Massachusetts’ Jewish community. Bazak has 2-year-old twin girls, pulling their video up often on his iPhone.

The other bald guy is Alex Goldstein, 26, who was Patrick's campaign spokesman and became his gubernatorial press secretary at the beginning of his second term in January. Goldstein grew up in Newton and attended Brandeis, the only secular Jewish institution in the United States.

Goldstein had been to Israel twice before and said it was a dream to come back with the governor. He even persuaded a former girlfriend, an Israeli who attends college in Tel Aviv, to help out at one of Patrick’s events on her campus.

Patrick gave her a knowing smile when he met her.

Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.

Originally published on the blog MetroDesk.

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