‘Want to see my muscles?’ An 81-year-old American bubbe at an Israeli gym gave the best interview ever.


(JTA) — Israel reopened its gyms on Sunday as its vaccination rates climbed, and to showcase the return to (relative) normalcy, one TV channel turned to Effie Hercky, an American great-grandmother and volunteer nurse who was fully vaccinated.

At 81, she was already working out — and flirting with the news anchor.

The three-minute interview Sunday on Israel’s Channel 12, conducted mostly in Hebrew, opened with Hercky hitting the treadmill decked out in makeup, large earrings and a shirt reading “BADGIRLS.”

“Lucky you!” she said to anchorman Rafi Reshef. “You can see me, but I can’t see you.” Soon after, Hercky told Reshef that she agreed to the interview because “I want to be a star.”

Reshef managed to play the interview straight as Hercky flexed her biceps for the camera.

“Ach, my God, do you want to see my muscles?” the bubbe responded when asked what kind of shape she was in.

When Reshef said it was clear that she hadn’t worked out in a while, Hercky shot back, “That is disgusting! Look at what a body I have!”

Hercky said that in addition to playing with her four great-grandchildren, she worked as a nurse until age 80, and still volunteers at the hospital. She said she came straight to the gym after work. After the treadmill, she planned to ride an exercise bike and work out her knees.

She said her grandchildren want her to retire, but she won’t.

“My grandchildren are already old, and they tell me, ‘Bubbe, enough! Bubbe, stop!'” she said. “I can’t stop.”

Her hope after she leaves the gym, Hercky told Reshef, is that “Maybe I’ll meet some young guy who will invite me out to orange juice or something like that.”

Seconds later, as Reshef attempted to end the interview, Hercky said, in English, “Are you married?”

When he said he certainly was, Hercky replied, “What a shame. OK, have a nice life. Lots of love to everyone.”

Recommended from JTA