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Daily Kickoff: Bibi to visit the U.S. next month | Why Obama Let Iran’s Green Revolution Fail | Secrets of Super Siblings: Emanuel & Wojcicki Families

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JI EXCLUSIVE — Netanyahu to Receive Hudson Institute Award During Visit to NY: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the U.S.-Israel relationship and the challenges Israel faces in the Middle East at a dinner hosted by the Hudson Institute during his visit to New York next month. Netanyahu will be presented with the conservative think tank’s 2016 Herman Kahn Award at a gala dinner on September 22nd in Manhattan, according to an invitation obtained by Jewish Insider. Rather than offering formal remarks, the Prime Minister will engage in a conversation with Roger Hertog, President of the Hertog Foundation and Chairman of The Tikvah Fund. Host committee members include Jack David, Ira and Ingeborg Rennert, Betsy and Walter Stern, and Paul Singer, among others.[JewishInsider] • Flashback: Netanyahu was honored by the American Enterprise Institute in November 2015 [DailyKickoff]

Aaron David Miller tells us: “Netanyahu is looking past Obama to the next administration. In the next several months there is important unfinished business that he believes needs to get done: concluding the MOU, doing what he can to preempt some 11th hour move by the administration on the peace process that puts him in a tough spot, and keeping Iran as a front burner issue. As for improving any relationship with the President, this has been the most dysfunctional relationship between a U.S. President and an Israeli Prime Minister arguably in the history of the US-Israeli relations, and in many areas one of the most unproductive too. Maybe they can avoid another blow-up but it’s too late for any reset.”

“Why Bibi is rejoicing as Obama’s term nears end” by Ben Caspit: “Netanyahu was asked if he is worried about the possibility that Obama will take advantage of the period between the election and his leaving the White House to launch a new diplomatic initiative to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “Happy is the man who is always afraid,” said Netanyahu, referencing the Book of Proverbs (28:14), but he didn’t elucidate. He then treated his audience to his mode of operation with regard to the United States: “Unlike China, for example,” Netanyahu said, “where the leader determines the agenda and everyone follows accordingly, the system that sets the American agenda is much more complicated. The president is not a one-man show.”

“There is public opinion to contend with, there is Congress, and there is the media. Anyone who thinks that when dealing with America you only have to work with the president is wrong. You have to face the entire system. Netanyahu went on to present the journalists with Gallup poll results showing a steady rise in Israel’s standing and an increase in public support for Israel among the American public. “While it is true that we have a problem on the campuses, overall support for Israel in the US has never been higher, and that is what really matters,” he asserted decisively. “Israel is popular in the United States, and I’m popular in the United States too. If only I would be received in Tel Aviv the way I’m received in New York and Washington, and I’m not just talking about the Jews either.” [AlMonitor]

KAFE KNESSET — Lapid Stings Bibi on the Diplomatic Front — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Yair Lapid is using the news drought of late August — during which the Knesset, the government and even the Prime Minister are taking a break — to increasingly challenge Netanyahu on the diplomatic front. After publishing an article on the US-Israel alliance in Foreign Policy this week, Lapid announced his plan to lead a demonstration in Stockholm next week, against the “anti-Israel currents” in the Scandinavian state. At the same time, one of the leading MKs from his party, Ofer Shelach, took a group of ambassadors and diplomats on a tour of Israel’s northern border, presenting the security challenges coming from Syria and Lebanon.

Lapid hopes to create a public perception that he is filling a vacuum, created by Netanyahu’s decision to hold the Foreign Ministry to himself instead of appointing a full-time Minister. Lapid has accused Netanyahu of weakening the important Ministry, and in so doing, hurting Israel’s hasbara efforts across the world. Netanyahu dismisses these accusations as politically driven nonsense, but Lapid keeps hitting harder and raising his profile on the issue. Israel is indeed a special country: one in which the opposition challenges the government by presenting the government’s challenges and policies to foreign diplomats.

“Why Obama Let Iran’s Green Revolution Fail” by Eli Lake: “Obama wasn’t just reluctant to show solidarity in 2009, he feared the demonstrations would sabotage his secret outreach to Iran. In his new book, “The Iran Wars,” Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon uncovers new details on how far Obama went to avoid helping Iran’s green movement. Behind the scenes, Obama overruled advisers who wanted to do what America had done at similar transitions from dictatorship to democracy, and signal America’s support.” [BloombergView]

“Iran Vessels Harassed U.S. Destroyer Near Persian Gulf, Navy Says” by Paul Sonne: “The USS Nitze, an Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer, was transiting international waters near the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday when the four Iranian vessels approached at high speed and failed to respond to 12 separate radio communications, according to Cdr. William Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.” [WSJ]

Lawrence Korb & Michael Wackenreuter: “Side Deals like the $400 Million for Iran Are Just Part of Diplomacy” [PoliticoMag]

“Tony Blair Praises Clinton’s Work on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks” by Jacob Kornbluh:“In an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush on his podcast “Off Message,” former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he has “huge regard” for Clinton’s work on the issue. “I worked very closely with Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state,” he said.  “I was handling parts of the Middle East peace process at that time. And, you know, I’ve got a huge regard for her. I mean, I think she is an outstandingly capable and decent person. You know, I’ve worked with her really very closely over that, on very tricky issues, where the politics was extremely delicate, and where, you know, there were many different and contradictory currents,” Blair added.” [JewishInsider]

“In Israel’s religious press, Hillary Clinton is invisible” by Daniella Cheslow:“Hillary Clinton may become the president of Israel’s most important ally, but her image is banished from a significant swath of the country’s media: the ultra-Orthodox press whose deeply conservative readership chafes at images of women. “For us there is no question. We will not publish pictures of women, period,” said Meni Shwartz, editor of the ultra-Orthodox news site Behadrei Haredim.” [AP]

“What turns many Jews away from Trump energizes his supporters” by Eitan Arom: “I like the idea that somebody fresh and new and a little bit vulgar is getting ahead,” said Culver City resident Leslie Fuhrer Friedman, who attends the Pacific Jewish Center on Venice Beach. “Does he say uncouth things?” she said. “Of course. You know, he’s kind of like an Israeli in the Knesset. He’s a little rude.” Michael Mahgerefteh, 45, a Beverly Hills resident born in Tehran, said many Persian Jews fault the Obama administration for not projecting an air of strength that would help shield Israel from her enemies. “A lot of us feel like Israel is our country, more than the U.S., or Iran even,” he said. “All the stuff that’s happened in the last seven or eight years, which I think Hillary will continue, is bad for Israel.” [JewishJournal]

“Trump campaign offices opened up across Israel” by Yoni Kempinski: “The Republican Party in Israel opened the first office of an American political party in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area Wednesdaynight. The office, which will service the Gush Dan and Sharon regions, will be used for get out the vote operations and a campaign call center, work by campaign volunteers, and will act as a base of operations for the Israeli campaign’s leadership team. Trump’s Israel operation already has offices in Jerusalem and Modiin, with a fourth location to be opened over the Green Line in Samaria.” [INN]

“Trump’s Lawyers Had a Very Good Summer” by Russ Choma: “One firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torress & Friedman, which the campaign paid $69,000 in July, has long represented Trump’s real estate interests and handled a defamation suit Trump filed in 2005 against a journalist who questioned his wealth. (The journalist won.) In April, a partner at the firm, David Friedman, was named an “Israel advisor” to the Trump campaign.” [MotherJones]

“AP’s Bombshell Clinton Foundation Report Comes Under Scrutiny” by Michael Calderone:“Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign fired back Wednesday after a major Associated Press report raised serious ethical questions over ties between the State Department under Clinton and her family’s charitable organization, with Clinton’s team arguing that the AP data was woefully out of context.”[HuffPost]

Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon tweets: “Another “donor” who met with Hillary Clinton, according to AP: the late Elie Wiesel. This might be the most galling example yet.” [Twitter]

“DNC staffers make fun of Jerry Nadler’s weight in leaked emails” by Marisa Schultz: “The petty mocking by DNC staffers comes as Nadler stuck his neck out for Obama, as New York City’s only Jewish Democratic House member to support the controversial Iran nuclear deal.” [NYPost]

**Good Thursday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

PROFILE: “In just 12 years, the Facebook founder built an empire of 1.71 billion followers. His next goal: to friend the rest of humanity” by Dave Gershgorn: “Down the hall from Mark Zuckerberg’s desk sits a virtual reality studio. Foreign heads of state and other dignitaries have been known to lose themselves here in games of zero-gravity Ping-Pong and the real-seeming experience of firing virtual fireworks at each other. Such are their number, and frequency, that on an early summer morning Zuckerberg is at a loss to remember—or perhaps too diplomatic to divulge—one of their names. He does, however, recall the anecdotal nugget of the man’s visit. “He wouldn’t leave,” says Zuckerberg, sitting in a glass-walled conference room in Facebook’s cavernous and almost factorylike headquarters in Menlo Park, California.” [PopSci]

35 Innovators Under 35: “Why the future of communication could be on your wrist” by Peter Burrows: “Ari Roisman clearly covets human connection. Minutes after meeting me, the 32-year-old CEO of Glide gladly settles into a conversation about the role of Judaism in his life and how he gave up a promising career in clean energy to move to Jerusalem. “My entire consciousness of this world is that it is a gift,” he says, intently. Since 2012, Roisman has been striving to create a more human alternative to text messaging. Rather than typing short messages on tiny smartphone keys, sometimes adding emojis in a desperate stab to impart nonverbal emotion, you can use Glide’s app to send video messages with a single button push.” [MITTechReview]

LongRead: “Secrets of Super Siblings” by Charlotte Alter: “Nine families raised children who all went on to extraordinary success. Here’s what they have in common… The Emanuels would go on to become the stuff of legend and are often called the Jewish Kennedys: bioethicist Zeke is a vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania, a former Obama Administration official and one of the main architects of the Affordable Care Act; Rahm is the mayor of Chicago and a former chief of staff to President Obama; and Ari created William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest talent agencies in Hollywood.”

“Esther Wojcicki was having a pool party. Her husband Stan was chair of the physics department at Stanford, and they regularly hosted barbecues for students and their families. Their daughters Susan, Janet and Anne would interrogate the guests about theoretical physics when they weren’t busy passing hors d’oeuvres or throwing each other in the pool. Susan is now the CEO of YouTube, Janet is a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Uni­versity of California, San Francisco, and Anne is a co-founder and the CEO of genetics company 23andMe.” [TimeMag]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Dwindling Amazon Jewish community keeps faith despite religious exodus” by Ryan Schuessler: “On a humid Friday night, the last Jews of Iquitos gather in the back room of a mattress shop to worship in a language few of them even understand. Iquitos – the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road – is home to one of the last Jewish communities in the Amazon basin, but that may not be true for much longer: a modern exodus to Israel has seen the city’s Jewish population drop by more than 80% in the past decade.” [TheGuardian]

CAMPUS BEAT — Maccabee Task Force Executive Director David Brog emails… “Earlier this week a surprising report surfaced in the media that a modest grant approved by the Maccabee Task Force to the David Horowitz Freedom Center had been used to fund a poster campaign that targeted student activists. The Maccabee Task Force never authorized or approved such a poster campaign. And the David Horowitz Freedom Center has since confirmed that it never used our funds for this campaign. In short, the newspaper report was completely false.”

BIRTHDAYS: Adam Friedman… Gene Simmons… Carina Grossman… Robert Cohen… Award winning British novelist who has been described as the “Jewish Jane Austen,” Howard Jacobson turns 74… Founder of Mosaic H+H Advisors, Harley Mayersohn… Immediate Past Board Chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Lorin Fife… Jackie Rotman… Leni Reiss…

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Aug
22

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Daily Kickoff: Dershowitz playing the Donald for Hillary? | Spotlight on Jared K | Deutsche Bank’s $10B Scandal | The Hasidic Jews behind Beach Gal

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Ed note: We’re back after a short break and a whirlwind tour of Israel with the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s REALITY Storytellers experience [GroupPic] • We’re hiring. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com if you’re interested in joining the team. 2016 WATCH: “Is Alan Dershowitz helping Hillary prep for debate with Trump?” — by WNYC’s Richard Hake: “The Clinton campaign has been looking for a surrogate to play Trump so she can practice and they are bringing in the well known criminal and constitutional law attorney Alan Dershowitz.” [WNYC

In an email to Jewish Insider, Dershowitz didn’t outright deny the report, but said he is not aware of his role playing Trump. “Not that I’ve heard,” he wrote. [JewishInsider]

Dershowitz to Politico:“I’ve never been asked by the Clinton campaign. I have no idea what they’re internally thinking… Of course I would do it if asked —I think I could do a pretty good Donald Trump impression. I’m happy to do anything to help her become President. I may campaign in Florida, where I live now.” [Politico]

“Democratic mega-donors plow money into Clinton, Senate bids” by Julie Bykowicz: “In July alone, New York hedge fund billionaire George Soros gave $1.5 million to Planned Parenthood’s super PAC and $35,000 to Priorities USA, both working to elect Clinton, as well as $500,000 to the Senate Majority PAC. Other million-dollar donors to Priorities USA include the creator of diet product Slim-Fast, Daniel Abraham, and Donald Sussman, a financier who is divorcing Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree. Soros’s latest contributions bring his 2015-2016 super PAC total to more than $14 million — a fivefold increase from his super PAC investments during the previous presidential election.” [AP; Politico]

“GOP Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson Continues to Snub Donald Trump” by Leigh Ann Caldwell:”Adelson was furious with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for not endorsing Trump in his convention speech — he told Cruz so immediately after Cruz walked off stage — but Trump’s post-convention campaign has instilled little confidence in the high-dollar donor. Time is tight if Adelson is to try to rescue Trump. Labor Day — the unofficial start of the general election season — approaches.” [NBCNews]

Over The Weekend — “Paul Manafort Quits Donald Trump’s Campaign After a Tumultuous Run” by Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin: “According to people briefed on the matter,Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, expressed increasing concern after a Times article published on Sunday about allegations of cash payments made to Mr. Manafort’s firm for his work on behalf of his main client, Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president, who is an ally of Mr. Putin.”[NYTimes]

“Trump, new team have little time to execute new strategy” by Steve Peoples: “The Trump campaign is at a ludicrously high disadvantage,” said Dan Senor, a former adviser to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “The Democrats have something that the Republicans don’t: They have a nominee that’s built a real campaign organization.” [AP]

SPOTLIGHT ON JARED: “This is what it’s like to work for Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner” by Eric Johnson: Elizabeth Spiers discussed her year-and-a-half-long stint as editor of the New York Observer. “He loves Donald Trump. They have a good relationship, I think partly because they’re families of similar histories. They’re both dynastic commercial real estate people. The fathers on both sides have their share of notoriety, for different reasons. I think that’s also probably part of the reason Jared and [his wife] Ivanka [Trump] bonded.” [ReCode]

“Ivanka And Jared’s Power Play” by Lizzie Widdicombe: “For a college student, Kushner was uncommonly pious and devoted to his family. He called his parents every day. On Fridays, he ate in a kosher dining hall, either Hillel or the Chabad house, which is affiliated with the Lubavitcher Hasidim. At the Fly, new members are subjected to initiation hazing: seniors will demand that they clean a dorm room, or drink warm gin. Kushner encouraged them to come to Shabbat dinner at Chabad. Hirschy Zarchi, the rabbi at Chabad, said, “Can you imagine? New initiates. He said, ‘You have to come and have dinner and be exposed to Jewish ideas.’ ”” [NewYorker]

“Jared Kushner’s Second Act” by Vicky Ward: “Jared’s marriage to Ivanka was not a foregone conclusion. The couple have been married for seven years and have three children together, but during the early days of their relationship Seryl Kushner had expressed concern that Ivanka wasn’t Jewish. The couple broke up, and they reunited only after Ivanka agreed to convert to Judaism. Even then, according to Bob Sommer, Charles Kushner remained skeptical. He made Ivanka’s conversion as testing as it could be. Ivanka passed the tests, and by 2009 Charles was ready to formally accept her into the Kushner family.” [EsquireMag]

“Trump Family Connection Raises Questions For Tech Investor Josh Kushner” by Nitasha Tiku: “For months Josh Kushner’s relationship to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was an open question in startup circles. But this week the notoriously press-averse venture capitalist finally gave them an answer: Kushner won’t be voting for Donald Trump.” [BuzzFeed]

NEXT GEN: “George P. Bush visits Israel” by Eli Watkins: “Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush returned Saturday from an unannounced visit to Israel. Bush’s Israel trip could bolster his foreign policy credentials as he seeks to build a stronger backing in the Republican Party that so decisively rejected his father. The 40-year-old lawyer and father of two was elected Texas land commissioner in 2014 and has been mentioned as a candidate for higher office in the coming years.” [CNN]

“Israel’s New Man in New York,” by Carol Giacomo — Q: “Are you including J Street in that outreach because you have been quoted in the press as being critical of them, suggesting they are anti-Israel?” Dani Dayan: “No, I never said they are anti-Israel. There was a minor incident that I took responsibility for the phrasing. You know, English is not my native language. I had a TV interview and my opponent said that the welcome to Donald Trump at the AIPAC convention contradicts Jewish values. And I said, look, I am much more concerned about some candidates that are endorsed by J Street, which are — not J Street, the candidates — anti-Israeli, and I intended to say, you know, symmetrically, that contradicts Jewish values, and at the end I said it’s un-Jewish. And that was a mistake to say un-Jewish. I never said J Street is un-Jewish; I just said a certain position by J Street contradicts Jewish values. I have personal very good relations with J Street leadership. I don’t believe in ostracizing.” Q: “Who is better for Israel, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?” DD: “Any American president is good for Israel.” [NYTimes]

KAFE KNESSET — Loud Night Along the Gaza Border — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Yesterday afternoon, a relatively long period of quiet along the Israeli border with Gaza came to an end, when a rocket from the Palestinian enclave was launched towards Israel, landing near a house in the town of Sderot. No one was hurt and the IDF responded by bombing Hamas targets in Gaza, which was no surprise – this is the usual routine in such cases. What was surprising, however, was the second phase of the Israeli response, which came late at night, when the IDF started attacking targets in Gaza once again, this time firing from tanks and planes for more than an hour, hitting dozens of targets within the Strip. There were no reports of casualties from Gaza as of this morning.

This leads us to the conclusion that the new Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who as a member of the opposition just months ago, promised to conquer Gaza and kill the entire Hamas leadership after any provocation, is trying to preserve his reputation among the right-wing in Israel, but at the same time without taking too much risk. After all, Israel has just signed a reconciliation deal with Turkey, and Israeli communities along the Gaza border have just finished repairing the damages of the war from two summers ago. A new war right now could put both at risk.

**Good Monday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Private equity firm bosses to get $370M windfall in Caesars mess [NYPost]• China Deal Sparks Biggest Jump in 19 Months for Israel’s Phoenix [Bloomberg] • Haim Saban’s Univision is buying Gawker Media for $135 million [ReCode] • Power lawyer Philip Rosen shares negotiation secrets [RealDeal] • The Uber Lobbyist Who Wants to Take Down Bill de Blasio [NYMag]

LongRead: “Deutsche Bank’s $10-Billion Scandal: How a scheme to help Russians secretly funnel money offshore unravelled” by Ed Caesar: “During the Nazi era, Deutsche Bank sullied its reputation by financing Hitler’s regime and purchasing stolen Jewish gold… Almost every weekday between the fall of 2011 and early 2015, a Russian broker named Igor Volkov called the equities desk of Deutsche Bank’s Moscow headquarters. Volkov would speak to a sales trader—often, a young woman named Dina Maksutova—and ask her to place two trades simultaneously. Deutsche Bank was helping the client to buy and sell to himself… Volkov previously had worked at Antanta Kapital, a brokerage owned by Arcadi Gaydamak, a Russian-Israeli billionaire.” [NewYorker]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Meet the Hasidic Jews Behind This Cute Bikini Brand” by Chavie Lieber: “Barry Glick is not your average bikini designer. For starters, he has zero experience designing swimwear — or designing any wear for that matter. He’s not particularly involved in fashion either. Oh, he also is a Hasidic Jew living in Brooklyn. None of this seemed to deter the 30-year-old father of five from starting a bikini company, Beach Gal, a year and a half ago.” [Racked]

“Learning and earning: Hasidic Brooklyn’s real estate machers” by Mark Maurer: “The real estate investors who hail from Brooklyn’s insular Hasidic communities are some of the industry’s most active and powerful players. Over the past decade, they’ve spent more than $2.5 billion on acquisitions in five prime Brooklyn neighborhoods, according to an analysis of property records by The Real Deal. But unlike their Grill Room-dining, art-collecting Manhattan counterparts, they prefer to stay in the shadows, their connections to properties masked through a network of frontmen and a labyrinth of LLCs. Most have no websites, and some have never been photographed.” [TheRealDeal]

STARTUP NATION: “Making earphones customized for hearing ability, Even tunes up $2 million” by Jonathan Shieber: “MeQ Inc., the company behind Even earphones, the tunable earbuds that adjust to users’ unique hearing abilities, has raised $2 million as it looks to expand its business. Founded by classically trained composer and sound designer Danny Aronson, and his CTO partner Ofer Raz, MeQ has plenty of competition in the headphone market.” [TechCrunch] • “How to create a ‘start-up nation’: Yiddish chutzpah versus Thai krengjai” [TheNation]

PROFILE: “The Secret Voice Of America’s Power Players” by Nick Fouriezos: “What I have learned about Clare Doody is that her words have been spoken by senators, governors, activist icons and CEOs. Her employers tell me she’s ghostwritten pieces in the New York Times, Time and Foreign Policy, and that they wouldn’t be surprised if she became a chief presidential speechwriter one day. Truly putting yourself in another’s shoes takes empathy, a virtue she learned partly while attending Greek Orthodox and Jewish day schools as a child, where she developed a taste for baklava and novels about the Holocaust. “This is always where the conversation ends,” the Houston native jokes, but that morbid interest inspired thoughts about the fragility of government structures.” [Ozy]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Woman’s funeral had no attendees, so 30 strangers showed up” by AP: “Strangers served as Francine Stein’s pallbearers and also helped bury her during the service Wednesday at a cemetery in Orangetown. Stein died at the age of 83. Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach officiated the service and says there was no eulogy because he didn’t know anything about the woman. He learned at the cemetery that Stein was a musician and had taught at the Julliard School. One attendee said she came to the service as a simple act of “human decency.”” [NYPost; LoHud]

CAMPUS BEAT: “How a casino tycoon is trying to combat an exploding pro-Palestinian movement on campuses” by Teresa Watanabe: “The Maccabee Task Force — named after a small Jewish rebel group who prevailed over the Greeks two millennia ago — mainly aims to beef up positive education about Israel with such methods as hosting “peace tents” for dialogue during anti-Israel campus events and Israel cultural fairs — complete with free falafel and iced coffee.” [LATimes]

WEEKEND WEDDING: Brian Gralnick, director of social responsibility for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia who ran for Pennsylvania State Senate in 2014, on Saturday married Perri Rosner, a physician assistant at Jefferson University Hospital. The maid of honor was Jess Levin, comms director at Making Change at Walmart. At the wedding at The Old Mill in Rose Valley, Pa., Levin, toasting the newlyweds, said “Brian, you may have lost the election but you won her heart.” [Pic] h/t Playbook

BIRTHDAYS: Philanthropist and billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Elliott Singer turns 72… Emmy Award winning television news journalist, formerly the weekend anchor of CBS Evening News, Morton Dean (born Morton Dubitsky) turns 81… Former chief of Staff to the Vice President Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby turns 66… Deborah Hochberg, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Paul E. Singer Foundation… Chairwoman of Israel’s Strauss Group, a large dairy and food company, Ofra Strauss turns 56… Michael Fragin… Joyce Fox… Robin Elcott… Nebi Qena, AP senior producer in Jerusalem… Rachel Saifer Goldman…

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Aug
12

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Daily Kickoff: Meet the 16-Year-Old Making Millions Selling Rare Sneakers | Martin Selig on why he supports Trump | JJ interviews Natalie Portman

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Ed note: There will be no Daily Kickoff emails next week but be sure to follow us on Twitter and at JewishInsider.com for scoops and updates. 

WEEKEND READ: “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart” by Scott Anderson — The story of more than a decade of war, terror and revolution in the Middle East, seen through the eyes of six people whose lives were changed forever. This in-depth article, the product of some 18 months of reporting, charts the catastrophe that has befallen the Arab World since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and a global refugee crisis. [NYTimesMag]

TOP TALKER: “Lapid: U.S. Presidential Transition Time ‘Dangerous’ for Israel” by Jacob Kornbluh: “The transition time of an American president is always a dangerous time for us,” Knesset Member and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said in a conference call hosted by the Israel Policy Forum on Wednesday. “Even Ronald Reagan, who was a great friend of Israel, recognized the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) in his transition time.” Going to the UN would be the “worst possibility” for Israel, even if the resolution does not impose sanctions on Israel for settlement activity but calls them illegal, Lapid said.

“The damage would be huge — and this is counterproductive, even for those of us who believe Israel needs separate itself from the Palestinians and understand that this separation has to do with evacuating settlements,” he said. “It won’t be able to define the difference between the [large settlement] blocs and the more isolated settlements that are going to be part of a future Palestinian state. This is the worst possibility of them all, and I really hope that the United States will (a) not take this path and (b) if somebody else will, will veto it before.” [JewishInsider]

Lapid tells Jewish Insider: “I think Israel needs to acknowledge the fact that the majority of the American Jewry, American Jews are Democrats. I think we should do our best to go back to bipartisanship. I said last time I was in Congress, Congressman Ted Deutch organized for me to sit with a group of Dems – most of them Jewish – members of Congress, and we all agreed that there is a certain amount of rehabilitation that needs to be made between Israel and the Democratic Party. I think it’s a goal. This doesn’t mean, of course, we’re giving up on the Republican Party. As I was saying, there needs to be more bipartisanship.”

“Bibi rival says $3.7bn US military deal leaves Israel short-changed” by James Reinl:“Instead of grandstanding over the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu could have brokered some kind of “compensation package” from Washington for as much as $5bn each year to recompense Israel for its security losses, Lapid said. The 10-year US-Israel military aid package is an “almost done deal” that will be “signed in the coming days,” although it may not be unveiled until Netanyahu attends the annual UN General Assembly in New York in mid-September, Lapid said.” [MDE; JPost]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “In reversal, Trump says IS claim about Obama was sarcastic” by Josh Lederman:“After days of alleging repeatedly that President Barack Obama literally founded the Islamic State group, Donald Trump abruptly shifted tone on Friday and insisted his widely debunked claim had been sarcastic.” [AP]

“Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump misses ‘what makes Michigan great'” by John Gallagher and Kathleen Gray: “Clinton and about 100 people attended a fund-raiser Wednesday night at the Birmingham home of Gretchen and Ethan Davidson, son of Bill Davidson, who led Guardian Industries and the Detroit Pistons until his death in 2009. The fund-raiser was described as “big-ticket,” but a dollar amount for ticket wasn’t immediately available. Among the attendees at the event was Motown star Aretha Franklin, who sang two songs during the event,  “Respect” and “Natural Woman.””[DetroitFreePress]

“His Family Escaped the Nazis. So Why Is Martin Selig Supporting Trump?” by Daniel Person: Given your family’s history of escaping Nazi Germany, what do you make of the comparisons between Trump and the far-right nationalist parties in Europe? Selig: “That’s so poppycock. It’s just a lot of talking. I really don’t see the comparison. The only way we got out of there was because my father was a member of the American Chamber of Commerce, and we basically got the last boat out. We went from Germany to Poland to Moscow, on the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Korea, across the Sea of Japan, to a boat in Yokohama, Japan. It was going to San Francisco, but it stopped in Seattle. For reasons we can’t figure out, my family got off in Seattle. This country kept us alive, allowed us in.” [SeattleWeekly]

“Stephen Miller, meet your immigrant great-grandfather” by Rob Eshman:“I am fascinated by Stephen Miller. He is the 30-year-old wunderkind political adviser in the campaign of Donald J. Trump whose job has been to whip up the crowd prior to Trump taking the stage. On his mother’s side, Miller is a Glosser — and you could write a book on the Glossers. In fact, someone did. By becoming Trump’s anti-immigrant avatar, Miller demonstrates that in America, truly anything is possible: The great-grandson of a desperate refugee can grow up to shill for the demagogue bent on keeping desperate refugees like his great-grandfather out.” [JewishJournal]

“GOP donors, fearful of Trump-fueled electoral rout, direct big money down-ballot” by Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy:“Singer is spreading his money down the Republican ballot, shelling out more than $7 million through the end of June to nine super PACs backing congressional candidates. There are signs of a brewing big money fight in Illinois, where Republican Sen. Mark Kirk is scrambling to fend off Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, even after he formally retracted his support of Trump. Independent Voice for Illinois collected one of its biggest donations to date in late June, when it received $150,000 from out of state. The donor? Paul Singer.” [WashPost]

INBOX — Carol & Jerry Levin and Yossi Siegel are hosting Sen. Mark Kirk in the Hamptons on August 28th. The event costs $1,000 to attend and $2,700 to sponsor.

“Kirk opposes Iran deal, but his presidential pick has supported it” by Rick Pearson: “Kirk, who has unendorsed Donald Trump, said Wednesday he “can’t support” Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or anyone for president who backs the Iran nuclear agreement. But Kirk’s stated choice as a write-in candidate for president, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, also supported the U.S.-led multinational agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Kirk’s comments came in an interview on CNN in which he talked about his evolving choice for president. “Hillary Clinton was for the Iran agreement. And I can’t support someone who is for the Iran agreement,” Kirk said. “In my case, I’ll be writing in Gen. Colin Powell. That, I think, would be the best person,” said Kirk.” [ChicagoTribune]

After our report on FL23, Jewish Dems push back against Canova’s attacks — “As Jewish representatives from South Florida, we are frankly disappointed that Mr. Canova would use us so disingenuously,” Congressmembers Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch said in a joint statement. “We both strongly support Debbie Wasserman Schultz for re-election, in no small part due to her deep commitment to Israel and her tireless advocacy on behalf of the Jewish community in South Florida and around the world. We are calling on Tim Canova to immediately stop using our names and images.”

Ron Klein tells us: “This is not partisanship. This is not Democrat vs. Democrat. This is about who is pro-Israel and why they are pro-Israel. I’ve got big concerns over the critique Mr. Canova has made over Debbie’s record. I’ve known her since 1992. She is a stalwart pro-Israel person, and there’s very few exceptions to that. I think him criticizing her about the Iran deal vote, and then himself going back and forth in his own position, is a little bit credulous… This is not something we should play politics with. We have a limited number of Jewish members in Congress; we are two percent of the country. We need all the friends that we can get, and the Jewish members have to stick together and find non-Jewish friends who also support Israel – it shouldn’t be a partisan issue or a political issue.”

Vice President Joe Biden in September’s edition of Foreign Affairs: “One year on, the deal speaks for itself: the agreement is working… Tearing up the deal now, as some have proposed, would leave Iran’s nuclear program unconstrained, increase the threat to Israel and our partners in the Gulf, turn the international community against the United States, and sharply raise the prospect of another major war in the Middle East. Critics of engagement should remember that the nuclear deal was never meant to resolve all our problems with Tehran. Engaging Iran need not come at the expense of our ironclad commitments to our allies and partners in the Middle East, including Israel.” [ForeignAffairs]

“Convicted spy Pollard loses challenge to U.S. parole conditions” by Nate Raymond: “U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan denied a challenge by Pollard to requirements imposed by the U.S. Parole Commission that he wear an electronic tracking device and submit his work computer to monitoring.” [Reuters]

“Ben-Gurion on Israel, Peace and Back Pain: A Lost Interview Is Brought to Life” by Isabel Kershner: “The rare, intimate and reflective interview with Israel’s founding prime minister was filmed nearly 50 years ago, but it never aired. David Ben-Gurion, at 82 and five years out of office, spoke in the six-hour interview of state-building and the biblical prophets that guided him; the security imperative of his young nation and Israel’s quest for spiritual and moral superiority; his battle with lower back pain and his interest in Buddhism.” [NYTimes]

**Good Friday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: N.J. Approves $800 Million Bond Plan to Complete Mega Mall [Bloomberg] • Y Combinator visiting India, Israel, Nigeria, Russia and 7 other countries this fall [VentureBeat] — Flashback to 2014: “Y Combinator founder Paul Graham Enraged Israeli Techies With Seemingly Pro-Palestinian Tweets” [NYMag; Pando] • 80-floor office high-rise approved for Tel Aviv [Globes] • Dean Kamen, inventor of Segway, iBot and AutoSyringe and founder of FIRST, shares his perspective on: attracting today’s kids to technology, running out of time and capitalism [Forbes]

STARTUP NATION: “Google and the U.S. Government Are Helping Orthodox Jews Get Tech Jobs” by Gwen Ackerman: “Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Alphabet Inc. are among companies supporting Moshe Friedman’s KamaTech, a venture backed by the U.S. government and private money aimed at getting more ultra-Orthodox Jews like Friedman into Israel’s burgeoning technology industry. Friedman, who wears the white shirt, black suit and black skull cap of ultra-religious Jews, has seen interest in his program soar: from five haredi entrepreneurs at a community startup event he hosted in 2013 to 1,000 at a Tel Aviv gathering a year ago. Friedman said today there are at least 6,000 haredi engineers in Israel, from almost zero three years ago.” [Bloomberg]

PROFILE: “This 16-Year-Old Has Made Millions Selling Rare Sneakers” by Lauren Schwartzberg: “Ben’s real last name is Kapelushnik, and a full year before he should be graduating from his Fort Lauderdale high school (he skipped fourth grade and is now homeschooled), he’s one of the most recognizable sneaker resellers in a flourishing resale market valued at $1.2 billion. Ben brags that he’s on track to make $1 million in sales this year just from the normals who shop his collection every day online at sneakerdon.com… He read sneaker magazines to learn what was popular, used his bar-mitzvah money to buy more, studied the resale market, and met like-minded hobbyists at sneaker conventions.”

“One night last December, after the black Yeezy Boost 750 release ($1,400 on sneakerdon.com), Ben was at Khaled’s house with Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat. Ben had come into a small fortune that day, having sold a handful of Yeezys. Khaled was in the Jacuzzi, filming for Snapchat, and asked Ben, “How’s business?” With Ben’s answer, a tagline was born. “That was just the thing that came to my head. It’s, like, a word, you know? It’s like, Boomin’. It’s just a boomin’ word. It’s just boomin’!” Earlier this year, the hip-hop personality Karen Civil posted a video asking Hillary Clinton, “How’s business?” The nominee smiled at the camera, looking directly at her millennial voters. “Boomin’!””

“On the wall of fame in Ben’s bedroom, there’s a picture of him dancing behind the rapper Rick Ross as he performs for Ben at his bar mitzvah. Ben’s father had met the rapper through work and asked him to make an appearance: “It’s funny because I didn’t know who he was then, and now I sell sneakers to him,” Ben says. Both of Ben’s parents — a real-estate broker and a stay-at-home mother — moved here from Russia, and Ben’s voice has the type of inflection you might expect from someone who grew up speaking Russian to immigrant parents and now mostly hangs out with rappers.” [NYMag] • See a pic of Ben with his great-grandmother in Miami with the Birkat Habayit blessing hanging on the wall in the background [Pic]

LongRead: “You’re Not Done With Al Sharpton Yet” by Ben Smith: “Sharpton’s tolerance — even enjoyment — of ideological adversaries does not extend to Donald Trump, though he recognizes the parallels in their public lives… Sharpton is self-aware enough to understand his own place in the media game, but he sees his role differently than Donald Trump’s. “I ain’t mad at nobody. He is,” Sharpton concluded. “He will never, ever go to bed and wake up and be the toast of the Regency breakfast room. But I will see police reform laws.” [BuzzFeed]

HOLLYWOOD: “For her directorial debut, Natalie Portman mines her inner Israeli and what it means to be Jewish” by Danielle Berrin: “When I approach Portman, she smiles, introducing herself with a light handshake. Almost instantly she conveys an uncanny resemblance to the character I had just seen her play — a bit remote; fragile like fine porcelain, her interior somehow off-limits and unknowable. For her directorial debut, Portman chose Israeli writer Amos Oz’s celebrated memoir “A Tale of Love and Darkness.” It is the first time in Portman’s career she has served as writer, director and star, and she labored more than a decade to bring Oz’s heartrending elegy from page to screen.” [JewishJournal]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “This Phone Number Lets You Talk to Random Jews Around the World” by Josefin Dolsten: “A new phone number connects callers with Jews living all over the world — whether they are looking for kosher restaurant recommendations, local synagogues or just a chat. The inspiration for the idea came from two sources: a similar number launched by the Swedish Tourist Association in April, which connects callers with random Swedes, and a phone call with a relative facing a religious conundrum.” [Forward]

BIRTHWEEK: Our weekly wine columnist Yitz Applbaum celebrated his birthday yesterday. Yitz is hard at work preparing a strong selection of reviews for Autumn.

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Billionaire currency trader, philanthropist and political activist, George Soros (born György Schwartz) turns 86… Winner of two Academy Awards for his screenplays, William Goldman turns 85… Founding editor of The Times of Israel David Horovitz turns 54… Red Banyan Group’s DC principal, Jarad Geldner… Temple Beth Zion of Brookline’s Claudia Kreiman… Director of Management Operations at The University of Texas at Houston, Fredi Bleeker Franks… David Fine… Jay Chernikoff…

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen turns 70… Michael Landau turns 51… Mort Algaze… Dana Marlowe… Ruthie Kellerman… Elaine Hall… Jonathan Gerber… Moshava Malibu… Jodie Singer… Mila Kunis turns 33… Jeremy Wynes… Carol Levin, President of the Hampton Synagogue…

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]
PHOTO: REUTERS

Clinton Leads Trump by 43 Points Among Jewish Voters in Florida

Friday, August 26, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is leading Republican nominee Donald Trump by 43 points among Jewish voters in Florida, a new poll released on Friday showed. According to…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Clinton: Trump Has Helped Mainstream Racism and Anti-Semitism

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday attacked Donald Trump for turning a blind eye on his white nationalist and anti-Semitic supporters and for spreading some of their…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Netanyahu to Receive Hudson Institute Award During Visit to NY

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the U.S.-Israel relationship and the challenges Israel faces in the Middle East at a dinner hosted by the Hudson Institute during…

Screenshot via YouTube

Tony Blair Praises Clinton’s Work on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s activity as U.S. Secretary of State has come under scrutiny in recent days, with Donald Trump accusing her of ‘Third World’ corruption after revelations that many…

josh earnest

Voters Split on Iran Cash Payment as WH Rejects Criticism

Monday, August 22, 2016

The White House on Monday rejected renewed criticism of the Iran cash payment, insisting that the release of the $400 million contingent on Iran releasing the hostages was not…

Photo screenshot via YouTube

Report: Dershowitz Helping Hillary Prep for Debate with Trump

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Harvard Law professor and defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz is said to be helping Hillary Clinton prepare for the first televised debates with Donald Trump next month, according to…