Jewish Insider Daily Kickoff – Dec. 4

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Mazal Tov! – Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer officially presented his credentials to President Obama in the Oval Office yesterday. Dermer also presented Obama with menorah cufflinks from Jerusalem and wrote the following in the White House guestbook — “I feel proud and honored to serve as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States. America is a country to which the Jewish people owe so much and to which I, as a son of America, am so personally indebted. I look forward to working with you and your administration to make bonds between Israel and America stronger than ever.” [JewishInsider]

Issues of Iran, Middle East Converge Before Kerry Trip to Israel — Interlinking Could Hinder Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks: by Joshua Mitnick [WSJ] — Barak Ravid – U.S. to present Israel with plan for security arrangements in future Palestinian state: “The United States has developed a plan for security arrangements in the West Bank following the establishment of a Palestinian state. Retired U.S. Gen. John Allen, who developed the security concept, will present it during a meeting in Jerusalem on Thursday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, according to informed sources. Kerry hopes that if he comes to an understanding with Netanyahu on the security issue, the premier will be obliged to present a clear position on borders.”[Haaretz

Ahead of Israel Trip, Obama Directs Kerry Not to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem: [WeeklyStandard]

You Mean Al Jazeera Lied?! – Arafat’s Widow: French Scientists Rule Out Poisoning – Study Finds Radioactive Polonium Didn’t Kill Yasser Arafat: [WSJ] Edward Jay Epstein’s Analysis [WSJ]

White House tells Senate it opposes new Iran sanctions effort: [Reuters] In UK, Sen. Marco Rubio criticizes Iranian nuclear deal: [AP] White House: Final Iran deal could include enrichment: [ToI] Talks on Implementing Iran Deal to be Held Next Week: [WSJ]

Serious Policy, BuzzFeed-Style — Jeffrey Goldberg – Six Reasons to Worry About the Iranian Nuclear Deal: “1. The deal isn’t done. 2. Momentum for sanctions is waning in the international community. 3. The (still unenforced) document agreed upon in Geneva promises Iran an eventual exit from nuclear monitoring. 4. The biggest concession to the Iranians might have already been made. 5. Iran is free, in the coming six-month period of the interim deal, to do whatever it pleases on missiles and warhead development. 6. The Iranians are so close to reaching the nuclear threshold anyway — defined here as the ability to make a dash to a bomb within one or two months from the moment the supreme leader decides he wants one — that freezing in place much of the nuclear program seems increasingly futile.” [Bloomberg] Dennis Ross – Washington will not sell out our allies: [Al-Monitor] Thomas L. Friedman – Bibi and Barack, the Sequel; Could Bibi & Obama share the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize? [NYTimes]

Top Talker – Why Won’t the U.S. Help Alan Gross? – Stephen B. Kaplitt – Politico Magazine: “Alan Gross is an untrained civilian who was put in harm’s way by his own government. His case presents a simple question that has nothing to do with the wisdom of U.S. policy toward Cuba: Will the U.S. government shoulder its responsibility for sending Gross to Cuba and do whatever is necessary to bring him home?” [PoliticoMag]

World Jewish Congress and The International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians gather in the Capitol building yesterday. The ICJP announced last week that Rep. Eliot Engel will take over chairmanship of the group from Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein: [JPost]

2016 Watch: Top (Jewish) Hillary Clinton Fundraiser Jonathan Mantz, In Talks To Join Priorities USA: [BuzzFeed]

Scene at the UJA-Federation of New York Wall Street Dinner: “Monday night was the annual Wall Street Dinner to benefit the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. A large (over 1,700) and generous crowd of bankers and hedge-fund managers gathered at the New York Hilton and raised more than $26 million, up from $23 million last year and the biggest sum in its history. Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd C. Blankfein was honored with the Gustave L. Levy award. “Lloyd, I’d like to welcome you to your second bar mitzvah,” David K. Wassong, the co-head of private equity at Soros Fund Management, said. “The only difference is that tonight the money goes to UJA.”

–Addressing the attendees, Blankfein said the award was meaningful because he benefited from Jewish agencies growing up in a tough neighborhood. “The only person I knew who put on a suit every day was our rabbi,” Blankfein said. That rabbi “encouraged me to think about the world beyond East New York,” and found funding for him to attend after-school programs and summer camp. Those experiences shaped “what I could aspire to and what I could accomplish,” Blankfein said.

–The keynote speaker, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was presented with a shofar, the ritual ram’s horn used on Rosh Hashana. “I have been known to actually blow this and make noise come out of it,” Mr. Kelly said. “But I’m not going to try it here; this is a tough audience.” Mr. Blankfein saw an opening. “I was hoping for the shofar,” Mr. Blankfein said when it was his turn to stand behind the lectern. “Can you please tell the commissioner his chauffeur is waiting?” The audience roared at the wordplay.

–Among those spotted in attendance were: Daniel S. Och; Alan Greenberg; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan; John Paulson; David Soloman; Gary Cohn; Robert Kapito; Laura Blankfein; Josh Kushner; David Blitzer; Michael Karsch; Larry Robbins; Boaz Weinstein; Joshua Nash; Bruce Richards; Robert Soros; Antoine Chiche; David Haber; Olivier Sarfati.” [JewishInsider]

At Peter Kaplan’s Funeral, Mourning the Master of the Masters – by David Carr:“Manhattan publishing took a very sad holiday on Tuesday. Many of its better-known practitioners traveled by train, car and, in some cases, chartered bus, to Larchmont Temple in Westchester County to say farewell to one of their heroes, Peter W. Kaplan. Mr. Kaplan died last Friday of lymphoma. A walk through the city with Mr. Kaplan was an exercise in storytelling about the streets and buildings, and the people who coursed through them. Rabbi Jeffrey J. Sirkmanexplained at the beginning of the service that those stories still had value even though the person who told them was now gone.” [NYTimes]

Mentor. Partner. Friend. — New York Observer Publisher Jared Kushner Remembers Peter Kaplan: “Peter Kaplan was a giant. When I bought The New York Observer, my experience in journalism was limited to a single article I had written for a college magazine. I love business and thought that with the brand and readership demographics that the paper had built, I could find a way to spin it into a business. Peter was my partner and mentor on the journey. And I am a better man for having known him.

–Our relationship started out rocky. After a few months of unproductive, back-and-forth meetings, I got a call from my office that we had two front row seats for that night’s Yankees play-off game. I invited Peter, and off we went. When we got to our seats, we bought some beers and peanuts as the game started under a slight drizzle. I explained to Peter that the paper had never made a profit and we needed to rethink everything to try and come up with a way to revitalize it. We got into a conversation about what the paper was about, what it needed to be, its values and tenets, and what we shouldn’t change and what we must change. After three hours of talking, we realized that the drizzle had turned into a downpour. We looked around and noticed that Yankee Stadium was literally empty—we were the only two people sitting out there, drenched to our underwear. It was a quintessential Peter Kaplan moment and one I cherish to this day. We made an agreement that night. I would trust and learn from him, and he would be open-minded about creating a sustainable newspaper that both of us could love and be proud of.” [New York Observer]

Donald Trump accuses New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of kissing up to his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner while pursuing claims against Trump University: [NYPost]

Canadian Police Charge Two Men, Alan Zer and Rony Spektor, in Elaborate Foreign-Exchange Scam; Royal Canadian Mounted Police suspect that the two men fled to Israel: [WSJ]

Rabbis in the News — U.S. Supreme Court Hears Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg’s Frequent Flier Case [JewishInsider] —— BuzzFeed: Insane CNN Segment Featuring A Rabbi With A Black Belt Shows Viewers How To Survive The ‘Knockout Game’ [BuzzFeed]

Jewish Real Estate RoundUp: Larry Silverstein Breaking Ground on Tribeca Four Seasons [CommericalObserver] — Kushner buys Williamsburg rental from PMG for $34M [RealDeal]  — Isaac Chetrit, Yadidi to buy Hell’s Kitchen office building for $37M [RealDeal] —  PCMR v. Talisker: deposition lineup includes Jack Bistricer: [ParkRecord] — Taubman’s Bet on Asian Real Estate Projects Shakes Investors’ Faith: [WSJ]

StartUp Nation: Instagram Blocks Israeli Competitor Mobli From Its API [TechCrunch]

Why Jews Don’t Hunt — by James Greiff in Bloomberg: “This would always get me thinking about why I didn’t hunt. I’ve always read that it is a pursuit handed down from fathers to sons (and now daughters), so there really wasn’t much mystery to the answer. My father never hunted, nor had either of my grandfathers, and as far as I can tell, none of their forebears had either. Based on the 19th- and early 20th-century photographs, it just wasn’t possible to imagine those stolid craftsmen or natty merchants as hunters. I was left with an inescapable conclusion: Jews don’t hunt. But why?” [Bloomberg]

Sports Blink – Mazal Tov to Jewish NFL Agent Drew Rosenhaus who got married over the weekend to Miami real estate agent Lisa Thomson. [BleacherReport] — Vikings Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf broke ground on their new billion-dollar stadium: [MinnPost] — Hudson Bay Capital invests $3M in independent sports-related writing platform Rant Sports: [Forbes]

Dessert: New Brooklyn Restaurant Mason and Mug Puts Artisanal Spin on Kosher Dining: [TabletMag]

Thats all folks, have a great Wednesday! 

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