Daily Kickoff

Jewish Insider Kickoff

Mideast negotiations: ‘There’s going to be pain on both sides’ – “Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday to discuss how negotiations have gone so far. “Settlements are part of the territorial issue. Territory borders are going to be a core issue, security, and yes, Jerusalem will be a core issue,” Amb. Oren said. “We’re willing and ready to discuss all of these very complex issues because we know that’s the only way to get to peace. Negotiations aren’t about negotiations. They’re actually about getting to the peace agreement that we all want,” he said. Amb. Oren emphasized the importance of getting Israeli and Palestinian citizens on board and preparing them for what lies ahead. “We’re willing to say there’s going to be pain on both sides, painful concessions,” he said. Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erakat said on Tuesday that Palestinians must have a state of their own. “It’s time for the Palestinians to live in peace, freedom and dignity with their own independent sovereign state,” he said in a news conference with Kerry and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni Tuesday. Minister Livni acknowledged the hard road but sound optimistic. “It’s not our intention to argue about the past, but to create solutions and make decisions for the future,” she said. The two sides plan to meet again within two weeks.” [MSNBC]

PLO MINDMELD: Indyk is – ‘Another in a long line of pro-Israel American Jews’ – After years of failure, many Palestinian negotiators came to regard Mr Indyk as another in a long line of pro-Israeli American Jews who did more to reinforce Israel’s position than act as a neutral guarantor. “This is always the case – the Americans get someone who is pro-Israel and Jewish. Why can’t they get someone with no links to any side, like a Mexican-American?” asked a PLO official in Ramallah.” [TheNational]

Report – ‘PM cuts secret deal with Jewish Home on settlements:’ “In a deal to temper Jewish Home’s resistance to the release of over a hundred long-time Palestinian prisoners, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to advance construction of thousands of housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Hebrew daily Maariv reported Wednesday morning.” [Maariv/Times of Israel]

Jewish Agency to Launch The Prime Minister’s Initiative; Budget – $300M per year: “Over the past few months, a joint team from the Prime Minister’s Office and The Jewish Agency’s senior planning staff have worked to articulate a conceptual framework for the dramatic expansion of efforts to fortify young Jews’ connections to Israel. The framework, called The Prime Minister’s Initiative, centers on four elements – Israel Education, Israel Experiences, Israel Engagement on College Campus and Aliyah of Young Adults – and reflects priorities common to The Jewish Agency and many Jewish communal institutions and philanthropists around the world. Accordingly, the Prime Minister tasked Natan Sharansky to spearhead efforts to engage Jewish philanthropists, community leaders, foundations and organizations to provide leadership for this joint venture between the State of Israel and the Jewish People.” [eJewishPhilanthropy]

Big-Name GOP Donors Urge Members of Congress to Back Immigration Overhaul: “More than 100 Republican donors — many of them prominent names in their party’s establishment — sent a letter to Republican members of Congress on Tuesday urging them to support an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. Jewish Republicans on the letter included Bob Asher, Norman Braman, Phil Frost, Charlie Spies, Stephen Ross, and Fred Zeidman. The letter, which calls for “legal status” for the 11 million immigrants here illegally, begins with a simple appeal: “We write to urge you to take action to fix our broken immigration system.” The effort was organized by Carlos Gutierrez, who was secretary of commerce under President George W. Bush and was a founder of a “super PAC,” Republicans for Immigration Reform. The letter is the beginning of a campaign to lobby Republican lawmakers in favor of a broad immigration bill as they return to their districts for the August break.” [NYTimes]

Tikkun Olam – In Mass. governor’s race packed with Jewish candidates, much talk of repairing the world: “The election for Massachusetts governor is still 16 months away — too soon to know what the issues are or who the viable candidates will be. But apparently it’s never too soon for tikkun olam. Four of the declared candidates are Jewish, and all are grounding their campaigns in the religious imperative to repair the world. Steve Grossman, the state treasurer and a past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, quotes from Isaiah in describing his ambition to close the gap between rich and poor. “I received my Jewish heritage, my background, in being that person who can be a repairer of the breach between those who are well-to-do and those who lack the things people aspire to,” he said in an interview. Dan Wolf, a state senator and an aviation entrepreneur, also knows a bit about repair.
“This is about giving back and repairing the world,” he said of his run. Evan Falchuk, who is running under the banner of a new third party, United Independent, roots his quixotic bid to buck the two-party system in — you guessed it — world repair. “There’s so much to me about that story which is very common to Jews in America,” Falchuk said, describing his grandfather’s journey from Russia to Venezuela and his father’s from Venezuela to the United States. “What is common is this notion of a stubborn insistence to make the world a better place.” Massachusetts residents would hardly raise an eyebrow at the number of Jewish hopefuls in the race, the insider said. According to American Jewish Year Book statistics cited by the Jewish Virtual Library, the state’s Jewish population is 277,000, or 4 percent — more than twice the national percentage.” [JTA]

Congress Weighs Iran Measure Amid Doubts on Timing: “Legislation that would impose the toughest sanctions to date on Iran over its disputed nuclear program has been scheduled for a vote in the House on Wednesday, four days before the inauguration of that country’s newly elected president, a moderate cleric who has made improved relations with the United States an important goal. The legislation, if enacted into law and fully enforced, could basically eradicate what is left of Iran’s diminished oil exports by coercing its remaining customers to find other suppliers. Proponents of the legislation say that with 376 sponsors, it is expected to pass the House easily. It would then move to the Senate for consideration in September. But critics say the timing of the House vote has raised sharp questions about the kind of message it would send to Iran’s president-elect, Hassan Rouhani, before he takes office on Sunday. It has also laid bare a divide over Iran policy between Congress and the Obama administration, which has adopted a somewhat less confrontational approach.” [NYTimes]

Congressman Ed Royce Slams Iran Lobby: “The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee chastised a self-described representative of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) on Capitol Hill Tuesday for disseminating Iranian “propaganda.” During a press briefing on Iran sanctions, Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) sharply rebuked a woman who identified herself as being from NIAC after she claimed U.S. sanctions are preventing the Iranian people from receiving “medicine and food.” “That’s propaganda put out by the Iranian regime,” Royce said to the woman, who identified herself as Samira Damavandi. NIAC is an Iranian-American advocacy group long suspected of lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime. The confrontation occurred during a press briefing hosted by The Israel Project.

Damavandi is a NIAC intern and a student at the University of California, Berkeley, according to her LinkedIn profile. She is also a contributor to the Huffington Post. Iran has more access to medicine now than it has at any other time in the recent past, said Royce, who added that access has increased by 35 percent since 2012. “The regime does not want to spend earnings on medicine for the population,” Royce said to Damavandi. “This is why the health minister was fired.” Royce went on to slam pro-Iran groups such as NIAC for pushing pro-regime “propaganda.” “It is concerning that propaganda is circulating here in the U.S. by some who speak in favor of the policies taken by the regime,” Royce said. “We instead should be applying pressure. Those who care about Iran should have been supportive of the health minister who was fired” after he publicly went against Iran’s supreme leader. Damavandi made reference in her question to a recent congressional letter that she claimed showed waning support for tighter sanctions. The letter, which garnered 131 congressional supporters, called on President Barack Obama to initiate diplomatic relations with Iran’s newly elected president Hassan Rowhani. Some Democrats have stepped up efforts in recent days to defeat efforts to strengthen sanctions. However, Royce said the letter is not representative of opinion toward the new sanctions legislation, which would cut Iranian access to foreign currency and punish the oil industry of the rogue regime. The sanctions bill currently has more than 350 cosponsors, which includes most of the House.” [Free Beacon]

‘To See and Be Seen’ – Agudath Israel’s National Leadership Mission to Washington: [BaltimoreJewishLife]

Nathan Lewin: Parental Consent For Metzitza B’Peh A Reasonable Requirement – “A renowned lawyer , well known as a staunch advocate of civil rights, came out with some surprising words on the topic of metziza b’peh in a radio interview that took place this past Saturday night. Speaking with talk show host Zev Brenner, attorney Nathan Lewin said that he supported New York City’s decision to require signed parental consent before a mohel would be allowed to do metzitza b’peh. Lewin told Brenner that he declined to represent the parties that were challenging New York City on the metzitza b’peh ruling and that while he has respect for the lawyers who took the case, it was not one that he would have taken on.” [Vosizneias]

US can’t deport all Nazis because countries refuse to take them: “At least 10 suspected Nazi war criminals ordered deported by the United States never left the country, according to an Associated Press review of Justice Department data — and four are living in the United States today. All remained eligible for public benefits such as Social Security until they exhausted appeals, and in one case even beyond. Quiet American legal limbo was the fate of all 10 men uncovered in the AP review. The reason: While the U.S. wanted them out, no other country was willing to take them in.” [Associated Press]

-Schindler’s Original List Fails To Sell On Ebay: “Not a single bid was registered for an original copy of Schindler’s List, dated April 18, 1945, which was put up for auction on eBay on July 18 with a $3 million starting price. The California collectors selling the list had hoped to get $5 million.” [Circa]

HAPPENING TODAY – BIKE4CHAI: Cyclists raise more than $2.5M for kids with severe ailments – “Cyclists gearing up for a 175-mile charity bike ride beginning Wednesday to benefit sick Jewish kids have collected an eye-popping $2.4 million for the cause. Nearly a third of the donations for the July 31-Aug. 1 Bike4Chai trek hit the charity’s bank account in the past three weeks, organizer said, as word of the two-wheeled effort spreads around Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish enclaves. The money goes to Camp Simcha, a camp for children suffering with severe ailments, near Monticello. “I like biking and I want to do something positive,” said Abe Banda, owner of the city’s largest kosher supermarket, Pomegranate, in Midwood. Banda is leading a team on the ride from Asbury Park, N.J. to Camp Simcha in Glen Spey. More than 275 cyclists have signed up for the trek.” [New York Daily News]

Charlie Harari – Exploring the Elements of Success: “What is the secret to success? Charlie Harary, assistant clinical professor of management and entrepreneurship at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, is on a mission to find out. On a recent July afternoon in a 34th floor conference room overlooking midtown Manhattan, with video cameras rolling, Harary was interviewing Michael Steinhardt—one of the country’s most prominent hedge fund moguls, president of investment fund company Steinhardt Management Co. Inc. and co-founder of Taglit-Birthright Israel—trying to pinpoint how Steinhardt became the thriving businessman he is today.

The Jewish Channel, popularly known as “the Jewish HBO,” was on hand to film the riveting conversation, which will air as be part of a segment in Harary’s upcoming TV show, “Elements of Success.” “The show is based on my class at Sy Syms, ‘Principles of Success,’ where we try to identify various principles, values and strategies present in different types of success and bring to life those values that we learn in the classroom,” said Harary. “We want to be able to articulate certain principles from our classroom, show their application to the world and connect them back to the classroom again.” The show, which will debut on The Jewish Channel in the fall, tries to identify the traits of successful leaders and explore how their strategies are implemented in daily practice.” [Jewish Voice New York]

INTRODUCING FROM RUSTYBRICK: JewGlass – “We’ve helped change how the Jewish world uses technology to improve and aid their daily Jewish lives with our iOS Apps and Android apps. Now we are taking it up a notch with Google Glass. Google Glass is Google’s revolutionary concept behind a wearable computer. The RustyBrick team has come up with revolutionary ideas on how to leverage this device to fundamentally change the way Jews think about observing Judaism. By pushing contextual, geographic-aware, and time sensitive data directly into your line of vision – JewGlass can help you remember things such as prayer time deadlines, where to find kosher eateries, what or what not to say while praying in synagogue and Shabbat start or end times. This is just the beginning, the practical applications are endless. How do you get it? Well, first you need to get Google Glass (currently in beta and thus hard to get now) and then you need to click “Connect To Glass” at the top right section of this page and authorize the app. We are calling this project, JewGlass.” [RustyBrick]


Multiscreen Video Store Platform Latto Raises Further $4 Million: “Multiscreen video store platform Latto, which offers a white label solution for Telcos, Broadcasters, and Content Aggregators that want to get in on the multi-screen steaming and on-demand video action, has closed a $4 million dollar funding round, adding to the $11 million that the Israeli startup has previously raised.” [TechCrunch]

Contact Syncing App Sync.Me Launches ME Card, Another Attempt To Create A Unified Contact Card: “It’s been tried many times before. A way to keep all of your contact details up-to-date and have any changes automatically pushed to everyone in your address book, instead of having to email them or send an SMS and hope they ‘got the memo’. The problem with any solution that I can think of, however, is that it requires all of your contacts to be signed up to the same service for it to work. That creates a chicken and egg problem — those thorny network effects — where the solution only becomes useful once enough people commit to using it. However, with 7 million users since launch (up from 5 million last November), perhaps Israeli start-up Sync.ME‘s social contact app for iOS and Android has a shot.” [TechCrunch]

SPORTS BLINK – Maccabiah Games close in Jerusalem with Israel topping medal count: “The 19th Maccabiah Games came to a close in Jerusalem. The games closing ceremony, featuring some of Israel’s most popular and well known pop music groups, such as Balkan Beat Box and Infected Mushroom, took place Tuesday evening at Teddy Stadium.  Speakers urged the athletes gathered at the stadium to watch the closing ceremonies to consider making Israel their permanent home. Israel’s 3,000 participating athletes lead the medal counts with 411 medals, including 150 gold, 135 silver and 123 bronze. The U.S. delegation of about 1,200 came in second in the medal count with 196 medals, including 77 gold, 60 silver and 59 bronze. Canada, Australia and South Africa rounded out the top five countries with the highest medal counts.” [JTA]

DESSERT – Prime Grill to produce a cookbook of favorite recipes: “It’s been a busy few months for the team at Prime Grill Hospitality. In addition to revamping meat restaurant Solo into Solo Dairy Italian Kitchen and moving the flagship Prime Grill from East 49th Street to new digs on West 56th Street, the group has also been putting the finishing touches on “The Prime Grill Cookbook,” due out in mid-September. The timing seemed just right for a book, said David Kolotkin, the restaurant’s executive chef. “People have been asking us to do it for about five or six years, and with all the new changes it seemed like as good a time as any.” The book is penned by Kolotkin and Prime Hospitality owner Joey Allaham. It includes behind-the-scenes photos from the restaurant as well as a history of Prime Grill, which has been around for over a decade. In addition to descriptions of how the kitchen works, the book shares recipes for some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes including over a dozen meat entrees like the Delmonico steak with peppercorn sauce (available only on Tuesdays at Prime Grill), barbecued braised short ribs, marinated steak for two with fennel puree and Helene’s Holiday Brisket with Carrot and Onion Gravy (which comes from Kolotkin’s mother) and seems perfect for the high holidays. There are also over 10 recipes for side dishes, such as rosemary potato chips and dairy-free creamed spinach. (While the spinach’s secret ingredient is a bit of parve cream cheese, Kolotkin says the trick is using fresh spinach, saving some of the blanching liquid and mixing it in later.)

Noticeably absent from the book is a recipe for duck spring rolls, Prime Grill’s most popular appetizer. “I can’t put that in. Too big a secret,” Kolotkin said with a laugh. “But honestly they’re just not approachable for the home cook,” a quality he was looking for with all of the recipes in the book. But what the book lacks in duck coverage, it makes up for in its guide to making a good steak. We asked Kolotkin to share some tips for amateur cooks making steak at home, and he pointed to three tenets: “Make sure you dry the meat off before it goes on a grill or into a sauté pan, because it allows for much better caramelization. Second, let meat rest after cooking so that all the juices incorporate and stay in the meat. A good steak should never be served hot.” And, finally, he said, “know which way to slice it — which is against the grain.” [Forward]

Thats all folks, have a great Wednesday! 

**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email editors@jewishinsider.com**

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