Daily Kickoff: NYTimes on Cantor’s Jewish Donors; Senate Hearing on Iran Today; Pulver’s Zula Raises $3M; David Yarus’s ‘Kosher Tinder’ App – JSwipe

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By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

TOP TALKER: Eric Cantor announced at a press conference yesterday that he will step down as House Majority Leader and will not attempt to run as a write-in candidate in the fall. Cantor began the press conference by invoking his Judaism: “Growing up in the Jewish faith, going to Hebrew school, reading the old testament, I learned a lot about individual setbacks but I also learned that each setback is an opportunity and that there’s always optimism for the future. While I may have suffered a personal setback last night, I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this country.” [Video] In a closed door meeting of the House Republican Conference, Cantor said, quoting a Holocaust survivor: “Suffering is part of life, misery is a choice.” —According to a White House pool report from last night, President Obama addressed the Cantor result in the living room of Jewish donors Paul and Joanne Egerman who were hosting a DSCC fundraiser at their Weston, Massachusetts, house: “Some of you saw there was an interesting election yesterday,” Obama said drawing laughter. “If you think because of politics, you want to maintain a statues quo that is broken [referring to the immigration system]… you don’t belong in Washington.”—WILL CANTOR’S JEWISH DONORS STICK WITH GOP? NYTimes – “How Eric Cantor’s Defeat Could Hurt Republican Fund-Raising”: “The lone Jewish Republican in the House, Mr. Cantor had strong ties with Jewish donors, such as Ira Rennert, a billionaire investor from New York. Mr. Rennert has given at least $168,100 to Cantor-related committees since 2009. Similarly, Bruce and Suzanne Kovner, a New York hedge fund founder and his wife, gave more than $100,000 to Mr. Cantor’s joint committee in 2013 but do not appear to have given to other House Republicans recently.“Itzhak Fisher, an executive at the Nielsen Company, has given to a Cantor committee in the past three years, but not to any other politician or political committee. The Cantor committee then dispersed that money to Mr. Cantor’s campaign, to affiliated committees and to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the fund-raising arm of House Republicans. George Karfunkel, a Brooklyn businessman, has given at least $50,000 to Mr. Cantor’s committee since 2011.” [NYTimes] — Related: Voters Saw Cantor as Out of Touch, but Not Because of His Jewish Faith, Analysts Say [NYTimes] — David Brat’s Writings: Hitler’s Rise ‘Could All Happen Again’ [WSJ]

—Prominent Jewish Leader Phil Rosen told Jewish Insider: “The Jewish world lost perhaps it’s best friend and advocate in Congress, someone who proved time and time again he cared about Israel’s safety and security. On a personal level for many of us, Republican and Democrat, he was like a close family friend. Very sad.”

BUSINESS INSIDER QUOTES JEWISH INSIDER: Special thanks to our pal Colin Campbell [BI]

Meet The GOP’s Other Jewish Congressional Candidate From Virginia: Q&A with Micah Edmond, an African-American Jew who recently won the Republican primary for Virginia’s 8th congressional district. [InsideNoVa]

HAPPENING TODAY: At 10am, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations holds a hearing on the “Regional Implications of a Nuclear Deal With Iran.” Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will be presiding and witnesses include Dennis Ross, Scott Modell, and Fred Kagan…. At noon, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Foreign Policy initiative host a luncheon, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building-Room G11, titled “Dashed Hopes: Iran’s Human Rights Record Under President Rouhani” with opening remarks from Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21)….At 1:45pm, the Senate is expected to confirm Stanley Fischer‘s nomination to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve… At 7:30pm, Bret Stephens will speak “On Defending Israel” at Park East Synagogue.

CONGRESS TO IRAN: No sanctions relief without nuclear transparency: “House members sent the White House a clear message on Tuesday that Congress won’t “budge an inch” on sanctions on Iran unless the country comes clean about the suspected military dimensions of its nuclear program. “Before we would ever consider the possibility of extending this interim agreement for another six-month period, certainly we should expect that the Iranians would at least be willing to grant that access to the areas where for more than a decade we’ve had these concerns,” said Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the top Democrat on the Middle East and North Africa panel.” [AlMonitor] — Sen. Ted Cruz: Israel could strike Iran in months [JTA]

STRINGS ATTACHED: Susan Rice: U.S. supports Israel, but it’s a two-way street: “America will always maintain our iron-clad commitment to the security of Israel, ensuring that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge and can protect its territory and people,” Rice told attendees at the Center for a New American Security’s annual conference in Washington DC. “Equally, we consistently defend Israel’s legitimacy and security in the UN and other international fora. In turn, we expect Israel to stand and be counted with the US and other partners on core matters of international law and principle, such as Ukraine.” [ToI] — American Jewish Committee’s David Harris had a one-on-one meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department yesterday. — Anyone Responsible? – US: PA not liable for Wednesday’s Gaza rocket strike on Israel [JPost]

NOT ‘OCCUPIED’: “Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma explains why they’re dropping the adjective” by Yair Rosenberg in Tablet: “Sharma explains that the policy is actually designed to ensure that Australia is not taking sides in the conflict at all. “Our position on this is that all the final status issues as identified by Oslo—and that includes the status of Jerusalem, borders, right of return—are all amenable only to political negotiations and a political solution,” he said. “And so a third country taking positions on the legal merits of each party’s plans, if you like, is not helpful.” [TabletMag]


**Good Thursday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share 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**


START-UP NATION: Zula, The Team Communication App From VoIP Pioneer Jeff Pulver, Raises Further $3M: “Israeli startup Zula, the team communication app founded by VoIP pioneers Jeff Pulver (Vonage) and Jacob Ner-David (Delta Three), has closed a $3 million series A round. The round was led by Morton Meyerson of 2M, who is joined by Jon Medved‘s Ourcrowd, Microsoft Ventures, Nathan Low, and Doug Pauly.

“The continuing backing from Microsoft Ventures — which previously invested an undisclosed amount in Zula as part of a second seed round — is noteworthy considering Microsoft’s ownership of both Yammer and Skype, and a number of other communications and collaboration products. The continuing backing from Microsoft Ventures — which previously invested an undisclosed amount in Zula as part of a second seed round — is noteworthy considering Microsoft’s ownership of both Yammer and Skype, and a number of other communications and collaboration products.” [TechCrunch] — Pulver and the Zula team celebrated the news last night at Prime Grill in NYC.

—Israeli Start-Up GetTaxi Expects $500 Million in Revenues by 2015 [Wall Street Journal] — World Cup Drones From Tel Aviv Bring Fall of Rio Kingpin [Businessweek] — The 3M Israeli Drone Watching Over the World Cup [Bloomberg] — Israel’s Azrieli agrees to sell energy unit Sonol for $130 million [Reuters] — Learning from Tel Aviv – What Every Startup-Friendly City Needs [Bloomberg] — Israel-native outed behind the viral @hiddencash [ToI]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Pando Daily: “Christie officials give $82 million subsidy to NBA team whose execs made big campaign contributions” Article focuses on Joshua Harris, Martin Geller & David Heller [Pando] — Lewis Katz’s Son Decides To Sell Family’s Interest in Philly Newspapers [AP] — Zygi Wilf competes for Major League Soccer franchise [KSTP] — Teenage Jewish Entrepreneur Ryan Orbuch to WSJ: “Email is just where all the college applications go” [WallStreetJournal] — David Lichtenstein’s Lightstone Group to sell FiDi site for more than $170M [RealDeal] — Shai Stern’s CheckAlt Buys Diebold Subsidiary [LAbizJournal]

COMMUNAL AFFAIRS: Taglit co-founder Michael Steinhardt resigns [JPost] — New York Governor Andrew Coumo assigns a fiscal monitor for ‘Jewish’ East Ramapo school district [LoHud] —  Pro-Israel Muslim Vassar student’s lonely fight to defend Israel [LI] — Rabbi Marvin Hier calls UNESCO Exhibit ‘Historic’ at its Paris opening yesterday [ArutzSheva]

LOVE JEWCE: An Interview with JSwipe Founder David Yarus: “27-year-old David Yarus of Brooklyn, New York, has done the entire population of Jewish millennials a massive mitzvah with his creation of JSwipe. It’s the Kosher version of Tinder, safe for Jews of all denominations be it Reform or Orthodox, there’s even the option of “willing to convert.” As some call us the the “hook-up” generation for using such dating apps as this and Tinder, Yarus begs to differ. The tech-savvy creator had one intention in mind when he launched JSwipe this past Pesach, “to make love free,” he tells Shalom Life, plus, like many of us, he only wants to date Jewish and marry Jewish. “JSwipe is more than just a way to find dates, it’s a way to connect the Jewish people, and keep our traditions alive,” he says.” [ShalomLife]

AP: Jewish Sleep-Away Camps Ramp Up Social Media Efforts: “Many camps post photos and even videos online daily so parents can see what kids are doing – everything from cabin life to campfires to canoeing. Camp Dora Golding in Pennsylvania’s Poconos Mountains has even launched a cellphone app so parents can easily access pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Dora Golding, a Jewish camp in its 89th year, has assigned a staff member full-time to take and post pictures and videos, and a film crew will be shooting and making a weekly video for parents as well.” [AssociatedPress]

That’s all folks, have a great Thursday!

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


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