Daily Kickoff: Genesis Today | Iron Dome Fueling Innovation | Friedman: US Is Clueless In Mideast | Remembering Robin Williams | Mazel Tov Avital!

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HAPPENING TODAY: Genesis Prize Launches Global Innovation Challenge: The Genesis Prize Foundation on Tuesday is officially launching its Genesis Generation Challenge, which would give 10 teams up to $100,000 each. The competition was inspired by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The billionaire philanthropist in May was the inaugural recipient of the $1 million Genesis Prize, which was founded by the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, the Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Jewish Agency for Israel. He pledged the money would go toward something that would help the world. Wayne Firestone, president of the Genesis Prize Foundation, said team leaders must be between the ages of 20 and 36, while members of their teams can be adults of any age. The ideas “have to be really well-thought through, they have to have measureable change, they have to really impact on the intended audience,” he said.” [AP] — At 6pm, Bloomberg Philanthropies Will Host “The International Launch Event” In New York City.

HOLLYWOOD: Clooney’s Fiancee Alamuddin Rejects Gaza Probe Job: The British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who is engaged to George Clooney, on Monday pulled out of an appointment to serve on a U.N. commission on possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza.” [AP

—Remembering Robin Williams’ Jewish moments – by Rob Eshman of The Jewish Journal:Williams was one of the entertainers at the annual banquet for the USC Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.  It was February 17, 2005. Steven Spielberg, who created the Shoah Foundation with the proceeds from his film Schindler’s List, was the host. Williams provided the comedy.. “Ladies and gentlemen,” Williams said in a Yiddish accent, “Welcome to Temple Beth Prada. This evening’s meal will be milchidik, fleishadik, and sushidik.”  Williams, born and raised Episcopalian, said on many occasions he considered himself an “honorary Jew.”  He certainly played some onscreen, most memorably (for me) as the spiritually lost Everyman in an adaptation of Saul Bellow’s Seize the Day… ast March, the actor tweeted a picture of himself in a kippa on the set of his sitcom, “The Crazy Ones.”  Williams tweeted: ““Too late for a career change? Rabbi Robin?” The actor’s twitter followers liked the tweet. One man responded “Never too late Rabbi Williams.”

MEMORABLE QUOTE: Not long ago, Williams had this memorable exchange on German TV.German Interviewer:  “Mr. Williams, why do you think there’s not so much comedy in Germany?”Williams: “Did you ever think you killed all the funny people?” [Jewish Journal]

Michael Oren On Why Israel Is Forced To Accept Any Cease-fire Proposal – Israel Is Bankrupt Of World Support: “You really need to demilitarize Hamas. To do that will take time and it will take political space,” Oren told reporters in a conference call on Monday. “Israel entered this conflict without a degree of political space… Israel entered this latest round of fighting not only with an empty bank account but with a bit of an overdraft, because of the perception … that Israel bore the blame for the collapse of the peace talks.. The big credit you would need for a full-scale military operation that would crush Hamas quickly is not there, even if the Israeli public is willing to pay the price for it..” [US News] — RELATED: Michael Oren says he left CNN of his own accord: “Former ambassador to US denies being fired, says network exclusivity was impeding his patriotic duties during war.” [ToI]

THOMAS FRIEDMAN: U.S. Clueless In Mideast: “Fresh off his interview with President Barack Obama, Thomas Friedman on Monday said the U.S. is clueless when it comes to Middle East policy. “If there’s anything we should have learned from Iraq … it’s that we don’t know what the hell we’re doing,” the New York Times columnist said on MSNBC.” [Politico]

2016 WATCH: Hillary’s Support For Israel – How It’s Playing: “Hillary’s Definite Support Of Israel Shows She’s Running” [CNN] — Bret Stephens: “The Hillary Metamorphosis” [WSJ] — Peter Beinhart: Maybe Hillary Clinton gets the Mideast conflict wrong because she sees it through Bibi’s eyes [Haaretz] — Mark Landler: Some of her statements will not be entirely in sync with her record as secretary of state, when she served at the pleasure of the president. [NY Times] — Katie Glueck: For many liberals, whose enthusiasm will be important if she runs again for president in 2016, her comments simply felt like code for Bush-era interventionism. [Politico] — Josh Block: “It is important to see a Democratic leader laying out a worldview that recognizes the role of our values and very real threats and trends facing the U.S. and our allies today… It struck me as the reemergence of common sense in Democratic foreign policy after a period of drift and indecision.” [Washington Post]


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FELLOW AMERICANS: “Memo to Self: Do Not Run For Office” by Mark Leibovich: “Last month, Eliana Johnson of National Review gained access to a 144-page memo that was prepared by a team of political strategists working for the senate campaign of Michelle Nunn, the Georgia Democrat. Nunn, the daughter of Sam Nunn, the state’s longtime senator, is running against David Perdue, a Republican, to succeed Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring… But one campaign’s embarrassment can also yield a windfall of public edification. And the Nunn memo, as it has come to be known in political wiseguy circles, offers a glimpse into the calculations and absurdities that drive modern campaigns… In the lengthy section of the memo titled “campaign finance plan,” the authors break potential cash cows into subherds like trial lawyers, gays and Asians, each of which represents a “huge opportunity” because its members tend to possess “substantial resources.” Jews, too, represent a “tremendous financial opportunity,” according to the memo. But the advisers also caution that Nunn’s level of Jewish support will be contingent on her position on Israel. That position? “TBD.” Oy.” [NYTimes]

LEAVING TODAY: NY Governor Andrew Cuomo leaves tonight for a 2-day visit to Israel,leading a delegation of State Legislative leaders on a solidarity mission. Cuomo will hold a media availability before his departure at JFK’s terminal 4 5:00pm. Stay tuned for a full report of the flight and arrival in Israel by JI’s Jacob Kornbluh.

MIDTERMS: Hawaii’s Jewish Senator, Brian Schatz’s political career in limbo: Schatz currently leads Democratic primary opponent Colleen Hanabusa by 1,635 votes. But the results are up in the air, and may remain so for weeks to come. That is because two precincts in the Puna district of Hawaii’s Big Island were unable to vote thanks to damage from Hurricane Iselle, and will have another three weeks in which to mail in absentee ballots. The odds likely favor Schatz, since the remaining precincts have around 8,255 eligible voters. That means that Hanabusa would have to win an overwhelming majority to overcome Schatz’s overall lead. [Jewish Journal]

HAPPENING TODAY: Norpac hosts Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) in Demarest, New Jersey at 6PM. Event chairs include Arthur Sinensky, Debbie Oremland, and Mort & Esther Fridman.

STARTUP NATION: Traces of Israel’s Iron Dome Can Be Found in Tech Startups: “The Israeli-engineered Iron Dome is a complex tapestry of machinery, software and computer algorithms capable of intercepting and destroying rockets midair. An offshoot of the missile-defense technology can also be used to sell you furniture. The online-shopping software developed by Cimagine, an Israeli startup located about 12 miles from the West Bank, allows people to walk around their homes with a mobile device, and see how a sofa or coffee table would look in each room. The system combines live imagery, taken with a smartphone or iPad, with 3-D pictures of furniture to present a realistic recreation of your living room with stuff you may or may not be able to afford. Jonathan Medved, a tech investor who backed Cimagine, expects the influence of Iron Dome on tech to be even stronger now that the world has witnessed what it can do.” [Bloomberg] — “Yo now lets you send links, “Yo” hashtags and set up IFTTT-style alerts with other services”  [NextWeb] — Wired Magazine’s List Of Hottest Tel Aviv Startups [WiredUK]

IRAN TALKS: “IRAN’S NEW GAY EXECUTIONS” by Jay Michaelson in the Daily Beast:“Despite Iran’s state anti-Semitism, the recent arrest of U.S. journalists, and the continued oppression of women, the Obama administration has been attempting a rapprochement with the Iranian regime. Fending off Iran hawks in Congress and the D.C. punditocracy, the administration has argued for a policy of constructive engagement, pursuing diplomacy over military action to halt Iran’s nuclear program. The execution of two gay men, while it may not be surprising, certainly doesn’t make that “engagement” any easier.” [DailyBeast]

MEDIA WATCH: Al-Jazeera America Logs First Anniversary: “Al-Jazeera America marks its first anniversary on the air next week, and if you haven’t watched much, you’re not alone. The news network has recorded some startlingly low ratings and recently shown signs of retrenchment with layoffs and by cutting some live newscasts.” [AP] — WSJ Notable & Quotable: The Foreign Press Association in Israel protests threats by Hamas against international journalists [WSJ]

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: “The Gaza Conflict Has Become New York’s Great Conversational Taboo” by Tim Murphy: “My friend Diana, 29, a communications professional, is Jewish and supports Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, but is strongly against Israeli occupation of and aggression against Palestinians. She’s learned, however, not to talk about the conflict with anyone. “I have an ongoing online chat with friends where we talk about sex, family, politics, anything goes,” she says. “Literally the only topic we banned from conversation is Israel. And with the current conflict, this has proven wise.” She’s not alone. The topic may be the only one that otherwise mostly like-minded New Yorkers avoid at all costs, meeting any mention of the issue with averted eyes that signal “Let’s not go there.” [NYMag]

TALK OF THE TOWN: Brooklyn community mourns rabbi killed in cold blood: “A sea of black hats filled Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn on Monday as hundreds of people mourned a local rabbi murdered while heading to temple in Miami over the weekend. Grieving friends and family hovered around 60-year-old Joseph Raksin’s black casket to say goodbye to the beloved father of six… The Crown Heights Orthodox community believes Raksin’s murder was a hate crime. “The community is in total shock,” said Rabbi Yehuda Kaploun, who traveled from North Miami Beach to attend Raksin’s funeral. “It puts fear in Jewish communities around the world.” [NYPost]

SPORTS BLINK: More than a thousand Jewish teenagers from across the country and around the world are in South Jersey this week, taking part in an Olympic-style competition. Kids from across the United States are joined by teams from Great Britain and Israel at the Maccabi Games, in Cherry Hill, for sports that include basketball,  swimming, lacrosse, baseball, dance, tennis, and track & field. [CBS Philly]

—Lasry’s son joining Bucks’ front office: Alexander Lasry, the son of Milwaukee Bucks’ co-owner Marc Lasry, appears to be a member of the team’s front office. His father said at a public event in Milwaukee recently that he hoped he could talk his son into joining the franchise. Evidently, he convinced his son to come to Milwaukee.” [JSonline]

MAZEL TOV: Haaretz’s Avital Chizhik Is Engaged To Benjamin Goldschmidt. H/T [Twitter]

BIRTHDAYS: George Soros turns 84…

That’s all folks, have a great Tuesday! 

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


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