Daily Kickoff: Another week, another WH Jewish meeting | Iran Bill on the Hill | Ian Schrager Profile | Papal Knighthood for Rabbi Arthur Schneier
TOP TWEET: @JeffreyGoldberg — “I’ve been finding the morning blast from @J_Insider very useful for all my Jewish news needs.” [Twitter] • Thank you Jeffrey!
SCENE YESTERDAY: “President Obama Welcomed Chabad-Lubavitch to the White House” by Matt Nosanchuk: “On Monday, April 27, President Obama welcomed a delegation from Chabad-Lubavitch into the Oval Office to commemorate Education and Sharing Day, USA. Established by Congress in 1978 to honor the life’s work of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (1902-1994), the Lubavitcher Rebbe… In addition to issuing an annual proclamation, every President since the establishment of Education and Sharing Day has invited a delegation from the Chabad-Lubavitch movement into the Oval Office.” [WhiteHouse]
Participants noted that at the conclusion of the meeting, Rabbi Levi Shemtov – who often serves as each White House’s go-to Rabbi regardless of the political party in power – stayed back for a brief one-on-one discussion with the President. No word yet as to what the two discussed… The President did talk to the larger group about how anti-Semitism worries him, particularly in Europe, and that he always raises the issue whenever he meets with world leaders.
2016 WATCH: Rabbis for Rand — Presidential contender Rand Paul met with Jewish leaders and Rabbis yesterday in Brooklyn: “Paul opened up the floor, and took four questions so wordy that the rabbis started joking about their inability to be concise… “When I was in Israel, I went to shabbat dinner, and I loved the traditions,” said Paul. “I asked Dr. [Rich] Roberts about things like Schindler’s List, placing a rock on the grave site. The tradition of sitting shiva. Things like that, that are important.”… I find Rand to be someone of tremendous intellectual honesty,” Roberts continued. “He has a thirst for knowledge and he was just happy to speak to someone who wasn’t just a yes man.” [Bloomberg; BI]
–SPOTTED: New Jersey bundler Dr. Rich Roberts, Rand’s Jewish liaison Rabbi Nate Segal, Michael Fragin, Chaskel Bennett, Joseph Stamm, Shimon Lefkowitz, Ezra Friedlander, David Moskovitz, Gil Cygler, David Rosenberg and Yaacov Behrman.
–HOW IT PLAYED: “Rand to Jewish leaders in NYC: ‘I am not an isolationist’” [MSNBC] • “Paul Defends Foreign Policy Positions, Touts Traditional Values In Meeting With Jewish Leaders” [JP] • Rand speaks about U.S. foreign policy with Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn” [DailyNews] • “Rand Paul Tells Jewish Audience It Was a ‘Mistake’ to Topple Saddam Hussein” [Observer] • “Rand Paul Calls Hussein’s Ouster a ‘Mistake,’ and Qaddafi’s a ‘Disaster’” [NYTimes] • “Rand faces tough questions from Orthodox Jewish crowd” [AP]
“Still Undeclared, Jeb Bush Touts Record Fundraising Haul” by Beth Reinhard: “All-but-declared Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told about 350 donors Sunday that he had set a record in Republican politics for fundraising in the first 100 days of a White House bid.” [WSJ] • “Never before have so many people with so much money run for president” by Matea Gold [WashPost] •“Billionaire Auditions Spook Conservatives” [Bloomberg]
“Head Start for Jeb Bush Campaign Is Part of Scott Walker’s Plan” by Patrick Healy and Nicholas Confessore: “It is a gamble at once audacious and born of necessity: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a likely Republican candidate for president, has put campaign plans in motion that cede early momentum to his chief rival, Jeb Bush, in favor of beating Mr. Bush and other opponents with a long-game strategy designed to achieve financial and political success next winter”
“At the same time, Mr. Walker — who enthusiastically enjoys fund-raising, his advisers say — is personally courting megadonors like Todd Ricketts… Several top-tier Republican donors joined Mr. Walker for a dinner last week at the Ricketts apartment in the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, including David Koch; Mr. Ricketts and his father, Joe; the investor Roger Hertog; and the supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis.” [NYTimes]
2016 TWEET: @realDonaldTrump: “Nobody but Donald Trump will save Israel. You are wasting your time with these politicians and political clowns. Best! #SheldonAdelson” [Twitter]
RUBIO’S MIAMI FUNDER: “Nineteen days after declaring his 2016 Republican presidential candidacy, Sen. Marco Rubio will once again headline a political event in Miami: his first hometown campaign fundraiser. Organizing the reception are Irma and Norman Braman, the billionaire couple expected to pour a five-figure sum into Rubio’s campaign, as well as Rubio backers Ronit and Steve Waserstein and former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner.” [MiamiHerald]
SCENE YESTERDAY: “Four Members of Congress convened in Miami with Ministers of Parliament from 14 Latin American countries and regional community leaders at the Israel Allies Foundation Latin America Summit to explore ways of capturing emerging opportunities in the Western Hemisphere to improve relations with Israel.” [IsraelAllies]
IRAN BILL ON THE HILL: “Corker, Cardin Try to Hold Iran Bill Together” by Ben Graham:“The bill has created unusual alliances: Neither Republican nor Democratic leaders want to see the current, fragile agreement disrupted. GOP senators eyeing runs for president are eager to demonstrate their support for Israel and antipathy towards Iran—even if their proposed amendments could destroy the bill’s bipartisan backing. And the White House doesn’t want the current bill to become more onerous, but it also never wanted this measure to move in the first place.” [NationalJournal; WashPost] • “Does Marco Rubio have the chutzpah to roll the dice on Iran?” [Vox] • “Boehner: Congress Doesn’t Have Votes to Stop Iran Deal” [BV]
IRAN TALKS: “World ‘Closer Than Ever’ To Iran Deal, Kerry Says” by Cara Anna: “The world is “closer than ever” to reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran but the work is far from over, with key issues unresolved, Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday told a global gathering on nuclear disarmament, where he and Iran’s foreign minister met on the sidelines.” [AP] • Kerry, Ernest Moniz Op: “How to Make Sure Iran Is a Nuclear Non-Proliferator” [ForeignPolicy] • “Zarif calls for Israel to give up nuclear weapons” [AFP]
“Top U.S. Negotiator Warns of Dangers of Failing to Lock Down Iran Deal” by John Hudson: “Wendy Sherman, speaking at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, said that failing to reach an agreement would leave Tehran closer than ever to acquiring a bomb.” [ForeignPolicy]
“Top US official intimates UN veto policy could change” by Rebecca Shimoni Stoil and Raphael Ahren: “We will be watching very closely to see what happens after a new government is formed on this issue of working toward two states living side by side in peace and security,” Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman told a gathering of Reform Jewish leaders near Washington, DC on Monday.” [ToI]
“Israel Says It Carried Out Airstrike on Syrian Border” by Nicholas Casey: “The military said it struck a group that approached the border with explosives late Sunday, suspecting that they were intending to attack Israelis.” [WSJ] • “Hezbollah is trying to turn Israel’s entire northern border into a single battlefront” [BusinessInsider]
HAPPENING TODAY: At 1pm, The Wilson Center hosts “A Conversation with Ephraim Sneh” moderated by Aaron David Miller. The conversation with the former Israeli Deputy Minister of Defense will focus on “How does Israel look at the emerging U.S.-Iranian nuclear agreement? What are the prospects of negotiations with the Palestinians? And what are the implications of recent Israeli elections for Israel’s national security policies?” [WilsonCenter]
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “The Four Seasons Becomes a Battleground” by Josh Barbanel: “The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has put on hold Aby Rosen’s plans to renovate the building’s Four Seasons restaurant, because he failed to notify the holder of the easement of changes he wants to make to the outside of the International Style tower.” [WSJ] • “Israel-based ASRR Capital, controlled by Alex Sapir and Rotem Rosen, paid $40M to 41 condo owners and the condo board at 8955 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach” [RealDeal] • “Sam Zell Gives $4M to Gov. Rauner’s Political Fund” [NBC] • “Harvey R. Miller, Renowned Bankruptcy Lawyer, Dies at 82” [NYTimes]
PROFILE: “Ian Schrager Is the Emperor of Details” by Andrew Goldman: “Schrager was anything but a party boy. He grew up middle class and Jewish in Brooklyn. His father, Louis, a woman’s coat manufacturer whom Ian idolized, was adamant that nothing distract his son from the destiny Louis had chosen for him—becoming a doctor or a lawyer.” [WSJ Magazine]
SCENE LAST NIGHT: “New York Rabbi Receives Papal Knighthood” by Sonja Sharp: “Lenny Bruce famously said that even a Catholic in New York is Jewish, but that didn’t stop one of the city’s most prominent Jewish leaders from accepting a touch of the Holy See on Monday. Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Manhattan’s Park East Synagogue was knighted and made a member of the Papal Order of St. Sylvester at a ceremony on the Upper East Side.” [WSJ; NYTimes] • SPOTTED: Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Henry Kissinger, David Dinkins, Carolyn Maloney, Ray Kelly, Archbiship Demetrios, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Abe Foxman, Michael Miller and Marc Schneier.
D.C.’s Jewish Day School Receives $20M Gift: “The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital received a $20 million gift commitment from Alfred Moses and The Gottesman Fund to build a new middle school on its upper 16th Street campus. On hand at a reception last night were donors Alfred Moses, former U.S. ambassador to Romania, and Robert Gottesman, CEO of First Manhattan representing the Gottesman Fund, Steven and Chani Laufer as well as special guests including DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Hudson’s Kenneth Weinstein and Amy Kauffman, The Atlantic’s Leon Weiseltier, Booz Allen Hamilton President and CEO Horacio Rozanski, AIPAC’s Jeffrey Colman, Stuart Kurlander, Greg Shron, Kinney Zalesne, Helaine Greenfeld and Richard Mintz, Ralph and Louie Dweck, Orit Frenkel and Adam Szubin, and Jewish Federation CEO Steve Rakitt”
EDU: “What makes an ‘elite’ school?” by Jake Novak: “The other school that influenced me the most was extremely different. It was my all-Jewish, Modern Orthodox high school called the Yeshivah of Flatbush… the funny thing is the graduates of my Jewish high school in Brooklyn are more successful when strictly measured by the criteria of career success, aggregate wealth, and even political prominence. It’s the Yeshivah of Flatbush, and not Norfolk Academy, that has two Nobel Prize winners among its alumni from that period. It’s the Yeshivah of Flatbush that has Pulitzer winners. The big question is “why?” Why do the alumni of the one school I attended that puts less emphasis on elite college preparation, with less funding per student to boot, outperform?” [CNBC] H/T @Ezmo22
TALK OF THE TOWN: “Congregants Challenge Sale of Bulwark of Judaism on Lower East Side” by Matt Chaban: “As the neighborhood shifted from Yiddish to Spanish, artistic to artisanal, the Home of the Sages became home to fewer and fewer sages. With not much need for its four-story religious and nursing home, the board recently decided to sell the 76-year-old institution, which first opened as a synagogue on Henry Street, to a developer for $13 million. But congregants of the Home of the Sages are charging in court that the deal is motivated not by self-preservation but self-enrichment: that the proceeds would largely flow to the president of the board, Samuel Aschkenazi, along with a Hasidic sect with no affiliation to the organization or the Lower East Side.” [NYTimes]
HASIDIC + MY + FLIGHT: How to search on Twitter — by Daniel Victor: “Earlier this year, Michael Paulson, a New York Times reporter who covered religion, emailed me with an idea and a question. There had been a rising number of reports of conflicts on airplanes in which Hasidic Jewish men were seeking to avoid being seated next to women other than their wives. He was aware of incidents on four flights between the U.S. and Israel, and was wondering if we could use Twitter to find passengers on those flights, as well as other flights on which similar conflicts might have taken place.” [Medium]
STARTUP NATION: “Israeli Ship-Tracking Startup Windward Valued at About $100 Million” by Christian Berthelsen: “Windward, which was founded by two former officers of the Israeli Navy, takes information about movements of ships around the world and uses a database of historical voyages to predict patterns of global trade and highlight unusual movements.” [WSJ] • “Why Israel Needs And Wants To Support Hispanic Entrepreneurs” by Giovanni Rodriguez [Forbes] • “Israeli Gett Expands to Other On-Demand Services, Such as Pizza Delivery” [WSJ]
SPORTS BLINK: “In Israel, Migrants Find a Home, Through Running” by Tamir Kalifa: “In front of her teammates and Israeli peers, Rahel Gebretsadik, a 15-year-old Eritrean immigrant with a petite frame, a shaggy ponytail and an infectious laugh, stood alone on a white wooden box emblazoned with the blue number one. A medal, minted with the menorah from the Arch of Titus, the emblem of the State of Israel, hung around her neck.” [NYTimes]
DESSERT: “Adam Pally, the star of Tribeca’s Slow Learners sees a boom time for comedians—but not for Jewish superheroes” by Katey Rich: “Pally said he’s not planning a return to the Marvel world. “There are not a lot of Jewish superheroes.” But what about the upcoming Ant-Man star Paul Rudd, who isn’t only Jewish but worked as a bat mitzvah D.J.? “They gave one Jew a superhero, and they’re like ‘But he’s this big. And he can talk to bugs.’” [VanityFair] • Nicki Minaj’s Bar Mitzvah speech [Twitter]
BIRTHDAYS: Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan turns 55… James Baker III turns 85… David Hazony…
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