Daily Kickoff: JI Readers Share What They Are Grateful For | NYT’s Rudoren announces Jerusalem departure | Carter CoS Hamilton Jordan’s family secret

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING: We asked a few JI readers to share what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving. Feel free to send in your holiday highlights and we’ll feature the best ones in tomorrow’s Daily Kickoff. Enjoy!

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro: “First and foremost, I am thankful for the love of my wonderful family and the blessings of good health. I am also thankful for so many Americans and Israelis — in our governments and our militaries, students and businesspeople, scientists and academics, tourists and community leaders — who help to strengthen and deepen the ties between our countries and work to build a more secure, more peaceful, more prosperous future. I am thankful for the way Israelis and Americans stand by one another in our moments of grief — although, I would be even more thankful if there were fewer of those. I am thankful for strong coffee and amazing Israeli fruits and vegetables. And finally, I am thankful that the Cubs are a team on the rise.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: “As a Cuban refugee who fled Cuba with my family after Castro’s illegal power grab, I am grateful to live in a wonderful and free country like ours. I never take our freedom for granted.”

Andrea Lavin Solow: “I am thankful for our good health, my husband of 41 1/2 years, our children and grandchildren, and the unexpected path we have taken. I am also grateful to live in a country that welcomes strangers to its shores, as it did for our family many years ago.”

Senator Norm Coleman: “I’m spending this Thanksgiving at the Mayo Clinic undergoing radiation therapy for throat cancer. I’m thankful for the gift of life, the love of family and the prospect of healthier days ahead.”

White House Jewish Liaison Matt Nosanchuk: “I will be celebrating in the DC area with my family and am extremely thankful that my Mother is back home and on her way to a total recovery after undergoing a significant operation two weeks ago. I’ll be getting some exercise to burn off the Thanksgiving calories, watching my hometown Detroit Lions play their annual Thanksgiving Day game, and spending time with my Mother since she won’t be able to attend Thanksgiving dinner.”

Amy Friedkin: “I am grateful for Israel., a place of Jewish creation and innovation that does so much for the world. Celebrating with my parents…..both in their 90’s, something also to be grateful for!”

Julie Platt: “I feel grateful to be spending this Thanksgiving in New York City with my family.  I feel the intensified police presence everywhere. I am acutely aware that I must count my blessings each and every day, not just at Thanksgiving – that life is terribly fragile and vulnerable. I pray that my children and grandchildren will know a world that is more peaceful and secure than the world we are experiencing now.”

Laura Lauder: “I am grateful for the chance to make a difference in the world! And, for the privilege of having a happy and healthy family. We have gathered the family from both coasts — NY and SF — to break bread and turkey in Atherton, CA!”

Karen Davidson: “I had a wonderful meeting today with Mendel (Chabad Jewish Community Center) and his brother, Efraim Mintz here in Aspen. I’m so happy for the heavy work they do here for our community. AND, I’m so grateful for friends and family who will sit at my table this year….and the ones that help afterwards. Now if we could get a little snow.”

Chantal Low: “This Thanksgiving, I am thankful to be an American, whose values of equality, decency, and work ethic originate from the Books of Moses. I am so thankful for the State of Israel and all of her innovation, culture, flavor, strength, and determination. Above all, I am thankful for my family and friends…and for Jewish Insider, of course!”

TRANSITION: NYTimes Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren writes… “I knew this would be my last Thanksgiving in Jerusalem, but I had not expected to be cooking amid packing up and saying goodbyes. The Rudorens depart Jan. 1 for New York. I will be deputy on The Times’ international desk, a thrilling and daunting next step as we continue to expand our global audience and transform our report in the digital age. On this Thanksgiving — or, as it is known here, Thursday — I am so grateful for the incredible, generous, insightful and intrepid Palestinians and Israelis who enabled me to do this most demanding work, and experience this most complicated place.” [Facebook]

2016 WATCH: “Plan A for GOP donors: Wait for Trump to fall. (There is no Plan B.)” by Matea Gold and Robert Costa: “The political network backed by the billionaire Koch brothers has no plans to take on Trump. American Crossroads, the super PAC co-founded by strategist Karl Rove, is steering clear and fixated on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton instead. Right to Rise, the super PAC backing Jeb Bush, is not gearing up to attack Trump either. And major Republican donors such as hedge-fund manager Paul Singer and the Ricketts family have shown no interest in supporting the few organizations trying to undercut him.” [WashPost]

“Kasich Campaign Invokes Famed Anti-Nazi Passage in Trump Attack Ad” by Tina Nguyen:“In a new ad released on Tuesday, John Kasich, one of the most vocal critics of Donald Trump in the 2016 G.O.P. primary field, drew a connection between Trump’s recent flirtation with the idea of a national registry for Muslims and Nazi-era Germany.” [VanityFair]

“Can Jeb Bush become a top Republican contender? Maybe…” by David Lightman: “Bush and his supporters raised an estimated $127 million through Sept. 30, more than anyone else. While the first contests in February are a test of personal campaigning, strategies change dramatically in March. On March 1, Republicans in 11 states vote. Advertising and organization will matter. “It’s hard not to take seriously a candidate with as much money as Jeb Bush has,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. But he added, “Are the odds in his favor? No.”” [McClatchyDC]

“For Jimmy Carter’s chief of staff, being Jewish was a family secret” by Sarah Wildman: “Hamilton Jordan, President Jimmy Carter’s wunderkind adviser and chief of staff, discovered at age 20 that his family’s story wasn’t a straightforward Christian Southern experience. At the cemetery service for his maternal grandmother, Helen, Jordan was puzzled to discover her plot was nestled alongside that of a Jewish family. They weren’t strangers; they were his ancestors.” [JTA]

IRAN DEAL: “UN: No assurance all of Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful: International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano spoke Thursday to the IAEA’s 35-nation board. Amano says he is “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” and thus cannot conclude that “all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”” [AP] • Report: “Assessing the US-Israel partnership after the Iran Deal” [CSIS]

OPS — Ray Takeyh: “Amid Shifting Mideast Tensions, an Opening for Israeli-Saudi Relations?” [WSJ

Peter Beinart: “Why Is AIPAC Silent on Syrian Refugees?” [Haaretz]

–Jeffrey Goldberg responds: “Why is AIPAC silent on Burundi? Or on the earned-income tax credit? It’s a one-issue lobbying org, that’s why.” [Twitter]

David Rothkopf: “Our Reaction to Terrorism Is More Dangerous Than the Terrorists” [ForeignPolicy]

LA Times Editorial: “Jonathan Pollard should abide by the terms of his parole: Some of Pollard’s supporters, with an assist from two members of Congress, want the Obama administration to go further and waive a requirement that he not leave the United States without permission during his parole, which is likely to be five years. We see no reason for such a concession.” [LATimes• Spotted wearing a monitoring bracelet [NYPost]

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Sumner Redstone’s Competence Questioned in Court Petition” [WSJLATimes] • “Former Charity Head William Rapfogel Allowed to Go to Work-Release Facility” [NBC] • “Rumors swirl billionaire’s widow buying two Worth Avenue pads” [NYPost] • “San Francisco real estate tycoon Doug Shorenstein has died” [BizJournals] • “Iguaz.io Lands $15 Million Series A” [TechCrunch]

STARTUP NATION: “Israel One-Percenters Target for Econ Wonks Turned TV Stars” by David Wainer: “A wonkish TV show on Israel’s economy has struck a nerve in a country that usually reserves its fervor for debates about war and peace, giving new ammunition to opponents of government policies. In the midst of flaring violence with the Palestinians, about one in eight Israelis tuned in to the three-part Silver Platter program, testimony to the depth of the discontent with the economy. The show’s main focus — the evils of concentrating too much financial power in a small number of hands — is a theme Israelis can warm to.” [Bloomberg] • “Why Israel Is One of the World’s Most Financially Literate Nations” [Forward]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “NYC to Fund $19M for Security Guards in Nonpublic Schools” by Jacob Kornbluh: “The de Blasio administration is expected to provide $19 million in funds for private security officers who’ll be placed outside non-public schools, including Yeshivas and Jewish day schools, across the City of New York upon request, the office of the Mayor and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced on Wednesday.” [JI]

“Putting Down Roots in West Hempstead, N.Y.” by Karin Lipson: “That decision — to stay put, but add on — is not uncommon in this largely residential community in the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County. People “dig deep roots here,” said David Zivotofsky, an agent with Ark Realtors. Cheyn and David Jaison did move — within West Hempstead. Originally drawn to the area in 2007 by its affordability and its thriving Orthodox Jewish community, the Jaisons bought a new home earlier this year for $499,000.” [NYTimes]

“Snitch ruins retirement community’s penny-ante mahjong game” by Stephen Hudak:“Someone was suspicious of Zelda King and her gang of gambling grandmas. She and her octogenarian gal-pals gathered every Thursday at the clubhouse of the Escondido Condominium retirement community in Altamonte Springs where they spent hours around a table overlooking the pool, wagering on mahjong. Then the cops came.” [OrlandoSentinel]

FILM: “‘Son of Saul’ Explores Auschwitz” by Tobias Grey: “With his first film, “Son of Saul,” the Hungarian director László Nemes has focused on one of the morally grayest, murkiest zones of World War II. For the film’s 107 minutes, the audience is invited to share the horrific experience of Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), a Jewish-Hungarian inmate of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp, who is working as part of a sonderkommando.” [WSJ]

Condolences to Mark Regev, foreign media adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister, on the passing of his father Martin Freiberg. The funeral will be held tomorrow in Australia.

BIRTHDAYS: Dennis Ross turns 67… Bloomberg’s Ethan Bronner turns 61… Gary Ratner… Jordan Hirsch… Eric Frank…

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