Daily Kickoff: Caucus Day | Rubio wishes Iowa Kippah man a ‘Boot Shabbos’ | Super PAC Donations | RJC vs. J Street | Meet NYC’s oldest kosher butcher

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DRIVING THE DAY — AIPAC to Host Iowa Caucus Watch Party in NYC: “The event, in a theater-style program with over 1800 participants, will take place at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center.. featuring a panel of campaign experts discussing the 2016 presidential race. David Gregory, the former host of Meet the Press and author of the book “How’s Your Faith,” will moderate the program with Howard Dean and Ralph Reed.” [JI]

HEARD ON THE TRAIL — by Michael Barbaro: “A man in a bright red skullcap here walked up to Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and offered a little spiritual advice. “You need a bump to win the Iowa caucuses,” the man told him. “I’m going to give you this bump right now.” “O.K.,” Mr. Rubio replied, a bit warily. The man handed Mr. Rubio a skullcap emblazoned with “Marco 2016” and told him to place it on his head. Then the man hit record on his cellphone. “Say ‘Gut Shabbos,’” the man instructed the candidate, using the Yiddish greeting for the Sabbath. Mr. Rubio looked confused. “Boot Shabbos?” he asked sheepishly. The man corrected him. Mr. Rubio tried again. “Hi, I’m Marco Rubio. Gut Shabbos!” Then he held up both thumbs in an all-American salute.” [NYTimes] • Watch the video [FacebookTwitter]

Marc Daniels from Springfield, Illinois, is the man behind the kippahs. We met up with Marc last week in Des Moines, after Hillary Clinton addressed the local Jewish Federation, where he explained why he drives around Iowa handing out kippahs with the names of various candidates embroidered on them. [YouTube]

“When Fiorina was taking questions from the audience, Daniels was the first to speak and proceeded to hand Fiorina a yarmulke. She laughed when she noticed it didn’t have her name on it, but the name of one of her Republican competitors – Marco Rubio. This caused her great laughter and Daniels promised to send her a personalized yarmulke soon.” [RedDirtReport]

Katie Glueck tweets: “Orthodox Jewish guy to Cruz as he walks into Ringsted, IA restaurant: I came a long way as you can probably tell” [Twitter]

Cruz goes Yiddish on Trump: “He knows this loan story is complete nonsense,” Cruz said about Trumpś attacks during an interview on Fox News Sunday. “It’s also the height of chutzpah for someone who owes hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, to attack Heidi and me because we put our life savings into running for Senate.” [TheHill]

Shmuel Rosner in Des Moines: “Clinton-supporting Iowans don’t seem to care much about the rest-of-the-world. Those attending Sanders’ rallies care even less (I am still waiting for him to talk about Iran and Israel with more detail). In the last couple of days I interviewed dozens of such attendees. “The economy is my number one and two and three issue,” one of them told me; “why are you here?” another one asked me with surprising bluntness, “Iowans are not voting on the Middle East.”” [JewishJournal

“Clinton’s Trying to Use Foreign Policy to Beat Sanders” by Molly O’Toole: “The Clinton campaign’s midnight-hour gambit to make the Democratic primary a national security contest carries its own risks. In an election where “establishment” has become a dirty word, emphasizing Clinton’s experience highlights a staid, wonkish style out of touch with the frenetic mood captured in the bumper-sticker movement of ‘Feel the Bern.'” [ForeignPolicy]

“Bernie’s foreign policy deficit” by Michael Crowley: “Democrats are increasingly worried that their party could nominate a candidate with unmatched passion on economics but thin credentials on foreign policy.” [Politico]

ZAYDE BERNIE: “What Kind of Jew Is Bernie Sanders?” by Jay Michaelson: “When he says he “believes in God in [his] own ways,” he’s not speaking as a quirky, uncombed Socialist from Vermont. However unelectable it may make him, he’s speaking as part of a century-plus tradition of progressive secular Jews who changed the face of America.” [DailyBeast]

The Onion Headline: “Clinton Ominously Tells Iowan Supporters To Mark Front Doors With Campaign Logo Before Sundown” [TheOnion]

“The Trump Doctrine Revealed” by Josh Rogin: “Sources close to the campaign told me Trump has also spoken with controversial historian Daniel Pipes and Israel’s current envoy to the UN Danny Danon, among others. Sources close to the campaign tell me that Trump’s foreign policy proclamations are not ad hoc; in fact most are planned months in advance. For example, on Dec. 7 when Trump announced his idea to ban Muslims, it appeared to be a response to the terror attack in San Bernardino only days earlier. Sources close to the campaign say it had planned to announce the policy well before that attack happened.” [BloombergView]

Chemi Shalev: “If and when Trump is elected President, pro-peaceniks, Jewish or otherwise, will be able to console themselves with anticipation for impending days of glorious Schadenfreude when Trump will make Netanyahu squirm… If he got really angry, as Obama reportedly did, Trump could schlong Bibi all the way. He would question Netanyahu changing his name to “Ben Nitai” – “what was that about?” Trump would ask, in an insinuating tone. He might harp, Ted-Cruz-Canadian style, on Netanyahu’s alleged pseudonym John J. Sullivan and the debunked myth of his work for the CIA. “I’m not saying, but somebody should probably look into that,” he would periodically drop.” [Haaretz]

“The lure of Trump: No more rip-offs” by David Suissa: “Everything about Trump conveys the image of a crafty negotiator, a guy who understands leverage. When he lost leverage with his failing casinos, he regained it through his own brand. He hustled fame-hungry Asian billionaires to pay a fortune for the Trump name on golf courses and other real estate. He then made a killing with ratings-hungry television producers by playing himself on a reality show.” [JewishJournal]

“In Reversal, Trump Raises From Jewish Donors” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Over a month after teasing donors at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Presidential Forum that he is not willing to accept their contributions so he would not need to return the favor should he win the White House, Trump raised money for a cause that could boost his candidacy mostly with the help of some wealthy Jewish donors.” [JewishInsider]

ADELSON PRIMARY: “Republican Mega-Donors Adelsons Gave Maximum Donation To Ted Cruz Last Year” by Rosie Gray: “The Adelsons donated $2,700 each to the Cruz campaign on Nov. 18. After publication of this story, Sheldon Adelson’s political adviser Andy Abboud told BuzzFeed News in an email, “The Adelsons gave to several candidates. Nobody has been endorsed.”… Miriam Adelson’s daughter from a previous marriage, Yasmin Lukatz, and her husband Oren each gave $2700 to the Rubio campaign on December 7. Patrick Dumont, the husband of Miriam Adelson’s other daughter Sivan Ochshorn, also maxed out to the Rubio campaign.” [BuzzFeed]

Donations to Rubio’s Conservative Solutions PAC: Cliff Asness donated $1M, Fairholme Capital’s Bruce Berkowitz donated $250k, Norman Braman donated $1M ($6M to Rubio’s PAC to date), Harlan Crow donated $100k, Russell Galbut donated $10k, Kenneth Griffin donated $2.5M, Seth Klarman donated $250k, Edward Levy donated $25k, Houston Texans Owner Robert McNair donated $500k, Paul Singer donated $2.5M. [FEC]

Donations to ESAFund (Ending Spending Action Fund): Kenneth Griffin donated $500k, Marlene Ricketts donated $850k, Paul Singer donated $500k.

Donations to Huckabee’s Pursuing America’s Greatness PAC: Children of Israel, LLC donated $150k, Meuchadim of Miami, LLC donated $10k, Cherna Moskowitz donated $5k. [FEC]

Donations to Jeb’s Right To Rise USA PAC: George Klein donated $50k, Marc Stern donated $100k, Mel Sembler donated $100k, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison donated $5k. [FEC]

Donations to Hillary Clinton’s Priorities USA Action PAC: Daniel Abraham donated $1M, Francesca Schwartz donated $25k, Mary Pritzker donated $450k, Jay Robert Pritzker donated $450k, Cheryl Saban donated $1.5M, George Soros donated $6M, Haim Saban donated $1.5M. [FEC]

“George Soros donates $8 million to boost Hillary” by Kenneth Vogel: “George Soros in December donated $6 million to the leading super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, marking the return of the billionaire financier as among the biggest givers in all of American politics. The massive check brings to $8 million the Hungarian-born investor’s total 2015 giving to pro-Clinton groups.” [Politico• “Donations, big and small, continue to pour into 2016 race” [WashPost]

STREET FIGHT: “RJC Takes on J Street” by Jacob Kornbluh: “As the presidential candidates face off in the Iowa Caucuses, a proxy war in under way over the Iran nuclear deal and control of Congress. The battle is taking place in fundraising emails between the Republican Jewish Coalition and J Street in an attempt to mobilize support for their respective efforts in 2016.” [JewishInsider]

RJC’s Matt Brooks tells JI: “We are going to make it very clear that J Street is not going to get a foothold by electing their progressive, left-wing and radical candidates, and trying to defeat mainstream pro-Israel folks, who’ve demonstrated their unwavering friendship over the years. We are making it very clear that there is a red line, and the RJC is defending that red line.”

J Street’s National Political Director Ben Shnider: “We see this as a unique opportunity to go on the offense and prove that standing up for a diplomacy first approach – which has been proven to be in the best interest of the U.S. and Israel – is not just smart policy but also savvy politics. Our emphasis is going to be, primarily, in the Senate races in Illinois and Wisconsin. Kirk and Johnson stood in the way of this deal, and we think they should have to answer to that oppositions to a very pragmatic, centrist electorate.”

FACTS OF LIFE: Both the RJC and J Street have what to gain from this ‘fight’, which may continue through November, and both can ‘win’ if it means convincing additional folks to part with their money in favor of the respective groups.

The 103rd Alfalfa Club Dinner took place on Saturday night in Washington. Playbook featured some quotes from Mitt Romney, who was nominated as this year’s Alfalfa Club president: “Some have speculated that my religion might have played a part in my defeat. I wondered about that myself, but most of my wives said they didn’t think so. … There are six words Hillary hopes to hear a year from now: ‘Place your hand on the Bible.’ The five words she FEARS she’ll hear a year from now: ‘Will the defendant please rise?’ … Bernie Sanders … looks like one of those 1960s folksingers who does specials on PBS during pledge week. I will say this about a Sanders presidency: I will sleep better at night knowing Peter, Paul and Mary are running the government.” [Playbook]

SPOTTED: Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Stephen Breyer, Philanthropist Eli Broad, Business magnate Warren Buffett, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Joe & Hadassah Lieberman, Henry & Marie-Josee Kravis, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Cory Booker, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Valerie Jarrett, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, former Sec. of State James Baker, Philanthropist David Rubenstein, former House Speaker John Boehner, Maurice Greenberg, and Wayne Berman.

“France, Iran, And The Affair Of The Lunch Wine” by Adam Gopnik: “The news that the French President, François Hollande, cancelled a lunch Thursday in Paris with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in town on an official visit, because the Iranians insisted that no wine be served at lunch, is generally being treated in the spirit of what I used to call the Sacre Bleu! Division of the Oh-Là-Là! School of Foreign Reporting from France. Oh, those adorable Frenchmen—no wine at lunch, and they won’t sit down to dine at all.”

“Trivial as it might seem, the dispute touches on a real issue, worth pursuing: what is owed to guests who see the world differently? How extensive are the duties of hospitality, which incline us to think that we should do all in our power to make our guests feel comfortable and at home, providing them minimal embarrassment or awkwardness? And, against that, what is owed according to the duties of integrity—not pretending to our guests that we are in any way ashamed or unwilling to stand up for our own values, even while respecting theirs?”

Kinda funny — “A true believer, whether Jewish or Muslim, can’t eat meat not deemed kosher or halal. The rule may strike us as a silly vestige of ancient dietary superstitions, but it is theirs, and neither Rouhani nor Bibi nor anyone else should be asked to eat something forbidden to them. Indeed, the act of having to refuse is in itself socially awkward, and so to be avoided by both sides.” [NewYorker]

MEMO FROM ARGENTINA — by Jonathan Gilbert: “For more than two decades, an investigation into the suicide bombing of a Jewish center here in 1994 that killed 85 people has faced setbacks and controversy… But now, Argentina’s new government is pledging to finally get to the bottom of a case that cost the country about $3.5 million last year alone, and that took on a life of its own, swallowing up many who touched it. President Mauricio Macri, who took office in December, has revamped the government department assigned to the bombing investigation and has vowed to introduce legislation that would allow for the trial of suspects in absentia.” [NYTimes]

TRANSITION: “First Jewish Woman Named WH Legislative Affairs Director: President Barack Obama on Friday tapped Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s long-time policy director, Amy Rosenbaum, as the White House’s new Director of Legislative Affairs. Rosenbaum will replace Katie Beirne Fallon, who is leaving the job after working on a bipartisan budget agreement and protecting votes for the Iran nuclear deal.” [JI]

“Israel doesn’t trust NGOs that get money from U.S. and Europe. Here’s why” — Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to William Booth: “The reason we focus only on government funding and not private donations is because we think there is a difference when a government interferes in this way. For governments, there are diplomatic ways, such as the way Ambassador Shapiro came to talk to me — that is a diplomatic channel. I don’t think a country needs to bypass diplomacy, they don’t need to attack us under the radar.” [WashPost]

Ban Ki-Moon writes in the NYTimes — “Don’t Shoot the Messenger, Israel: Criticism of the United Nations — or attacks against me — comes with the territory. But when heartfelt concerns about shortsighted or morally damaging policies emanate from so many sources, including Israel’s closest friends, it cannot be sustainable to keep lashing out at every well-intentioned critic.” [NYTimes]

TOP TALKER: “Israel Allows Liberal Prayer at Western Wall in Nod to Diaspora” by Gwen Ackerman: “Israel’s cabinet approved the creation of a permanent space for non-Orthodox prayer at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, under pressure from American Jewry and liberal Jewish denominations that have long chafed at Orthodox control of the holy site.” [Bloomberg] • “Sharansky applauds ‘One Kotel for One People’” [JewishJournal]

**Good Monday 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: “Zuckerberg’s Fortune Passes Kochs” [Bloomberg] • “A few years ago, Anna Wintour, David Remnick and Graydon Carter went to see S. I. Newhouse Jr., the man who turned Condé Nast into a gilded publishing empire and who handpicked them to lead its flagship magazines. They were concerned about Condé Nast’s future.” [NYTimes] • “On Sunday, after prominent stories given to the newspaper by its new owner, the RJ has switched its position and come out in favor of public money for a new stadium being pushed by said owner, Sheldon Adelson, to possibly host the NFL’s Oakland Raiders” [RalstonReports• “Adelson family selects former USA Today publisher to lead R-J” [LasVegasSun]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “WaiveCar Wants to Be the Robin Hood of Car Sharing” by John Bonazzo: “Companies have been advertising on cab roofs for years, but one drawback to this approach is that cab drivers tend to stay only in certain parts of a city, so the ads aren’t seen by as many eyes as possible. Now, a Los Angeles-based startup [founded by Zoli Honig and Isaac Deutsch] called WaiveCar is trying to solve this problem by introducing ad-supported car sharing, which disseminates automotive ads throughout Santa Monica and Venice Beach. While the company is currently in talks with several advertisers, WaiveCar’s only current partner is Oscar Health Insurance [founded by Josh Kushner], its launch sponsor.” [ObserverTimeMag] • “Santa Monica vetting new car-sharing service WaiveCar” [SMDP]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “The transformation of Tel Aviv: how cycling got cool in Israel’s hippest city” by Renate van der Zee: “Not so long ago, the idea of promoting cycling was a source of hilarity for Tel Aviv’s politicians. Now it is part of the city’s culture – but there are still many problems to tackle, from chaotic streets to the summer ‘sweat factor.’” [TheGuardian]

SPORTS BLINK: “Adam Silver and the Art of Giving Dap” by Andrew Keh: “When you are a professional athlete, the commissioner can sometimes seem like your high school principal: He is a lot older than you, he always wears a tie and he can suspend you. So some Golden State Warriors players were surprised to see how N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver greeted them at their championship ring ceremony a few months ago. Rather than extending a firm handshake and a cordial word or two while passing out the rings, Silver stood there and gave dap — that is, a more intricate, intimate handshake — to pretty much every player.” [NYTimes]

PROFILE: “Meet NYC’s oldest kosher butcher” by Doree Lewak: “On a bustling morning before the storm of the century, Upper West Side patrons crowd the counter at Fischer Bros. & Leslie, angling for the best cuts of veal chops, silver tip, London broil and deckle. Behind the counter, butcher Ernie Fleischman maintains a cool countenance and takes it all in stride. He is, after all, 95. “I’m here as long as they’ll have me,” says Fleischman, who started slicing kosher meats when he was just 17 years old and the city had hundreds of kosher butcheries. There are now just five such shops in Manhattan, and the nonagenarian is the oldest of the men behind the few remaining counters.” [NYPost]

“Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz, Reform Leader, Dies at 91” by Joseph Berger: “Eugene Borowitz was born on Feb. 20, 1924, in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Yiddish-speaking immigrant parents. He liked to say he was a product of intermarriage — that of his paternal great-grandparents — between two great traditions of Judaism: the cerebral Lithuanian tradition and the more emotional Hasidic tradition.” [NYTimes]

“A Career in Law That Almost Didn’t Happen” by Aaron Twerski: “When I graduated Marquette Law School in 1965, I joined the U.S. Department of Justice Honor’s Program in the Civil Rights Division. While there I got a call from Harvard Law School, asking me if I might be interested in becoming a teaching fellow. I interviewed and did the fellowship in the 1966-67 school year. We all interviewed at the AALS recruitment convention, but for me no offer was forthcoming. It did not take much to figure out why. I am a Chassidic Orthodox Jew. I wear a yarmulke, have a beard that was never trimmed and wear the classic Chassidic garb. I was told very directly that I was “too religious” and “did I really have to wear that distinctive garb?” For no money or honor in the world would I abandon the tradition of my forefathers.” [NewYorkLawJournal]

WALDORF WEDDING: “Inside the million-dollar wedding ruined by an accidental gunshot” by Doree Lewak: “About 100 guests were mingling when there was a startling bang. “It sounded like a chandelier fell,” Stratiyevsky recalls. “The last thing I thought was a gunshot. Who thinks ‘gunshot’ at the Waldorf at a black-tie wedding?” Within minutes, ambulances respond to the scene, and Stratiyevsky was whisked upstairs so he and Goldshmidt could sign their ketubah (the Jewish wedding contract). Before he got there, the bride’s father pulled him aside with a firm directive: Don’t tell Anna anything. “Looking back at pictures of the ketubah signing, she’s extremely happy and smiling, and I look very serious,” says the groom.” [NYPost]

DESSERT: “Fame Is Fleeting. The Wall Is Forever” by Niko Koppel: “With more than 750 pictures, Katz’s Delicatessen is running out of space. “We have so many that we have to cut back,” said Jake Dell, the deli’s owner. Once a celebrity makes the wall, his or her place is assured: The disgraced politician (Eliot Spitzer), the fallen athlete (Mark McGwire), the teen star who went to rehab all remain.” [NYTimes]

SATURDAY NIGHT SCENE: Approximately 50 political operatives, reporters, hill staffers gathered for Aaron Keyak’s upcoming birthday at A&D featuring a SF sports themed baskin robins cake for the birthday boy, courtesy of Avi Goldgraber. Spotted: Dem pollster Mark Mellman, One Campaign’s Laurie Moskowitz, Steve Rabinowitz, Transportation Department CFO Shoshana Lew, Mira Resnick, Rachel Snyder, Corey Jacobson, Frank Chi, AIPAC’s Abby Cable, Liz Leibowitz, Arie Lipnick, Craig Oppenheim, Daily Beast’s Tim Mak, Foreign Policy’s John Hudson, JPost’s Michael Wilner, CNN’s Hillary Krieger, CSMonitor’s Sara Sorcher, Judah Rose, Slate’s Josh Keating, Noa Rabinowitz, Josh Cohen, Jason Benkendorf, Peter Feldman, David Ribner, Josh Kirsten.

BIRTHDAYS: LA Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten, the pride of Lakewood, New Jersey, turns 64… AIPAC’s Tara Brown…  Comedian Abbi Jacobson turns 32… David Leshaw… Actor Stuart Whitman turns 88… From the weekend: Yasha Moz, Director of Global Relations at Hillel… Martha Baumgarten… Alexa Smith…

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