Daily Kickoff: Obama’s Seder Delay | Biden, Kerry at J Street | Campaign food — Ivanka’s french fries; Kasich’s kreplach | Rogin Weinberg Wedding

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DRIVING THE DAY: At 7:30PM, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry will speak at J Street’s 2016 National Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in D.C.[Livestream]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Obama Administration Urges States to Lift Sanctions on Iran” by Eli Lake: “After lifting international and federal sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, the Barack Obama administration is turning its attention to state governments. On April 8, the State Department’s lead coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation, Stephen Mull, sent letters to the governors of all 50 states as well as some local officials… Defenders of the state-level sanctions say they shouldn’t be lifted because many of them were imposed not only because of Iran’s nuclear program, but also its human-rights record, development of ballistic missiles and support for terrorism.” [BloombergView]

‘Blocking Back’ — President Obama met with J Street and J Street U leaders at the White House on Friday. [Facebook]

ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt: “Why I’m Speaking to Students at J Street U” [Medium]

HEARD LAST NIGHT at J Street — EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock discussing AIPAC’s position papers at Sixth & I: “I worked for candidates in the 90’s as their Finance Director. And I would come on a congressional race, I am a twenty something kid who also knows nothing beyond the state borders, and you thought about where you are going to go to raise the money that you needed to raise to win a race. You went to labor, you went to the choice community, and you went to the Jewish community. But before you went to the Jewish community, you had a conversation with the lead AIPAC person in your state and they made it clear that you needed a paper on Israel. And so you called all your friends who already had a paper on Israel – that was designed by AIPAC – and we made that your paper.”

“This was before there was a campaign manager, a policy director or a field director because you have got to raise money before you do all of that. I have written more Israel papers that you can imagine (laughter). I am from Montana (laughter). I barely knew where Israel was until I looked at a map, and the poor campaign manager would come in, or the policy director, and I’d be like, ‘Here is you paper on Israel. This is our policy.’ That means that these candidates who were farmers, school teachers, or business women, ended up having an Israel position without having any significant conversations with anybody… It’s astounding. And when I look back at it, it’s shocking.” [YouTubeJI]

“How Sanders is Driving Up Jewish Support for Hillary” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Many Orthodox Jewish Democrats who engaged me, were previously indifferent or even negative towards Hillary Clinton,” Chaskel Bennett, a local community leader and board member of Agudath Israel of America, told Jewish Insider on Saturday. “People I spoke with now feel it imperative to go out and vote against Bernie Sanders.” [JewishInsider• “Presidential Candidates Court New York Jews” [WSJ]

Sanders on the Sunday shows: Netanyahu is ‘Wrong on Occasion’: “You can’t just always nod your head to Netanyahu,” Sanders told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week. “He is wrong on occasion.” Asked to rate President Barack Obama’s approach to settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sanders said, “I think he’s done much better than his predecessors. But I think we still have a way to go.” [ABCNews]

“Bernie Sanders smashes the Israel status quo” by Jeremy Diamond: “It’s a pretty extraordinary moment for Democrats,” Hank Sheinkopf said. “It signals without question what other people already know: that the great love affair between the United States and Israel is over and that the U.S. and Israel are entering two different eras. If it’s President Bernie Sanders, that will certainly be the truth.” Sheinkopf added, “There is no requirement anymore in Democratic politics to have a strict, orthodox pro-Israel position.”… “I think that overall the American people’s support for Israel is not diminished,” said Malcolm Hoenlein. He conceded, though, that “there is a weakness on the Democratic left” in terms of support for Israel.” [CNNNYTimesABCNews]

Larry Sanders on Israel’s Channel 2: “What Bernard is saying — and I think he’s 100 percent right — you will not have a peaceful, decent future for Palestinians or for Jews in Israel if you do not have a negotiated solution. There’s no way. Bernard is not a self-hating Jew. There was never a moment in our life when we had any reason to be self-hating. The fact that he does not agree with Netanyahu on politics does not make him a self-hating Jew.” [ToI]

Chemi Shalev: “Sanders’ Non-conformist Israel Message Casts Him as Boy in Emperor’s New Clothes” [Haaretz]

Roger Cohen: “Bernie’s Israel Heresy” [NYTimes]

Saturday Night Live: “Once I am elected president, I will have a nice shvitz in the WH gym.” — Larry David playing Bernie Sanders on SNL. [YouTube]

“Pro-Clinton rabbi booted from Bernie Sanders event” by Debra Nussbaum Cohen: “Rabbi Andy Bachman was scheduled to participate in the Saturday-night Sanders campaign event at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn Heights but was unceremoniously uninvited shortly before it was to begin. The leading New York rabbi — formerly the spiritual leader of Brooklyn’s Congregation Beth Elohim and now director of Jewish content and community ritual at the 92nd Street Y — was dumped from the program for recent tweets favoring Sanders’ opponent Hillary Clinton.” [Haaretz]

Hillary on Passover: “I didn’t grow up celebrating Pesach. But over the years, I’ve attended seders where I was inspired by the remarkable story told in the haggadah — a tale of a people who, sustained by fortitude and faith, escaped slavery and reached their freedom.” [JewishJournal]

“How Rupert Murdoch warmed up to Donald Trump’s candidacy” by Tom Kludt: “Trump and Murdoch have had several meetings and conversations in recent months, according to sources close to both men. Those discussions were brokered by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the owner and publisher of the New York Observer, the sources said.” [CNNMoney]

“In Campaign and Company, Ivanka Trump Has a Central Role” by Jonathan Mahler: “Ms. Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, were married in 2009 at the Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey. To marry Mr. Kushner, Ms. Trump had converted to Judaism under an Orthodox rabbi, and she recalled her father wearing a skullcap beneath a huppah erected on the 18th green. Guests were given white flip-flops with the words “Jared” and “Ivanka” engraved on the insoles… Ms. Trump has traveled across the country with her father, joining the populist swirl of rallies, polling stations, senior centers and late-night McDonald’s runs. Mr. Trump’s to-go order is two Big Macs; Ms. Trump, who keeps kosher, sticks to the fries.” [NYTimes]

SCENE AT SHUL: “Away from spotlight, John Kasich speaks to those who would listen” by Ben Jacobs: “On Saturday, John Kasich gave what many of the reporters covering his campaign thought was one of his most effective and touching speeches yet. Because it was in a New York synagogue, cameras were banned and even note taking was considered forbidden. As a result only the 500 or so Orthodox Jews who were in the room at the Great Neck Synagogue will ever have seen it. That, in microcosm, is what John Kasich faces as he stumps New York. The Ohio governor is, in effect, running not to lose.”[TheGuardian] • Kasich held a press conference outside the synagogue [JINewsdayCSPAN]

“John Kasich’s Big New York Challenge: Saving Room for Dessert” by Thomas Kaplan: For Saturday’s outing, three days before New York’s primaries, Mr. Kasich perched himself on a stool at the PJ Bernstein kosher-style deli on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Mr. Kasich eagerly tackled a bowl of chicken soup with kreplach.. At the deli, he seemed amused by the close inspection of his eating. “What are you writing down? That I’m eating soup?” he asked this reporter. Told that the reporter had written down that he had eaten a pickle, Mr. Kasich offered a correction: “Two pickles.” Later, he announced he would eat another pickle, and updated his tally.” [FirstDraftCSPAN]

“New York has plenty of values that Ted Cruz wasn’t counting on” by Stephanie McCrummen: “I think he meant to distinguish New York Jewish elite liberals from the rest of the country,” said David Denowitz, 59, the lawyer, referring to Cruz’s jab. “I took it very badly, because I’m a New York Jewish elite liberal. Well, upper-middle class and educated.” He thought about his own New York values. “New York is really a shining example for the rest of the world — we’re Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, and we all ride the same subway, we all sit at the same lunch counter, and no bombs go off because no one feels the need,” he said, pointing out that the obvious exceptions were the work of outsiders.”[WashPost]

“New York City’s Jewish Vote Might Win Cruz Or Kasich Key Delegates” by Clare Malone: “The 10th congressional district, with the city’s largest Jewish population, has the city’s second-largest Republican population. Trump has 65 percent support in the Staten Island-dominated 11th district, but looks weaker in the 10th, according to the Optimus survey. He has only 39.5 percent of the vote in the 10th, Kasich has 31.7 percent and Cruz has 21.3, meaning it’ll be a scrum to get one precious delegate.” [FiveThirtyEight]

Happening Tonight: At 6:30PM, Cruz for President will hold a fundraiser at the Harvard Club of NYC. Hosts include Robin & Elliott Broidy, Dr. Ben Chouake, Elissa & Edward Czuker, Ben Heller, Batya & Ben Klein, Eliot Lauer, Leora & Steve Levy, Aryeh Lightstone, and Trudy & Stanley Stern. [InvitePDF]

TRADITION: “Obama’s final White House Seder will be late” by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “Why is President Barack Obama’s final Seder different from all his other Seders? It won’t be happening on the right night. But the White House Seder is still on — it’s just happening a little late. Obama’s nine-year tradition of hosting the Passover meal will be on hold while he’s overseas next week, traveling to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Germany.” [Politico]

**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: “American-Israeli Hollywood producer blasts Obama, Google over piracy” [Yahoo] • “Jack Lew nears decision to keep Hamilton on front of $10 bill, put a woman on the $20” [CNNMoney] • “Faith And Fortune: The Reichmann Story” [NYTimes] • “Ofer Nimrodi signs Chinese project financing deal” [Globes]

STARTUP NATION: “A VC who made $200 million when Skype was acquired explains why Israel has become the ‘Startup Nation'” by Sam Shead: “You have an entrepreneur culture that’s extremely present in Israel,” said Mark Tluszcz, who is CEO of Mangrove Capital Partners… Tluszcz also said the most intelligent people in Israel tend to go to one of three top-tier universities so the smartest entrepreneurs all get to know each other as they study.” [BusinessInsider]

“Tourism is the new front in Israeli settlers’ battle for legitimacy” by Anne-Marie O’Connor:“The settlers are fighting back — by rolling out the welcome mat. They are offering a sampling of “the good life,” with fine cabernets and artisanal cheese on the hilltops of the rugged, rural Bible land populated by the gun-toting children of Abraham… There are also zip lines, New Age massages, craft-beer breweries, spiritual retreats and petting zoos — often at sites protected by Israeli soldiers.” [WashPost]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Celebrating Passover, With All the Comforts of a Resort” by Mark Oppenheimer: “While the rest of the world goes to Florida,” said Rabbi Goldberg, who leads the large Boca Raton Synagogue, “people in Florida have to go to Cancún.” Historically, Passover was not for going to Cancún but for Seder at the grandparents’, where several generations would tell of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, drink sweet wine and avoid leavened bread. But in recent years, luxury hotels and cruise lines have begun to offer packages for those looking to get away, eat gourmet kosher-for-Passover food, swim, gamble and golf — and pay as much as $5,000 a person for the weeklong indulgence…  Notable rabbis, authors and politicians are scheduled to give guest lectures. Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of England, is a favorite, and former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut has lectures scheduled this year in Puerto Rico and on Chesapeake Bay.” [NYTimes]

“Sushi for Passover?” by Barbara Goldberg: “The change, approved by Judaism’s Conservative movement in November, lifts a rule in place since the 13th century that prohibited Ashkenazi Jews outside Israel from eating a group of foods known as kitniyot – rice, corn, peanuts, beans and other legumes – during Passover.” [Reuters• Arielle Levites: “When Ashkenazi Jews Eat Kitniyot on Passover, Is It Cultural Appropriation — from Sephardim?” [Forward]

‘A Special Seder’ by Paul Rudnick in the New Yorker: “This is so embarrassing, but here in my diary I feel that I must recount the day, in 1864, when my parents, Max and Rose Fleischman, invited President Lincoln to our home, in Virginia, for Passover Seder. My father was the President’s chiropractor, and he’d promised “good company, a taste of horseradish, and a pillow for your back.” [NewYorker]

“Why Is This Matzo Different From All Other Matzos?” by Dan Barber: “Several years ago, at a family Seder, I tasted a matzo I actually liked. It was misshapen and lightly burned, distinguishing it from the machine-made matzo of my youth. And this one possessed something that I had never experienced with matzo: It had flavor.” [NYTimes]

WEEKEND WEDDING: Josh Rogin of Bloomberg/CNN and Ali Weinberg of ABC News were married at the Meridian House in D.C. on Saturday night. Josh’s first cousin Seth Rogin, not the comedian but rather CEO of Nucleus, officiated. The evening was hosted by Ali’s mom Becky and dad Max Weinberg, longtime drummer for the E Street Band. Guests in attendance included the entire E Street Band — Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, Nils Lofgren, Garry Tallent, Roy Bittan, as well as Eli Lake, Jamie Kirchick, Michael Goldfarb, Noah Pollak, Josh’s super agent Keith Urbahn, Chuck Todd, Jon Karl, Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper, Luke Russert, Alex Moe, and Carrie Dann. [Pic]

Josh emailed our friends at Politico Playbook: “Ali and I met in 2009 at Restaurant Nora at a salon dinner hosted by Steve Clemons, who was friends with Ali’s mom Becky Weinberg. Tony Blinken was the speaker as I recall. … After our first meeting Ali and I were friends for 4 years until one night I brought her as my plus one to the Meridian Ball. At that event, she commandeered the microphone (no one else was singing) and performed a live rendition of ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ by Dusty Springfield that brought the house down. That night began our courtship. We were married in that very room at Meridian House last night, over two years later, and Ali performed the same song and brought the house down once again.” [Playbook]

“Jessica Schumer and Michael Shapiro: A Real West Wing Romance” by Vincent M. Mallozzi: “Jessica Emily Schumer, a daughter of Iris Weinshall and Senator Chuck Schumer of Brooklyn were to be married April 17 to Michael Paris Shapiro, the son of Lissa J. Paris and Robert B. Shapiro of Avon, Conn. Rabbi Andy Bachman is to officiate at the Liberty Warehouse, an event space in Brooklyn. Ms. Schumer, 31, is keeping her name. She is the chief of staff of the Robin Hood Foundation… Mr. Shapiro, 29, is an economic-policy adviser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Ms. Schumer and Mr. Shapiro met in January 2011 while working together at the White House for the National Economic Council.” [NYTimes]

“Rachel Becker and Stephen Kamsler: From the Junk Mail Folder, a Groom” by Jaclyn Peiser: “Rachel Lisa Becker and Stephen Bradley Kamsler were to be married April 17. Rabbi Alex Freedman is to perform the ceremony at Temple Emanu-El in Closter, N.J. The bride, 36, who is taking the groom’s name, is the social-media marketing director for New York Media, the parent company of New York magazine… The groom, 42, is a copywriter in the marketing and advertising group in Manhattan for HBO.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: John ‘Mordecai’ Podhoretz, former presidential speechwriter, editor of Commentary magazine and columnist for the New York Post, turns 55… Biochemist, geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate, Joseph L. Goldstein, turns 76… Composer and pianist Robert Greenberg turns 62… Mark Seidenfeld… Film director, producer, writer and actor, Eli Raphael Roth, turns 44… Evan Philipsson (h/t Playbook)….

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