Daily Kickoff: Rabbi Haskel Lookstein to speak at GOP Convention | Kushner blocking Christie’s VP bid | Tina Price elected Hillel Chair

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VEEP-STAKES: “Trump advisers split on VP pick” by Eli Stokols and Nolan McCaskill: “Kushner, the millionaire real estate developer who has emerged as a de facto campaign manager in recent weeks, is said to strongly oppose putting Christie on the ticket. Notably, Christie was the federal prosecutor who put Kushner’s father in prison a decade ago… Kushner would prefer Gingrich, according to multiple sources involved in campaign deliberations. That’s at least in part driven by his relationship with GOP mega-donor and Republican Jewish Coalition founder Sheldon Adelson, who is pushing Gingrich, as well as his own antipathy toward Christie.” [Politico] • “Trump Son-In-Law Blocking Christie VP Bid” [HuffPost]

“The Case for Newt” by Rich Lowry: “Gingrich’s big upside is that, perhaps outside of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, he is the most glib politician of the past 30 years. Not only would he defend Trump ably, he would put whatever Trump says in the most impressive light possible. You could shake Gingrich awake at 3 a.m., tell him Trump just came out for nationalizing the banks, and he would rattle off a five-minute riff on how it has always been the policy of the future and the country is lucky to have such a radical agent of change. He can embed Trumpism in a larger, more sophisticated argument about the country than Trump can, and do it vastly more eloquently. This wouldn’t ordinarily be a qualification for a VP pick, but Trump is running a media campaign.” [PoliticoMag]

@JacobKornbluh: Guess it’s not Ivanka! @EricTrump tells @seanhannity Donald Trump wants his veep to “work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” #Sabbath [Twitter]

“Here’s Donald Trump With His New Grandson” by Megan McCluskey: “Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump recently welcomed TIME’s cameras into his office at Trump Tower. There he played the doting grandfather while posing with his eighth grandchild— 3-month-old Theodore James—during a photoshoot for TIME’s July 25 issue, kissing the now 3-month-old boy on the cheek while glancing up at the camera.” [TimeMag]

CONVENTION PREVIEW — Zeke Miller tweets: “Among GOP convention speakers: Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who performed Ivanka’s conversion” [TwitterFullList]

Top Rabbinical Court Rejects Conversions By Ivanka Trump’s Rabbi: “Israel’s Supreme Rabbinical Court has ruled against Nicole, a 31-year-old woman who was appealing a decision not to recognize her conversion to Judaism. Nicole underwent an Orthodox conversion in New York by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who also oversaw the conversion of Ivanka Trump.” [JewishWeek]

“Wall Street shuns Trump’s Cleveland convention” by Ben White: “Many Wall Street executives staying away from Cleveland are taking their cues from some of the biggest names in the industry who have distanced themselves from Trump. Paul Singer, founder of giant hedge-fund group Elliott Management and among the most influential donors in the GOP, said at the Aspen Ideas conference in Colorado last month that a Trump presidency would be a disaster… “Any corporation will look at this from the perspective of whether or not they would want their CEO sharing a stage at Davos, Aspen or Sun Valley with the Republican nominee,” said Julleana Glover, a public affairs executive with extensive GOP campaign experience. “If the answer is no, they won’t be going to Cleveland.”” [Politico]

HAPPENING TONIGHT: Trump Victory hosts an evening with Donald Trump in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. Event chairs include Jamie Luskin McCourt, Elissa & Edward Czuker, Melanie & Bobby Rechnitz, Miriam & Michael Miller, along with Trump Victory Chair Lewis Eisenberg and Vice Chair Elliott Broidy. [InvitePDF]

Trump Tweets: “The Republican platform is most pro-Israel of all time!” [Twitter]

Clinton Slams Trump for Promoting ‘Anti-Semitic Image’ — by Jacob Kornbluh: During a speech at the Old State House in Springfield, Illinois —the site of Abraham Lincoln’s ‘House Divided’ speech— Clinton argued that from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s ban on Muslims to his “promotion of an anti-Semitic image pushed by neo-Nazis,” a Trump presidency would have “dangerous repercussions in America and around the globe.” [JewishInsider]

Abe Foxman on Trump’s tweet: “I look at results, and the results were that whoever did it, when they realized that it was insensitive or wrong or maybe misinterpreted, they took it off in two hours. To me, that’s what’s important.. I think he was wrong in defending it, but the campaign understood and knew quite well, very quickly, that it may cause mischief, and it may be interpreted as anti-Semitism, and they removed it. So, you know, the fact is that it was no longer out there… You know what, hello, he took it off, and therefore it wasn’t in the campaign. When he defended it, if they’d put it back, you and I would have an issue. But they didn’t put it back.” [Slate]

“Maddow: I’m studying Hitler to prep for Trump” by Joe Concha: “What’s the worst-case scenario for America if he wins? It can be pretty bad. You don’t have to go back far in history to get to almost apocalyptic scenarios… Over the past year I’ve been reading a lot about what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor. I am gravitating toward moments in history for subliminal reference in terms of cultures that have unexpectedly veered into dark places, because I think that’s possibly where we are.” [TheHillRollingStone]

TOP TALKER: “Ginsburg expresses ‘regret’ over remarks criticizing Trump” by Robert Barnes: In a statement issued by the Supreme Court public information office, Ginsburg said: “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.” [WashPost]

ONE YEAR LATER: “Iran Sticks to Terms of Nuclear Deal, but Defies the U.S. in Other Ways” by David Sanger: “The Iranians, defying the expectations of the deal’s most vociferous critics, gave up 98 percent of their nuclear material. They dismantled thousands of centrifuges and filled the core of a major plutonium reactor with cement. Inspectors roam their facilities. By late January, even Israel’s top military officer said he was impressed. “The deal has actually removed the most serious danger to Israel’s existence for the foreseeable future,” Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, told a conference in Tel Aviv, “and greatly reduced the threat over the longer term.”

“But if the celebrations inside the White House this week appear muted, it is in part because very little about the Washington-Tehran relationship outside the strict parameters of the 130-page agreement has improved. Tehran is still sending its forces to support President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and to gain influence in Iraq, and now has begun to honor its fallen soldiers there as heroes. Taking advantage of a newly worded United Nations resolution that merely “calls upon” Iran to limit its missile testing, it has kept up a steady pace of tests, with more and more capable weaponry.” [NYTimes]

On The Hill Today — Secure America Now and Vincent Harris created a Pokémon Go Snapchat filter titled “42 Senators Voted For The Bad Iran Deal — Can you catch them all?” [Pic]

“House votes to bar heavy water purchases from Iran” by Patricia Zengerle: “The House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to block the purchase of “heavy water” from Iran, defying President Barack Obama’s veto threat a year after the announcement of the landmark Iran nuclear agreement. The House passed the “No 2H2O from Iran Act” by 249-176, with support coming almost exclusively from Republicans.” [Reuters]

“Corker has a new Iran sanctions bill, but bipartisan support may be hard to come by” by Karoun Demirjian: “The chairman’s bill would prohibit the president from waiving any sanctions in order to enter into any new agreements with Tehran – a provision, Corker said, that is meant to make sure Congress has a say in any future deals with Iran. But most Democrats have not signed on to the legislation yet, even though several oppose the nuclear deal with Tehran. Instead of Cardin, Corker is teaming up with Foreign Relations Committee Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Joe Manchin (D-WVa.)”[PowerPost]

Jennifer Rubin: “Israel’s ambassador suggests things may be better after Obama” [WashPost]

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Israeli papers are buzzing today about a continuing inquiry into the affairs of Prime Minister Netanyahu. While the investigation has not yet been declared “official,” reports suggest that it centers around money from foreign donors. Authorities have begun interviewing those close to the Prime Minister, including detaining former Netanyahu chief of staff Ari Harow for questioning at Ben-Gurion Airport this morning.

On another front, after a legal and public relations struggle that lasted more than a week, it appears that Be’er Sheva, Israel’s fifth largest city and the capital of the Negev, isn’t going to have its own gay pride parade, as the local police decided not to approve the organizers’ request to march in the city’s main streets today. The decision was criticized by politicians on the center-left, and also by the city’s mayor, Rubik Danilovitch, but was upheld by the courts, after the police expressed concern that the parade would be attacked by extremists.

**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: How Private Equity Found Power and Profit in State Capitols [NYTimes] • Seth Klarman’s Baupost Posts 4% Return in First-Half Rebound [Bloomberg] • Gary Barnett Closes on UES Gristedes Site for $93M [Observer] • Sitt closes on 432 Park pad after trying in vain to flip contract[RealDeal] • David Samson, a Christie Associate, to Plead Guilty to a Felony [NYTimes] • Anne Wojcicki’s 23andMe’s new platform gives researchers easier access to DNA data [VentureBeat]• Peugeot tests Israeli range-extender technology in electric car push [Reuters]

STARTUP NATION: “Israel Tries to Lure Giant Tech Companies With Incentives” by David Wainer: “Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon wants to cut corporate taxes for companies that conduct research and development in Israel and register intellectual property there, according to a ministry official who spoke on customary condition of anonymity. Taxes would drop to as little as 6 percent from the current range of 16 percent to 25 percent, with top benefits going to companies with more than 10 billion shekels ($2.59 billion) in annual global sales.” [Bloomberg

SPOTLIGHT: “From aviation, to biotech, to taxi dispatcher? The road to founding Via” by Anthony Noto: “Via, which launched in New York, was co-founded by Daniel Ramot, an Israeli entrepreneur who — with fellow co-founder Oren Shoval — tweaked a transportation model that already exists in Israel and adapted it for the States. Now, they’re steering the company to new destinations. It’s driving passengers now in Manhattan and Chicago and soon expanding to Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.” [Upstart]

APPOINTMENT — “Hillel International announced today the election of Tina Price as chair of its board of directors. With more than 20 years of experience in Jewish philanthropy, including six years on the Hillel International Board of Directors, Price will use her new position to guide the organization as it works to meet its goal of inspiring every Jewish student to build an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.”

FLASHBACK — reposted from 1978: “Don’t Mess With Roy Cohn” by Ken Auletta: “To his clients, Roy is like a faith healer. “He’s almost a mother’s helper,” says builder Sam Lefrak. “He doesn’t tell you he’s going to lose, like most lawyers.” When the federal government was suing the Trump organization for discriminating against minorities in their housing projects, Don Trump searched for a lawyer. “They all said. ‘You have a good case, but it’s a sticky thing,'” remembers Trump. Then he met Cohn for the first time at a party, explained his predicament, and was thrilled when Roy instantly declared, “Oh, you’ll win hands down!” “The mere sending of a letter from Roy Cohn has saved us a lot of money,” says builder Donald Trump. “When people know that Roy is involved, they’d rather not get involved in the lawsuits and everything else that’s involved.” [Esquire]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Hasidic Parents Aim to Boost Education Standards” by Leslie Brody: “A new coalition in the Hasidic community is pledging to improve instruction for their children, following complaints that dozens of New York City yeshivas fail to provide enough secular education. The coalition, Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools, or PEARLS, hired a team to create lessons in math and English that they believe will meet state standards.” [WSJ]

“In Vermont, a Jewish community rises like the mountains” by Lisa Wangsness: “A number of the growing Jewish congregations in Vermont, including Stowe’s, have transformed from informal Shabbat suppers into lay-led congregations now maturing into stable communities. Robert Schine, a professor of Jewish studies at Middlebury College, said a strain of post-denominational Judaism that downplays religious and political divisions seems to be flourishing here.” [BostonGlobe]

The New Orleans Jewish Community Center Uptown is Expanding: “The New Orleans Jewish Community Center Uptown is planning to expand, adding a new building and reconfiguring its swimming area. The expansion got the OK from the City Planning Commission at its meeting this week.” [Curbed]

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