Sep
27

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Daily Kickoff: Corker’s retirement sets up potential race between two Jewish candidates | David Frum on Trump and Israel | Randi Zuckerberg’s mission

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DRIVING THE DAY: “Jamie McCourt, Trump’s nominee to serve as envoy to France, has deep ties to Baltimore” by John Fritze: “Jamie McCourt — a former co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers whose father founded the Baltimore-based appliance and electronics chain Luskin’s — will appear Wednesday before a Senate committee considering her nomination to one of the most plum assignments in the U.S. diplomatic corps: Ambassador to France… McCourt told the Jewish Journal in a 2009 interview that she grew up in a non-religious Jewish household that was “ardently Zionist.” She described herself as “a proud supporter of Israel and the worldwide Jewish community” on the website of her investment firm, Jamie Enterprises.”

“In that sense, McCourt’s foreign policy perspective appears to be aligned with the pro-Israel rhetoric Trump espoused on the campaign trail. His administration has so far taken a more traditional U.S. approach to Israel and its Middle East neighbors. “I’ve always had an attraction to Israel,” McCourt told an English-language news website in Israel last year. “I feel that the personality of Israel suits my personality. It’s the non-sleeping, action at all times, work hard, play hard, love life and you only get one shot at it.””[BaltimoreSun]

HEARD LAST NIGHT — David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, at a community conversation discussion, on the challenges of Trump’s America at Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue, hosted by the Jewish Journal: “What I would say to anyone who’s supported Donald Trump because he is good for Israel… He has betrayed every creditor he’s ever had, he betrayed every employee he’s ever had, and he’s betrayed every wife he’s ever had. Why are you so special? So if you’re concerned with a robust Israel, Donald Trump is not good for Israel, even if at any given moment — just because he’s so absent — he’s less intrusive and irritated to some Israeli leaders than Barack Obama was.” [Video]

TOP TALKER: “Corker to retire after 2018” by Burgess Everett and John Bresnahan: “Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker will retire from the Senate after two terms… Corker’s open seat will give Democrats some hope of an upset win, which could potentially be a majority-maker in the narrowly divided Senate. James Mackler, a young lawyer and Army veteran, is already in the contest… Rep. David Kustoff, a former U.S. attorney who took over Fincher’s seat in Western Tennessee after 2016, could also consider a bid.” [PoliticoTennessean

REACTION — Congressman David Kustoff (R-TN): “For more than 20 years, Bob Corker has been a strong voice for Tennesseans at the local, state and federal level. His current chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee is evidence of the great respect he earned from his colleagues in the Senate. I am thankful for his friendship and passion for public service.”

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) tells us… “Senator Corker has been easy to work with, and we have developed an excellent relationship since beginning our careers in Congress in 2006. Bob is highly respected for his knowledge of the issues, especially foreign policy. He has exhibited moments of independence reminiscent of past great Tennessee Senators. I have enjoyed his friendship and collegiality since serving together in Tennessee State government, and I will miss serving with him in Congress.”

RJC National Chairman and former Senator Norm Coleman: Corker’s “thoughtful, integrate leadership will be missed. Those of us committed to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship will lose a champion who could get things done, most recently garnering bipartisan support for the Taylor Force Act in the Foreign Relations Committee and on the floor of the Senate. He achieved similar success just last month in targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program and its Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) with tougher sanctions. I’ve known Bob Corker since his days as mayor of Chattanooga. Having been a mayor myself, I understood his relentless focus on results, not rhetoric. He may have Senator in front of his name, but I bet he had ‘Mayor’ stitched in his underwear. In these times of bitter, partisan divide, Bob Corker’s thoughtful, principled approach will be sorely missed.”

FYI: James Mackler, the first candidate to announce he is entering the Tennessee’s Democratic primary ahead of the 2018 elections, is married to Rabbi Shana Goldstein Mackler of The Temple Congregation Ohabei Sholom in Nashville. [Forward]

“Corker’s departure will hit foreign relations the hardest” by Karoun Demirjian: “The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker (R-Tenn.) has earned accolades as one of the body’s most committed champions of bipartisanship… Corker has been the GOP’s top foreign policy voice for the entirety of the debate over the Iran deal. He linked arms with Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) early on to codify a unique opportunity for Congress to reject the multilateral nuclear pact with Tehran. Though Corker opposed the deal vehemently, he stuck to the terms of the deal that was struck, effectively presiding, in 2015, over its preservation. Next month, it will be up to Corker to again steer the Iran deal — or not — through its next challenge, should the president refuse to certify that Tehran is in compliance with that nuclear deal.” [WashPost]

“Is Trump about to reveal his Mideast peace plan?” by Shlomi Eldar: “The Palestinian source believes that when Netanyahu understood that Trump meant business, he convened his ministers to prepare for what he foresees as a diplomatic offensive that must be foiled… “Netanyahu surely knows much more than he’s letting on to his ministers,” the Palestinian official told Al-Monitor. He added that… the principles are already known and clear to both Abbas and Netanyahu. “That’s why [Netanyahu is] worried,” said the official. “So far there has not been a public declaration [about two states],” the source said. “But we know the American plan will result in Palestinian independence, in a state within the 1967 borders.”” [Al-Monitor]

KAFE KNESSET — Israel versus Palestinians 0-1 — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: The Israeli diplomatic efforts against the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to gain international recognition suffered a severe blow this morning in Beijing. Interpol’s General Assembly, meeting in Beijing, voted in favor of accepting the Palestinian application to join the agency. Likud minister Ze’ev Elkin called to immediately cancel all economic gestures for the Palestinians approved by Israel in the past two years and revoke all VIP entry permits given to senior Palesetinian officials. “Israel cannot stand by and keep silent faced with a Palestinian diplomatic war. The PA should not benefit from Israel’s economic gestures while they wage a battle and incite against us here and around the world.” On the other hand, Zionist Union’s Tzipi Livni said it was a “bad decision” but accused the government of creating a “vacuum in the political arena.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

SCENE LAST NIGHT — Tel Aviv Edition: It was a crowded A-List turnout of many of Israel’s top analysts and journalists last night at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. The gathering was to bid farewell to Yael Feldboy, the Embassy’s press officer who is retiring after working with twelve US Ambassadors. Feldboy’s tenure includes Samuel Lewis (who started in 1977) until the current Ambassador, David Friedman. Feldboy witnessed almost four decades of highs and lows including countless diplomatic debacles and successes in the US-Israel alliance.

Feldboy’s former boss, Ambassador Dan Shapiro, made a toast,(while the incumbent Ambassador David Friedman’s absence was widely noted in cocktail whispers), followed by veteran journalist Udi Segal who recalled press conferences with Colin Powell. Senior members of the embassy staff paid tribute to Feldboy’s career. All of the top media Who’s Who were spotted mingling – including Yonit Levi, Nahum Barnea, Aluf Ben, Chemi Shalev, Ben Caspit, Barak Ravid, Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom’s Boaz Bismuth, Amos Regev, Ilil Shachar, Tal Schneider, former IDF spokesperson Avi Beneyahu and former Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Igal Palmor. [KafeKnesset]

ON THE HILL —  Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan discussed the Trump administration’s Mideast peace push during a hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday. In response to a question posed by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Sullivan said, “The President himself is personally committed to this process, as other Presidents have been. I think the commitment of this Administration is clear to the peace process… I would say that Secretary Tillerson, though, has been involved as well – he was with President Trump when the President visited Israel in June.”

Sullivan on Bob Levinson: “The Levinson case is a priority for this Administration as are all the other American hostages held worldwide. Just as a note, I have met and spoken with the Levinson family on multiple occasions. I have a picture on my desk of Bob Levinson, which reminds me every day that he’s our longest held hostage in Iran… This Administration has no higher priority than bringing home all of those Americans, including Mr. Levinson. You have my word on that.” [Video]

Rep. Lamborn presented with report indicting UNRWA textbooks — by Aaron Magid: Officials from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Middle East Forum presented a new report to Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) yesterday blasting UNRWA for allegedly including calls for incitement and violence against Israelis in its curriculum. The researchers, Dr. Arnon Groiss and Jonathan Halevi, will also be meeting with the staff of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York today. “UNRWA needs to be held accountable for allowing these horrible teachings to exist in the Palestinian school books. They should know better than to let incitement to hatred and violence be taught to young kids,” Lamborn explained after meeting with the researchers. [JewishInsider]

IRAN DEAL: “Trump’s Top General Says Iran Honoring Nuke Deal” by Paul Mcleary: “The briefings I have received indicate that Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations,” Gen. Joseph Dunford wrote in answers to questions in advance of his hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee… “It makes sense to me that our holding up agreements that we have signed, unless there’s a material breach, would have an impact on others’ willingness to sign agreements,” Dunford said… It would be better for Washington to “focus on leveraging our partners that were part of that agreement to deal with the other challenges that we know Iran poses,” Dunford said.” [FP

“Trump’s plan to stop Iran in Syria is MIA” by Josh Rogin: “Privately, current and former administration officials admit that there is little prospect of evicting Iran and Assad from the large parts of southeast Syria… The plan to prevent Iran from solidifying a Shiite crescent of control from Tehran to the Mediterranean rests on stopping Iran on the Iraqi side of their border with Syria, which will also be far from easy, officials admit… State Department officials continue to point to the political process as the means for preventing Iran from exerting control over large parts of Syria in perpetuity. They argue that after the fighting stops, Assad and Iran will have to come back to the negotiating table to get the international aid spigot turned on.” [WashPost]

“Trump Wants To End The Iran Nuclear Deal, But That Could Revive A Bitter Cyberwar” by Kevin Collier: “Now, as President Donald Trump threatens to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal — and unspoken cyber truce — there are fears the war might reignite. It could be costly. The last known time that Iranian hackers significantly damaged an American target, in 2014, it cost American gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson millions. Adelson, a friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a major Republican donor, had been highly critical of the Obama administration’s attempts to negotiate an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Then, on Oct. 22, 2013, at Yeshiva University in New York City, he went a step further, suggesting that instead of talking, the US should bomb the Iranian desert. If that wasn’t enough to bring the Iranians to heel, he said, then the US should nuke Iran’s capital…. The Iranians fired back, but quietly. Within a month, Iranian hackers were probing the systems of Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands casino, and by Feb. 9, 2014, they’d acquired the login credentials of a senior computer systems engineer. The next day, thousands of computers on Sands networks were wiped clean of files.” [BuzzFeed

“The GOP can’t quit Obamacare repeal because of their donors” by Andrew Prokop: “This pressure seems to be able to move votes. One moderate senator, Dean Heller (R-NV), conspicuously switched from being a public critic of repeal efforts to a strong supporter of Graham-Cassidy. That came after he reportedly got an earful from Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, two billionaire GOP donors in his state.” [Vox]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: “Trump’s Le Cirque Fundraiser Pulls in $5 Million for Republicans” by  Zachary Mider and Margaret Talev: “Casino mogul Steve Wynn… [was] seen entering the closed-door event, as was Florida lobbyist and fundraiser Brian Ballard… Trump wasn’t the only draw. Gary Cohn, his top economic adviser and the former president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., spoke at the fundraiser, according to guest Bob Wright… According to Wright, Trump praised Cohn, who said last month the administration must do a better job of condemning neo-Nazis.” [Bloomberg

Ken Vogel: “SPOTTED at Trump funder tonight: Marc Kasowitz, lawyer who got booted from Trump legal team after emailing critic: “Watch your back, bitch.”” [Twitter]

“Another Top Administration Official Resigns After Criticizing Trump” by Tina Nguyen: “Chuck Rosenberg’s exit comes weeks after he accused the president of having “condoned police misconduct.” [VanityFair]

ALABAMA ELECTION: In a closely watched Senate race yesterday, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, defeated the establishment Republican candidate, Luther Strange, in a special primary runoff for Jeff Sessions’ seat. Moore was backed by ousted White House aides Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka. On the positions page of his website, Moore emphasizes, “We must remember that Israel is the United States’ most important ally and partner in the Middle East and should reject agreements or policies that undermine Israel’s security. We should pass the Taylor Force Act and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.”

Flashback: “When Alabama Compares Gay Marriage to the Holocaust” by Larisa Thomason: “If you’d even consider asking “What’s the difference?” between Nazi Germany’s systematic murder of six million Jews and legal gay marriage, consider running for a seat on Alabama’s State Supreme Court. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore made just that comparison on June 29. “Could I do this if I were in Nuremberg… say that I was following the orders of the highest authority to kill Jews?… Could I say I was ordered to do so?” The shocked interviewer reminded Moore that the Nuremberg trials had been about murder, not gay marriage. “Is there a difference?” he asked.” [Forward]

CONSENSUS VIEW: Roy Moore’s victory and Bob Corker’s retirement are fresh indicators of a Senate that’s coming apart [WashPost]

** Good Wednesday 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: Mark Cuban lent the Mavericks team plane to a Puerto Rican player to bring relief supplies to his home country [BI] • Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood invests $250M in Yotel [RealDeal] • Kushners resurrect plans for Journal Square towers [JerseyJournal] • Regulator asks Israeli lenders to redefine foreign banking strategy [ToI] • NSW and Israel announce R&D innovation program [ZDNet]

STARTUP NATION: “Playbuzz raised $35 million for its platform that aims to help publishers engage with the ‘Snapchat generation'” by Sam Shead: “Founded in 2012 by Shaul Olmert and Tom Pachys, Playbuzz has developed a platform that 1,500 publishers and brands use today to create “fun” and “engaging” content. The company claims that content in its network reaches hundreds of millions of people every month… During the US presidential elections, Playbuzz was used by the Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton campaigns, as well as by the news outlets reporting on them. Viola Growth led the round, and was joined by return backers Disney, Saban Ventures, 83North, Carmel Ventures, Firstime and Oded Vardi.” [BIVB]

SPOTLIGHT: “Randi Zuckerberg Is On A Mission To Bring Girls Into STEM” by Liz Posner: “Since leaving Silicon Valley and opening shop in New York City, Zuckerberg has turned to exploring her deepest passions. “Something that’s true of Jewish heritage in general is that when you have a mission statement for what you do, you get so excited to get out of bed every morning to do what you do,” she said… An early employee of Facebook, and elder sister to Mark Zuckerberg, she is pretty well-qualified to guide American families into the world of technology… “My Jewish identity is hugely important to me,” she said. “I remember going to Hebrew school and asking, ‘Why are we spending so much time studying the past?’ Now when I look at the tech industry, I see people only thinking about the future, asking what’s coming down the pipeline. It’s really important to study the past, which is not something I see many leaders doing. That’s where my Jewish heritage and religion come into play. Jews think about the roots of issues, and that’s something I think about in my business.”” [Forward]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “N.Y. transplant is South Dakota’s lone rabbi: ‘You really see what God made here'” by Sharyn Jackson: “[Stuart] Jacobs, who was born and raised in the Bronx, is part of a tiny community of Sioux Falls Jews that has long gathered to pray and commune without a permanent rabbi… “I was starved for a leader,” said Beverly Christensen, who has lived in South Dakota for 24 years. Enter Mendel Alperowitz. A clergyman without a congregation, Alperowitz moved to this city on the prairie to serve as a kind of Pied Piper for the Jews who don’t have a spiritual home. “My goal is that there should not be a single Jew in the state of South Dakota who feels that they don’t have a way to express their Judaism,” he said.” [StarTribune]

“When Kosher Food Ran Short In Houston After Hurricane Harvey, Dallas Caterers Mobilized” by Courtney Collins: “Chaim Goldfeder owns Texas Kosher BBQ, based in Dallas. The second the roads opened after the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, he hauled his mobile kitchen down to Houston. The giant smoker on the back got a real workout. “Six hundred pounds of brisket at a time,” he says. “We do about 140 three-pound chickens at a time. And just to give you an idea, that will feed about 700 people.” Many people, who had been living off Chex Mix from the convenience store, told Goldfeder that his roast beef and peach cobbler was the first actual meal they’d had in a week.” [KeraNews]

“Jewish National Fund goes west with new president, eyes the future of Israel” by Jacob Kamaras: “JNF says Dr. Sol Lizerbram of San Diego is not only the group’s first national president from the West Coast, but also one of the first national presidents from that part of the country for any major Jewish organization. Lizerbram, 69, is a former health adviser to California Governor Jerry Brown and the co-founder HealthFusion.” [JNS]

“Memories of an Anti-Semitic State Department” by Dennis Ross: “I remember well the time in 1990, when I was the head of the State Department’s policy planning staff, I was visited by a diplomatic security investigator who was doing a background check on someone who had listed me as a reference. At one point, the investigator asked me a question that is routine in these background checks: Was this person loyal to the United States? I answered yes, without a doubt. But his follow-up question was if this person had to choose between America’s interests and Israel’s, whose interests would he put first? … “Why would you ask that question?” I asked… He answered, “Because he is Jewish.” So I went on: If he was Irish and had to work on problems related to Ireland or if he was Italian and had to work on Italy, would you ask that question? … He suddenly realized that I was Jewish. And, at that point, he changed the subject.”[NYTimes]

TWO GUARDIAN OP-EDS TODAY: “Why is George Soros being dragged into the same-sex marriage debate?” by Jason Wilson: “The Australian Conservatives are just the latest group to invoke the figure of George Soros as the shadowy string-puller behind the fight for marriage equality. Sifting through their Facebook page, you can find a meme urging the group’s supporters to “Stop the Globalist Agenda: Vote No”. Alexander Reid-Ross, Portland State University lecturer and author of the study of fascism, Against the Fascist Creep, says that the meme “is definitely antisemitic… Soros represents to the antisemite today what Rothschild would have represented to a fascist in the 1930s: ‘the international Jew’ who is weakening ‘our’ ethnic stock by diluting our cultural values with cosmopolitan ideas that invite a foreign invasion of immigrants and terrorists.”” [Guardian]

“Labour’s denial of antisemitism in its ranks leaves the party in a dark place” by Jonathan Freedland: “When distinguished men of the left are echoing, even inadvertently, the language of Holocaust denial, when the leader of Britain’s biggest trade union is rehashing the age-old notion of a Jewish conspiracy, you know you have entered a dark place. It’s not impossible to navigate your way out. But first you have to admit that you’ve got badly lost.” [TheGuardian

“Jared Kushner Registered To Vote As a Woman” by Ashley Feinberg: “According to the records held by the New York State Board of Elections, Jared Corey Kushner is a woman… “Kushner can’t even fill out the most basic paperwork without screwing it up, so it’s a mystery why anyone thinks he’s somehow going to bring peace to the Middle East,” says Brad Bainum, a spokesperson for American Bridge, a liberal opposition research hub and the group that first identified Jared’s voter slip-up.” [WiredMag]

HOLLYWOOD: ‘The Four’ — Israeli Pilot Blueprint for FOX Show: “The Four” — the show that FOX is producing for air next year — is a product of an Israeli pilot… The Israeli version is called “The Final Four” but the FOX format is almost identical. The show begins with 4 amazing singers, and then a series of challengers come along, one by one, trying to knock the 4 singers out of their seats.” [TMZ]

DESSERT: “Kosher? Historic ruling lets Israeli diners decide” by Michele Chabin: “On Sept. 12 the High Court of Justice ruled that although the rabbinate is and will remain the only body empowered to issue a kashrut, or kosher food, certificate, restaurants may inform diners of the kashrut standards they keep… “It’s clear to everybody that this ruling spells the end of the rabbinate’s monopoly over kashrut,” said Aaron Leibowitz, an American-born Modern Orthodox rabbi who founded Hashgacha Pratit… “It’s only a matter of time until the kashrut law itself is repealed,” he predicted.” [RNS

BIRTHDAYS: Billionaire philanthropist, investor and pioneer in the commercial real estate industry, Sam Zell (born Shmuel Zielonka) turns 76… State Treasurer of Ohio, he has announced plans to challenge US Senator Sherrod Brown in 2018, Josh Mandel turns 40… Physicist and emeritus professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia, Fred Singerturns 93… Director of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate (1979-1983), member of Knesset (1988-1992) and later served as Israel’s ambassador to the Phillipines, Major General (retired) Yehoshua Sagi turns 84…. Billionaire, co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank turns 75… Antitrust and business litigator at the Locke Lord law firm, Stephen J. Landes turns 72… Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Nursing Home Quality, and Trustee at Milken Family Foundation, Ellen Sandler… President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (2004-2017), Jeffrey M. Lacker turns 62…

Consultant at Deloitte, she was previously a Hebrew teacher and coordinator of Jewish programs at Zeta Beta Tau, Alexa Wertman turns 27 (h/t Playbook)… Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, he was first elected in 2002 and every two years since, he is married to a Minneapolis rabbi, Marcia Zimmerman, Frank Hornstein turns 58… Comedian and author, frequent guest on both Letterman and Conan O’Brien, Marc Maron turns 54… Member of the House of Representatives since 2005, Chairperson of the DNC from 2011 until the summer of 2016, Debbie Wasserman Schultzturns 51… Social media pioneer who held high profile positions at AOL and other large firms, Judy Tashbook-Safern turns 51… Rabbi and kabbalist with ties to many leading businessmen and political figures in both Israel and the US, Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto turns 44… Architect, entrepreneur and real estate developer, he is a first cousin of Jared Kushner, Marc Kushner turns 40…

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Sep
26

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Daily Kickoff: What Sen. Bob Menendez’s trial has to do with ‘tzimmes’ stew | Mike Doran on JCPOA | Gloria Allred’s Crusade | BDay: Walter P. Stern

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PROFILE: “Gloria Allred’s Crusade: The attorney takes on Bill Cosby, rape law, and Donald Trump” by Jia Tolentino: “She was born Gloria Rachel Bloom on July 3, 1941, to two doting Jewish parents, Morris and Stella. Stella was English; she and Morris had met, Gloria says they told her, “in Baltimore, on a streetcar named desire.” Both left school after the eighth grade. Morris worked six days a week as a door-to-door salesman, hawking Fuller brushes and photographic enlargements, and the family (Gloria was the only child) lived in a row house in southwest Philly. They didn’t attend synagogue together—Morris was too busy, and Stella explored many religious ideas, going to a church one week and an Ethical Culture meeting the next—but Gloria went there for Sunday school, and was confirmed.”

“Allred was approached years ago by people who wanted her to run for a seat in the California State Senate; she didn’t seriously consider it, she told me. She isn’t particularly religious, but she believes in the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, that it is the job of individuals to repair the world. “Each one of us has the responsibility of turning a negative experience into a positive experience,” she had told me the previous week, in Los Angeles. “Maybe that’s why these bad things happened. Maybe that’s the purpose—if there is a purpose, and I don’t know that there is. But a human being likes to think there is.” [NewYorker]

TZIMMES, THE TALK OF THE SEN. MENENDEZ TRIAL — by Matt Friedman: “Earlier, before the trial broke for Rosh Hashanah last Wednesday, Judge William H. Walls compared his decision on permitting certain evidence to a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish stew with “a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.” [Abbe] Lowell told Walls that the stew was called tzimmes, that it’s traditionally served on Rosh Hashanah and that he would bring some to share with the court. Lowell on Monday made good on that promise, bringing containers full of tzimmes for Walls and even the prosecution. “This is a new meaning of serving the government,” Lowell said as he handed some to prosecutors.” [Politico

 “Walls, who had previously said he has to watch his sodium intake, asked whether it was a salty dish. Lowell assured him it was “sugary.” “Sweet as in sweet New Year,” Lowell said.” [NJ Advance]

Hollywood talent manager Scooter Braun posted on Instagram: “L’shana tova. Have a happy new year. For a split second I almost didn’t share this message because of all the hate I see online for my heritage and culture. But no. I’m a proud Jew so happy new year. And if you are a proud Christian or Muslim be proud. If you are who you are, whether it be race, religion, sexual orientation, or you just like being different… Be you. Never be afraid to express it and embrace others for being exactly who they are. This year may we all be better TOGETHER. So once again…. l’shana tova and happy new year. Much love.” [Instagram] • From last week: “Scooter Braun on philanthropy, working with Kanye and trying times with Justin Bieber” [CBSNews]

BREAKING OVERNIGHT: “Palestinian kills 3 Israelis in settlement near Jerusalem” by Aron Heller: “A Palestinian gunman on Tuesday killed three Israeli security men and critically wounded a fourth outside a West Bank settlement before being shot dead, in one of the deadliest attacks of a two-year spate of violence. Israeli officials said the attacker was a 37-year-old father of four, with a valid work permit in Israel and a troubled personal life who appeared to have acted alone. The attack comes at a tense period amid the Jewish high holidays and is likely to complicate the mediation efforts of U.S. peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, who just arrived in the region for meetings with Israeli and Palestinians leaders.” [AP]

Greenblatt tweets: “My family & I are horrified by the attack in Har Adar. Shame on Hamas & others who praised the attack. All must stand against terror! We pray for the victims of today’s attack at Har Adar, and their loved ones as well.” [Twitter]

KAFE KNESSET — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: The tragic news of the Har Adar terror attack took over the agenda of the weekly cabinet meeting, which was postponed from Sunday and convened this morning. The traditional wave of political reactions and calls for punitive measures focused this time on revoking work permits for Palestinians, as the terrorist who stabbed the three Border Policeman to death had a permanent work permit. Economy Minister Eli Cohen said that all work permits should be suspended until after the holiday season, and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said the attack will have “grave consequences on employing Palestinians and easing movement restrictions.”

Netanyahu, in his opening statements, stopped short of announcing any collective punishment for now, announcing three immediate steps in response to the attack: demolishing the terrorist’s house, imposing a curfew on his village, and revoking entry permits from his family. Netanyahu also pointed a finger at Palestinian incitement and demanded Abu Mazen “condemn the attack and not justify it,” a talking point echoed by all of his cabinet ministers, with some saying the attack is proof there is “no partner” on the Palestinian side. Deputy FM Tzipi Hotevely said the attack is a “message” for the US administration, just as Jason Greenblatt arrives in Israel for another round of peace talks, and the attack is likely to complicate his already complicated mission. Several right-wing ministers and MKs stressed that in the midst of terror, there is no room for economic gestures and initiatives for the Palestinians, and others – Like Bayit Yehudi’s Uri Ariel – demanded settlement construction as a suitable reaction. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

UN Mideast envoy says Israel ignoring UNSC resolution — by Edith Lederer: “Israel is not complying with a UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to all settlement activity and instead is continuing to expand settlements, making a two-state solution “increasingly unattainable,” the UN envoy for the Mideast said Monday. Nickolay Mladenov told the council that in the three months since June 20 Israel’s settlement activity “continued at a high rate, a consistent pattern over the course of this year.” [AP

DRIVING THE CONVO: “How Trump Can Improve the Iran Deal” by Mark Dubowitz and David Albright: “We propose the president “fix” U.S. policy by making it clear he does not accept the Iran deal’s dangerous flaws. He should insist on conditions making permanent the current restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and the testing of advanced centrifuges and nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, as well as the buying and transferring of conventional weaponry. He must insist on unfettered access for U.N. weapons inspectors to Iranian military sites.” [WSJ

HEARD YESTERDAY — Hudson Institute fellows Michael Doran and Peter Rough, along with Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution discussed President Trump’s policy on Iran in a panel “The Trump Administration and the Middle East: What Should America Do Next?” hosted by the Hudson Institute and moderated by the think tank’s Senior Fellow Lee Smith.

Highlights — Doran: “As much as I abhor the JCPOA, I don’t think that trashing it at this moment is the priority. The priority is Syria and breaking up this (Iranian) beltway. If we are not going to compete with the Iranians in Syria, we are not going to roll back the JCPOA. There has to be a paradigm shift in Washington about competing with the Iranians in the region.”

Doran on Syria ceasefire: “We should use our own considerable air defense assets to send a message to tell the Iranians and the Russians that if they violate that (Syrian) belt, they’ll be in trouble. Eastern Syria should be American dominated territory… We should adopt the Israeli red lines as our own and send a message to the Russians that we are with the Israelis. That increases their deterrence and empowers the Israelis.”

O’Hanlon on Egypt: “President Sisi is [Hosni] Mubarak on steroids… I don’t think we should be giving Egypt the same amount of aid as in better days — not that there were such incredibly better days. I would be giving half as much aid these days.” [Video

“Europeans say Trump can win on Iran without ripping up nuclear deal” by Laura Rozen: “In a sense, this administration has changed the climate on Iran,” British Ambassador Kim Darroch said at a panel of four European ambassadors at the Atlantic Council. “It is succeeding. … But let’s keep the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action].” Darroch said he has noticed an intensification of contacts over the past couple of months between the Europeans and experts within the US administration on how to increase the pressure on Iran… Whether or not Trump certifies next month is “basically a domestic issue,” French Ambassador Gerard Araud said. “What matters will be the consequences. We are not going to criticize the president for certification or decertification. That is your problem.” [Al-MonitorNYTimes]  

“Iran’s supposed missile launch was fake, US officials say” by Lucas Tomlinson: “The video released by the Iranians was more than seven months old – dating back to a failed launch in late January, which resulted in the missile exploding shortly after liftoff, according to two U.S. officials. President Trump had originally responded to the reported launch in a late-Saturdaytweet, saying, “Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel… Not much of an agreement we have!”” [FoxNews

ON THE HILL — House committee to vote Thursday on Hezbollah sanctions bill — by Aaron Magid: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s bill — introduced by the Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-NY) —  further restricts Hezbollah’s ability to fundraise and recruit along with cracking down on foreign states that do business with the Lebanese terror group, including Iran. Additionally, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will also markup a bill on Thursday that condemns Hezbollah for its usage of civilian shields during warfare while imposing sanctions on individuals who are involved in this practice. [JewishInsider]

JARED INSIDER: “How Jared Kushner Is Dismantling a Family Empire” by Rich Cohen: “His future seemed certain. But, as Kushner’s great-grandparents would’ve said, kicking it in the shtetl, Der mentsh trakht un Got lakht. Man plans, God laughs… Jared Kushner is six feet three and thin—rangy if you like him, reedy if you don’t. He has dark eyes and brown hair, a broad smile, and a facial expression, captured in newspapers, that goes from surprised to amused to flat. Something about him remains opaque, unknowable. Something held in reserve.” [VanityFair]

“Jared Kushner’s lawyer, fooled by ’email prankster,’ offers window into private email controversy” by Natasha Bertrand: “Top Washington lawyer Abbe Lowell engaged in an email exchange with a prankster posing as client Jared Kushner on Monday, at one point telling the prankster that he needed “to see all emails” sent and received from a private email account the president’s son-in-law had set up in December… On Monday, the prankster wrote to Lowell from the email address “kushner.jared@mail.com” asking what he should do with “some correspondence on my private email … featuring adult content… Lowell replied: “Don’t delete. Don’t send to anyone.  Let’s chat in a bit.” [BusinessInsider]

“At Least 6 White House Advisers Used Private Email Accounts” by Matt Apuzzo and Maggie Haberman: “Other advisers, including Gary D. Cohn and Stephen Miller, sent or received at least a few emails on personal accounts, officials said. Ivanka Trump… used a private account when she acted as an unpaid adviser in the first months of the administration, Newsweek reported Monday. Administration officials acknowledged that she also occasionally did so when she formally became a White House adviser… Most of Mr. Trump’s aides used popular commercial email services like Gmail. [jared] Kushner created a domain, IJKFamily.com, in December to host his family’s personal email. That domain was hosted by GoDaddy on a server in Arizona, records show.” [NYTimesNewsweek]

HAPPENING TODAY: “Trump Dinner at NYC’s Le Cirque Seeks Up to $250,000 Per Couple” by Zachary Mider and Jennifer Jacobs: “Some of the biggest names in U.S. finance and real estate are expected to gather at New York’s Le Cirque restaurant on Tuesday as President Donald Trump raises money for the Republican National Committee… Many of the anticipated attendees, such as the executives Howard Lorber and Steve Witkoff, come from New York real-estate circles where the president’s career began.” [Bloomberg]  

SPOTTED in Playbook: “Michael Flynn last night having dinner at Char Bar, the kosher restaurant in Foggy Bottom. Asked what his mood was these days, he replied: “My mood is good. Very good.” [Politico]

“Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in federal prison” by Matt Zapotosky: “Disgraced former U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner, whose exchange of illicit messages with a teenager wound up playing a role in the 2016 presidential election, was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison… The penalty marks a stunning downfall for the New York Democrat whose propensity for sending lewd photos to women repeatedly derailed his career in politics, and — in a roundabout way — might also have affected Hillary Clinton’s bid to become president… Weiner is scheduled to report to prison on Nov. 6, prosecutors said.” [WashPost

** Good Tuesday 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: From Bistricer to Rockpoint: The new Starrett City deal is a far cry from what might have been [RealDeal] • Wells Fargo Bank provides apartment construction loan for Sole Mia in North Miami by Soffer and LeFrak [Bizjournals] • Inside the $524 Million Bucks Arena & Entertainment Mecca [MilwaukeeMag

HOLLYWOOD: “Can a Hollywood Celebrity Find the Truth About Trump and Russia?” by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “[Rob] Reiner is trying to break through to Trump voters over Russia’s unprecedented meddling in the 2016 election. His new project is The Committee to Investigate Russia, a website gathering news and information on the various Russia inquiries that he hopes will help spur a 9/11-type, bipartisan commission that will bring everything together in a definitive report and make concrete recommendations. On its board are former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, prominent Never Trumpers David Frum, the Atlantic senior editor… So far, Reiner says, he has donated about $100,000 of his own money, and sits on its board of advisers. He says he and his wife will “probably put more in as is needed.”” [Politico]

“The Abbie Hoffman of the Right: Donald Trump” by David Brooks: “In the late 1960s along came a group of provocateurs like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the rest of the counterculture to upend the Protestant establishment. People like Hoffman were buffoons, but also masters of political theater…  America is seeing nearly as much cultural conflict as it did in the late 1960s. It’s quite possible that after four years of this Trump will have effectively destroyed the prevailing culture. The reign of the meritocratic establishment will be just as over as the reign of the Protestant establishment now is.” [NYTimes]  

“‘We Believe Deeply In Lox And Bagels’: What It Means To Be A Secular Jew” by Michel Martin: “Bob Garfield, co-host of WNYC’s On The Media… on what it means to be a secular Jew: “There’s this bizarre, sometimes hostile ambivalence about the religion and the culture from which we spring. You know, it’s a big part of the American-Jewish community. The best way I can put it to you is this, Michel: We don’t read much Torah, but we’ve read every word Philip Roth ever wrote. We don’t necessarily even believe in God, but we believe deeply in lox and bagels. So we, on one hand, are not really participants in the spiritual part of the religion, but we’re as Jewish as can be.”” [WAMU

SPORTS BLINK: “Hank Greenberg: Caught Between Baseball And His Religion” by Noam Hassenfeld: “Let’s be real clear,” Aviva [Kepmner] says. “Hank Greenberg did not play on Yom Kippur in ’34, as Hitler was rising in Europe, and that’s what made it even more powerful. And after what happened in Charlottesville, I hope some more Jewish baseball players don’t play on Yom Kippur.” [WBUR

BIRTHDAYS: Vice Chairman and a Director of Capital International, Inc. and long-time Board Chair of the Hudson Institute, Walter Phillips Stern turns 89… Stage, film and television actor, he is best known as “The Most Interesting Man in the World” appearing in Dos Equis beer commercials (2006-2016), Jonathan Goldsmith turns 79… Escondido, California resident, Edward Karesky turns 70… CEO of Israel Longhorn Project, dedicated to bringing Texas Longhorn Cattle home to Israel, Robin Rosenblatt turns 69… Five Towns (NY) resident, Barry Mandel turns 69… Former chairman and CEO of the French engineering conglomerate Alstom, he is the son of Holocaust survivors, Patrick Kron turns 64… Senior political adviser to President Bill Clinton during his second term and co-author of a New York Times best-seller on the future of politics in the United States, Doug Sosnik turns 61… Teaneck-resident with a Jersey City dental practice, Paul Lustiger, DDS turns 61… Historian, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Kagan turns 59… Chief of Staff to Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Mark Isakowitz turns 51… Head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men’s basketball team, he was the 2017 ACC Coach of the Year, Josh Pastner turns 40… Former Communications Director for NY Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Jane Harman, she now heads a NYC based PR firm whose past clients have included Jared and Ivanka, Risa Beth Heller tuns 38… NYC-based senior editor of global digital video programming at Bloomberg LP, Henry Seltzer turns 32 (h/t Playbook)…

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Daily Kickoff: Surprise speaker at Rosh Hashanah service: Justice Ginsburg | Kraft ‘deeply disappointed’ by Trump’s NFL comments | Gadot to host SNL

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JI EXCLUSIVE: White House explains redirected funds to Palestinians — by Aaron Magid: A White House official confirmed Jewish Insider’s report from Wednesday that the Trump administration had quietly transferred an additional $20 million to Palestinian wastewater programs after the funds were frozen in an Egyptian economic aid package. “The State Department came to us and said they had identified this particular piece of money and these were, if I recall, FY2016 (Fiscal Year) funds that disappear at the end of September,” the White House official told Jewish Insider last week.

However, the Trump administration source objected to an assertion made by a Congressional aide that the Trump administration was rushing to move the funds to West Bank water programs before the Taylor Force Act could be passed. “There was a particular window for this so that the money would be used. TFA (Taylor Force Act) would have no impact on this even if they passed it tomorrow. There wasn’t an ‘oh my gosh, let’s get this money before Taylor Force passes,’” the White House official added. The official said that there were numerous Palestinian projects that the U.S. would like to support. “But when you have terrorists stabbing American citizens in the back and tax paying dollars used to support these people, the President said very clearly to President Abbas in both Washington and Bethlehem in May, this is intolerable to us.”

On a separate note, the White House official declined to opine regarding an announcement from Hamas last week that the U.S. designated terror group would dissolve the Gaza administrative committee and move towards a unity government. “Our feeling is very much wait and see. There have been lots of attempts at this before,” the White House official noted. “We appreciate the Egyptians (mediation) efforts to try and come to some resolution to do this.” [JewishInsider]

“Trump Told Abbas: We’re Working on New Peace Deal, but Need More Time to Formulate It” by Barak Ravid and Jack Khoury: “Palestinian and U.S. sources said Trump requested that Abbas give him time to draft the proposal and avoid taking any measures that would impede the process… Senior Palestinian figures said the Palestinian Authority agreed to wait for the U.S. proposal to be presented before taking any significant diplomatic steps.” [Haaretz]

KAFE KNESSET — Trump’s mystery peace plan — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Jason Greenblatt is on his way back to Israel for another round of peace talks followed by a family Sukkot holiday, and the Israeli PM wanted to welcome him with a warm hug. Yesterday, Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet for a three hour meeting, during which he briefed the ministers on his last trip to the US and his meeting with President Trump. According to a well-informed source, Netanyahu told the ministers he is interested in “pleasing” Greenblatt and the administration with new economic gestures. The PM specifically discussed a plan to build a new industrial zone near the city of Tulkarem and expanding the road to the West Bank city of Rawabi, but none of these plans were actually approved. Approvals have been postponed until further discussions.

Netanyahu also told the Security Cabinet that he decided to postpone by a week or two the upcoming meeting of the Civil Administration’s planning committee. The planning committee has several settlement construction projects on the agenda. The PM explained the rationale for the postponement “because we have no interest in annoying the friendly administration.” President Trump, Netanyahu added, is “determined to get the ultimate deal, and is putting a lot of weight and importance on the matter.” Netanyahu said he presented Israel’s positions to POTUS, and that Trump is preparing a plan. When one of the ministers asked what the plan is – Netanyahu declined to answer and said “I still don’t know.” On the Iranian issue and the future of the Iran deal, Netanyahu said he’s waiting for Amb. Ron Dermer to arrive in Israel, and that he would convene the Security Cabinet again ahead of the 15th of October, the decertification deadline. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

“How Trump can get Mideast peace talks back on track” by Dannis Ross: “The Saudis could be asked to announce that they will send a delegation to Israel to discuss common threats in the region and security assurances under the rubric of the Arab Peace Initiative. In return, Israel could announce that because of its commitment to two states for two peoples, it will not build outside the settlement blocs and will forswear sovereignty in the areas that are east of the security barrier.” [NYDailyNews]

PODCAST PLAYBACK — Former Quartet Mideast envoy Tony Blair on The Global Politico podcast with Susan Glasser: “I think in relation to the peace process, there is an opportunity for this presidency, indeed for any presidency, to get an alliance between the state of Israel and the Arab nations, provided you can deal with and resolve the Palestinian issue in a fair way. But there is a greater willingness, I think, from the Arab world, to reach an agreement, and to move on, and to focus on those twin objectives: connected rule-based economies, religiously tolerant societies. There’s a great desire there particularly with the new leadership in the Middle East than there’s ever been, so I do think there’s a big opportunity there, and I think that the White House understands that, and the question is obviously how you implement it.” [Politico]

IRAN DEAL: Trump points to Iran missile test in criticizing nuke deal: “Video of the test firing of a Khoramshahr medium-range ballistic missile aired Friday on Iran’s state TV… Trump tweeted Saturday about the public unveiling of the missile: “Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!”” [AP

“Iran nuclear deal is best option, says Israeli general” by Anshel Pfeffer: “Uzi Eilam, 83, a retired brigadier-general who for a decade was director-general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, said that while he had no doubt that Iran wanted to develop nuclear weapons the agreement signed in July 2015 was “the best of options”. “The most critical element is fissile material. When you don’t have fissile material you don’t have a nuclear bomb,” he told the Israeli news website Walla. “The agreement blocks Iran’s path to fissile material.”” [TheTimes

HEARD YESTERDAY — Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on CNN with Fareed Zakaria: “Let me stress one thing that has been a myth here in the United States, and we need to dispel this myth. They say there is a sunset clause in the deal. There is no sunset clause. Iran has committed itself never to develop nuclear weapons, both as a member of the NPT and in the deal itself.” [Video

“Trump Has Created Leverage Against Iran. Now He Needs a Closer” by Eli Lake: “At this point Trump should consider appointing a special envoy for fixing the Iran deal… It should be someone like John Bolton… Unfortunately, Bolton has already made it clear that he opposes the nuclear deal altogether… The ideal candidate to negotiate for the Trump administration would be an opponent of the original deal: That stance gives a negotiator credibility.” [BloombergView

THE DAILY KUSHNER: “Kushner used private email to conduct White House business” by Josh Dawsey: ““Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business,” Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, said in a statement… “Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account. These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address.” Aides who have exchanged emails with Kushner on his private account… include… National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and spokesman Josh Raffel… In some cases, those White House officials have emailed Kushner’s account first… There is no indication that Kushner has shared any sensitive or classified material on his private account… Aides say he prefers to call or text over using email.” [Politico

INSIDE THE ADMIN: “Enforcer or ‘choke point’? Kelly seeks to bring order to chaotic White House” by Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker: “Kelly has required that Ivanka Trump… go through him first when she wants to speak with her father about anything involving the administration, a requirement she has so far followed. In the run-up to the United Nations General Assembly in New York… a number of foreign governments and organizations reached out to her to set up meetings — all of which she ran by Kelly and his team before adding them to her schedule… Other senior staffers — such as Reed Cordish and Chris Liddell of the Office of American Innovation, who both work with Jared Kushner… on long-term domestic policy initiatives — have more amorphous positions, and Kelly is trying to more clearly define their roles.” [WashPost

GARY’S STILL IN: “Yellen and Cohn Said to Be on Shortlist to Lead Federal Reserve” by Kate Kelly and Binyamin Appelbaum: “The White House has created a list of about a half-dozen candidates to be the next leader of the Federal Reserve, including its current chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, and the president’s chief economic adviser, Gary D. Cohn… The list also includes Jerome H. Powell, a member of the Fed’s board of governors; Kevin Warsh, a former Fed governor; and the Stanford University economist John B. Taylor… Mr. Trump has deputized four officials to lead the selection process for the Fed’s next chairman… Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; two of Mr. Cohn’s aides on the National Economic Council, Jeremy Katz and Andrew Olmem; and John DeStefano, the White House personnel director.” [NYTimes]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT… GOP Funds Donald Trump’s Defense in Russia Probe With Help From a Handful of Wealthy People” by Rebecca Ballhaus: “In April, billionaire Len Blavatnik gave $12,700 to the RNC’s legal fund, on top of donations of about $200,000 to other RNC accounts. He also gave the legal fund $100,000 in 2016, according to FEC filings. The contribution from Mr. Blavatnik came during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe of U.S. intelligence agencies’ findings of Russian meddling in the U.S. election… Mr. Blavatnik… is a longtime business partner of Viktor Vekselberg, who is one of the richest men in Russia and has close ties to the Kremlin.” [WSJ

BUZZ ON BALFOUR: “Former US ambassador Dan Shapiro said set to testify in Netanyahu graft case” by Raoul Wootliff: “Shapiro will reportedly give testimony to Israeli police in the coming weeks… Netanyahu is said to have asked Shapiro and then-US secretary of state John Kerry in 2014 to intervene and arrange a long-term US visa for Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan.” [ToI]

2020 WATCH: “Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sure sounds like a 2020 presidential candidate” by Aaron Blake: “Schultz spoke with The Washington Post at a job fair for young people on Wednesday… It wasn’t difficult imagine him delivering the same words in a stump speech in Des Moines. “The worst thing that we all, whether we be businesspeople or private citizens — we should not be embracing indifference right now,” Schultz said at the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. “We have to be engaged, we’ve got to speak out, we’ve got to be involved, we gotta stand up for the things that we know are true. And I think the country, in many ways, is in need of a moral, a cultural and an economic transformation.”” [WashPost

** 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: Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news on Facebook [WashPost] • 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki explains the DNA testing company’s privacy protections [Recode] • Dan Doctoroff on Rebuilding New York After 9/11 [Citylab] • How Israeli Expats In Silicon Valley Produce Winning Startups [Inc]

STARTUP NATION: “SAP is buying identity management firm Gigya for $350M” by Ingrid Lunden: “SAP, the German enterprise software giant… has acquired Gigya, a firm that helps online properties manage customer identities and profiles… (Gigya is based out of Mountain View, CA, but its R&D is based in Israel, and its founders are Israeli). Analytics firm Zirra also told TechCrunch that the company was valued at around $250 million in its last valuation… Gigya today manages some 1.3 billion customer identities across hundreds of sites.” [TC

“Facebook wishes a happy Jewish New Years to a random group of users” by Kerry Flynn: “Some Facebook users were greeted with a “Happy New Year” message on the top of their News Feeds Wednesday and Thursday in celebration of Rosh Hashanah… It wasn’t available to everyone, though, and some of the users saw it shared on Twitter that, nope, they weren’t Jewish. Others said, at the very least, they never self-identified to Facebook that they were Jewish.” [Mashable]

“Justice Ginsburg surprise speaker at Jewish new year service” by Jessica Gresko: “If you are a member of a minority group, particularly a minority group that has been picked on, you have empathy for others who are similarly situated,” [Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg] said during about 20 minutes of answering questions from attorney Kenneth Feinberg… The service she attended was organized by Sixth & I, a historic synagogue… “The Jewish religion is an ethical religion. That is, we are taught to do right, to love mercy, do justice, not because there’s gonna be any reward in heaven or punishment in hell. We live righteously because that’s how people should live and not anticipating any award in the hereafter.” [ABCNews]

“Jews around world concerned by far-right breakthrough in German election” by  by Francesco Guarascio and Andrea Shalal: “Early projections gave the AfD ((Alternative for Germany) 13.5 percent of the vote, allowing it to enter the Bundestag for the first time, as Germany’s third-biggest party. The far-right has not been represented in parliament since the 1950s… Ronald Lauder… called Chancellor Angela Merkel a “true friend of Israel and the Jewish people” and decried the AfD’s gains at a time when anti-Semitism was increasing across the globe.” [Reuters] • German nationalists seek to allay fears; show cracks at top [AP]

“The Jewish Immigrants Who Helped the U.S. Take on Nazis” by Arthur Allen: “After being deployed to the front, the émigrés joined five-man interrogation and mobile radio teams that often were led by American-born officers… Some of the unit commanders were brazenly anti-Semitic. “Our captain wore his friendliness to Germans on his sleeve. We felt very uncomfortable,” recalled Ritchie Boy Henry Schwab in a 1996 interview… “The army policy was we were fighting a war against the Germans…” Gerald Bamberger, another Ritchie Boy, concurred: “The Holocaust at that time was not discussed. Not as an American soldier under those circumstances.” The Ritchie Boys, with great discipline and loyalty to the U.S. cause, were trained to ask questions of tactical value to the advancing U.S. armies. The fate of Europe’s Jews did not arise… During the post-WWII period, young German-born Jewish American troops like Henry Kissinger, Albert Rosenthal and Victor Brombert had more to offer Germany, and America’s objectives there, than the typical occupying troops.” [Politico]

“From Poland to Lithuania: A Writer’s Search for Her Jewish Past” by Charly Wilder: “With its cobbled streets and 19th-century rowhouses, Plock’s old Jewish district looks like a film set. Nearly all the remnants of its thriving Jewish community, which once made up nearly half the population, are long gone or repurposed beyond recognition… Nearly the entire population of Jonava was wiped out by World War II and the Holocaust; the current residents were brought in afterward from other parts of Lithuania and the Soviet Union, said Renate [Kilinskaite], many to build and staff the state-owned Achema factory. Today, most of the buildings in the Old Town look darkened and disused, remote from the postwar city built up around it.” [NYTimes]

“The World’s Largest Book Club” by Jessica Kasmer-Jacobs: “In her memoir, “If All the Seas Were Ink,” Literary agent Ilana Kurshan tells the story of how she recovered from her divorce, in part through daily study of the Talmud… For Ms. Kurshan, such study provided a kind of intellectual stimulation that distracted her from the sorrow of her divorce.” [WSJ]

MEDIA WATCH: “Atlantic editor-in-chief talks career in journalism” by Jonathan Douglas: “What advice would you give to a student aspiring toward a career in journalism? “Don’t. Well, let me add to that. I discourage people from looking into journalism. Mine was a more stable era in journalism. It has to be your obsession. You’re never going to make a ton of money. It’s a very unstable business right now. So I discourage people. But if they keep coming back, two or three or four times, then we can talk.”” [BrownDailyHerald]

COMING SOON: Gal Gadot to Host Saturday Night Live: “Gal Gadot, who played the female superhero in the box-office blockbuster (Wonder Woman), has been tapped to host Saturday Night Live, NBC announced Thursday… Gadot will host Oct. 7 with musical guest Sam Smith.” [THR]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “In Central Park, Teaching Dogs to Sit (in Yiddish)” by Alix Strauss: “The class was organized by Workmen’s Circle, a progressive Jewish community and education nonprofit. “People want to teach their dog Yiddish,” said David Dossick, the event manager at the Circle… Steve Zelman, 69, from Sutton Place, Manhattan, was there with Ollie, his longhaired miniature dachshund to “meet some nice Jewish dogs,” he said. Edna Schwartz, also 69, came in from Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, with Puma, her miniature poodle, for the training aspect. “My family would yell at us in Yiddish, so this reminds me of my childhood,” she said.” [NYTimes

SPORTS BLINK — Did Trump flip the bird at Robert Kraft? “Kraft said Sunday he was ‘deeply disappointed’ in the president who said ‘disrespectful’ players who don’t stand for the national anthem should be fired. When asked about the jibe from Kraft, a strong supporter of Trump during his campaign, he appeared to brush it off saying: ‘He has to take his ideas and go with what he wants.’ … But as he spoke to reporters, he chose to use his middle finger to sweep back his hair. And viewers on social media were quick to point out that the gesture looked an awful lot like the President of the United States was surreptitiously flipping his critic the bird.” [DailyMailVideo]

“Redskins players, owner link arms during anthem following Trump’s criticism” by Liz Clarke: “While most Raiders players remained seated for the playing of the anthem Sunday night, a majority of the Redskins stood, linking arms, with owner Dan Snyder joining them, flanked by cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman.” [WashPost]

Jason Kander tweets re NFL‏: “Patriotism isn’t about making everyone stand and salute the flag. Patriotism is about making this a country where everyone wants to.” [Twitter

MAZEL TOV — RYDER JONAH SHERMAN, son of Irene and Jake Sherman, was born Friday morning at 3:45am at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Northwest Washington. [Playbook]

BIRTHDAYS: Pioneering woman television anchor/host of Today, The View, 20/20 and the ABC Evening News, Barbara Walters (family name Abrahams) turns 88… CEO and Board Chairman of Budget Rent A Car (1968-1989), he is the former owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins where he won the Stanley Cup in 1992, Morris Belzberg turns 88… Member of the UK’s House of Lords, expert on prison reform, Baroness Vivien Helen Stern turns 76… Former member of Knesset (1996-1999), he also served as Israel’s ambassador to France (1992-1995) and Israel’s ambassador to the the United Nations (1999-2002), Yehuda Lancry turns 70… Israeli television anchor/host and one of the most popular Israeli singers of all time, Yardena Arazi turns 66… Founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, a large enterprise cloud computing company, Marc Russell Benioff turns 53… Novelist, screenwriter, television producer and director, co-creator of the award-winning HBO series “Game of Thrones,” David Benioff (born David Friedman, Benioff is his mother’s maiden name) turns 47… Son and grandson of leading British rabbis, he has led congregations in London and Moscow and is presently the senior rabbi at the Beverly Hills Synagogue, Rabbi Pinchas Eliezer “Pini” Dunner turns 47… Bloomfield Hills, Michigan resident, Mary Elizabeth Aaron turns 47… Milwaukee-born member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (first elected in 2014), Jonathan Brostoff turns 34… Yanky Rodman

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Kafe Knesset for June 23

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sign up for the Daily Kickoff newsletter to read Kafe Knesset in your inbox each day Just in time for Shabbat… Religious issues are on everyone’s lips today, with…

How WeWork’s Miguel McKelvey Met His Israeli Co-Founder

Thursday, June 22, 2017

WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey discussing how he first met Adam Neumann on NPR’s How I Built This podcast hosted by Guy Raz: “While I was working for the [architecture] firm, I…

Kafe Knesset for June 22

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sign up for the Daily Kickoff newsletter to read Kafe Knesset in your inbox each day Herzliya Conference Highlights — Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman: The Palestinians do not…

Kafe Knesset for June 21

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sign up for the Daily Kickoff newsletter to read Kafe Knesset in your inbox each day Herzliya Conference highlights: Dozens of politicians, defense officials, academics, government officials and experts are…

The Atlantic Dissects the Alt-Right at 6th and I

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WASHINGTON – With the rise of American identity politics, leading writers from the Atlantic discussed the alt-right ideology and it’s future on a Monday evening panel. Speaking before…

Kafe Knesset for June 20

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sign up for the Daily Kickoff newsletter to read Kafe Knesset in your inbox each day Kotel fight heats up: The Western Wall is back on the political agenda,…