Daily Kickoff: ADL vs. ZOA | Will Jared Kushner get a security clearance? | How Ari Emanuel & Patrick Whitesell Are Building The Future Of Hollywood

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: ADL vs. ZOA — The surprising election of Donald Trump and the President-Elect’s appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist in the White House has pitted two Jewish organizations – The Anti-Defamation League and Zionist Organization of America – against one another.

The Timing: Both the ADL and the ZOA are holding their respective events at the Grand Hyatt in NYC this weekend.

The ADL is kicking off its inaugural “Never is Now!” two-day summit today to address some of the most urgent challenges facing the Jewish community after the tumultuous presidential election. The ZOA is holding their annual Louis Brandeis award dinner on Sunday, and has invited Bannon to attend the event in defiance of the ADL, which has criticized Bannon’s appointment for condoning anti-Semitism as head of Breitbart.

Late yesterday, ZOA announced in a press release that former ADL head Abe Foxman will attend their dinner.

In the evening, Foxman emailed the following statement using an ADL Media email address: “I have decided not to attend the ZOA dinner in New York where my friend Bernie Marcus is being honored. ZOA manipulated and abused my trust when they announced my decision to attend without my permission because they have politicized this event. My intention was solely to be in attendance to honor Bernie Marcus, and not to make any political statement.”

Breitbart News: “Anti-Defamation League Denies Credentials to Jewish Journalist:Nazarian, who is Jewish, has covered antisemitism extensively in her assignments for Breitbart News, focusing on the recent wave of antisemitic incidents on college campuses across California… Nevertheless, the ADL denied credentials to Nazarian — a Jewish journalist with sterling credentials — for no apparent reason.” [Breitbart

“ADL Sees Online Fundraising Boom After Election” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Last Wednesday, the day after the surprising election results, the ADL received a 50X increase in online donations, mostly from new donors. According to the Jewish civil rights/human relations group, about 75 percent of donations are from first-time donors. Major donors are also making six-figure commitments, increasing their annual contributions in light of the election… “We are heartened by the outpouring of support that we and reportedly other nonprofit organizations in this field have received over the past week,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Jewish Insider. “They are a testament to the fact that Americans are united against anti-Semitism, hate and prejudice in all forms and will step up and show up in order to fight bigotry.”” [JewishInsider

TOP TALKER: “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Will Not Seek Security Clearances, Sources Say” by Maggie Haberman: “Neither Ivanka Trump, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s daughter, nor her husband, Jared Kushner, has applied for a security clearance, nor do they intend to, according to two people close to the Trump transition… “It’s appropriate for whoever’s going to get the presidential daily briefing to have a security clearance,” Ms. Conway, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said. “It’s not just appropriate, necessary.” But transition officials said Mr. Kushner had not sat in any security briefings and had no plans to.” [NYTimes

Alternative headline – “Trump Team Requests Security Clearance for Jared Kushner” by Justin Fishel, John Santucci and Candace Smith: “Trump’s presidential transition team has requested a security clearance for the president-elect’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, sources close to Trump team and the intelligence community confirm to ABC.” [ABCNews

“Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law Could Get Key White House Role” by Monica Langley:“Kushner is being pushed to join the president’s inner circle by new White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and presidential counselor Stephen Bannon… He is weighing formally joining his father-in-law in the White House, people familiar with the transition say. The 35-year-old Mr. Kushner would have a role in the White House along the lines of senior adviser or special counsel.” [WSJ

— “People involved in the transition said Kushner is orchestrating nearly everythingalongside Trump and Pence, from personnel to the administration’s initial policy agenda.” [WashPost

Ross Barkan: “Never thought I’d tweet this (!!) but Jared Kushner is the de facto president of the United States.” [Twitter

Kellyanne Conway on CBS This Morning: “I spoke with Jared last night and again this morning actually. He has not sought out a national security clearance, he has not applied for any job. But he obviously is incredibly important to his father-in-law President-Elect Trump and was a big, big part of our election victory, frankly. Jared’s been intimately involved with the campaign and the strategy from day one. And I’m sure that he and his– and his wife and her brothers will continue to be very supportive. But– time will tell– in terms of the positions that different people still get.”

“Schumer is next top Senate Democrat, adds Sanders to leadership ranks” by Ed O’Keefe and Mike DeBonis: “Schumer promised a “bigger, bolder, sharper-edged economic message” in his first remarks after his election… In a gesture to his party’s progressive wing, Schumer added Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to a junior role in his newly expanded leadership team. The New York Democrat and his leadership team were elected unanimously by the caucus, aides said… He is the first Jewish man and first New Yorker to serve as a Senate leader.” [WashPost

“Schumer, Kushner to come together for New York business event” by Annie Karni: “New York business connections may be the first thing to bridge the divide between the incoming Donald Trump administration and Democrats on the Hill. The Partnership for New York City — a local business group that represents 300 New York-based CEOs — is hosting a talk with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader-elect, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who has become one of the most powerful advisers running his transition team, on Dec. 16 at its annual meeting.” [Politico

TRANSITION WATCH: “Gaffney denies NYT, WSJ reports that he’s a Trump adviser” by Michael Crowley: “An unattributed quote appeared in the press yesterday indicating that I had been appointed to the Trump transition team,” Gaffney told POLITICO in a statement. “In fact, I had not been contacted by anyone from the team and appreciate the campaign’s clarification today that the previous day’s reports were inaccurate. I look forward to helping the President-elect and the national security-minded team he is assembling in whatever way I can.” [Politico

“Arab allies no longer reassured by Donald Trump” by Margaret Brennan: “The perception that former New York City Mayor and Secretary of State contender Rudy Giuliani is anti-Palestinian adds to their trepidation. He famously had Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat forcibly removed from Lincoln Center in 1995 during a concert for world leaders. The ardent pro-Israel beliefs of Bannon, as well as transition team member Sheldon Adelson, add to worry that the Trump administration might move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem. Their support for the recent expansion of Israeli settlements further into the Palestinian-held West Bank (strongly condemned by the Obama administration) already has European and Arab diplomats worried that it could irreparably damage the chance of carving out a two-state solution and peace deal.” [CBSNews

“Charter leader Eva Moskowitz in the mix for Trump education secretary” by Eliza Shapiro:“Moskowitz, the CEO of New York City’s largest and most controversial charter school network, is in the running to become president-elect Donald Trump’s education secretary, a Trump aide confirmed Wednesday morning… The very fact that Moskowitz isn’t shooting down the rumors could have political implications for the longtime Democrat, who has long had ambitions of running for mayor of New York City.” [PoliticoNY

SPOTTED at Trump Tower yesterday: Moshe Lax, a business partner of Ivanka Trump [Pic] • Michael Glassner, Steve Mnuchin, Boris Epshteyn and Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Trump also met with Eva Moskowitz and Steve Feinberg, according to the transition team.

–Happening Today: Trump will be meeting with Henry Kissinger today.

Tal Shalev scoop: Trump offered Netanyahu to meet in NYC before the inauguration. But the Prime Minister pointed to protocol to avoid embarrassing President Obama before he leaves office. According to two Israeli officials, in their phone call last Wednesday, Trump offered to meet ‘as soon as possible.’ Netanyahu “elegantly declined” the invitation. [WallaNews

“Candidate Trump’s embrace of Israeli policies may ease once he’s president” by Oren Dorell: “Jonathan Schanzer… said there is also a risk of upending quiet diplomacy that has been proceeding between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Much of that has been prompted by the common perceived threat from Iran. “By all accounts the Arab world has been engaging with Israel more than it ever has,” Schanzer said. “Sudden moves on the Israel-Palestinian front could scuttle any developments that have been made.”” [USAToday

“Trump presidency bodes ill for Israel-Palestine peace process” by Peter Beaumont: “With president-elect likely to be either maximalist pro-Israel or isolationist, the question is whether stagnant process can survive.” [TheGuardian]

“Israel’s Parliament Gives Preliminary Approval to Pro-Settlement Bill” by Rory Jones:“Israel’s parliament gave preliminary approval to a bill that would legalize settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank, a legislative victory welcomed by Jewish settlers and conservative lawmakers emboldened by Donald Trump’s U.S. election victory. The approval came despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to the bill. He nonetheless voted in favor of the legislation, which would retroactively make legal those Jewish settlements built in the Israeli-occupied territory in violation of current Israeli law and, some say, in breach of international law.” [WSJ]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “De Blasio Urges Trump to Speak Out Amid Rise In Anti-Semitism” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Part of why I think it’s so important to remind the President-elect and his team that there are deep fears and concerns out there is because the wrong messages can encourage hateful acts,” de Blasio told Jewish Insider after the meeting. “So, I certainly made clear that I think sending a message of unity is crucial.” [JewishInsider• Hate Crimes Jump 30 Percent in 2016, NYPD Stats Show [DNAInfo

Peter Beinart: “America’s Most Influential Jewish Groups Have Prioritized Netanyahu Over U.S. Jews’ Safety: America’s most influential Jewish leaders have decided that in order to keep Jews safe, they will ignore Donald Trump’s assault on America’s most vulnerable communities” [Haaretz]

Recap of our political panel earlier this week at the GA — Republican Jewish ‘Insiders’ Discuss Donald Trump’s Victory [JewishInsider

“U.S. Senate leader says Iran sanctions renewal will pass” by Patricia Zengerle: “We’re going to take up the House bill,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters at the Senate’s weekly Republican leadership news conference. “… And we’re going to pass it.” [Reuters

“Top Senate Democrat challenges Trump on Russia, Iran” by Julian Pecquet: “On Iran, Cardin said he expects the Senate to pass a clear 10-year extension of the expiring Iran Sanctions Act, which would allow the US to “snap back” sanctions on Iran’s energy sector if Tehran violates the nuclear deal. Cardin, who voted against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, however, challenged Trump to work with the international community to strengthen the deal, rather than unilaterally rip it up. “During the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement, I don’t know of a member of Congress who felt that the preferred option was anything other than an agreement with Iran. That was a much better option than using the military option,” Cardin said.” [AlMonitor] • U.N. nuclear watchdog criticizes Iran for overstepping deal limit [Reuters]

**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

SPOTLIGHT: “Bankers celebrate dawn of Trump era” by Ben White: “A populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the campaign trail is now putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker’s dream. Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin has been seen at Trump Tower amid rumors that he’s the leading candidate for Treasury secretary. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross appears headed to the Commerce Department. Steve Bannon, another Goldman alum, will work steps from the Oval Office. If Mnuchin drops out, as some rumors suggest he may, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon remains a possibility as Treasury secretary, and will serve as an outside adviser if he doesn’t get the job.” [Politico]

“Icahn lauds ‘consensus builder’ Trump, says rally may be overdone” by Jennifer Ablan and Jonathan Stempel: “Icahn, who said he has posted 28 percent annualized returns as an investor, says he regularly talks with legislators in Washington, who complain that the current system prevents them from getting things done. “It’s just a major problem,” said Icahn, who like Trump is from New York. “I was a poor kid from Queens and I made all this money. I love the country, it’s just a lot of the people I don’t like.”” [Reuters]

“Chasing millennials and profits, Univision restructures and lays off at least 200″ by Margaret Sullivan: “Univision is privately held. Its chairman is billionaire investor Haim Saban.”[WashPost]

“Mark Zuckerberg Hacked For The Third Time This Year” by Lee Mathews: “Their target this time: Zuckerberg’s Pinterest account. This is the second time they’ve broken in. OurMine first hacked Zuckerberg back in June, gaining access to both his Twitter account and that same Pinterest account… The hackers also claim to have discovered Zuckerberg’s Twitter password but were unable to sign in.” [Forbes]

HOLLYWOOD: “Superagents Patrick Whitesell And Ari Emanuel Are Building The Future Of Hollywood” by Nicole LaPorte: “It’s a swampy August night in Las Vegas… Amid the arena’s Bud Light–infused fervor, the two most powerful dealmakers in Hollywood sit cageside as if they own the place. Which they do: Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel, co-CEOs of über–talent agency WME-IMG… Whitesell, 51, and Emanuel, 55, are no strangers to confrontation, usually on behalf of their clients… What the UFC deal represents, though, is something entirely different, a new and even more audacious strategic strike that aims to challenge the core assumptions of the entertainment industry. Because this time, instead of just helping others create projects, they’ve made a major, multibillion-dollar leap into owning content themselves.”

Emanuel, typically a whirling dervish known for his speed phone calls, remains seated alongside Whitesell, transfixed by the action in the cage. Such stillness is uncharacteristic (Emanuel has treadmill desks installed in all his offices), but he is enraptured by the drama of two human beings tearing each other apart. His attention is diverted only once: when he swings around in his $8,000 seat to introduce onetime heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to his teenage son Ezra.” [FastCompany]

DESSERT: “Jerusalem’s Latest Argument Over History Is About Fried Innards” by Isabel Kershner: “In Jerusalem, where arguments about history are a municipal pastime, a debate has been revived about the origins of a local delicacy. Jerusalem’s bustling Mahane Yehuda Market has long been a late-night culinary destination for Middle Eastern standbys like hummus and falafel, as well as more recent additions like burgers and burritos. But there is one dish that is considered authentic: a local concoction known in Hebrew as Meorav Yerushalmi, or Jerusalem mixed grill, made of kosher innards that might otherwise end up in the garbage. The recent death of a shuk food legend, Haim Piro, at 73, revived an old argument over who invented the market’s signature dish.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Biochemist who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Stanley Cohen turns 94… Original creator and producer of Saturday Night Live, more recently producer of The Tonight Show, Lorne Michaels (born Lorne Lipowitz) turns 72… Global Editorial Director of Huffington Post, Howard Fineman turns 68… CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks, South African born Diana Aviv turns 65… Attorney and business executive who once played on the South African national teams in both cricket and field hockey, Mandy Yachad turns 56… National Security Advisor, formerly US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice turns 52… Nationl security reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Felicia Schwartz turns 25… Daniel Gastaldi… Halie Soifer… “The Travelling Rabbi” of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies who serves 13 sub-Saharan countries, Moshe Silberhaft… Zack Teichman

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]



Daily Kickoff: Michael Lewis on how Kahneman & Tversky Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down | Kushner said to oust Christie allies

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TOP TALKER: “Donald Trump Requests Security Clearance for Son-in-Law Jared Kushner” by Andrea Mitchell: “Multiple sources tell NBC News Trump received his first briefing on Tuesday and designated both Kushner and Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn as his staff-level companions for the briefings going forward. While Flynn has the necessary security clearance, Kushner does not, and it could take weeks — or even longer — for him to receive it… While it’s unclear when Kushner would receive security clearance, the legality of such a move is murky as well, as it raises questions about whether Trump is contravening the anti-nepotism law that bars presidents from appointing family members to cabinet positions or formal government jobs.” [NBCNews]

John Podhoretz: “Suddenly I feel like defending Trump. So he asked if Jared could get security clearance. Why the hell can’t he ASK?” [Twitter]

“Trump Transition Slows as Kushner Said to Oust Christie Allies” by Jennifer Jacobs:“Power struggles inside Donald Trump’s transition team are hobbling efforts to form a new government — including what some say is an effort by the president-elect’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to clear out the ranks of loyalists to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. As U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christie in 2004 prosecuted Kushner’s father, Charles, for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions.” [Bloomberg]

“Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray” by Julie Hirschfeld, Mark Mazzetti and Maggie Haberman: “Prominent American allies were in the meantime scrambling to figure out how and when to contact Mr. Trump. At times, they have been patched through to him in his luxury office tower with little warning… President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt was the first to reach Mr. Trump for such a call last Wednesday, followed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel not long afterward. But that was about 24 hours before Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain got through.” [NYTimes]

— Trump’s morning tweetstorm: “The failing NY Times story is so totally wrong on transition. It is going so smoothly. Also, I have spoken to many foreign leaders. I have recieved and taken calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing NYtimes said… I am always available to them. NY Times is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me.” [Twitter

“This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World” by J. Lester Feder: “The soon-to-be White House chief strategist laid out a global vision in a rare 2014 talk, one where he said racism in the far right gets “washed out” and called Vladimir Putin a kleptocrat. BuzzFeed News publishes the complete transcript for the first time.” [BuzzFeed]

“Steve Bannon to Attend ZOA Annual Gala in NY” by Jacob Kornbluh: “ZOA President Mort Klein told Jewish Insider that Bannon was offered to speak at the dinner but no arrangements have been made at this point. “I think Bannon was grateful that I defended him against this ludicrous charge of anti-Semitism,” Klein said. “That’s why he is coming, I guess.”  Trump’s Israel advisors, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, are also expected to attend, according to Klein.” [JewishInsider]

Bernie Marcus, Home Depot co-founder and RJC board member, emails… “I have known Steve Bannon for years. I have been shocked and saddened to see the recent personal attacks on Steve. Nothing could be further from the truth. The person that is being demonized in the media is not the person I know. These attacks on Steve are nothing more than an attempt to undermine the incoming Trump Administration. I have known Steve to be a passionate Zionist and supporter of Israel who felt so strongly about this that he opened a Breitbart office in Israel to ensure that the true pro-Israel story would get out. What is being done to Steve Bannon is a shonda.”

“Iran’s top leaders move to calm concerns over Trump election” by Nasser Karimi:“President Hassan Rouhani said the country will remain committed and loyal to the deal, regardless of the outcome of the U.S. election. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran was indifferent to the result of the U.S. vote, insisting the Iranian nation was “not worried” about the future and was ready for any fallout from the U.S. election.” [AP]

“House reauthorizes Iran sanctions bill, sets Syria sanctions” by Patricia Zengerle: “The House of Representatives voted 419 to one for a 10-year reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act… It must still be passed by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama in order to become law. “Even after a hard-fought election here at home and power changing hands, American leadership on the global stage won’t falter,” said Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a bill sponsor. There was no immediate word from Senate leaders on when the ISA… might be taken up in that chamber.” [Reuters

AIPAC in statement: “Congress, along with the current and incoming administrations, must exercise robust oversight of Iran’s behavior and respond to violations of the JCPOA, U.S. law or United Nations Security Council resolutions with certain, swift and severe penalties.”

HEARD YESTERDAY — Netanyahu discusses possible UN Resolution and Trump in live satellite Q&A session at the GA: “One thing is certain, that trying to impose peace from the outside won’t. So I very much hope that President Obama will continue the policy that he enunciated, which wasn’t only his policy. It was the longstanding policy of the United States, and I look forward also to working with President-Elect Trump when he becomes President and his administration to further the twin interests of peace and security. These are interests of Israel and the United States but they’ll be achieved by direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions.” [JewishInsider

“Lieberman: Israel Should Reach Deal With Trump” by Barak Ravid: “Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told journalists Wednesday that Israel should try and reach a deal with the Trump administration according to which Israel will freeze construction in isolated West Bank settlements in return to U.S. recognition of the settlement blocs and give its consent to construction within them. Lieberman also stated that Trump’s advisors conveyed messages to Israel over the past few days asking that Israel refrain from establishing facts on the ground before the new president enters office.” [Haaretz]

“Trump donated toward settlement evacuees” by Ofer Petersburg: “Trump assisted the Israeli government to establish infrastructure for new communities for Israelis being evacuated from the settlements in the Sinai in the1980s and from Gaza in 2005, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned… According to various estimations, Trump’s financial donations amounted to millions of shekels… It also turns out that the tycoon-turned-politician contributed some of his wealth in 1980 toward evacuating settlements in the Sinai and his name appears on a list of donors in the Hevel Shalom region which absorbed the evacuees from Sinai and Gaza.” [Ynet

TRANSITION WATCH: “Trump faces growing tension with key Republicans over national security issues” by Jerry Markon: “A former U.S. official with ties to the Trump team described the ousters of Rogers and others as a “bloodletting of anybody that associated in any way on the transition with Christie,” and said that the departures were engineered by two Trump loyalists who have taken control of who will get national security posts in the administration: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner… [Eliot] Cohen, who last week had urged career officials to serve in Trump’s administration, said in an interview that a longtime friend and senior transition team official had asked him to submit names of possible national security appointees. After he suggested several people, Cohen said, his friend emailed him back in terms he described as “very weird, very disturbing… It was accusations that ‘you guys are trying to insinuate yourselves into the administration…all of YOU LOST.’…it became clear to me that they view jobs as lollipops, things you give out to good boys and girls,” said Cohen.”

— “Cohen also said the transition official was “completely dismissive” of concerns raised about Trump’s appointment of Bannon, who Trump’s advisors have strongly defended. His friend’s email conveyed the feeling that ‘we’re so glad to see the bicoastal elites get theirs,’” added Cohen.”[WashPost

“Power battles bog down Trump transition” by Eli Stokols: “According to two sources inside Trump Tower, the president-elect himself was leaning toward naming Bannon as chief of staff—until Kushner stepped in, raising concerns about putting the anti-establishment, alt-right figure in a position that holds so much symbolic and strategic importance…  In the 48 hours since the announcement, the firestorm of criticism over the Bannon appointment—exactly what Kushner was worried about and attempted to blunt by giving him a title other than chief of staff—has dominated the nation’s airwaves.”[Politico]

“Law Prof Alan Dershowitz: ‘No Evidence’ That Steve Bannon is Anti-Semitic” by Rachel Stockman: “The only evidence is testimony of angry wife which he disputes,” Dershowitz told, “I haven’t seen any evidence of anti-Semitism at Breitbart either.” [LawNewz]

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach publishes an open letter to ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt about Bannon: “Even the ADL opposed the Iran deal and Breitbart stood with the pro-Israel community in making the argument against an agreement that legally gives Iran nuclear weapons in little over a decade.” [TheHill] • Boteach was spotted yesterday at Trump Tower for the second straight day [Pic]

Rosie Gray: “Scooplet: sources close to the ADL say over the last week they’ve taken in 50x the normal number of donations, more than 80% new donors.” [Twitter

“Secretary of State Giuliani? He’s the Leading Choice, Trump Aides Say” by Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman: “Mr. Giuliani is not the only candidate for secretary of state, people close to the transition said… Mr. Giuliani appears to be lobbying aggressively for the State Department position, and Mr. Trump seems inclined to reward his loyalty.” [NYTimes]

“Donald Trump’s Transition Team Reshaped” by Michael Bender, Damian Paletta and Jay Solomon: “Frank Gaffney, a Reagan administration veteran, was brought in to assist on national security issues… Giuliani was targeted by Kentucky Sen.Rand Paul. The Republican senator, who has tried to block previous presidential appointments, criticized the former New York mayor for calling for the bombing of Iran in 2015. He also said he opposed former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who was also under consideration for the job. The pair represents “the most bellicose interventionist wing of any party,” Mr. Paul told Reason magazine.” [WSJ] • Meet Frank Gaffney, the anti-Muslim gadfly reportedly advising Donald Trump’s transition team [WashPost]

“Senator Lindsey Graham Says He Would Support Rudy Giuliani as Trump’s Secretary of State” by Joe Perticone: “John Bolton and I‘ve been friends for 20 years. If he picks John Bolton, then I would support John Bolton. If he picks Rudy, I’d support Rudy because I think both of them are competent and capable.” [IJR

Eva Moskowitz for Secretary of Education? — “Trump and Pence also discussed Success Academy boss and charter school champion Eva Moskowitz as a possible education secretary. A source with knowledge of the situation told the Daily News that a Moskowitz appointment had “been floated but was not going to happen.”” [DailyNews]

“Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn join Donald Trump’s inauguration team” by Fredreka Schouten: “Lew Eisenberg, who helped lead joint fundraising for Trump’s general-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, is joining Texas businessman Roy Bailey as finance co-chairmen of the group. [Steve] Wynn, [Sheldon] Adelson and his physician wife Miriam Adelson are among 17 “finance vice chairs” announced Tuesday. Others include gambling titan Phil Ruffin, Wisconsin roofing magnate Diane Hendricks… Florida real-estate developer Mel Sembler and Gail Icahn, wife of billionaire investor Carl Icahn… former RNC finance chairman Ron Weiser… and Laurie J. Perlmutter, the wife of Marvel Entertainment chief executive Isaac Perlmutter, who gave $5 million to a pro-Trump super PAC days before the election. ” [USAToday; WashPost]

Jeffrey Katzenberg Pens Open Letter to Hollywood After Trump Victory: “He’s made statements and appointments that are concerning and troubling, but clearly there is a different tone and demeanor. This gives us some reason to believe that President Trump may be more reasonable than Candidate Trump.” [THR

“Democrats move to more aggressive stance against Trump” by Abby Phillip and John Wagner: “Debate about the best way forward consumed a group of top donors, such as billionaire investor George Soros, who gathered for a three-day meeting this week at a luxury hotel in Washington. Soros told fellow liberal donors on Tuesday that he believes Trump is a would-be dictator, adding that he was confident that America’s institutions would serve as a check on the new president’s power — as long as a vigorous opposition is in place to push back against his policies, according to someone familiar with his remarks. In a question-and-answer session with Democracy Alliance President Gara LaMarche, the billionaire investor ticked off a list of urgent priorities for the left, including protecting Muslims and refugees who could be targeted by the new administration and strengthening groups that could challenge Trump on constitutional issues.” [WashPost

“Top Dem donor: Back people of color in leadership races” by Ken Vogel and Daniel Strauss: “[Susan] Sandler, who serves on the board of the Democracy Alliance club of major liberal donors, on Sunday emailed club members and other major contributors, urging them to focus on “changing the composition and character of who we lift up to run for office and to be decision makers in our campaigns” so that Democrats are better able to reach the “people of color and progressive whites that elected Barack Obama twice to turn out in large numbers.” Sandler, in the email, went on to describe a new group she’s launching called Democracy in Color, which will aim to “make the Democratic Party more accountable and effective.”” [Politico]

“Schumer under pressure to add Sanders to leadership team” by Alexander Bolton:“Sanders’s allies say he would be a good choice for the third-ranking position because he had phenomenal success mobilizing voters during the Democratic presidential primaries. That showed he knows how to put together a message that resonates, they argue.” [TheHill] • Some Jewish Leaders Question Schumer’s Backing Of Israel Critic Rep. Keith Ellison For DNC Chair [CBSNewYork]

“A $2 billion election, by the numbers” by Eli Watkins: “The other largest Democratic donors after him were Donald Sussman and Fred Eychaner, who dropped $39,134,400 and $34,274,991, respectively. The three largest Republican donors were Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson with $47,357,200, GOP powerbroker and Trump ally Robert Mercer with $23,539,900 and Paul Singer with $23,027,164.” [CNN]

TALK OF THE STATE: “J.B. Pritzker considering run for governor” by Shia Kapos: “J.B. Pritzker, once rumored to be in line for a Cabinet job in a Hillary Clinton presidency, has been approached by Democratic leaders about running for Illinois governor. The Chicago venture capitalist is a billionaire and wouldn’t be burdened by financial concerns in competing with Gov. Bruce Rauner, another wealthy Chicago businessman.” [SunTimes]

**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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Israel Comes to the Aid of the Faltering Palestinian Economy [WSJ] • All3Media, BBC Worldwide Join Barry Diller’s Vimeo as Partners [HollywoodReporter] • Glencore Unit in Congo Made Undisclosed Payments to Businessman Accused of Bribery [WSJ] • Josh Kushner’s Obamacare Startup, Oscar, Has $45 Million Loss in Three States [Bloomberg]

“Ivanka Trump Blurs the Line Between Professional and Political” by Vanessa Friedman: “A group of journalists received an email from Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, the upscale brand Ms. Trump founded in 2007, entitled “Style Alert” and touting “Ivanka Trump wearing her favorite bangle from the Metropolis Collection on ‘60 Minutes.’” A day later, Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said: “This notification was sent by a well-intentioned marketing employee at one of our companies who was following customary protocol, and who, like many of us, is still making adjustments post-election.” [NYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK: “3 NBA Teams Reportedly Stop Staying At Donald Trump Hotels” by Ron Dicker: “The Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks will no longer stay at Trump-branded hotels in New York City and Chicago, ESPN reported. Another Eastern Conference team is under contract to stay at the Trump SoHo this season but will switch next year. Both Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry backed Hillary Clinton in the election.” [HuffPost]

SPOTTED: “Shaw Crushes Wedding Horah… Just Jewin’ It, Baby!” by TMZ Sports: “It went down at the Salter/Markowitz wedding in Miami this weekend … where Shaq was a guest of Jamie Salter’s, the father of the groom and his partner at Authentic Brands Group. We’re told the entire party was poppin’ until around 2:30 AM (oy vey) and at one point Shaq took to the dance floor — but instead of his tried-and-true pop-locking routine, he got cultural … and Horah’d it up.” [TMZ]

LongRead: “How Two Trailblazing Psychologists Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down” by Michael Lewis: “After his book Moneyball became a best-seller, Michael Lewis learned that many of the ideas it presented to the general public had actually been introduced decades earlier by a pair of Israeli psychologists: Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. In an adaptation from his new book, Lewis investigates their story, and the intense bond between these radically different men.” [VanityFair]

TOP TALKER: “A Call to Prayer, or Noise Pollution? Israel Targets Mosque Loudspeakers” by Peter Baker: “Five times a day, starting well before dawn, these loudspeakers broadcast the muezzin’s call to prayer in Lod, a city of Arabs and Jews near Ben-Gurion International Airport, and therein lies one more friction point in a country full of them. One group’s expression of faith is another’s noise pollution, and Israel’s government is planning a crackdown.” [NYTimes]

SCENE YESTERDAY on the sidelines of the GA in DC — Top Federation leaders inscribed several letters into the “Washington Torah,” sponsored by American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and written by Rabbi Faitel Lewin. This is the first Torah ever to be written entirely within Washington, DC as part of the special “Year of Hakhel,” according to Rabbi Levi Shemtov. SPOTTED: Jerry Silverman, Eric Goldstein, Jodi Schwartz, Deputy Consul General Amir Sagie, Cindy Shapira, David Butler, Lee Wunch, Richard Sandler, William and Heidi Daroff. [Pic

BIRTHDAYS: After 15 seasons in the NBA, now an owner and player for Hapoel Jerusalem, Amar’e Stoudemire turns 34… Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition since 1990, Matt Brooksturns 51… Ordained at HUC-JIR, now Dean of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, Justus Baird… Roxanne White… Susan Brooks… Senior Fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, Michael A. Levi

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Daily Kickoff: Mr. Kushner (likely) Goes to Washington | Bret Stephens & John Podhoretz call out Bannon | Robert Kraft donates Jerusalem Sports Campus

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HEARD YESTERDAY — Highlights from our panel at the Jewish Federations General Assembly in D.C. — RJC’s Matt Brooks on Bannon appointment: “I’ve never met Steve Bannon. I’ve never talked to Steve Bannon. There’s a lot of stuff out there about Bannon that I don’t know, and I look forward to the opportunity to sit down with him with our leadership and get to know him further as we figure out how to work together in the upcoming administration. Let me tell you what I do know about Steve Bannon. The people who have worked with Bannon… said there’s absolutely not an inch of an anti-Semitic bone in Steve Bannon’s body… We know that Breitbart has been unabashedly pro-Israel in their writings. We know they have been against the Iran deal. We know that under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart opened an office in Jerusalem. So, that’s what we know, and there’s a lot of stuff out there that, I think, we really need to take a step back and see how this issue works out.”

“What we also know is the folks Donald Trump is surrounding himself with. I’ve know Reince Priebus for a decade. He is one of the most decent, honorable people that I know. He will be a phenomenal chief of staff. He’s somebody who’s had terrific relations with the Jewish community, somebody who’s strongly pro-Israel, and somebody that the Jewish community will be able to work very closely with. Despite all of these press releases and comments, the notion that President-elect Donald Trump’s family – who we know are very involved – would knowingly put in somebody who they felt would be anti-Semitic, doesn’t make logical sense.”

Noam Neusner on Trump moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem: “It is more likely than not. He would be more likely than any prior president to move the embassy to Jerusalem because I think he’s likely to look at the fictional and diplomatic myth that surrounds that whole issue and say, ‘You know what, what’s the difference?’ I could see him, as a character issue, say what’s the point of not having it in the nation’s capital?”

Lisa Spies on whether money still matters: “If you look at Trump’s numbers towards the last three weeks, they were down, and then the Ricketts and Adelsons’ super PAC came in, and his numbers went up… Another thing to look at is the great job that Lew Eisenberg did as finance chair of the RNC. Eisenberg is very prominent in the Jewish community, he’s been a long time Republican, and he led an effort that almost matched with what the RNC did in 2012… A lot of people in this election, in the beginning, gave to my former boss Jeb Bush, and after that, it didn’t kind of go so well, people kind of stayed out of the presidential election and focused on the House and Senate. But just remember, when you’re looking at the numbers and whether money matters, you’ve got outside super PACs and you have someone – President-elect Trump – who during the primary got at least $500 million free of airtime. So, while people like Jeb and Marco were paying for it, he had free airtime. That’s unprecedented, and I can’t imagine that will ever happen again.”

Jeffrey Berkowitz on the Republican candidates’ failure to expose Trump during the primary: “They didn’t invest in oppo research. Even before Donald Trump was in the race, they did not hire senior oppo research professionals. The research director at the Jeb campaign had 3 years of research experience. That’s a joke. Where was the Access Hollywood tape? Where was the business record? Where were all of the other things? I’m sorry, but this was political malpractice by every single other primary opponent in the campaign, even before Trump was in it. They all had the attitude that somebody else had to beat up someone else so they didn’t need to do it. This cycle was the biggest step back in opposition research that I have seen in the more than 15 years I’ve been involved in presidential politics. They were not ready from day one. They did not take research seriously, and then they were afraid to attack Trump when he got in, and didn’t have the material to do it even if they did. They didn’t have serious research teams that could do it when they could’ve made a difference.”

Tevi Troy on how the election turned out to be the most Jewish election in history: “At the time I made the point (that this was going to be the most Jewish election ever) I actually didn’t realize quite how Jewish the election would be because I did not anticipate that Trump was going to be the nominee at that point. The election was more Jewish than I thought it was going to be, obviously having Jewish relatives of both presidential candidates is really new ground in American politics. But my larger point was that Jews have become much more involved in every aspect of presidential campaigning. I think it speaks to the comfort that the U.S. has given to the Jewish community. I recognize there are some ugly anti-Semitism out there, and even more ugly anti-Israelism out there — people on both sides of the aisle that are responsible for that, but for the most part, we in America have a happy home here.” A full report on the panel to post soon. 

White House Jewish Liaison Chanan Weissman discussed President Obama in a conversation with TOI’s Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil: “The President closely identifies with the American Jewish community. Just look at the gestures he has advanced over the past 7 ½ years. The fact that he was the first president in the history of this republic to host a Seder on an annual basis is extraordinary. He identifies with the notion of the exodus. That is something that infuses his outlook. He was the first President in the history of this republic to speak at the Israeli embassy. He was the first President in the history of this republic to bestow a medal of honor on a sitting Israeli President. He was the President to have two Jewish White House chief of staffs. This is why as an Orthodox Jewish person, I strongly believe we are going to miss him. This is a president who identifies with all of us in the room, despite some policy disagreements. It’s extraordinary… This is a president who gets the Jewish experience and he understands us, and is something we are proud of.”

“Ginsburg looking forward to Trump’s naming of a ninth justice” by Ron Kampeas: “The associate Supreme Court justice was asked what the immediate impact of a Trump presidency would be. “The most immediate, a vacancy will be filled,” she said. “Eight is not a good number. Perhaps the court will do some work.” Ginsburg told the JFNA her Jewish upbringing helped inform her sympathies for the oppressed. She joked that her parents “got it right” when they settled on a Conservative shul after trying Reform and Orthodox congregations. She got whoops of applause when she said her granddaughter had visited Israel as part of the Taglit-Birthright program for young Jews.” [JTA; Pic]

“Trump will inherit ‘full tool set’ to hammer Iran, says Treasury official” by Michael Wilner: “Adam Szubin, who serves as acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department, said he plans to present as many options as possible to his successor on Iran policy. “I’m not going to speak to hypotheticals, and I don’t often get calls from presidents or presidents-elect,” Szubin said in a conversation with Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz. But “if we get to that time when Iran violates the deal, all hammers have to be available. I want to leave that full tool set available to my successors.”” [JPost

TRANSITION WATCH: “Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton Are Leading Candidates for Next Secretary of State” by Damian Paletta and Jay Solomon: “A final decision could be several weeks away, these people said… Mr. Trump’s pick will be integral to his effort to reshape U.S. foreign policy.”[WSJ]

“The Associated Press reported that there was no real competition for the job and that it was Giuliani’s if he wanted it, although another official told the AP that John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, remained in contention for the job… Asked about the secretary of state speculation, Mr. Giuliani said that Bolton “would be a very good choice.” But asked if there was anyone better, he replied with a mischievous smile: “Maybe me, I don’t know.”” [CBSNews

Amb. Norm Eisen: “Rudy x100 times better choice for secretary of state.” [Twitter]

Josh Rogin: “Giuliani was paid advocate for shady Iranian dissident group” [WashPost]

Sen. Rand Paul: “Will Donald Trump betray voters by hiring John Bolton?” [Rare]

“Anti-Defamation League decries Stephen Bannon, while other Jewish groups stay silent” by Julie Zauzmer and Colby Itkowitz: “The differing responses to the Trump presidency have highlighted tensions among Jewish Americans, who find themselves faced with what is perhaps a no-win decision. On the one hand, they fear that if Jews complain too shrilly now, they could be shut out of the decision-making process in the White House for four years. On the other, they fear assenting quietly as the terrifying anti-Semitism of the alt-right bubbles up from the depths of the Internet all the way into the highest seat of power.” [WashPost; Politico] • Schumer slams Bannon White House appointment [Politico]

Bret Stephens: “In appointing Steve Bannon as top strategist, it might be said that Mr. Trump is balancing the establishment and insurgent forces that supported him. But the significant fact is that Mr. Bannon presided over a website that delighted in calling Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew,” said of Anne Applebaum that “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned,” and defended the Confederacy as a “patriotic and idealistic cause.” If get-in-line Republican leaders won’t call Mr. Bannon out on this, it falls to the columnists they likely read to do so.” [WSJ]

“Notes on the Bannon Appointment” by John Podhoretz: “The key moral problem with Steve Bannon is that as the CEO of Andrew Breitbart’s namesake organization, he is an aider and abetter of foul extremist views, including anti-Semitic ones. He used the site to promote the alt-right, which has retailed anti-Semitism.” [CommentaryMag]

Breitbart editor-at-large Joel Pollak on CNN Tonight: “Steve Bannon and I have worked together in close quarters for 4 /12 years and he has always been very sensitive to Jewish comcerns. He is probably the most pro-Israel advisor ever appointed to the White House.”

“In Trump’s orbit, son-in-law expected to stay a power center” by Julie Pace: “Kushner held no formal role in Trump’s campaign, and is said to be undecided on whether he’ll join the administration… As Kushner walked through the bustling West Wing during Trump’s visit last week, he was heard asking Obama aides, “How many of these people stay?” The law does not appear to prevent Kushner from serving as an unpaid adviser. Painter said that arrangement would allow Kushner to both advise Trump and sidestep ethics rules requiring federal employees to comply with conflict of interest laws.” [AP

EXCLUSIVE: An Open Letter to Jared Kushner From Noa Tishby — “As a Jew, I am particularly curious about you, Jared Kushner. In addition to using sexism and misogyny, did you notice the anti-Semitism you and your father-in-law allowed to rise back up? Do you know that because of the trolls your campaign encouraged to crawl out of their holes, me and thousand of other Jews added ((()))) to our Twitter handle to proudly declare our Judaism? Did you see this? I doubt that you did not. And when you saw it, and ignored it, did you at least realize how cynically and heartlessly you’re both using hate just to get in power?” [JewishInsider]

“Are Ivanka and Jared Kushner Concocting a House of Cards-Style Game of Their Own?” by Emily Jane Fox: “Ivanka and Kushner are positioned to become the de facto first couple… Ivanka and Jared seem more than willing to step into the role. Certainly there are worse things a Trump administration could do than let the soft-spoken, glamorous kids try on mommy and daddy’s clothes from time to time. But delegating to Ivanka and Jared also means allowing them to use Trump as an instrument to build their own power. Whether he knows it or not, Trump may be incubating a spinoff show within the pilot.” [VanityFair]

Ivanka Trump at top of list of Forward 50: “Ivanka carried none of the baggage of the Trump family. Her style of Trump was less gold leaf and loud ties; more pastels and pencil skirts… All of which made it hard to believe that Ivanka would stick by her father as his 2016 presidential campaign chose a path of racism, sexism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Ivanka didn’t object to his comments — in fact she’s been nothing but supportive throughout the Trump campaign, remaining loyal, while not indulging in her father’s rhetoric… One of her last acts before the election was to pray by the graveside of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Going with her husband after the end of the Sabbath three days before voting closed, Ivanka’s prayers seem to have been answered.” [Forward]

–Also on the list: Jared Kushner, Haim Saban, Evan Spiegel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bernie Sanders, Eric Schneiderman, Sarah Hurwitz, Jonathan Greenblatt, Thomas Friedman, Julia Ioffe and Jeffrey Goldberg [Forward50]

“AIPAC Quietly Removes Two-State Solution From Peace Process Talking Points” by Hayes Brown: “A page on AIPAC’s website about the peace process previously listed the two-state solution as the top talking point on a list of five. At some point since July, the latest version of the page captured on, the page was edited to remove the reference to the two-state solution. “Our position has not changed on two-state solution,” AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told BuzzFeed News when reached by email. “We continue to support a two-state solution,” he said, referring to the change as part of a routine reorganization of the website.” [BuzzFeed

“Israeli minister: Trump election is time to ‘reset’ policies” by Josef Federman: “Speaking to foreign reporters on Monday, Bennett was more cautious, citing an order by Netanyahu for his Cabinet not to talk about the election in public. But he made clear that he will push his own government to rethink its commitment to Palestinian independence. “The combination of the changes in the United States, in Europe and the region provide Israel with a unique opportunity to reset and rethink everything,” Bennett said. Though Bennett said he didn’t know whether Trump would support that view, he said it’s critical that Israel now clearly define its own vision.” [AP]

“Israel’s Right, Cheering Donald Trump’s Win, Renews Calls to Abandon 2-State Solution” by Isabel Kershner: “Amit Segal, a political commentator for Israel’s popular Channel 2 News, said that as long as Bill Clinton and President Obama were in office, Mr. Netanyahu could “disguise his worldview.” The Obama administration’s sharp condemnation of all settlement activity gave Mr. Netanyahu “the ultimate excuse” for not building with abandon in the West Bank, Mr. Segal said in an interview, adding, “I am not sure that the right wing, with its appetite, will be prepared to suffer another few years of that.” [NYTimes] • U.S. State Dept.: Deeply Concerned by Israeli Bill That Legalizes West Bank Outposts[Haaretz]

“Hillary’s loss accelerates the Democrats’ turn against Israel” by Seth Mandel: “In the absence of active demonization by” Obama, says one official at a pro-Israel organization, “I think we’re still a cycle or two away from Democrats turning on Israel” full force. But, he notes, the future isn’t bright — and “progressives are lost, of course.”” [NYPost

“Zachary Rodham comes to terms with Aunt Hillary Clinton’s election defeat” by Ryan Torok: “Two days after the election, Zachary Rodham — a senior at USC and the nephew of the just-defeated Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton — was in the midst of drafting an email to his aunt. But he was having trouble finding the right words. “Hard for me to figure out what to say,” the 21-year-old said… Rodham’s father is Tony Rodham, his mother is Nicole Boxer and his grandmother is retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. The Jewish student said he is active at the USC Hillel and a member of Sigma Alpha Mu, historically a Jewish fraternity.” [JewishJournal]

**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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Congo Awards Payments From Glencore Mine to Kabila’s Friend Dan Gertler [Bloomberg] • Starwood Capital’s Barry Sternlicht says China knows there’s a new sheriff in town in Trump [CNBC] • Howard Lorber: President Trump will be ‘much more thoughtful’ than candidate Trump [CNBC] • Estee Lauder sharpens millennial focus with Too Faced buy for $1.45 billion [Reuters]• Douglas Development Betting Big On Northeast DC [BisNow] • Giant hedge fund Elliott Associates has some ideas on how to answer one of the questions of our time [BusinessInsider

SPOTLIGHT: “Renegade Facebook Employees Form Task Force To Battle Fake News” by Sheera Frenkel: “The group is hoping to challenge the position by CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the platform has no responsibility to address the issue following the election of Donald Trump.” [BuzzFeed]

SPORTS BLINK: “Robert Kraft has donated $6 million for the development of the Kraft Family Sports Campus, a multi-purpose sports center located in Emek Ha’Arazim in Jerusalem. This significant contribution by the Jewish owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots is part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and the 20th Maccabiah Games, which will be hosted in Jerusalem in July 2017.” [JPost]

BOOKS: “Israel’s Founding Novelist” by Adam Kirsch: “It has been half a century since Shmuel Yosef Agnon won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Yet he is one of those laureates for whom the prize has not translated into universal fame… According to Jeffrey Saks—a rabbi and the editor of a new series of editions of Agnon’s work in English, published by Toby Press—this is because Agnon assumed that Hebrew speakers would always be familiar with Judaism: its “rituals, phrases [and] concepts,” as well as with the many strata of the three-thousand-year-old Hebrew literary tradition. But, Saks observes, “this may no longer be the case,” with the result that “Agnon and the other Hebrew classics get whittled away each year from school curricula and chain-store bookshelves.” Many Israelis, in other words, no longer have the religious background necessary to grasp all of Agnon’s meanings, while the highly religious are unlikely to read a writer who, for all his deep roots, is unmistakably ironic, unsettling, and thoroughly modern.” [NewYorker]

DESSERT: “Why This Spanish Chef Temporarily Turned Kosher” by Ilan Ben Zion: “Spain is probably one of the last places to look for quality kosher cuisine. That goes double for Michelin star-winning chef Rafael Centeno’s home region of Galicia, where the Atlantic’s bounty of fresh shellfish and fattened swine are staples. His restaurant Maruja Limón on the quayside in Vigo, Spain, is hailed for its adaptation of classic Galician recipes to modern techniques. Authentic Spanish food rarely makes its way to Israeli restaurants, so when Centeno came to Tel Aviv last week to cook at Liliyot, a high-end kosher restaurant, it was a rare meeting of two radically different styles of cuisine.” [Munchies.Vice]

BIRTHDAYS: After 18 years as a judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court, he appeared for 12 seasons and 2,484 episodes of The People’s Court, Joseph Wapner turns 97… Biochemist and winner of the Israel Prize in 1957, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1966-1993), David Sidney Feingold turns 94… Actor best known for his role as Lou Grant in two TV series, former president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ed Asner (born Yitzhak Edward Asner) turns 87… Author of dozens of children’s books and young adult fiction, frequent NPR guest, Daniel Pinkwater turns 75… Pianist and conductor, formerly Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim turns 74… NYC-based consultant for non-profit organizations, previously held senior positions in the NYC government and Board of Education, Perry Davis turns 68… Josh Shein… Republican Jewish Coalition’s Alison Borowsky… Stephen Wolff… Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museums of Tolerance, Rabbi Meyer H. May… Political Reporter at Time Magazine, Zeke Miller… Senior Associate at Mission Readiness, a nonpartisan national security organization of over 600 retired admirals and generals, Ben Goodman

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