Jul
17

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: US, Russia ignore Israel’s concerns in Syria | Interview with Haass | Greenfield won’t seek re-election | The Atlantic on intermarriage

Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends 

TALK OF OUR NATION: ‘We’re Headed Toward One of the Greatest Divisions in the History of the Jewish People’ — by Emma Green: “In late June, 19 rabbis gathered in New York City for an urgent meeting. It wasn’t secret, exactly, but it certainly wasn’t public. The Jewish leaders—all members of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, except for two—were there to decide what to do about intermarriage. The question of whether Jews should be able to marry non-Jews has been a barely contained crisis for roughly as long as there have been Jews in America. The issue picks at the religion’s most sensitive scabs: Fears of assimilation mix with anxiety that Judaism is becoming irrelevant. The American traditions of self-determination and acceptance clash with Judaism’s ancient legal code. And calls for fidelity to Jewish tradition can seem hollow in the face of a young couple hoping to stand together under the chuppah.”

“To bless an intermarried union is … to in some way betray the very thing that I’ve given my life to, which is to try to maintain the Jewish tradition,” said David Wolpe, the senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. “It may be beautiful, it may be loving, it may be worth celebrating on a human level. But on a Jewish level, it’s not fine, and it can’t be made fine.” Although rabbis would have to “have a heart of granite” not to feel sympathy toward young people who are in love and want to get married, “I don’t necessarily feel that someone else’s need is my obligation,” he said. “Someone else may need a rabbi to bless that union, or may want a rabbi to bless that union. It doesn’t mean that I have to do it.”

“Ultimately, we’re headed toward one of the greatest divisions in the history of the Jewish people,” said Shmuly Yanklowitz, an Orthodox rabbi who leads a Jewish study center in Phoenix. He himself grew up in an interfaith household, and still has one non-Jewish parent. “We’ve weathered the storm of many different hits, but the divide between ultra-Orthodoxy and liberal, pluralistic American Judaism is maybe irreparable,” he said. “Not only irreparable—it may actually mean that we’re no longer one people.” … As Felicia Sol put it, “There is a midwifery happening in the American Jewish community.” It’s not clear that one, united Judaism will come out at the other end.” [TheAtlantic]

KAFE KNESSET — Dispatch from Paris — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Providing the perfect summer break from ongoing scandals and affairs surrounding him and his closest confidants, Netanyahu is spending the week far away in Europe. From Paris, Netanyahu will be continuing to Hungary. Netanyahu will be the first Israeli PM to officially visit the country. However, the historic visit will be overshadowed by the growing concerns in the local Jewish community over anti-Semitic trends encouraged by the government and the ruling party. In sharp contrast to Macron, who gave a strong speech yesterday taking full responsibility for his country’s misdeeds and collaboration with the Nazis during WWII, Hungarian PM Victor Orban has been embracing Miklos Horthy, the country’s leader during that war. Orban regularly praises Horthy, who worked with the Nazis, as an exceptional statesman. And the tensions rose last week following an ad campaign by Orban’s party against Geroge Soros, which exacerbated the Jewish fears of anti-Semitism even more. Netanyahu has been trying to minimize the anti-Semitism issue in order not to harm his visit, but he did tell reporters yesterday that he intends to raise it in his meeting with Orban. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

TOP TALKER: “Israel’s War Against George Soros” by Mairav Zonszein: “As in this case with Hungary, Mr. Netanyahu is increasingly aligning Israel with illiberal, autocratic states… The ultimate cynicism of such alliances is visible in Mr. Netanyahu’s willingness to tolerate the anti-Semitism of the global right-wing nationalist camp if it will bolster the Greater Israel movement. This explains why, for instance, the Israeli government stayed silent when the Trump administration made no mention of Jews or anti-Semitism in its International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement this year. For Mr. Netanyahu, ideally there would be no daylight between Jewish identity and Israeli identity. Mr. Soros represents an obstacle to this project because he is such a high-profile figure among the communities of the Jewish diaspora that do not necessarily have a strong identification with Israel — or worse, that are critical of it. In pursuing his strategy, Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly alienated a majority of American Jews on both political and religious grounds.” [NYTimes]

LongRead: “Inside the Secret, Strange Origins of Steve Bannons’s Nationalist Fantasia” by Joshua Green: “By 1938, Julius Evola, an Italian intellectual and the black sheep of the Traditionalist family (Bannon cited Evola in a widely circulated video of a 2014 conference at the Vatican), had struck an alliance with Benito Mussolini, and his ideas became the basis of Fascist racial theory; later, after he soured on Mussolini, Evola’s ideas gained currency in Nazi Germany. Bannon is here siding with Evola—he is going for political change as directly as possible.” The last time a Traditionalist got as close to power as Bannon, says Mark Sedgwick, “it was Evola with Mussolini—and that did not last long, as Mussolini seems to have decided that Evola lacked practical sense, and Evola decided that Mussolini lacked principle.”

“His citation of Evola has caused Bannon no end of grief. While Evola, in the end, had little effect on Mussolini or Hitler, he became an avatar of right-wing Italian terrorists in the ’70s and ’80s, and enjoys broad popularity among white supremacists such as Richard B. Spencer. It’s important to note that only a subset of Traditionalists share Evola’s views on race. Bannon explicitly rejects them, and also rejects any association with Spencer, whom he calls a self-promoting “freak” and a “goober.” [VanityFair]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION — “Netanyahu: Israel Opposes Cease-fire Deal Reached by U.S. and Russia in Southern Syria” by Barak Ravid: “Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters after his meeting with French President Macron on Sunday that Israel opposes the cease-fire agreement in southern Syria that the United States and Russia reached because it perpetuates the Iranian presence in the country… Netanyahu discussed the cease-fire deal with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by phone Sunday night… Netanyahu made public a major disagreement between Israel and the two great powers that had until now been kept under wraps and expressed only through quiet diplomatic channels.”

“Senior Israeli officials told Haaretz that when Jerusalem obtained the text of the deal, it discovered that in defiance of its expectations, the Americans and Russians had ignored Israel’s positions almost completely. “The agreement as it is now is very bad” one senior Israeli official said. “It doesn’t take almost any of Israel’s security interests and it creates a disturbing reality in southern Syria. The agreement doesn’t include a single explicit word about Iran, Hezbollah or the Shi’ite militias in Syria.”” [Haaretz]

“Why Trump’s Syrian Cease-fire Makes Israel Nervous” by David Makovsky: “One high-level Israeli Cabinet minister told me just before Netanyahu’s “red lines” statement that if the U.S. pulls out and enables Iran to fill the post-Raqqa vacuum, an Iranian-Israeli “collision is inevitable.””[Politico ‘Israel may need to take out Iranian bases in Syria’ [JPost

Dan Shapiro tweets: “It’s surprising that US officials, who claim they are taking Israel’s security concerns into account, would be caught so flat-footed… Senior State Dept. officials have visited Israel for such discussions, but there remain huge gaps in US personnel. Many senior Israelis have no counterpart to call. US & Israeli NSAs sat outside Trump-Bibi meeting. Rex-Bibi calls limited in handling details. Can the deal be restructured to Israel’s satisfaction? US-Russia dynamic makes that difficult & worrisome. But effort needs to be made.” [Twitter

CFR’s Richard Haass: Only ‘optimist on steroids’ believes Syrian ceasefire will hold — by Aaron Magid: In an interview with Jewish Insider, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, noted, “You would have to be an optimist on steroids to think any ceasefire in Syria would hold given the number of parties involved and the stark differences in their agendas.” Haass noted the presence of Iranians, Turks, a multitude of Sunni militant organizations and the Assad regime. “There is nothing about the history in Syria to suggest that any ceasefire will hold,” he emphasized. [JewishInsider]

–Haass on Trump’s Mideast peace push: “The situation is far from being ripe for progress. Anytime that is the case there is a ceiling on what outside groups can accomplish no matter how many calories or hours they invest. I can’t think of anything that they could do that would make a meaningful difference given the state of Israeli-Palestinian politics. I would argue against any high profile mission designed to solve the conflict. I would emphasize economic development in the West Bank. I would work with the Israelis on placing some restraints on where they build settlements. I would focus a lot with Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians on crisis prevention in Jerusalem.”

“Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’” by Tim Arango: “Iran never lost sight of its mission: to dominate its neighbor so thoroughly that Iraq could never again endanger it militarily, and to use the country to effectively control a corridor from Tehran to the Mediterranean…  Eventually, analysts say, Iran could use the corridor, established on the ground through militias under its control, to ship weapons and supplies to proxies in Syria… and to Lebanon and its ally Hezbollah… Partly in an effort to contain Iran, the United States has indicated that it will keep troops behind in Iraq after the battle against the Islamic State…” [NYTimes

HEARD YESTERDAY — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS: “The IAEA has verified, I believe, seven times now since the implementation date that Iran has implemented the deal faithfully, fully and completely. Unfortunately, we cannot make the same statement about the United States. The United States has failed to implement its part of the bargain… President Trump used his presence in Hamburg during the G-20 meeting, in order to dissuade leaders from other countries to engage in business with Iran. That is a violation of not the spirit but of the letter of the JCPOA, of the nuclear deal. I believe the United States needs to bring itself into compliance with its part of the obligation under the deal… Let me point out here, that the deal does not prevent Iran from continuing with its peaceful nuclear program.” [YouTube]

“Qatar Opens Its Doors to All, to the Dismay of Some” by Declan Walsh: “Officials from Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, work from a luxury villa near the British Embassy, and recently held a news conference in a ballroom at the pyramid-shape Sheraton hotel… Although former Secretary of State John F. Kerry publicly criticized the Hamas presence, American officials privately say they would prefer Hamas was based in Doha rather than in a hostile capital like Tehran. In keeping with its open-door approach, Doha was home to an Israeli trade office from 1996 to 2008. Although relations have soured, Qatar promises that Israel will be allowed to participate in the 2022 World Cup.” [NYTimes• UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials[WashPost]

HAPPENING TODAY — “Prayer is where CUFI summit really begins, organizer says” by Benjamin Glatt: “Opening the summit on Monday will be CUFI founder and national chairman John Hagee, who will honor an IDF paratrooper who helped liberate the Eternal City in 1967… Netanyahu is also scheduled to give his thanks to Hagee… via a live satellite feed later in the day. Following a Middle East briefing with influential voices in Israeli and American foreign policy, including former US representative Col. Allen West and former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, CUFI will hold the summit’s annual Night to Honor Israel with US Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer speaking.” [JPost]

SHAKEUPS — “Trump family shakes up legal team to confront growing Russia woes” by Mike Allen: “Jay Sekulow, the outside Trump lawyer who’s doing all five Sunday shows today, will stay. Marc Kasowitz, an outside Trump lawyer whose bad press empowered his internal critics, will likely be diminished or leave the team, according to people close to POTUS.”[Axios]

“One of Jared Kushner’s lawyers in the Russia probe is ‘dropping out’” by Allan Smith: “Jamie Gorelick, who served as Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration, will be “wrapping up” her representation of Kushner and turning over all responsibilities to Abbe Lowell, a high-profile Washington criminal defense lawyer whom Kushner brought on late last month.” [BI]

“Fate of Kushner’s security clearance could ultimately lie with Trump” by Austin Wright and Josh Dawsey: “The security clearance process is ultimately rooted in executive authority, not law, meaning the president himself is the ultimate arbiter… Trump does have the power, if he wanted to, to demand that Kushner keep his clearance. “If the president wants someone to have a clearance and access to classified information, there’s no one to tell him no,” said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert with the Federation of American Scientists. And this is a president who is fiercely loyal to his family.” [Politico]

PRESIDENT-IN-LAW: “Startup That Got a Seat at White House Roundtable Is Part-Owned by Kushner Family” by Jean Eaglesham and Lisa Schwartz: “Seated at the rectangular table alongside the corporate luminaries, university presidents and senior White House officials was a less-prominent figure: Zachary Bookman, the 37-year-old CEO of a small startup called OpenGov… Mr. Kushner’s connection to OpenGov is through Thrive Capital, a venture-capital firm run by his brother Joshua Kushner. Thrive is one of four investors that OpenGov lists on its website… Mr. Kushner didn’t suggest the invitation to OpenGov, according to Matt Lira, who works in his innovation office. “It was my idea to invite OpenGov to our technology leadership listening session,” Mr. Lira said in a statement.”

“Mr. Kushner recently filed an amended disclosure form, which is expected to be released publicly soon, according to people close to him. It will disclose assets that Mr. Kushner didn’t report in his original filing in March, including up to $250,000 of Israeli government bonds he sold earlier this year and an art collection he jointly owns with his wife, Ivanka Trump,  the people said.” [WSJ]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT — “Trump Campaign Paid Don Jr.’s Lawyer $50,000 Two Weeks Before Email Scandal” by Lachlan Markay: “A new filing with the Federal Election Commission shows that President Trump’s reelection campaign paid $50,000 to the law offices of Alan Futerfas on June 26. That was around the time, Yahoo News reports, that the president’s legal team learned of a June 2016 email exchange in which Trump Jr., through an associate, solicited damaging information about 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton.” [DailyBeast]

“Soviet Veteran Who Met With Trump Jr. Is a Master of the Dark Arts” by Andrew Higgins and Andrew Kramer: “In a defamation lawsuit later brought by [Ashot] Egiazaryan in a New York federal court, [Rinat] Akhmetshin(the Russian-American lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016) testified that [Andrey] Vavilov invited him to his home in Moscow to discuss how to derail his enemy’s asylum application… He said Mr. Vavilov… handed him a total of $70,000 to $80,000 in cash. That was the start of a concerted campaign to portray Mr. Egiazaryan as an anti-Semite in the news media and to Jewish organizations that then opposed his asylum application.” [NYTimes

NYC 2017 WATCH: “Scott Stringer endorses de Blasio for reelection — despite being a frequent critic of the mayor” by Erin Durkin: “City Controller Scott Stringer — a frequent critic of Mayor de Blasio who considered running against him — endorsed the mayor for reelection Sunday. The rival pols buried the hatchet at a joint press conference at a Manhattan park, where de Blasio also endorsed Stringer for a second term… “I’m the first to say that I don’t always make his life easy,” Stringer said. “But as Democrats we play on the same team. We agree on so much more than we would ever disagree on.””[NYDailyNews]

2020 WATCH: “Dems’ rising star meets with Clinton inner circle in Hamptons” by Emily Smith: “The Democrats’ “Great Freshman Hope,” Sen. Kamala Harris… is being fêted in Bridgehampton on Saturday at the home of MWWPR guru Michael Kempner, a staunch Clinton supporter who was one of her national-finance co-chairs and a led fund-raiser for her 2008 bid for the presidency. He was also listed as one of the top “bundlers” for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, having raised $3 million.” [PageSix

** 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 **

SPOTLIGHT: “Two VIP Billionaires Teamed Up to Run Luxury Hotels. It’s Been a Slog” by Anupreeta Das and Craig Karmin: “Bill Gates and Prince al-Waleed bought Four Seasons for $3.8 billion near a market peak, feuded over matters large and small, then made up; inside a rare partnership of giants… The first Four Seasons was a motor lodge in a rundown part of Toronto, opened in 1961 by Isadore Sharp, a son of Polish immigrants to Canada. By the time he began looking to sell the publicly traded company in 2006, Four Seasons was a renowned name in lodging, known for personalized service and top-of-the-line amenities. Rather than owning its hotels, Four Seasons forms partnerships with investors and developers, then keeps tight control by managing the properties… The three men agreed to a deal in which Cascade and Kingdom would each own 47.5% of the company, while Mr. Sharp would have the other 5% and remain chief executive for five years.” [WSJ]

WHAT’S JAKE SULLIVAN UP TO: “Lessons in disaster: A top Clinton adviser searches for meaning in a shocking loss” by Greg Jaffe: “If all had gone as planned, and as most in Washington had expected, Jake Sullivan would be hard at work just steps from the Oval Office… The conventional wisdom held that Sullivan was a lock to be the national security adviser in a Clinton administration… He divides his time between an empty think-tank office in Washington and Yale, where he lectures one day a week on law and foreign policy… On a recent evening, he was pushing open a battered orange door, climbing stairs covered with fraying carpet and striding into a dimly lit apartment where two dozen Yale Law School students were waiting to hear from him… Clinton tapped him in 2012 to help start secret talks with Iran over its nuclear program… The students peppered Sullivan with questions about the Iran negotiations.. Almost everything about his professional life is transitory, uncertain, unsettled. “I feel a keen sense of responsibility for the outcome,” he told friends in the immediate aftermath of Clinton’s defeat. Months later, the feeling had not faded.” [WashPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield Won’t Seek Re-Election” by Mara Gay: “New York City Councilman David Greenfield of Brooklyn says he won’t seek re-election this year… “I love being a councilman, it’s wonderful to be in the thick of things,” Mr. Greenfield said in a phone interview. “But part of the purpose of serving the public is to try to figure out where you can make the greatest impact.” Mr. Greenfield, 38 years old, said he had accepted a job as CEO and executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a New York City-based nonprofit, whose board officially voted on the position Sunday. “This is what I’m passionate about,” Mr. Greenfield said of the group’s work.” [WSJ]

–Greenfield tweets: “Met Council is premier Jewish charity in NYC. Humbled that they want me to lead it after current CEO’s retirement” [Twitter]

“Pressure From Chicago Dyke March Organizers Led to Demotion of Journalist, Claims Friend” by Noga Tarnopolsky: “Some two-and-a-half weeks after her scoop, Gretchen Rachel Hammond was relieved of her journalistic duties at the paper and moved to a full-time job on its sales desk… Miriam Churchill – a friend who accompanied Hammond to the Chicago Dyke March – recounted to Haaretz that as they prepared to leave the Piotrowski Park event at 4:30 P.M. on June 24, Hammond received a call from her boss, Windy City Times publisher Tracy Baim. Three women waving Jewish Gay Pride flags – rainbow flags emblazoned with the Star of David – had apparently been kicked out of the march, Baim told Hammond. The reporter then located the women, interviewed them and published her article. It was Baim who later demoted Hammond to another position on the LGBT weekly newspaper.” [Haaretz

“For Jews and Muslims of Morocco, a Supportive Relationship Built on a Complex History” by Yardena Schwartz: “To an outsider, nothing seemed normal about this night, as Muslims were welcomed by the Jewish community to celebrate Ramadan at their synagogue… But to the Muslims and Jews gathered here, it was a reminder of the 2,000-year-old ties that bind their communities together… André Azoulay is a Jewish senior adviser to the king of Morocco, Mohammed VI. He also served his father, King Hassan II. Explaining how Morocco has remained protective of its Jewish community despite the anti-Jewish sentiments that overtook other Muslim countries in the wake of Israel’s establishment, Azoulay said, “We are fighting for that. But it’s not just top down,” he said, referring to the king’s protection of the community. “It’s also bottom up. Judaism in Morocco is in the roots, the identity, the mindset of the Moroccan people.”” [NBCNews]

BOOK REVIEW: “A Novel Brings Israel’s Conflicts to New York” by James Wood: “Moving Kings” is a strange, superbly unsuccessful novel. There’s not a page without some vital charge—a flash of metaphor, an idiomatic originality, a bastard neologism born of nothing. You could say that it is patchworked with successes: David King in the Hamptons, Yoav and Uri in the Israeli Army, the King’s Moving crew at work in New York, Avery Luter flailing in his mother’s house. Yet these stories are more convincing than the connections, thematic and formal, offered to bind them. [Joshua] Cohen never finds that deep novelistic form, that tensile coherence, which Woolf idealized. This is a book of brilliant sentences, brilliant paragraphs, brilliant chapters. Here things flare singly, a succession of lighted matches, and do not cast a more general illumination.” [NewYorker]

HOLLYWOOD: “Bill Maher and Fran Lebowitz: When Comedy Cuts Deep” by Philip Galanes:Bill Maher My first act was all about being half-Jewish and half-Catholic: “I brought my lawyer into confession with me.” Johnny Carson made me do that joke every time I went on. But that’s what you talk about when you’re a young comedian: your personal history. It hasn’t been covered yet.” Fran Lebowitz: Stiller and Meara did that. It was their whole act. He was Jewish, and she was Irish-Catholic. And the borscht belt comics did jokes about being Jewish… FL: My grandparents were immigrants, too. To me, the really American kids were the ones whose grandparents spoke perfect English. I always noticed that. I remember once in Sunday school, the teacher said to me, “If America had a war with Israel, what side would you be on?” I was shocked by this. I’m American. I’m always on our side. BM: My mother didn’t tell us she was Jewish, and it never came up, even though my sister, my father and I would go to church every week.” [NYTimes

“Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for ‘Ed Wood,’ Dies at 89” by Mike Barnes: “Landau was born in Brooklyn on June 20, 1928. At age 17, he landed a job as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, but he turned down a promotion and quit five years later to pursue acting. “It was an impulsive move on my part to do that,” Landau told The Jewish Journal in 2013. “To become an actor was a dream I must’ve had so deeply and so strongly because I left a lucrative, well-paying job that I could do well to become an unemployed actor. It’s crazy if you think about it. To this day, I can still hear my mother’s voice saying, ‘You did what?!’”” [THR]

— “In 2000, Landau, who is of Jewish descent, played Abraham, father of the Israelites, in “In the Beginning,” which chronicled the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus. Jacqueline Bisset played his wife, Sarah.” [LATimes

DESSERT: “How a Jewish deli run by Muslims became the symbol of a changing neighborhood” by Sarah Jacobs: “These days, in the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant — or Bed-Stuy — in Brooklyn, you’ll find David’s Brisket House, a Jewish deli that has been owned by the same Muslim family for 50 years. The deli was originally kosher, owned by a Jewish family, but when its former owners put it on the market in the 1960s, it was bought by two business partners: one, a Yemenite Muslim, and the other a Yemenite Jew. The partners decided that instead of changing the menu, they would keep customers coming back for their beloved meats… The deli has stayed in the family and is now run by Riyadh Gazali, the nephew of one of the partners.” [BI]

“Why Are These 25,000 Bottles of Wine Different From All Other Wines” by Linda Gradstein: “Opening a new winery in Israel is not a simple proposition. The market is saturated, and it’s not easy to compete with Israel’s large producers like Carmel and the Golan Heights winery. It is especially difficult to sell relatively high-priced wine in the ultra-Orthodox world. Wine is used every Friday evening for the Kiddush, a blessing said at the Friday night Shabbat table, and for celebrations like weddings and circumcisions, but it is usually sweet Manischewitz-type wine, bought at the supermarket for a few dollars a bottle. The ultra-Orthodox in Israel tend to have large families and money is tight.” [VinePair]

BIRTHDAYS: CEO of her family business, Samson Resources, a Tulsa-based energy company (2000-2011) until its sale for $7.2 billion to KKR, co-chair of the Schusterman Family Foundation, Stacy Helen Schusterman turns 54… Member of the Texas House of Representatives (1955-1959) and Texas Senate (1960-1981), representing Galveston, A. R. “Babe” Schwartz turns 91… Travel writer, publisher, consumer advocate and the founder of the Frommer’s series of travel guides, he is a graduate of Yale Law School, Arthur Frommer turns 88… Israeli politician and historian, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv U., he served as a member of Knesset (1996-2002), Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-2001) and as ambassador to Spain (1987-1991), Shlomo Ben-Ami turns 74… Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Charley Steiner turns 68… VP and Assistant General Counsel of The Hartford and chairman emeritus of the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Robert K. Yass turns 66…

Baltimore-born, HUC-JIR educated, rabbi at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA, author, historian and college professor, Lance Jonathan Sussman, Ph.D. turns 63… Minister for the Environment and Energy in Australia, Joshua Anthony “Josh” Frydenberg turns 46… Founder and CEO of Zeta Interactive, David A. Steinberg turns 47… Stand-up comedian, he was a finalist on the NBC reality-talent show “Last Comic Standing” in two seasons, Gary Gulman turns 47… Senior adviser for strategic communications at Hillel International, Matthew E. Berger turns 39… Relationship manager at Morningstar, she is a Young Leadership Division board member at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago and an MBA candidate at Northwestern’s Kellogg School, Melanie Beatus turns 27… Precocious daughter of Jared and Ivanka, Arabella Rose Kushner turns 6… Financial sector analyst at Institutional Shareholder Services since June 2017, previously at The Israel Project, Jared Sorhaindo… Steve Lebowitz

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]

Jul
14

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: On 2nd anniversary of Iran deal, Hoenlein and Solow reflect | Marc Andreessen on the Israeli startup model | An Italian Jewish Rebirth

Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends 

OVERNIGHT: “2 Israeli Police Officers Killed in Attack in Old City of Jerusalem” by Isabel Kershner: “In an extraordinarily brazen assault early Friday, three Arab citizens of Israel armed with guns and knives killed two Israeli police officers guarding an entrance to Jerusalem’s holiest site for Jews and Muslims, an emotional and volatile focal point of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Police officers pursued the assailants inside the compound and exchanged fire; all three assailants were killed. The police announced that they had evacuated and closed the compound, and helicopters circled above the area after the attack. The closing of the holy site is an exceptional and potentially explosive measure; Israeli-imposed restrictions on Muslim entry to the compound have prompted spasms of rioting in Palestinian areas in the past.” [NYTimes] • Washington Post’s Ruth Marks Eglash shared graphic video of the incident [Twitter]

KAFE KNESSET — Calls to change the status quo on Temple Mount — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: After this morning’s terrorist attack on the Temple Mount, the response from the Israeli Right was that something has to change. For Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, the response was to consider tightening security. Others challenged the status quo of the past 50 years, by which the Jordanian Islamic Trust, known as the Waqf, manages the site. Culture Minister Miri Regev called to reduce the Waqf’s area of responsibility to the Al-Aksa Mosque alone, and not the entire Mount, and to open the area to all, at all times of day. Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan said Jews should be allowed to pray at the Temple Mount, which they are forbidden from doing today. Despite the calls for change, Netanyahu reassured Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the status quo would remain. Abbas had called Netanyahu to condemn the attack. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

Donald Trump Jr. in response to the BBC’s headline — “Israelis injured in gun attack near Jerusalem holy site” — tweets: “Um, BBC World is it time for a reminder that we discussed your anti Israeli bias a few weeks ago? 2 cops killed & this is your lead? WTF?” [Twitter]

SUN VALLEY 2017: “Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump Keep Low Profile During Talks on Political Divisions, Mid-East Peace” by Brent Lang: “On Thursday, the couple were spotted at a series of panels on Middle East peace and race relations, featuring talks from Charles Barkley and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The day’s talks were described as being uplifting. King Abdullah expressed optimism that Israel and Palestine seem to be more receptive to coming to the negotiating table, raising the possibility that the conflict-riven region might finally see peace. Neither Trump nor Kushner are scheduled to speak at the event. Guests said that they were very polite, with many moguls seeking out the First Family members. “People were coming up to them,” said one guest. “They’re controversial, but no one is treating them like pariahs.”” [Variety]

“Israel’s Secret Arab Allies” by Neri Zilber: “Taken as a whole, Israeli activities in Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, Egypt and the Gulf can no longer be viewed in isolation from one another. Rather, Israel is now involved in the Arab world’s military campaigns — against both Iran and its proxies, as well as against the Islamic State. It remains to be seen whether this is merely a temporary marriage of convenience against common foes or the start of an enduring strategic realignment.” [NYTimes]

IRAN DEAL’S TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY: “Trump administration plans to certify Iranian compliance with nuclear agreement” by Karen DeYoung: “The recertification, due Monday to Congress, follows a heated internal debate between those who want to crack down on Iran now — including some White House officials and lawmakers — and Cabinet officials who are “managing other constituencies” such as European allies, and Russia and China, which signed and support the agreement… Officials cautioned that Trump, who has made clear his disdain for the accord, could decide not to sign off on the recertification between now and the Monday deadline but said that was unlikely… Next Tuesday, the administration must also comply with a separate deadline, reporting to Congress on Iran’s overall nuclear behavior and deciding whether to waive reinstituting sanctions lifted under the accord.”[WashPostTWS]  

“Sen. Tom Cotton urges Tillerson, Trump not to certify Iran deal” by Sally Persons: “The law Congress passed to hold Iran accountable requires the secretary of state and president to certify that this deal is in vital national security interest of the United States,” Mr. Cotton said on Fox News. “I simply wouldn’t certify that if I was the secretary of state or president… This is not in the vital national security interest. It undermines those interests.” … Mr. Cotton and fellow GOP Sens. Ted Cruz, David Perdue and Marco Rubio sent a letter to Mr. Tillerson as well, saying Iran has not only violated the terms of the agreement, but also progressed towards nuclearization.” [WashTimes

“The Iran Nuclear Deal Has Been a Blessing for Israel” by Carmi Gilon: “As a guardian of Israel’s security, my job was to prepare for the worst — while searching always for bold and proactive measures to head off disaster and stop threats in their tracks. The nuclear agreement is a good example of the kind of solutions to which I aspired. It has neutralized a major threat to the world, while ensuring that the United States and its allies have the tools, the information, and the leverage that they need to confront the Iranian danger and make the region, and the world, a safer place.” [FP] • Boris Johnson: Without the Iran nuclear agreement, the world would be in supreme danger [WashPost

JI VIEWPOINTS — Alan Solow, former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: “Two years into the deal, I think that the indications are that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the JCPOA. That is beneficial to Israel and the parties to the JCPOA. I believe that there is a very high likelihood that we are going to continue to see the deal complied with and that as a result of that, and developments that will occur in the future, it is highly unlikely that Iran will try to break out and get a nuclear weapon. And if they do – either during the duration of the JCPOA or afterward – that those who oppose Iran getting a nuclear weapon will have the resources in place to prohibit that from happening. I have no regrets about supporting the Iran deal and I believe that the implementation period to date has borne out my expectations.”

Solow on what the Jewish community should learn from the Iran deal fight: “Some of the controversy over the proposed agreement was, I think, overblown and unnecessary. I always respected the views of people that were different than mine and tried to listen to them, and I remain friends with a lot of people who I had a different point of view, and I expect to remain friends with those people. I don’t think that they are going to regret the position that they took any more than I can regret the position that I took. Look, we had an honest disagreement. I hope that what people do is not regret the position that they took but that all of us continue to look at it honestly as it moves forward over the years.”

Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: “The revelations just in the last days about what they have uncovered in Germany and the extent to which Iran has been seeking components for conventional and non-conventional missiles and their nuclear program there and elsewhere indicates that they in fact have not given up on their aspirations to have a nuclear weapon and the program didn’t end with the signing of the JCPOA. We know that they have advanced their ballistic missile program, their delivery capacity, have much faster centrifuges that are already operative or could be implemented very quickly, which means that they could cut the breakout time significantly. All of it shows that a lot has happened in the past two years. It is not that things have remained stagnant.”

Hoenlein on what the Jewish community should learn from the Iran deal fight: “I think that the assessments at the time were distorted about the role of the Jewish community. The American Jewish community by and large – there were some differences – stood in opposition to the Iran deal because they felt it didn’t go far enough, and I think a lot of those concerns have just been vindicated over time. When you ask what lessons should be learned, I don’t know what there is to be determined. One lesson that we learned is that we have to do a constant education of the American people, but by in large, the American people, the polls show that they got it. They understood it. And I think you saw some of that reaction in the last election that the people were not happy with the Iran deal. It is a myth that was created that the Jewish community was defeated or lost.”

JI’s Aaron Magid asked Republican Members of Congress what should be done about the Iran deal going forward given the assessment that they are in compliance with the JCPOA.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): “Given Iran’s missile tests and the other ways Iran has acted in interests antithetical to the west, I think we should restore sanctions and maintain them until they dismantle their nuclear arms mechanism. The deal is a blight on Mr. Obama’s legacy and unfortunately it’s a shadow over the Republicans in the Senate that allowed Iran to embrace the nuclear option rather than move this towards a treaty.”

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL): “It’s been a failed agreement. They’ve continued to break the agreement, I don’t think it’s good for us. I don’t think it’s good for Israel. Something like that again should not have been done by the President. I think the first thing to do is to strike it and then start over. There ought to be stronger sanctions in place.”

Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL): “[The deal] should be renegotiated. Start from scratch.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ): “I think it will be very difficult [to renegotiate the deal] because there are other nations as well. I voted against it when I had the opportunity on the floor. The Iranians will eventually achieve the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon.”

MEDIA WATCH: “Tucker Carlson Is Doing Something Extraordinary” by Peter Beinart: “On Iran, Carlson made an argument that was considered too dovish for even mainstream Democrats to raise during the debate over the nuclear deal: He questioned whether Tehran actually endangers the United States. He told Peters that “we actually don’t face any domestic threat from Iran.” And he asked [Max] Boot to “tell me how many Americans in the United States have been murdered by terrorists backed by Iran since 9/11?”” [TheAtlantic]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION — Yesterday, Netanyahu praised the Trump administration’s objective approach to Israeli-Palestinian conflict as Trump takes credit for Mideast water deal. “This administration has a more objective approach to the conflict,” Netanyahu said in a midnight interview on Channel 20. [YouTube

“Noting ‘Trump Effect,’ Former U.S. Officials Praise Israeli-Palestinian Water Deal” by Amir Tibon: “According to [Dan] Shapiro, “probably any new administration would have that advantage, but the fear factor with Trump gives Greenblatt some added leverage. I hope he’ll use it for more than just water and electricity deals, like getting negotiations relaunched on a realistic basis.” Martin Indyk… also praised the agreement. “It was years in the making and will be years before it is implemented, but it’s a positive step in a sea of negativity – and Jason Greenblatt deserves credit for that,” he said… Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Robert Danin told Haaretz… that the agreement… “has little implications for the deal that President Trump seeks. So long as there are no real negotiations taking place, such limited steps to help the Palestinians on the ground can be advanced. But once serious negotiations begin – and that itself is a big if – then these sorts of measures are likely to become much more contentious.””[Haaretz

“A Good Story About Israelis and Palestinians” by Seth Siegel: “The biggest news out of the press conference… is that senior water officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority shared a stage and warmly engaged with each other. It is, so to speak, a high-water mark in Israeli-Palestinian history regarding this precious resource… As the Palestinian Authority turns toward a more pragmatic approach in addressing water, but also the environmental and energy needs of their people, it will lead to an economically more secure Palestinian political entity and perhaps even to better outcomes in the larger political negotiations.” [NYTimes

Aaron David Miller emails us… “Israeli-Palestinian water talks have been the untold success story and have gone on for years. But in this case is really untethered from any notion of the ultimate deal. Indeed, Bibi might easily say you see we can cooperate without one. I wish you could say it’s a confidence builder and a bridge to a final status deal but I just don’t believe it.”

Trump told reporters on Air Force One en route to France: “I’d say the only thing more difficult than peace between Israel and the Palestinians is healthcare.” [NYTimes

ON THE HILL — State Dept Questions if Taylor Force Act ‘Accomplishes’ Objective of Stopping Terror — by Aaron Magid: “It is not clear that the Taylor Force Act as currently drafted would help accomplish these objectives,” Stuart Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, said during a hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa yesterday. “For the first time in 52 years in the Palestinian prisoner payment program, the Palestinians have already cut funding to 277 Hamas affiliated former prisoners,” Jones said, calling it a “step forward.” While amendments have been proposed to the Taylor Force Act such as adding a National Security waiver or maintaining some of the humanitarian assistance, Jones insisted, “the administration is not going to take a position on those proposals.” [JewishInsider

IN THE SPOTLIGHT — “Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Threatens Stranger in Emails: ‘Watch Your Back , Bitch’” by Justin Elliott: “In another email, Kasowitz wrote: “I’m Jewish. I presume you are too. Stop being afraid. Call me. Or give me your number and I will call you. I already know where you live, I’m on you.  You might as well call me. You will see me. I promise.  Bro.”” [ProPublica]

“Trump’s Lawyer Apologizes for a Profane Tirade” by Rosie Gray: “Mr. Kasowitz, who is tied up with client matters, said he intends to apologize to the writer of the email referenced in today’s ProPublica story,” Kasowitz’s spokesman Mike Sitrick said in a statement. “While no excuse, the email came at the end of a very long day that at 10 pm was not yet over. ‘The person sending that email is entitled to his opinion and I should not have responded in that inappropriate manner,’ Mr. Kasowitz said. ‘I intend to send him an email stating just that. This is one of those times where one wishes he could reverse the clock, but of course I can’t.’” [TheAtlantic

“Kushner pushed for more aggressive defense of Trump Jr. meeting” by Tara Palmeri: “[Jared] Kushner called for full-on combat… A source close to Kushner…  said that while he doesn’t have an exact plan for an overall Russia response, he was angry that there wasn’t a more robust effort from the communications team. Kushner wanted them to complain about chyrons on cable news, call reporters to update stories with White House statements, and unleash surrogates immediately. He was angry that there were no talking points offered to surrogates, the source said. One senior administration official suggested that two aides from the communications shop be dedicated just to updating chyrons… [An outside] adviser said that Spicer has privately griped about the demands from Kushner.” [Politico

“Ivanka and Jared begin the plunge from grace” by Eugene Robinson: “Among Manhattan’s progressive upper crust, Jared and Ivanka — they really are first-name-only celebrities at this point — were expected to at least temper the hard-right policy positions being pushed by other presidential advisers. If this indeed is what they are trying to do, they’ve had a negligible impact to date.” [WashPost] • Sen. Blumenthal: ‘Jared Kushner ought to resign’ [TheHill

“Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian meeting: An unusual way of conducting political research” by Fredreka Schouten: “Jeff Berkowitz, a veteran Republican opposition researcher, said the task instead should have fallen to a lower-level campaign researcher or paid consultant, rather than the candidate’s son. Berkowitz… said the revelations about the younger Trump’s meeting with the Russian also serve to underscore the bare-bones nature of his father’s unorthodox political operation… “You didn’t have gatekeepers to handle these things and decide whether it was something useful,” Berkowitz said of advance vetting of the Veselnitskaya meeting. “Everyone in politics would have taken that meeting. This is the nature of politics,” he said. But, he added: “It just should have been someone other than Donald Jr.”” [USAToday

** Good Friday 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: Hudson Bay Urges Sabra Holders to Reject Care Capital Deal [Bloomberg] • Patrick Drahi’s Altice Buys Portugal’s Media Capital [Variety] • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has a message for laid-off Microsoft workers: Work for me [BusinessInsider] • Ex-broker sues hedge fund for $5M over layoff dispute [NYPost• Steve Ballmer tells us that he is absolutely not moving the L.A. Clippers to Seattle [BusinessInsider] • First Israeli accelerator program lands in China [TechNode

“Dov Charney Couldn’t Keep American Apparel, So He Restarted It” by Matthew Townsend: “Stepping off the production floor into sparse offices reveals another familiar touch. There’s a conference room equipped with a cot, messy sheets, and a pillow. “I live in here, by the way,” Charney says. “I will not leave. This is my bed. This is my room. This is where I sleep.” He once did something similar in his American Apparel years, taking up residence at a malfunctioning distribution center.” [Bloomberg

STARTUP NATION — Marc Andreessen on the Israeli model for startups: “In our case, although we have occasionally invested in particularly special startups based outside the US, such as Transferwise and Improbable, we generally invest either in startups based entirely in the US, or startups that use what might be called the “Israeli model” of building R&D in their home country but building SG&A (sales, marketing, finance, legal, etc.) in the US. As suggested by the name, some of the best Israeli startups have been executing this model for the last 20-30 years; more recently, we are seeing founders from many other countries… pursue the same model.” [Stripe

“Taxi King now without 800 medallions — and a law license” by Julia Marsh and Danielle Furfaro: “Former “Taxi King” Gene Freidman has lost… now his law license. A Manhattan appeals panel suspended the hack honcho from the bar “until further order” in part because of bad checks he allegedly wrote. Freidman — who was stripped of 800 medallions by the Taxi & Limousine Commission in April, shortly before he was arrested for tax fraud — didn’t comply with a judicial probe into the check scheme, according to a ruling released Thursday by the Appellate Division. In addition, Freidman “failed to provide information” about a contempt motion involving Citibank, the decision states.” [NYPost

“Trump’s Russian Laundromat” by Craig Unger: “One of the developers, Tamir Sapir, had followed an unlikely path to riches. After emigrating from the Soviet Union in the 1970s, he had started out driving a cab in New York City and ended up a billionaire living in Trump Tower. His big break came when he co-founded a company that sold high-tech electronics. According to the FBI, Sapir’s partner in the firm was a “member or associate” of Ivankov’s mob in Brighton Beach. No charges were ever filed, and Sapir denied having any mob ties. “It didn’t happen,” he told The New York Times. “Everything was done in the most legitimate way.” Trump, who described Sapir as a “great friend,” bought 200 televisions from his electronics company. In 2007, he hosted the wedding of Sapir’s daughter at Mar-a-Lago, and later attended her infant son’s bris.” [NewRepublic]

Netanyahu’s spokesman David Keyes responds to Tom Friedman’s recent piece on the Israel-US Jewry relationship: “Thomas L. Friedman claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has burned bridges with American Jews. Never mind that he just ordered the accelerated expansion of a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall and has consistently demonstrated his passionate commitment to strengthening Israel’s relations with Jewish communities around the world. Mr. Friedman claims that Prime Minister Netanyahu “is setting himself up to be a pivotal figure in Jewish history — the leader who burned the bridges to a two-state solution.” Never mind that the Palestinian leadership turned down repeated offers for statehood, has refused to meet for direct negotiations for nearly a decade, pays terrorists hundreds of millions of dollars each year and continues to call for the disappearance of Israel.” [NYTimes

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Miami Beach teens will no longer perform with Roger Waters due to anti-Israel controversy” by Samantha Gross: “Twelve members of a Miami Beach Parks summer program were supposed to have a dress rehearsal with the band… and perform “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” on stage alongside Waters… In a statement Thursday afternoon, however, Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said the teenagers would no longer be participating… Earlier on Thursday, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation accused the star of anti-Semitism ahead of his show on the Us + Them Tour at AmericanAirlines Arena, referring to the singer’s anti-Israel views.” [MiamiHerald

Voters See Anti-Semitism As a Serious Problem In U.S.: “A new Rasmussen Reports… survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters think anti-Semitism is at least a somewhat serious problem in America today, including 24% who believe it’s a Very Serious problem. Twenty-nine percent (29%) don’t believe anti-Semitism is a serious issue, with five percent (5%) who think it’s Not At all Serious.” [Rasmussen

“Tillerson says we may not need an anti-Semitism envoy. He’s wrong” by Ira Forman, Hannah Rosenthal and Jonathan Greenblatt: “It is not only the American Jewish community supporting the continuation of the special envoy’s office. Tillerson need only talk to Democrats and Republicans in Congress, to nongovernmental organizations such as Human Rights First, to our democratic allies in France, Germany and Britain, and to our professional diplomats who have served in dozens of countries where anti-Semitism has surfaced. If he were to do so, he would find essentially unanimous support for the strengthening of this office… America’s voice in the fight to counter anti-Semitism is desperately needed — now more than ever.”[WashPost

“After 500 Years, an Italian Jewish Rebirth” by Michael Ledeen: “While anti-Semitism is on the upswing in many parts of Europe, Judaism and Jews are experiencing a renaissance in Italy. The country is most strongly associated with the Roman Catholic Church, but Jews have been here for thousands of years. Given Italy’s place as a political laboratory in the Western world, its role in the revival of Judaism—particularly in the south—is worth watching.”

“Perhaps the clearest indicator of the strength and depth of Jewish popularity comes at mealtime. Jewish food, including kosher food, is suddenly chic. Restaurants in Rome’s Jewish ghetto are regularly packed. You can even get fried artichokes made “Jewish style” at takeout stands. Kosher food and wine are now regularly featured at national food fairs and can be purchased at upscale stores throughout the country. “Regular people are selling and buying Jewish food precisely because it’s Jewish,” says the Italian journalist Carla Reschia. “Food is an example, but you can see it also in literature: In a country where Jews number less than 0.1%, Jewish authors are disproportionately popular.”” [WSJ

SPORTS BLINK: “CC Sabathia vacations with Amar’e Stoudemire in Mexico” by Mara Siegler: “Yankee pitcher CC Sabathia and his wife, Amber, are vacationing with former Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire, his wife Alexis and radio personality Angie Martinez. The athletically endowed group has been spotted all over the four-star Nizuc Resort & Spa just outside of Cancún, Mexico. “They’ve been snorkeling, zip-lining and relaxing on the beach,” says a source. “CC has been resting his arm.”” [PageSix

“‘It’s Not the Fault of the Sandwich Shop’: Readers Debate David Brooks’s Column” by Lela Moore: “David Brooks’s column “How We Are Ruining America” struck a nerve among New York Times readers, who wrote to us by the thousands to debate the social codes of the elite. Readers also took on the roles of money and education, or the lack thereof, in success. And yes, gourmet sandwiches came under fire too. Mr. Brooks’s article topped the Times’s Most Emailed list and received more than 3,200 comments… Mr. Brooks’s anecdote about taking a friend to a gourmet sandwich shop, whose menu of Italian cheeses and meats, he said, illustrated the cultural barriers between the more- and less-educated, received much criticism, snark and humor.” [NYTimes

DESSERT: “Taco Tuesday: Kosher birria tacos” by Jonathan Gold: “The food is strictly kosher – the carnitas are made from beef and duck instead of pork, the chopped carne asada has a dryish texture you may not be used to, the flour tortillas are lard-free, and you’re not going to be seeing cheese or sour cream. Also, MexiKosher is closed on Saturdays and Friday night.” [LATimes

WINE OF THE WEEK — Yatir Rosé 2016 — by Yitz Applbaum: It has been a few weeks since I have written about wines here, mostly because of extensive travel and also because I have not had any exposure to many new wines recently. The other week, I hosted a wine tasting at the OneTable/Jewish Insider Friday night dinner in Aspen, Colorado with over 100 attendees. I decided to see if I could help stimulate some interesting conversations amongst the group with an exuberant, fresh, somewhat spicy Rosé. It worked. The conversations were helped by the wine and the wine tasted better in that company.

The 2016 Yatir Rosé is a bit deeper then many Rosés to which I am accustomed. This wine is composed of 67% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 3% Viognier. It sits on the skin for 48 hours before being pressed which gives it its wonderful color. This unique blend yields sharply defined tastes of peaches, plums and overripe raspberries. Unlike many Rosés this blend creates a long finish, so it takes a bit of time to finish the first bottle. The second bottle goes down much easier.  Drink this with fresh melons, berries and raw meats. [YatirWinery]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Architect, urban designer, educator, theorist and author, he is most identified with Habitat 67, a housing complex built in conjunction with Expo 67 (the 1967 Montreal World’s Fair), Moshe Safdie turns 79… MLB pitcher (1971-1981) for the Giants, White Sox, Cubs and Orioles, now a sportscaster and author, he won the Cy Young Award and was an All Star in 1980, Steve Stone turns 70… Film producer, best known for the Lethal Weapon series and the first two Die Hard movies, Joel Silver turns 65… Film producer and a theatrical producer, in 2012 he became the first producer to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award, Scott Rudin turns 59… Media columnist for the Chicago Tribune, he has been a working journalist since he was17 years old, Phil Rosenthal turns 54… Veteran PR, political communications and media strategist, principal at Oakland-based Full Court Press Communications, past president and now board member of the Oakland Hebrew Day School, Daniel Eli Cohen turns 48… Rapper and record producer from Brooklyn, he is the producer, founder and CEO of Uncle Howie Records, William “Bill” Braunstein, better known as “Ill Bill,” turns 45… Program analyst at Crown Family Philanthropies in Chicago, Rachel Giattino turns 27… Daniel Jeydel, Associate Director within Neo@Ogilvy celebrating his birthday in Jerusalem with REALITY Sports… Scott Shagrin… Menachem Shemtov… Susan Farrell

SATURDAY: Nobel laureate in Physics and author of “The G-d Particle, Leon M. Lederman turns 95… President and chairman of the board of the Annenberg Foundation, a multibillion-dollar charity formed by her father (Walter Annenberg), Wallis Annenberg turns 78… Member of the British House of Lords, he is a professor, medical doctor, scientist, television anchor and Labour Party politician, Baron Robert Maurice Lipson Winston turns 77… Entrepreneur and CEO of several large corporations, creator of the first cable TV shopping channel in the 1980s later purchased by QVC, now CEO of FLW (sponsor of bass fishing tournaments), Irwin L. Jacobs turns 76… Four time winner of the World Series of Poker, Mickey Appleman turns 72… One of the four Talmudic scholars who serve as Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, one of the largest yeshivas in the world with more than 6,000 students, Rabbi Dovid Schustal turns 70… Congresswoman since 1989, former Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen turns 65… EVP at the Aspen Institute responsible for its policy and public programs, he was a Rhodes Scholar and he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (1980-1981), Elliot Gerson turns 65… Partner in the California-based appellate law firm of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, Feris M. Greenberger turns 61… Regional Director in Florida for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, Miriam Baron Jankovits turns 61… Professor at the UCLA School of Law, expert in human rights, international criminal law and international trade, Richard Harold Steinberg turns 57… Member of Congress since 2011 (D-Rhode Island-1), previously mayor of Providence (2003-2011), his mother is Sabra née Peskin, David Nicola Cicilline turns 56… Anchorage-based attorney, a member of the Alaska House of Representatives since 2012, Andrew Lewis “Andy” Josephson turns 53… Former UK Labour Party member of Parliament (2001-2013) including three years as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, now CEO of NYC-based International Rescue Committee, David Miliband turns 52… Rabbi in Beverly Hills after almost seven years at the Shul on the Beach in Venice CA, blogger at ShulOnTheInternet and FinkOrSwim, Eliyahu Fink turns 36… Baltimore native, now in Denver as the West Coast Regional Director for the Israel on Campus Coalition, Jonathan Steven (“Jon”) Falk turns 29…

SUNDAY: Former State Department official under JFK and LBJ, later VP of Continental Airlines, and then Managing Editor of the NY Times, James L. Greenfield turns 93… Billionaire, former member of Knesset, winner of the Israel Prize, real estate developer and philanthropist, Stef Wertheimer turns 91… One of the three co-founders of Comcast Corporation, he served as its chief financial officer and vice chairman, Julian A. Brodsky turns 84… San Antonio-based financial advisor and real estate broker, Norman Lee Nonkenturns 70… World reknowned violinist, violist, and conductor, Pinchas Zukerman turns 69… Co-creator of the the first-ever spreadsheet program (VisiCalc), he currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer of Alpha Software, Daniel Singer “Dan” Bricklin turns 66… Former high ranking civilian official in the Bush 43 Pentagon, now a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Douglas J. Feith turns 64… Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Avodah in Newton Centre, MA, since 1997, Rabbi Keith Stern turns 63… British solicitor advocate, he was chairman of The Jewish Chronicle, Anthony Julius turns 61… Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and screenwriter, Tony Kushner turns 61… Professor of psychology and philosophy at Tel Aviv University, Carlo Strenger turns 59… President of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group until January 2017, Doug Herzog turns 58… Co-founder of Ares Management, and owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Tony Ressler turns 58… Owner of interests in many Israeli firms including IKEA Israel, Israel Discount Bank and the Shufersal supermarket chain, Matthew Bronfman turns 58… Canadian journalist working for CNN International and La Presse, Jonathan Mannturns 57… Chicago-based philanthropist, Victoria Rivka Zell turns 49… Former NFL offensive lineman Ariel Solomon turns 49… Israeli former professional tennis player, noted for her fitting last name for a tennis player, in 2003 she was ranked 15th in the world, Anna Smashnova turns 41… Marketing and communications strategist at Los Angeles-based Meteorite Social Impact Advisors, Steven Max Levine turns 33… Former White House Jewish Liaison in the Bush 43 administration (2006-2009), now a director in the Atlanta office of Rubicon Global, Scott Raymond Arogeti turns 33… Eric Reiner turns 26… Chief of Staff of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, Jim Rosenberg… Legislative Director for Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15), Louise C. Bentsen… Chantal Low Katz… George Nahas

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]

Jul
13

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: Javanka land in Sun Valley amid anti-Trump tone | Greenblatt’s water deal | Zuckerberg’s road trip rules | Sam Altman’s United Slate

Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends 

SUN VALLEY 2017: “Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump to Attend Sun Valley Media and Tech Conference” by Brent Lang: “The pair will pay for their own travel to Sun Valley, Idaho, where the event is held. They will also pay for their accommodations… The annual conference is put on by Allen & Co., an investment bank with ties to Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and other industries. Warren Buffett, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, Snap chairman Michael Lynton, Viacom vice chairman Shari Redstone, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, and Discovery CEO David Zaslav are among the bold-faced names who have flocked to the resort.” [Variety] • Pics of attendees [DailyMail]

DRIVING THE CONVO: “The big talk this week is the presence of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump on the guest list. With kids in tow, the pair left DC amid the email scandal and arrived in Sun Valley on Wednesday afternoon. This has annoyed at least a few folks back at the White House, who chafe at the way Jared and Ivanka leave town in times of crisis. Last April, the pair were spotted in ski gear in Whistler (a JI scoop!) while the president and his aides were embroiled in leaks and infighting. Their trip this week has also raised eyebrows in Sun Valley, where some of the discussions on the first day had a distinctly anti-Trump tone…” [CNN]

HEARD EARLIER — “Media mogul Barry Diller on Trump: ‘I think it’s just a joke. Hopefully it will be over relatively soon.'” by Anita Balakrishnan: “He hasn’t done anything, really. I think it’s just a joke. Hopefully it will be over relatively soon,” Diller said. “It inexplicably began and it will inexplicably end.” The comment came in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley conference in Idaho. Diller has been friendly with Trump family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner over the years, he said, but he added that he probably wouldn’t bring up issues from the current administration with them.” [CNBC]

“Another session that had people talking was this morning’s session where well-known hedge fund managers Stanley Druckenmiller and Baupost Group’s Seth Klarman told the executives that many people confuse the performance of the stock market with the health of our economy, but that is not necessarily a great indicator. “They gave out a lot of data and investment information about our economy and how to determine growth,” said one attendee. “It was great because they really spoke their minds.” The panel was moderated by The New York Times/CNBC journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin.” [Deadline

Sun Valley session today: King Abdullah II from Jordan will speak one-on-one with talk show host Charlie Rose.

Paging Amb. Dermer… “Amid the barbecues and cycling outings, investors on the guest list, including Warren Buffett, will have the opportunity to mingle with CEOs from America’s biggest companies and dignitaries such as Yousef Al Otaiba, United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S.” [Bloomberg]

TOP TALKER: “US anti-boycott laws could come into play in Qatar crisis” by Josh Lederman: “Under obscure tax and export provisions designed decades ago to protect Israel, U.S. companies can be punished if they accept a foreign country’s demand to comply with a boycott not supported by the United States… While President Donald Trump has voiced support for the Saudi-led bloc, the United States isn’t backing the Qatar boycott… That could put American companies in a difficult position, even if so far there haven’t been any public indications of Saudi Arabia or its allies issuing a Qatar-or-us ultimatum. Some groups, sympathetic to the concerns about Qatar, have been pressuring U.S. businesses to cut ties.”

“The Counter Extremism Project, which includes former Sen. Joe Lieberman and is run by former U.N. Ambassador Mark Wallace, sent letters to American Airlines and others warning them to stop dealing with Qatar earlier this month… Given Trump’s position on the crisis, it’s unclear if his administration would punish U.S. companies for cutting ties with Qatar.” [AP] • Qatar and its opposing quartet: What’s next in the standoff? [CNN]

“Iran’s Stature Grows as Rivals Quarrel” by Yaroslav Trofimov: “With regional heavyweight Turkey taking Qatar’s side, the collapse of the Sunni alliance isn’t the only good news for Tehran. The growing alienation between the Trump administration and European nations, particularly Germany and France, is also making any new concerted international effort to pressure Iran increasingly unlikely.” [WSJ]

DRIVING THE DAY: “Trump envoy mediates water deal between Israel, Palestinians” by AFP: “Jason Greenblatt hailed an “important step forward” in a wider regional water deal, as Israel announced it would provide more than 32 million cubic metres of water to the Palestinians annually. “Water is a precious commodity in the Middle East. The United States welcomes the agreement reached by the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel which will allow for the sale of up to 33 million cubic metres of water from Israel to the PA,” Greenblatt said at a signing ceremony in Jerusalem.” [DailyMail

 “At a joint press conference in Jerusalem, Greenblatt adamantly refused to take any questions regarding his bid to relaunch peace negotiations.” [ToI]

KAFE KNESSET — Peace talks in the fall — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Kafe Knesset has learned that the POTUS special envoy, Jason Greenblatt, who is on his sixth visit to the region this week, said in some of his meetings that the plan and goal is to renew the process in the fall. Greenblatt has reiterated time and again that Palestinian economic prosperity is high on the US agenda and is crucial for building trust between the sides. He refused to take any questions about the process this morning during a special press conference convened today to announce a new Israeli-Palestinian water agreement, but he did stress that the water agreement is “an example of what can be achieved when the sides work together” and reminded that “President Trump has clarified that promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace is one of his highest priorities.”

At Wednesday’s press conference, when Kafe Knesset asked both sides what lessons could be learned from the successful dialogue on water to promote the political process between Netanyahu and Abbas, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi did give “my dear friend Jason” one piece of advice: “The discrete nature of the negotiations and contacts is one of the secrets of our success. It ensures that it is more serious and that we are not dragged into other issues.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset, including how Bibi’s friends are dropping like flies amid the corruption scandals, here[JewishInsider]

In a statement responding to the House Armed Services Committee’s amended National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2018 budget, the White House suggested that an additional $558 million for Israeli missile defense funding was a “misuse” of funds: “Misuse of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Funds: The Administration is concerned by the use of OCO funds for items not related to contingency operations, including an additional $558 million for Israel missile defense funding. The bill also proposes using OCO to fund additional end strength, ships, and homeland defense. Funding these enduring requirements in OCO would complicate the funding stability for associated outyear costs and runs contrary to the purpose of OCO.” [WhiteHouse] • Congress plans to debate the NDAA today [CSPAN]

TAYLOR FORCE ACT — Senators Demand Action on Palestinian Terror Payments — by Aaron Magid: During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing yesterday, Elliott Abrams testified in favor of the Taylor Force Act while former Ambassador Dan Shapiro urged the bill to be amended. One proposal floated by Shapiro was to add a national security waiver — similar with the six-month waiver on moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — that would allow President Donald Trump to waive the requirement of cutting off aid if viewed as appropriate. In response to a suggestion by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) about possibly shifting assistance to non-governmental organizations or peace projects, Abrams expressed skepticism. “If the penalty for spending money on terrorists is well it goes from box one to box two, that’s not much of a penalty. I think Palestinians need to be told: this has got to stop.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): “People sense weakness. Cut it all. Cut every last penny of it. Restart it when they (PA) change their behavior.” Paul also suggested that it’s up to Israeli lawmakers to take the first step. “If the Knesset can’t even withhold the tax money… what kind of message are we sending?” he asked. “If the Knesset is listening to us, for goodness sake you have got to do at least that first step.”

Ranking Democrat Ben Cardin (D-MD) expressed disappointment that no representative of the Trump administration was present at the hearing to offer the executive branch’s view on this legislation. [JewishInsider]

Noah Pollak, advocating in favor of the Taylor Force Act, emails us… “The hearing showed that a bipartisan consensus exists for addressing the problem of Palestinian Authority payments to terrorists. Having spoken to members and staff we are increasingly confident a strong bill will be approved out of committee with bipartisan support. ”

ANOTHER TRUMP WALL? “Trump lawyers want wall between Kushner, president” by Jonathan Swan: “President Trump’s outside legal team wants to wall off Jared Kushner from discussing the Russia investigation with his father-in-law… Members of Trump’s legal team — which is led by longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz, and includes conservative legal firebrand Jay Sekulow — are trying to cloak their startling demand with the two-word message to Kushner: Nothing personal… Members of Trump’s legal team are frustrated that Kushner has been discussing the investigation with the president, according to the sources.” [Axios

“With Glare on Trump Children, Political Gets Personal for President” by Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman: “[Jared] Kushner, colleagues say, has kept up a regular work schedule, meeting on Wednesdaywith Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, to discuss the administration’s impending moves on trade. He is also in touch with Jason D. Greenblatt, Mr. Trump’s Middle East envoy, who is in Israel for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders… Colleagues of Mr. Kushner said he had remained focused and upbeat despite the drumbeat of negative headlines — a trait they ascribe to his experience dealing with the legal troubles of his father, Charles Kushner, who was convicted of tax evasion and witness tampering.”[NYTimes]

ICYMI: “‘Jared Kosher’: Fox News Ticker Misidentifies Jared Kushner” [DailyBeast]

COLLISION: “Trump helicopter accident kept under wraps” by Emily Smith: “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were initially rumored to have been aboard at the time, but Trump insiders denied they were involved.” [NYPost

“Democrats clamor for Jared Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked” by David Smith, Sabrina Siddiqui, Ben Jacobs and Amanda Holpuch: “Norm Eisen, the former ethics tsar in Barack Obama’s administration, told the Guardian on Wednesday: “Given the nature of the meeting… I think, certainly, the security clearance should be re-evaluated. One must balance the principle of innocent until proven guilty with the less prudential standards that go into giving a security clearance…” On Capitol Hill, Democratic senators were happy to talk about Kushner. Connecticut’s Chris Murphy…  said: “I don’t know why Jared Kushner still has a job… He watched his father-in-law go on TV and say, ‘No one in my campaign talked to the Russian government.’ He knew that was false.” … New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich… was terse when asked about his role as one of the president’s top advisers. “Then he should act like a senior adviser,” Heinrich said.”[Guardian]

NORM VS. ALAN — Norm Eisen tweets with about recent Alan Dershowitz Op-Ed about the need to investigate if meeting with Russian lawyer was illegal: “There is much in this Alan Dershowitz piece that I agree with. Note that he’s (slowly!) coming around to possibility crimes were committed.” [Twitter]

Dershowitz: “I’m happy Norm Eisen is slowly coming to my view: we shouldn’t rush to yell “lock her/him up” unless clear breach found of existing statute.” [Twitter

“Photo surfaces of evangelical pastors laying hands on Trump in the Oval Office” by Sarah Pulliam Bailey: “Photos of the gathering were posted by Johnnie Moore, who handles media relations for several pastors and ministries… Moore said that many of these leaders are in regular communication with the White House, including with [Jared] Kushner… He said many of the leaders there are hoping the White House will appoint someone to become an ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, a position that was held by Rabbi David Saperstein until Trump took office.” [WashPost

2020 WATCH: “Sanders won’t take 2020 presidential bid ‘off the table’” by Ben Kamisar: “I am not taking it off the table, I just have not made any decisions. And I think it’s much too early,” [Bernie Sanders] said in an interview set to air Thursday morning with SiriusXM Progress’ “Make it Plain with Mark Thompson.” “Our job right now is… to take on all of [President] Trump’s reactionary proposals … There’s a whole lotta fights that we have to fight. It is just too early to be talking about an election 3 1/2 years from now.” [TheHill

SPOTLIGHT: “Mark Zuckerberg Hits the Road to Meet Regular Folks—With a Few Conditions” by Reid J. Epstein and Deepa Seetharaman: “Mr. Ball said Mr. Zuckerberg’s representatives instructed them not to relay verbatim quotes from their discussions with him if asked by reporters… Despite his world-wide fame, Mr. Zuckerberg isn’t always recognized by his surprise hosts. In June, he attended an Iftar dinner in Minneapolis. Mr. Zuckerberg arrived after the prayers and the other people in the room, who were mostly refugees from Somalia, didn’t know who he was, said attendee Mohammed Jama… The Zuckerberg entourage, which can be up to eight people, includes a professional photographer. His aides said there is no prohibition against others snapping pictures… As Mr. Zuckerberg was leaving, he made one request, Mr. Moore (a Democratic union steelworker who was a volunteer for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign) said. “He said, ‘If there are any news reporters that call you, just make sure you tell them I’m not running for president.’” [WSJ

“With the United Slate, Sam Altman presents a political vision for California… and the U.S.” by Jonathan Shieber: “As the country grapples with income inequality, a lack of affordable housing, and a potential labor crisis brought on by technological advancements like artificial intelligence and automation, Y Combinator president Sam Altman is launching a new initiative to try and create political solutions in his home state and potentially the nation. The new initiative, which Altman launched today, is a combination of a political platform and a call for candidates that the 32-year-old tech millionaire can support in their bids for governor, lieutenant governor, and Congress.” [TechCrunch]

** Good Thursday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: David Einhorn’s Hedge Fund Sheds More Than $400 Million in Investor Outflows [WSJ] • Hedge fund titan Paul Singer scores big win after NRG Energy surges 25% in single day [CNBC] • AstraZeneca’s CEO Soriot to join Israeli drugs company Teva: report [Reuters] • Kushner’s Co. rushin’ to sell two buildings in Brooklyn Heights [NYPost] • Robert Kraft, Fred Wilpon among six owners to buy into new esports venture Overwatch League [ESPN] • Mystery of Bob Iger’s Sun Valley absence solved [NYPost] • WeWork has a new COO, Jen Berrent [TechCrunch] • New Lloyd, Same Goldman: The CEO survived the financial crisis and then cancer. Now he’s pushing a bold commitment to trading that’s out of favor in the industry. [Businessweek]

“Hungary to take down controversial Soros posters” by Lili Bayer: “Hungary’s government will take down controversial posters featuring U.S. financier George Soros, Hungarian online news portal Index reported Wednesday… In its justification for ending the campaign, the government said it had originally planned for the campaign to end on July 15.” [Politico

WATCH — Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon tells Christiane Amanpour Netanyahu should condemn Hungary: “We have to distinguish. On the Hungarian case, the ambassador was very right (in criticizing the government). What is going on in Israel with the money of George Soros actually delegitimizing the state of Israel as a Jewish state is a different story… You know, when it comes to anti-Semitism, we should be on a very clear side to defend Jewish people, including George Soros.” [CNN]

“Israel Seeking Saudi Flight Agreement to Bring Pilgrims to Mecca” by Jonathan Ferziger and Yaacov Benmeleh: “Israel is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to allow it to send special Hajj pilgrimage flights to Mecca… “Reality has changed,” Kara said in an interview this week at his office in Jerusalem. “This is a good time to make the request, and I’m working hard on it.” … Kara said he’s spoken to government officials in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries about the Hajj plan and they’re “ready to do it, but it’s very sensitive and it’s still a matter of negotiation.” [Bloomberg]

Bipartisan Letter Demands Answers on Bob Levinson — by Aaron Magid: Nearly two dozen lawmakers led by Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) published a letter to President Donald Trump imploring the White House to increase diplomatic efforts to secure the release of U.S. citizen Bob Levinson detained in Iran for ten years. “We request that you reengage with Tehran and make it clear that continued delay in returning Bob… is another obstacle Iran must overcome if it wants to improve relations with the United States,” they wrote. Michael Anton, a spokesman for the National Security Council, declined to respond to Jewish Insider’s request for comment on the White House’s efforts to secure Levinson’s release or his current medical condition in Iran. [JewishInsider]

“Alan Gross, after spending 5 years in a Cuban prison, is starting over in Israel” by Ron Kampeas: “Gross, 68, wanted to tell me his news: He and his wife, Judy, had made aliyah… “It came through on May 3, which is Golda Meir’s birthday, and a day after my birthday, which is also Herzl’s birthday,” he said. “It was long overdue. I’d been going there for more than 40 years, and I’d worked in Israel and around the region.” … As a contractor who worked in development, Gross was especially busy in Israel and the Palestinian areas working on joint Israeli-Palestinian development after the launch of the Oslo peace talks in 1993. “I was in Israel probably 60 times before I made aliyah,” he said. Alan and Judy Gross live in Tel Aviv… Gross could not pinpoint a time he started thinking about making aliyah. “I can’t say Cuba had anything to do with it,” he said. “I don’t think my Jewish background had anything to do with my treatment.”” [JTA]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Accusations and Rancor as Elite School’s Leader Departs” by Kate Taylor: “The dispute comes down to a meeting between them on Oct. 20… During the meeting [Jessica] Bagby mentioned that two parents had contacted her with concerns about the Conversations About Race program. She then asked [George] Burns, “You know what the problem here is?” When he asked what it was, he wrote, she said… apparently referring to the parents who had complained, “It’s the Zionists — the Jews.” Mr. Burns wrote that he was stunned and told her that there were plenty of Jewish families who supported the program and families of different backgrounds who opposed it. Mr. Burns said she then made an additional comment about “this group of Jewish parents” who were complaining about the program.” [NYTimes]

“Sheldon Silver’s 2015 Corruption Conviction Is Overturned” by Benjamin Weiser: “In vacating Mr. Silver’s conviction, the appellate court cited a United States Supreme Court ruling last year involving Bob McDonnell, a former Republican governor of Virginia, that narrowed the definition of the kind of official conduct that can serve as the basis of a corruption prosecution. Prosecutors may retry Mr. Silver, a 73-year-old Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who served for more than two decades as Assembly speaker.” [NYT]

“H.L. Mencken’s Cultured Pearl to return for candidate’s campaign launch” by Sarah Meehan: “The smell of red onions sauteing over a gas stove wafted through Nate Loewentheil’s house on Patterson Park as he and his father, Stephan Loewentheil, prepared a second batch of “Marvelous Marty’s Mexican Chili” on Monday morning… Loewentheil, 31, is running for a spot representing Maryland’s 46th District in the state House of Delegates during next year’s midterm elections. He most recently served as a special assistant to President Barack Obama and a senior policy adviser at the National Economic Council, where he led the White House task force on Baltimore. He holds both a bachelor’s degree and law degree from Yale University.” [BaltimoreSun]

BIRTHDAYS: Teacher for 27 years in the Los Angeles United School District (1964-1991), president of the San Fernando Valley Council of NA’AMAT USA, Zita Gluskin turns 91… Scottsdale, Arizona resident, Howie K. Kipnes turns 78… One of the highest box-office grossing actors ever, his maternal grandmother was Anna Lifschutz, a Jewish immigrant from Minsk, he is best known as the title character in the Indiana Jones film series, Harrison Ford turns 75… Radio and television talk show host, co-host of “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN since 2001 with Michael Wilbon, former sportswriter and columnist for The Washington Post, Anthony Irwin “Tony” Kornheiser turns 69… Director of governmental and regulatory affairs for Calpine Corporation’s East Region (Calpine is an operator of 83 electric power plants), Stuart Widom turns 60… Manager of institutional affairs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Jennifer Rebecca Goodman Lilintahl turns 37… Co-founder and COO of Bubby, a tech enabled yenta-like matchmaking app, previously an official at AIPAC and AJC Global, Sarah Persitz turns 32… Co-founder and president at Time Flash, a digital time capsule service, Jared Kash turns 24… Founding Partner and CEO of Trinnacle Capital Management, Eric Kohlmann Kupper… Louis Panzer

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]

Supreme Court hears Rabbi’s Frequent Flier Case

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A major airline argued at the Supreme Court Tuesday that individuals should have no recourse to the courts if they’re kicked out of a frequent flier program without…

Jewish Dealer Kenny Schachter on the Art World

Saturday, November 30, 2013

In the latest issue of the New Yorker Magazine, Nick Paumgarten questions why are so many people paying so much money for art? In the article, Kenny Schachter,…

Swiss Stays “Think Yiddish, Dress British” Edition Features Yiddish Phrases

Thursday, November 28, 2013

David Schottenstein’s collar stays startup Swiss Stays announced a special edition called “Think Yiddish, Dress British” where each stay features a Yiddish word on one side relating to…

A Rabbi, Senator, Congresswoman & Ambassador walk into Eli’s…

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Not the start of a joke. Rather, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Senator Cory Booker, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer all went out to…

Norpac Hosts Sen. Ayotte & Rep. Chabot

Monday, November 18, 2013

On Sunday, Norpac hosted a fundraiser for Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and a private dinner fundraiser for Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).  

Legendary Jewish Philanthropist Paul Moshe Reichmann Passes Away at 83

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Paul Moshe Reichmann, the Orthodox Jewish real estate developer who made and lost billions of dollars while transforming the skylines of Toronto, New York and London, died on…