Aug
29

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Daily Kickoff: Bibi hosts D.C. guests | NYT: “Can Israel & Arab States be Friends?” | Steve Goldberg profile | Gerald Hines, a Master at Sharing Risk

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KAFE KNESSET — Bibi meets friends from DC — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The PM took some time off from his summer vacation in Caesarea yesterday, hosting a bipartisan delegation of think tank experts that included former senior Bush and Obama administration officials such as Dennis Ross, Philip Gordon, Rob Danin and James Jeffrey. The group has been touring the Middle East in the past week, exploring regional developments. After stops in Riyadh and Ankara, where they met Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the group proceeded to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, against the backdrop of recent attempts to convene an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit under Egyptian and Russian auspices.

Besides Netanyahu, the delegation also met with Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz; and they will meet the leader of the opposition, Isaac Herzog, later today.

During the meeting, Netanyahu presented the group with his latest diplomatic vision, emphasizing his belief in a regional process with Arab states as the only way to solve the conflict. He reiterated his willingness to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas anytime, anywhere. Netanyahu expressed his satisfaction with the nearly completed negotiations over the MOU. However, he raised his concern that after the election, President Obama will feel free to make a final move on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UN Security Council, and that signing the MOU could make that easier for Obama to do.

A senior Israeli official told Jewish Insider that while the delegation was comprised of mostly “has beens,” Netanyahu considers them all important and influential: “There is a high probability that some of these people will fill substantial posts in the next administration, whomever wins the race to the White House.”

NYTimes Editorial: Can Israel and the Arab States Be Friends? — “There is evidence that ties between Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states and Israel are not only improving but, after developing in secret over many years, could evolve into a more explicit alliance as a result of their mutual distrust of Iran. Better relations among these neighbors could put the chaotic Middle East on a more positive course. They could also leave the Palestinians in the dust, a worrisome prospect.” [NYTimes]

Dr. Dore Gold tweets: “Yes, and peace with Arab states will spread to Palestinians as well.” [Twitter]

Hillel Neuer: “Peaceful relations between Israel & Arab states have never been better, so NYT figured out why that is a “danger.”” [Twitter]

Spotted in Playbook: “U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro grabbing a beer yesterday evening with Under Secretary of State Tom Shannon on the patio at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. They clinked glasses filled with Goldstar beer.” [Politico]

“Will Rahm Emanuel be US’s next ambassador to Israel? Not so fast, says Chicago mayor” by Herb Keinon: “Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz reported “an absolute delicious piece of gossip floating around that, up to a point, makes some sense: The next US ambassador to Israel could be one Rahm Emanuel.” Asked about the possibility at a news conference later the same day, Emanuel termed it “ridiculous,” adding that he hasn’t been asked and that he is not interested.” [JPost] h/t Daroff

Over The Weekend — “Clinton Leads Trump by 43 Points Among Jewish Voters in Florida” by Jacob Kornbluh: “According to the poll, conducted by Jim Gerstein from GBA Strategies, Clinton is supported by 66 percent of Jewish voters, while Trump is supported by 23 percent. Trump’s image among Jewish voters is underwater by 50 percent. Only 21 percent view the father of Ivanka Trump and former Grand Marshal at the Israel Day Parade favorably. A whopping 71 percent have an unfavorable view of him. Clinton is viewed favorably by 57 percent of Jewish voters and unfavorably by 33 percent. The only group Trump is doing well is among Orthodox Jewish voters (6 percent of the Florida Jewish electorate). According to the poll, Trump leads Clinton 66-22 percent among Orthodox Jews. Among all non-Orthodox voters, Clinton leads Trump 77-22.” [JewishInsider; NewRepublic]

Yair Rosenberg: “If Trump is bleeding previously-Republican voters in one of the more conservative-leaning Jewish constituencies in America, just two months before election day, it spells trouble for him nationwide.” [TabletMag]

JI Interview with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL): “People have short memories and forget that just in December of last year Trump stood in front of the RJC and said, ‘You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money.’ And then went on to say, ‘You want to control your own politicians.’ That came and went, and I don’t think it got the attention it deserved. Although, obviously, all of this has sort of settled in. That was one when he couldn’t disavow David Duke, when he refused to acknowledge that his Twitter account uses images of the most anti-Semitic social media.”

“And then add to that – and I think this is probably after the poll was done – the fact that the candidate who says he’s going to have a policy of extreme vetting, apparently failed to used that own policy when hiring a campaign manager (Steven Bannon, who was hired as the campaign’s CEO). He’s got a campaign manager who, as it has been reported, didn’t want his kids to go to school with Jews and he doesn’t like Jews. So, all of that together and then couple that with the community’s longstanding relationship with Secretary Clinton, I don’t think it’s any surprise that those numbers are there, and I expect that the numbers would be even bigger on Election Day.”

“The irony is that in the poll those who support Trump are willing to ignore everything that has been said over the course of this campaign with the hope that perhaps in the coming weeks leading up to the election he may finally get to a point that is less concerning, less reckless, and more responsible. But there’s absolutely no reason to think that that’s the case. Simply being able to deliver a speech from a teleprompter doesn’t negate months and months of concerning statements about the way that Trump would behave as President of the United States.”

Q: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming to New York next month. Do you expect any progress on a new MOU? 

TD: “I don’t know yet what meetings will be taking place when he comes but I certainly view it as an opportunity to try to move the MOU talks to their conclusion. I think it would send a very positive message to everyone around the world about the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship… I hope that there is some progress and that it gets wrapped up soon. I’ve made that clear both to our administration and to the Prime Minister, and I would love to wait and see what happens on this trip.”

“Donald Trump Appears to Take Sheldon Adelson’s Advice on Humility” by Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman: “Trump met privately last week with Sheldon G. Adelson… Meeting in his suite in New York’s St. Regis hotel, Mr. Adelson, the chief executive of Las Vegas Sands and one of the Republican Party’s largest donors, told Mr. Trump that he was committed to his campaign, but urged the brash candidate to demonstrate a measure of humility, according to five Republicans briefed on the conversation who were not authorized to discuss it publicly. The conversation took place last Wednesday, the day before Mr. Trump used a rally in Charlotte, N.C., to say, without offering any specific examples, that he had regrets over “saying the wrong thing.”” [NYTimes]

“Turned off by Trump: Republican mega-donors focus on congressional races” by Peter Stone: “Three fundraising sources with good ties to Adelson said he is focused on trying to keep control of Congress, though he could donate to Trump if his gaffes are eliminated and his poll numbers improve.”[TheGuardian]

PROFILE: “A Republican Who Thinks Trump Is Playing Too Nice” by Ben Smith: “And in Israel last year, a wave of [Steve] Goldberg’s phone calls on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party made headlines on election day for referring to the American president as “Hussein Obama.” … Goldberg had hoped to get in on the Trump campaign. When we met earlier in the summer, he showed me some reassuring texts from Manafort, suggesting that some kind of gig was in the works. Even last Friday, he told me, “I really hope Paul does get empowered.” His Netanyahu connection also gives him a line into the mercurial casino magnate and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, who is Netanyahu’s key patron, and who was the subject of reports earlier this summer that he would finance a pro-Trump super PAC, one of many things that hasn’t come through for The Donald.” [BuzzFeed]

TOP TALKER: “Ex-wife says Trump campaign CEO made anti-Semitic remarks” by Brian Melley and Jill Colvin: “An ex-wife of Donald Trump’s new campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, said Bannon made anti-Semitic remarks when the two battled over sending their daughters to private school nearly a decade ago, according to court papers reviewed Friday by The Associated Press. Piccard said her ex-husband had objected to sending their twin daughters to an elite Los Angeles academy because he “didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.” “He said he doesn’t like Jews and that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiney brats,'” Piccard said in a 2007 court filing. Alexandra Preate, a spokeswoman for Bannon, denied Friday night that he made anti-Semitic remarks about the private school. “He never said that,” Preate said.” [AP]

Are Trump’s grass roots Jewish supporters the election’s dark horse?” by Sean Savage:“[Ken] Abramowitz said he grades politicians on three issues; their ability to grow the economy, protect our culture and protect our nation. “Trump would get a ‘B,’” he said. “I’m hoping over the next few weeks, he evolves. As he gets more input on issues, he has the ability to reach an ‘A.’ Hillary would get an ‘F.’ She has no chance of upgrading herself.” [JNS]

Heard on CNN — John Berman: “Just to be clear, he said last night to a New Hampshire station he doesn’t want racists to vote for him, so at least a form of repudiation here. You have not committed to voting for him yet. Is it better than a 50/50 chance you think you’ll vote for Donald Trump?” Charlie Spies: “Look, we have two bad options. I think if he wasn’t making this whole policy mishmash, we’d be talking about Hillary Clinton scandals with the Clinton Foundation. I don’t like either of my options. But I hope that — for the sake of the down-ballot tickets, I think it’s critical the Republicans keep the Senate, and we can’t have Trump get crushed if we’re going to keep the Senate. So he has to straighten out his campaign and do a better job of articulating commonsense policies.”

“Streisand: Clinton is the ‘Yentl’ of politics, will do ‘whatever’ to elect her” by Paul Bedard:“I was trying to make my first movie, Yentl, and man after man in Hollywood told me I was just an actress — I could never direct and produce a film. So many of us — especially women — know how it feels to be told, “No, you can’t.” It’s easy to believe that about ourselves. It’s harder to believe the truth: that we have power, and we can use it. Hillary Clinton is the proof.” [WashExaminer]

IRAN DEAL — Sen. Michael Bennet discusses his support for the Iran nuclear deal: “I think the deal is going well, so far. Obviously, we have to be vigilant.… And the people opposed to the deal I think need to answer the American people on what would have happened if the deal had not been struck. And I think what would have happened is Iran would have built a bomb in secret to try to catch the attention of the United States Congress and they would have used the proceeds from the lifting of sanctions. What Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand is the money was not in the U.S., so they would have had the benefit of sanctions relief, and I think they would have built the bomb in secret.”[DenverPost] • Iran deploys Russian-made S-300 missiles at its Fordow nuclear site [Reuters

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Chemi Peres makes predictions for Israel’s tech scene [TechCrunch] • Only in Palm Beach: The $95 Million Tear-Down [NYTimes] • Warned of a Crash, Start-Ups in Silicon Valley Narrow Their Focus [NYTimes]

SPOTLIGHT: “This Skyscraper Billionaire Is a Master at Sharing Risk” by Tom Metcalf:“Gerald Hines, the 91-year-old real estate developer, has always been known for his belief in the striking and iconic. He built the Lipstick Building in Manhattan, helped develop Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Jersey City tower and today is constructing the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco. Hines Group today is a far cry from the one-man outfit Gerald Hines founded in Houston in 1957.” [Bloomberg; RealDeal]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Israel wants to bulldoze this ramshackle village, but Europe is providing life support” by William Booth in Susiya, West Bank: “For a quick reality check on the current stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there’s no better place to visit than this little village of miserable huts and sheep pens in the middle of nowhere. Israel’s military authority in the West Bank wants to demolish the Palestinian community, contending that the ramshackle structures, made of old tires and weathered tarpaulins, were built without permits and must come down.” [WashPost]

Challenge Flag: “Following HonestReporting’s requests, the Washington Post has made a subtle yet necessary correction to the paragraph in question, which has removed the word “government.” However, there is no acknowledgment anywhere that a correction has been made or that an error was committed in the first instance.” [HonestReporting]

LongRead: “When LBJ and Goldwater Agreed to Keep Race Out of the Campaign” by Mark Updegrove: “Unlike many of the “no” votes, Goldwater’s assertion of states’ rights was not a smokescreen for personal racism—far from it. Personally, Goldwater, half-Jewish on his father’s side, loathed segregation. He ended it at his family’s department stores, and vigorously pursued banning it in both Phoenix’s public schools and the Arizona National Guard.” [PoliticoMag]

Tevi Troy’s latest: “How Presidents Can Blow It During a National Disaster: The expansion of federal capacities, public expectations and media scrutiny are shaping the response to the Louisiana floods, Zika and other crises.” [WSJ]

DESSERT: “Four Seasons Dessert With Barry Diller” by David Fowler: “In 1990, as a young advertising copywriter, I was summoned to the Four Seasons restaurant for a job interview with Barry Diller. The moguls kept coming, kissing the ring. When we finished, Mr. Diller just stood up, and we walked out. Did he realize we’d walked out on the check? Should I mention it? Blessedly, I said nothing. Only later did I realize I’d witnessed dessert at a Four Seasons power lunch. You didn’t wait for the check. A bill got sent to somebody, somewhere. You simply walked out like you owned the place. Which, pretty much, the moguls who dined there did.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Joseph ‘Jack’ Lew turns 61… Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1995-99), Robert Rubin turns 78… Longtime movie and television actor, Elliott Gould (born Elliott Goldstein) turns 78… CEO of the Consumer Technology Association and author of the New York Times best-seller “Ninja Innovation,” Gary Shapiro turns 60… Election law guru and head of the DC office of Clark Hill PLC, Charlie Spies… Philanthropist and hotel / real estate mogul, co-founder of Dog Tag Bakery, Connie Milstein… Senior Counsel at the Federal Communications Commission, Amy L. Nathan… Joe Lissak… Warren Stern…

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]
Aug
25

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Daily Kickoff: Bibi to visit the U.S. next month | Why Obama Let Iran’s Green Revolution Fail | Secrets of Super Siblings: Emanuel & Wojcicki Families

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JI EXCLUSIVE — Netanyahu to Receive Hudson Institute Award During Visit to NY: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the U.S.-Israel relationship and the challenges Israel faces in the Middle East at a dinner hosted by the Hudson Institute during his visit to New York next month. Netanyahu will be presented with the conservative think tank’s 2016 Herman Kahn Award at a gala dinner on September 22nd in Manhattan, according to an invitation obtained by Jewish Insider. Rather than offering formal remarks, the Prime Minister will engage in a conversation with Roger Hertog, President of the Hertog Foundation and Chairman of The Tikvah Fund. Host committee members include Jack David, Ira and Ingeborg Rennert, Betsy and Walter Stern, and Paul Singer, among others.[JewishInsider] • Flashback: Netanyahu was honored by the American Enterprise Institute in November 2015 [DailyKickoff]

Aaron David Miller tells us: “Netanyahu is looking past Obama to the next administration. In the next several months there is important unfinished business that he believes needs to get done: concluding the MOU, doing what he can to preempt some 11th hour move by the administration on the peace process that puts him in a tough spot, and keeping Iran as a front burner issue. As for improving any relationship with the President, this has been the most dysfunctional relationship between a U.S. President and an Israeli Prime Minister arguably in the history of the US-Israeli relations, and in many areas one of the most unproductive too. Maybe they can avoid another blow-up but it’s too late for any reset.”

“Why Bibi is rejoicing as Obama’s term nears end” by Ben Caspit: “Netanyahu was asked if he is worried about the possibility that Obama will take advantage of the period between the election and his leaving the White House to launch a new diplomatic initiative to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “Happy is the man who is always afraid,” said Netanyahu, referencing the Book of Proverbs (28:14), but he didn’t elucidate. He then treated his audience to his mode of operation with regard to the United States: “Unlike China, for example,” Netanyahu said, “where the leader determines the agenda and everyone follows accordingly, the system that sets the American agenda is much more complicated. The president is not a one-man show.”

“There is public opinion to contend with, there is Congress, and there is the media. Anyone who thinks that when dealing with America you only have to work with the president is wrong. You have to face the entire system. Netanyahu went on to present the journalists with Gallup poll results showing a steady rise in Israel’s standing and an increase in public support for Israel among the American public. “While it is true that we have a problem on the campuses, overall support for Israel in the US has never been higher, and that is what really matters,” he asserted decisively. “Israel is popular in the United States, and I’m popular in the United States too. If only I would be received in Tel Aviv the way I’m received in New York and Washington, and I’m not just talking about the Jews either.” [AlMonitor]

KAFE KNESSET — Lapid Stings Bibi on the Diplomatic Front — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Yair Lapid is using the news drought of late August — during which the Knesset, the government and even the Prime Minister are taking a break — to increasingly challenge Netanyahu on the diplomatic front. After publishing an article on the US-Israel alliance in Foreign Policy this week, Lapid announced his plan to lead a demonstration in Stockholm next week, against the “anti-Israel currents” in the Scandinavian state. At the same time, one of the leading MKs from his party, Ofer Shelach, took a group of ambassadors and diplomats on a tour of Israel’s northern border, presenting the security challenges coming from Syria and Lebanon.

Lapid hopes to create a public perception that he is filling a vacuum, created by Netanyahu’s decision to hold the Foreign Ministry to himself instead of appointing a full-time Minister. Lapid has accused Netanyahu of weakening the important Ministry, and in so doing, hurting Israel’s hasbara efforts across the world. Netanyahu dismisses these accusations as politically driven nonsense, but Lapid keeps hitting harder and raising his profile on the issue. Israel is indeed a special country: one in which the opposition challenges the government by presenting the government’s challenges and policies to foreign diplomats.

“Why Obama Let Iran’s Green Revolution Fail” by Eli Lake: “Obama wasn’t just reluctant to show solidarity in 2009, he feared the demonstrations would sabotage his secret outreach to Iran. In his new book, “The Iran Wars,” Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon uncovers new details on how far Obama went to avoid helping Iran’s green movement. Behind the scenes, Obama overruled advisers who wanted to do what America had done at similar transitions from dictatorship to democracy, and signal America’s support.” [BloombergView]

“Iran Vessels Harassed U.S. Destroyer Near Persian Gulf, Navy Says” by Paul Sonne: “The USS Nitze, an Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer, was transiting international waters near the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday when the four Iranian vessels approached at high speed and failed to respond to 12 separate radio communications, according to Cdr. William Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.” [WSJ]

Lawrence Korb & Michael Wackenreuter: “Side Deals like the $400 Million for Iran Are Just Part of Diplomacy” [PoliticoMag]

“Tony Blair Praises Clinton’s Work on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks” by Jacob Kornbluh:“In an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush on his podcast “Off Message,” former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he has “huge regard” for Clinton’s work on the issue. “I worked very closely with Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state,” he said.  “I was handling parts of the Middle East peace process at that time. And, you know, I’ve got a huge regard for her. I mean, I think she is an outstandingly capable and decent person. You know, I’ve worked with her really very closely over that, on very tricky issues, where the politics was extremely delicate, and where, you know, there were many different and contradictory currents,” Blair added.” [JewishInsider]

“In Israel’s religious press, Hillary Clinton is invisible” by Daniella Cheslow:“Hillary Clinton may become the president of Israel’s most important ally, but her image is banished from a significant swath of the country’s media: the ultra-Orthodox press whose deeply conservative readership chafes at images of women. “For us there is no question. We will not publish pictures of women, period,” said Meni Shwartz, editor of the ultra-Orthodox news site Behadrei Haredim.” [AP]

“What turns many Jews away from Trump energizes his supporters” by Eitan Arom: “I like the idea that somebody fresh and new and a little bit vulgar is getting ahead,” said Culver City resident Leslie Fuhrer Friedman, who attends the Pacific Jewish Center on Venice Beach. “Does he say uncouth things?” she said. “Of course. You know, he’s kind of like an Israeli in the Knesset. He’s a little rude.” Michael Mahgerefteh, 45, a Beverly Hills resident born in Tehran, said many Persian Jews fault the Obama administration for not projecting an air of strength that would help shield Israel from her enemies. “A lot of us feel like Israel is our country, more than the U.S., or Iran even,” he said. “All the stuff that’s happened in the last seven or eight years, which I think Hillary will continue, is bad for Israel.” [JewishJournal]

“Trump campaign offices opened up across Israel” by Yoni Kempinski: “The Republican Party in Israel opened the first office of an American political party in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area Wednesdaynight. The office, which will service the Gush Dan and Sharon regions, will be used for get out the vote operations and a campaign call center, work by campaign volunteers, and will act as a base of operations for the Israeli campaign’s leadership team. Trump’s Israel operation already has offices in Jerusalem and Modiin, with a fourth location to be opened over the Green Line in Samaria.” [INN]

“Trump’s Lawyers Had a Very Good Summer” by Russ Choma: “One firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torress & Friedman, which the campaign paid $69,000 in July, has long represented Trump’s real estate interests and handled a defamation suit Trump filed in 2005 against a journalist who questioned his wealth. (The journalist won.) In April, a partner at the firm, David Friedman, was named an “Israel advisor” to the Trump campaign.” [MotherJones]

“AP’s Bombshell Clinton Foundation Report Comes Under Scrutiny” by Michael Calderone:“Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign fired back Wednesday after a major Associated Press report raised serious ethical questions over ties between the State Department under Clinton and her family’s charitable organization, with Clinton’s team arguing that the AP data was woefully out of context.”[HuffPost]

Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon tweets: “Another “donor” who met with Hillary Clinton, according to AP: the late Elie Wiesel. This might be the most galling example yet.” [Twitter]

“DNC staffers make fun of Jerry Nadler’s weight in leaked emails” by Marisa Schultz: “The petty mocking by DNC staffers comes as Nadler stuck his neck out for Obama, as New York City’s only Jewish Democratic House member to support the controversial Iran nuclear deal.” [NYPost]

**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**

PROFILE: “In just 12 years, the Facebook founder built an empire of 1.71 billion followers. His next goal: to friend the rest of humanity” by Dave Gershgorn: “Down the hall from Mark Zuckerberg’s desk sits a virtual reality studio. Foreign heads of state and other dignitaries have been known to lose themselves here in games of zero-gravity Ping-Pong and the real-seeming experience of firing virtual fireworks at each other. Such are their number, and frequency, that on an early summer morning Zuckerberg is at a loss to remember—or perhaps too diplomatic to divulge—one of their names. He does, however, recall the anecdotal nugget of the man’s visit. “He wouldn’t leave,” says Zuckerberg, sitting in a glass-walled conference room in Facebook’s cavernous and almost factorylike headquarters in Menlo Park, California.” [PopSci]

35 Innovators Under 35: “Why the future of communication could be on your wrist” by Peter Burrows: “Ari Roisman clearly covets human connection. Minutes after meeting me, the 32-year-old CEO of Glide gladly settles into a conversation about the role of Judaism in his life and how he gave up a promising career in clean energy to move to Jerusalem. “My entire consciousness of this world is that it is a gift,” he says, intently. Since 2012, Roisman has been striving to create a more human alternative to text messaging. Rather than typing short messages on tiny smartphone keys, sometimes adding emojis in a desperate stab to impart nonverbal emotion, you can use Glide’s app to send video messages with a single button push.” [MITTechReview]

LongRead: “Secrets of Super Siblings” by Charlotte Alter: “Nine families raised children who all went on to extraordinary success. Here’s what they have in common… The Emanuels would go on to become the stuff of legend and are often called the Jewish Kennedys: bioethicist Zeke is a vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania, a former Obama Administration official and one of the main architects of the Affordable Care Act; Rahm is the mayor of Chicago and a former chief of staff to President Obama; and Ari created William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest talent agencies in Hollywood.”

“Esther Wojcicki was having a pool party. Her husband Stan was chair of the physics department at Stanford, and they regularly hosted barbecues for students and their families. Their daughters Susan, Janet and Anne would interrogate the guests about theoretical physics when they weren’t busy passing hors d’oeuvres or throwing each other in the pool. Susan is now the CEO of YouTube, Janet is a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Uni­versity of California, San Francisco, and Anne is a co-founder and the CEO of genetics company 23andMe.” [TimeMag]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Dwindling Amazon Jewish community keeps faith despite religious exodus” by Ryan Schuessler: “On a humid Friday night, the last Jews of Iquitos gather in the back room of a mattress shop to worship in a language few of them even understand. Iquitos – the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road – is home to one of the last Jewish communities in the Amazon basin, but that may not be true for much longer: a modern exodus to Israel has seen the city’s Jewish population drop by more than 80% in the past decade.” [TheGuardian]

CAMPUS BEAT — Maccabee Task Force Executive Director David Brog emails… “Earlier this week a surprising report surfaced in the media that a modest grant approved by the Maccabee Task Force to the David Horowitz Freedom Center had been used to fund a poster campaign that targeted student activists. The Maccabee Task Force never authorized or approved such a poster campaign. And the David Horowitz Freedom Center has since confirmed that it never used our funds for this campaign. In short, the newspaper report was completely false.”

BIRTHDAYS: Adam Friedman… Gene Simmons… Carina Grossman… Robert Cohen… Award winning British novelist who has been described as the “Jewish Jane Austen,” Howard Jacobson turns 74… Founder of Mosaic H+H Advisors, Harley Mayersohn… Immediate Past Board Chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Lorin Fife… Jackie Rotman… Leni Reiss…

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]
Aug
22

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Daily Kickoff: Dershowitz playing the Donald for Hillary? | Spotlight on Jared K | Deutsche Bank’s $10B Scandal | The Hasidic Jews behind Beach Gal

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Ed note: We’re back after a short break and a whirlwind tour of Israel with the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s REALITY Storytellers experience [GroupPic] • We’re hiring. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com if you’re interested in joining the team. 2016 WATCH: “Is Alan Dershowitz helping Hillary prep for debate with Trump?” — by WNYC’s Richard Hake: “The Clinton campaign has been looking for a surrogate to play Trump so she can practice and they are bringing in the well known criminal and constitutional law attorney Alan Dershowitz.” [WNYC

In an email to Jewish Insider, Dershowitz didn’t outright deny the report, but said he is not aware of his role playing Trump. “Not that I’ve heard,” he wrote. [JewishInsider]

Dershowitz to Politico:“I’ve never been asked by the Clinton campaign. I have no idea what they’re internally thinking… Of course I would do it if asked —I think I could do a pretty good Donald Trump impression. I’m happy to do anything to help her become President. I may campaign in Florida, where I live now.” [Politico]

“Democratic mega-donors plow money into Clinton, Senate bids” by Julie Bykowicz: “In July alone, New York hedge fund billionaire George Soros gave $1.5 million to Planned Parenthood’s super PAC and $35,000 to Priorities USA, both working to elect Clinton, as well as $500,000 to the Senate Majority PAC. Other million-dollar donors to Priorities USA include the creator of diet product Slim-Fast, Daniel Abraham, and Donald Sussman, a financier who is divorcing Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree. Soros’s latest contributions bring his 2015-2016 super PAC total to more than $14 million — a fivefold increase from his super PAC investments during the previous presidential election.” [AP; Politico]

“GOP Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson Continues to Snub Donald Trump” by Leigh Ann Caldwell:”Adelson was furious with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for not endorsing Trump in his convention speech — he told Cruz so immediately after Cruz walked off stage — but Trump’s post-convention campaign has instilled little confidence in the high-dollar donor. Time is tight if Adelson is to try to rescue Trump. Labor Day — the unofficial start of the general election season — approaches.” [NBCNews]

Over The Weekend — “Paul Manafort Quits Donald Trump’s Campaign After a Tumultuous Run” by Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin: “According to people briefed on the matter,Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, expressed increasing concern after a Times article published on Sunday about allegations of cash payments made to Mr. Manafort’s firm for his work on behalf of his main client, Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president, who is an ally of Mr. Putin.”[NYTimes]

“Trump, new team have little time to execute new strategy” by Steve Peoples: “The Trump campaign is at a ludicrously high disadvantage,” said Dan Senor, a former adviser to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “The Democrats have something that the Republicans don’t: They have a nominee that’s built a real campaign organization.” [AP]

SPOTLIGHT ON JARED: “This is what it’s like to work for Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner” by Eric Johnson: Elizabeth Spiers discussed her year-and-a-half-long stint as editor of the New York Observer. “He loves Donald Trump. They have a good relationship, I think partly because they’re families of similar histories. They’re both dynastic commercial real estate people. The fathers on both sides have their share of notoriety, for different reasons. I think that’s also probably part of the reason Jared and [his wife] Ivanka [Trump] bonded.” [ReCode]

“Ivanka And Jared’s Power Play” by Lizzie Widdicombe: “For a college student, Kushner was uncommonly pious and devoted to his family. He called his parents every day. On Fridays, he ate in a kosher dining hall, either Hillel or the Chabad house, which is affiliated with the Lubavitcher Hasidim. At the Fly, new members are subjected to initiation hazing: seniors will demand that they clean a dorm room, or drink warm gin. Kushner encouraged them to come to Shabbat dinner at Chabad. Hirschy Zarchi, the rabbi at Chabad, said, “Can you imagine? New initiates. He said, ‘You have to come and have dinner and be exposed to Jewish ideas.’ ”” [NewYorker]

“Jared Kushner’s Second Act” by Vicky Ward: “Jared’s marriage to Ivanka was not a foregone conclusion. The couple have been married for seven years and have three children together, but during the early days of their relationship Seryl Kushner had expressed concern that Ivanka wasn’t Jewish. The couple broke up, and they reunited only after Ivanka agreed to convert to Judaism. Even then, according to Bob Sommer, Charles Kushner remained skeptical. He made Ivanka’s conversion as testing as it could be. Ivanka passed the tests, and by 2009 Charles was ready to formally accept her into the Kushner family.” [EsquireMag]

“Trump Family Connection Raises Questions For Tech Investor Josh Kushner” by Nitasha Tiku: “For months Josh Kushner’s relationship to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was an open question in startup circles. But this week the notoriously press-averse venture capitalist finally gave them an answer: Kushner won’t be voting for Donald Trump.” [BuzzFeed]

NEXT GEN: “George P. Bush visits Israel” by Eli Watkins: “Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush returned Saturday from an unannounced visit to Israel. Bush’s Israel trip could bolster his foreign policy credentials as he seeks to build a stronger backing in the Republican Party that so decisively rejected his father. The 40-year-old lawyer and father of two was elected Texas land commissioner in 2014 and has been mentioned as a candidate for higher office in the coming years.” [CNN]

“Israel’s New Man in New York,” by Carol Giacomo — Q: “Are you including J Street in that outreach because you have been quoted in the press as being critical of them, suggesting they are anti-Israel?” Dani Dayan: “No, I never said they are anti-Israel. There was a minor incident that I took responsibility for the phrasing. You know, English is not my native language. I had a TV interview and my opponent said that the welcome to Donald Trump at the AIPAC convention contradicts Jewish values. And I said, look, I am much more concerned about some candidates that are endorsed by J Street, which are — not J Street, the candidates — anti-Israeli, and I intended to say, you know, symmetrically, that contradicts Jewish values, and at the end I said it’s un-Jewish. And that was a mistake to say un-Jewish. I never said J Street is un-Jewish; I just said a certain position by J Street contradicts Jewish values. I have personal very good relations with J Street leadership. I don’t believe in ostracizing.” Q: “Who is better for Israel, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?” DD: “Any American president is good for Israel.” [NYTimes]

KAFE KNESSET — Loud Night Along the Gaza Border — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Yesterday afternoon, a relatively long period of quiet along the Israeli border with Gaza came to an end, when a rocket from the Palestinian enclave was launched towards Israel, landing near a house in the town of Sderot. No one was hurt and the IDF responded by bombing Hamas targets in Gaza, which was no surprise – this is the usual routine in such cases. What was surprising, however, was the second phase of the Israeli response, which came late at night, when the IDF started attacking targets in Gaza once again, this time firing from tanks and planes for more than an hour, hitting dozens of targets within the Strip. There were no reports of casualties from Gaza as of this morning.

This leads us to the conclusion that the new Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who as a member of the opposition just months ago, promised to conquer Gaza and kill the entire Hamas leadership after any provocation, is trying to preserve his reputation among the right-wing in Israel, but at the same time without taking too much risk. After all, Israel has just signed a reconciliation deal with Turkey, and Israeli communities along the Gaza border have just finished repairing the damages of the war from two summers ago. A new war right now could put both at risk.

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Private equity firm bosses to get $370M windfall in Caesars mess [NYPost]• China Deal Sparks Biggest Jump in 19 Months for Israel’s Phoenix [Bloomberg] • Haim Saban’s Univision is buying Gawker Media for $135 million [ReCode] • Power lawyer Philip Rosen shares negotiation secrets [RealDeal] • The Uber Lobbyist Who Wants to Take Down Bill de Blasio [NYMag]

LongRead: “Deutsche Bank’s $10-Billion Scandal: How a scheme to help Russians secretly funnel money offshore unravelled” by Ed Caesar: “During the Nazi era, Deutsche Bank sullied its reputation by financing Hitler’s regime and purchasing stolen Jewish gold… Almost every weekday between the fall of 2011 and early 2015, a Russian broker named Igor Volkov called the equities desk of Deutsche Bank’s Moscow headquarters. Volkov would speak to a sales trader—often, a young woman named Dina Maksutova—and ask her to place two trades simultaneously. Deutsche Bank was helping the client to buy and sell to himself… Volkov previously had worked at Antanta Kapital, a brokerage owned by Arcadi Gaydamak, a Russian-Israeli billionaire.” [NewYorker]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Meet the Hasidic Jews Behind This Cute Bikini Brand” by Chavie Lieber: “Barry Glick is not your average bikini designer. For starters, he has zero experience designing swimwear — or designing any wear for that matter. He’s not particularly involved in fashion either. Oh, he also is a Hasidic Jew living in Brooklyn. None of this seemed to deter the 30-year-old father of five from starting a bikini company, Beach Gal, a year and a half ago.” [Racked]

“Learning and earning: Hasidic Brooklyn’s real estate machers” by Mark Maurer: “The real estate investors who hail from Brooklyn’s insular Hasidic communities are some of the industry’s most active and powerful players. Over the past decade, they’ve spent more than $2.5 billion on acquisitions in five prime Brooklyn neighborhoods, according to an analysis of property records by The Real Deal. But unlike their Grill Room-dining, art-collecting Manhattan counterparts, they prefer to stay in the shadows, their connections to properties masked through a network of frontmen and a labyrinth of LLCs. Most have no websites, and some have never been photographed.” [TheRealDeal]

STARTUP NATION: “Making earphones customized for hearing ability, Even tunes up $2 million” by Jonathan Shieber: “MeQ Inc., the company behind Even earphones, the tunable earbuds that adjust to users’ unique hearing abilities, has raised $2 million as it looks to expand its business. Founded by classically trained composer and sound designer Danny Aronson, and his CTO partner Ofer Raz, MeQ has plenty of competition in the headphone market.” [TechCrunch] • “How to create a ‘start-up nation’: Yiddish chutzpah versus Thai krengjai” [TheNation]

PROFILE: “The Secret Voice Of America’s Power Players” by Nick Fouriezos: “What I have learned about Clare Doody is that her words have been spoken by senators, governors, activist icons and CEOs. Her employers tell me she’s ghostwritten pieces in the New York Times, Time and Foreign Policy, and that they wouldn’t be surprised if she became a chief presidential speechwriter one day. Truly putting yourself in another’s shoes takes empathy, a virtue she learned partly while attending Greek Orthodox and Jewish day schools as a child, where she developed a taste for baklava and novels about the Holocaust. “This is always where the conversation ends,” the Houston native jokes, but that morbid interest inspired thoughts about the fragility of government structures.” [Ozy]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Woman’s funeral had no attendees, so 30 strangers showed up” by AP: “Strangers served as Francine Stein’s pallbearers and also helped bury her during the service Wednesday at a cemetery in Orangetown. Stein died at the age of 83. Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach officiated the service and says there was no eulogy because he didn’t know anything about the woman. He learned at the cemetery that Stein was a musician and had taught at the Julliard School. One attendee said she came to the service as a simple act of “human decency.”” [NYPost; LoHud]

CAMPUS BEAT: “How a casino tycoon is trying to combat an exploding pro-Palestinian movement on campuses” by Teresa Watanabe: “The Maccabee Task Force — named after a small Jewish rebel group who prevailed over the Greeks two millennia ago — mainly aims to beef up positive education about Israel with such methods as hosting “peace tents” for dialogue during anti-Israel campus events and Israel cultural fairs — complete with free falafel and iced coffee.” [LATimes]

WEEKEND WEDDING: Brian Gralnick, director of social responsibility for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia who ran for Pennsylvania State Senate in 2014, on Saturday married Perri Rosner, a physician assistant at Jefferson University Hospital. The maid of honor was Jess Levin, comms director at Making Change at Walmart. At the wedding at The Old Mill in Rose Valley, Pa., Levin, toasting the newlyweds, said “Brian, you may have lost the election but you won her heart.” [Pic] h/t Playbook

BIRTHDAYS: Philanthropist and billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Elliott Singer turns 72… Emmy Award winning television news journalist, formerly the weekend anchor of CBS Evening News, Morton Dean (born Morton Dubitsky) turns 81… Former chief of Staff to the Vice President Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby turns 66… Deborah Hochberg, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Paul E. Singer Foundation… Chairwoman of Israel’s Strauss Group, a large dairy and food company, Ofra Strauss turns 56… Michael Fragin… Joyce Fox… Robin Elcott… Nebi Qena, AP senior producer in Jerusalem… Rachel Saifer Goldman…

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Rohr and Tabacinic’s NCH Capital Wins Greek Development Deal

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Greece’s privatisation agency on Thursday picked U.S. private equity fund NCH Capital to develop land on the island of Corfu for tourism, in a 23 million euro deal…

The NBA’s Jewish Playmaker

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A nylon curtain splits the gymnasium along the half-court line at the YM-YWHA of Union County, N.J. Fathers and sons wearing yarmulkes walk to the far side of…

Q and A with Matisyahu: ‘Hasidic reggae superstar’ sans the Hasidim

Monday, January 7, 2013

Washington (CNN)– It has been a year since Matisyahu, the famed Hasidic reggae star, shaved his beard, separated from his devout following of Orthodox Judaism and said he…

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Leslie Wexner’s Limited Brands deal in line with new Ohio State apparel contract

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Scarlet and Gray has gone Pink. The recent release of a Victoria’s Secret Pink Ohio State collection has raised questions of how the new Buckeye line fits in…

Wilf brothers work quietly behind the scenes to help Vikings turn things around

Thursday, January 3, 2013

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – For Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, leadership isn’t about doing interviews about the state of the organization. It’s about placing a symbolic…