Daily Kickoff: Spotlight on DOJ’s Makan Delrahim | JDCA launch | Colin Powell awarded Herzl Award | BDay: Israel’s Baseball Manager Jerry Weinstein

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TOP TALKER: “The New Washington Drama: Treasury Secretary Versus Treasury Secretary” by Alan Rappeport: “Raising eyebrows in economic circles, Lawrence H. Summers, the mercurial Treasury secretary for President Bill Clinton, has leveled a barrage of increasingly personal criticism at the current Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. In podcasts, blog posts, op-eds and on Twitter, Mr. Summers… has accused Mr. Mnuchin of damaging the credibility of Treasury by making ‘irresponsible’ economic assessments of the administration’s tax plan and acting as a ‘sycophant’ to President Trump. The attacks have alternately amused and angered those who run in economic circles, with some saying it is Mr. Summers who is damaging the credibility of the office by leveling public attacks on a sitting Treasury secretary.”” [NYTimes]

HEARD ON THE HILL — Congress intensifies pressure on Trump to move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem — by JI’s Aaron Magid: In overwhelming fashion, a clear majority of members on the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on National Security called on President Trump to swiftly move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “Would you characterize this as a campaign promise that if the President failed to follow through on, it would be a major disappointment to the Jewish community?,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) asked former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. Later, in a jarring moment, Rep. Meadows referred to one of the invited witnesses, Michael Koplow, Policy Director of the Israel Policy Forum, as the “skunk in the room” for being the only panelist who opposed the immediate relocation of the embassy.

While crowded on the Republican side of the committee, only two Democrats attended the hearing. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) cited the Jordanian monarch’s visit to Washington shortly after the January inauguration when he personally requested that Trump keep the diplomatic facility in Jerusalem. “Was President Trump wrong in accommodating the request of King Abdullah?” Welsch asked. Koplow emphasized the possible risks of violence due to the embassy transfer. “This could affect not only stability and order in Jerusalem, but also the safety and security of American embassies and diplomatic personnel around the world.”

Clarifying the importance of the embassy’s transfer, Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “You move the embassy, you create a box of realism for our neighbors. Israel is not going to give up Jerusalem. Somebody better digest that.” [JewishInsider]

A White official tells us… “The President has always made it very clear that it is a matter of when, not if. We have no news to share at this time.”

Over 50 Jewish nonprofits, including The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the JCPA, sent a letter to Congress urging members of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is taking up comprehensive tax reform this week, to oppose the inclusion of any measures that would undermine the Johnson Amendment. The provision in the tax code bars churches from endorsing political candidates without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status. [Doc]

SCOOPLET — Key House committee will vote on Taylor Force Act next week: The House Foreign Affairs Committee will vote next Wednesdayon the Taylor Force Act, a critical step in advancing the legislation into law, a Congressional aide told Jewish Insider. The bill, introduced by Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) in February, would cut off U.S. economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until they cease payments to families of terrorists. The House bill currently has 149 co-sponsors, all Republicans. After next week’s committee markup, the next step for the Taylor Force Act would be a floor-wide vote. [JewishInsider]

“Rouhani Urges Saudi Arabia to Avoid Teaming Up With U.S. and Israel” by Ladane Nasseri: “A siege feeling is starting to emerge in Iran as relations with Saudi Arabia and the U.S. worsen… The sense of rising external threat came to the fore in the country’s media.” [Bloomberg]

DRIVING THE CONVO: “Lebanon’s plunge into political crisis raises specter of war with Israel” by Louisa Loveluck and Loveday Morris: ““MBS is an impatient man,” said Dan Shapiro, former U.S. ambassador to Israel… referring to the [Saudi] crown prince by his initials. The removal of [Saad] Hariri “may be a Saudi play to initiate an Israeli response and bloody the nose of Hezbollah.” … Hariri’s resignation helps Israel drum up international sentiment against Lebanon, analysts say… “Hariri’s departure does strengthen the case that Hezbollah is in total domination in Lebanon,” Shapiro said. “By removing Hariri it does make it a bit easier to treat Lebanon as an Iranian outpost.”” [WashPost] • Political Upheaval Tests Lebanon’s Finances [WSJ]

“The Middle East Is Nearing an Explosion” by Robert Malley: “Lebanon and the region arguably have seen all this before; a leadership vacuum in the context of rising tensions is nothing new. What is new, however, is an unusually apprehensive Israel, an unusually assertive and rash Saudi leadership and, of course, an unusual U.S. president. As for Israel: For months now, it has been sounding alarm bells about Hezbollah’s and Iran’s growing footprint in Syria, and more particularly about the Lebanese movement’s soon-to-be-acquired capacity to indigenously produce precision-guided missiles—a development Israeli officials view as a potential game changer they must thwart.” [TheAtlantic]

Martin Indyk‏ tweets: “Some experts see latest ME developments as effort by Saudi Arabia and Israel to pull US back into the region. I see it as SA, Israel and Iran acting to fill vacuum left by continued US withdrawal from the region. Trump is happy for Bibi and MBS to take the lead while he tweetles his thumbs.” [Twitter]

“Trump’s mystery plan for Mideast peace” by Barak Ravid: “According to U.S. officials, Trump is the driving force on this issue and is personally involved. Israeli officials say they hear Trump is pushing his team to have a proposal soon… [Jason] Greenblatt’s last trip to the region lasted three weeks, and Kushner, who is officially leading the “peace team,” came to the region three times and spends hours every week in phone calls with Arab leaders in order to get their support.” [Axios

KAFE KNESSET — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: After more than six months of investigation, officers from Lahav 433 (the the National Crime Unit of the Israeli Police) are set to meet the Prime Minister again today. Officers will question him for the fifth time since the File 1000 and File 2000 investigations began last year. The investigation is expected to focus on the gifts affair, and Netanyahu’s relationship with his billionaire friends, most notably Arnon Milchan, and the “Noni Mozes tapes,” a/k/a Netanyahu’s contacts with the publisher of Yediot Aharanot before the last elections. However, according to some reports, Netanyahu will also be questioned on the Submarine Affair, File 3000, even though at the moment he is not a suspect.

Meanwhile, an interesting character testimony about the PM has emerged. “Netanyahu has a weakness for billionaires,” his lawyer, Yaakov Weinroth, said in an interview to veteran journalist Ilana Dayan, which is set to be broadcast this evening. “Netanyahu is an honest man – if you ask him for a resume of successes against his failures, your jaw will drop open, but he admires money as a world view,” he said. “If you ask him how much gum or bread costs, he is likely to miss the figure by a high range. He doesn’t live the world of prices. He spent huge amounts of money on cigars over the years – and that is why his family was angry about it – because of the smoking itself, and because of the prices.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here — including Weinstein-like accusations in Israel [JewishInsider]

ACROSS THE POND: “UK minister Priti Patel resigns over secret Israel trip” by Laura Smith-Spark: “The UK secretary of state for international development was summoned back from Kenya by Prime Minister Theresa May after it was revealed she met senior Israeli officials during a family holiday in the summer, a significant breach of diplomatic protocol. During the visit, Patel… met with… Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yuval Rotem, a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official… She also met with Yair Lapid, the head of Yesh Atid… Even as Patel offered a “fulsome apology” on Wednesday in her resignation letter, May offered a firm rebuke… “As you know, the UK and Israel are close allies, and it is right that we should work closely together,” May said… “But it must be done formally, and through official channels.”” [CNNBBC]

“Priti Patel’s Resignation Adds to Pressure on Theresa May” by Stephen Castle: “Mrs. May’s office, meanwhile, denied reports in Britain’s Jewish Chronicle that her aides had instructed Ms. Patel not to include one of her meetings on a list of such contacts that she published on Monday… For Mrs. May, the episode has been a particular headache because Ms. Patel is a passionate supporter of Brexit within a cabinet that was constructed carefully to balance views on Europe.” [NYTimes]

Donald Trump shows off a video of his granddaughter Arabella singing in Mandarin — by Clemence Michallon: “President Trump, 71, proudly showed off a video of the six-year-old singing in Mandarin and reciting ancient Chinese poetry while meeting with Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan… In the video, released on YouTube, Arabella, the daughter of first daughter Ivanka Trump and senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, can be seen wearing a traditional silk embroidered Chinese dress while addressing the country’s president and first lady as ‘Grandpa Xi’ and ‘Grandma Peng’, bowing in respect as she offers a greeting to the camera.” [DailyMail] • Chinese ‘love’ Trump’s Mandarin-speaking granddaughter [Yahoo]

2018 WATCH — Last night, the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) launched its opening event at the Capitol Liaison Hotel in Washington. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer joined dozens of members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The new group, chaired by former Congressman Ron Klein (D-FL), will work to promote Democratic candidates in federal and state elections in line with Jewish communal values and the US-Israel relationship. “American Jews are one of the Democratic Party’s most reliable constituencies, and more than ever require a new organization to represent their interests, as the Trump administration fans anti-Semitism, nativism, racism and other forms of bigotry,” said Klein.

— In his remarks, Dermer emphasized the importance of strong Israeli ties with the Democratic Party. “You cannot fly a plane with one wing, and you cannot have a strong alliance between the US and Israel without strong support in both parties and so we are very pleased that you have started this organization,” he said. The senior Israeli diplomat touted strong backing for Israel in the Democratic Party throughout the past 70 years listing the work of former Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Robert Wagner. [PicPic]

SPOTTED: Senators Bob Casey, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Michael Bennett, Sherrod Brown, Tim Kaine, Chris Murphy, Debbie Stabenow, and Chris Van Hollen; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer, Reps. David Cicilline, Charlie Christ, Eliot Engel, Lois Frankel, Anthony Brown, Joe Kennedy III, Nita Lowry, Ted Lieu, Jerry Nadler, Jared Polis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sheila Jackson Lee, Jacky Rosen, Jamie Raskin, Ted Deutch,  Jan Schakowsky, Alan Lowenthal, Grace Meng, Brad Sherman, Darren Soto, and Mark Takano; and former Congressman Howard Berman.

2020 WATCH: “Why Trump has a lock on the 2020 GOP nomination” by Maeve Reston: “Someone like Mark Cuban… “who would force Trump into responding—could be a deadly candidate against him,” [Terry] Sullivan said… “To me the biggest underlying issue is that it needs to be someone who can stand up to Trump,” Cuban said in an email when asked about whether he would entertain a 2020 challenge to Trump. Someone who can “throw punches back harder than him, and spend 100% of their time with his base talking with them one on one.”” [CNN]

** 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 **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Steven A. Cohen, Andreessen-Backed DIY Quant Fund Struggles [WSJ] • Shocking arrest of Saudi prince complicates Plaza sale [NYPost] • Icahn Faces Questions From Federal Prosecutors Over Trump Advisory Role [WSJ] • Rideshare Startup Via Tapped to Launch First Ever On-Demand Public Transit System as Alternative to Bus Service in Two U.S. Cities [BusinessInsider• Cheddar is launching general news offshoot, expects $11 million in revenue this year [Digiday]

MEDIA WATCH: “In AT&T Deal, Government Action Catches Up With Trump Rhetoric” by Jim Rutenberg: “The head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, was interviewed about the proposed merger in October of 2016, when he was a law professor at Pepperdine University. “I don’t see it as a major antitrust problem,” he said then. Speaking at New York University last month in his Justice Department role, Mr. Delrahim offered a different view. He indicated that he preferred structural fixes to address potential anti-competitive issues — that is, he would prefer to see assets shed from a deal than to have government create conditions it would then have to police. Mr. Delrahim issued a statement Wednesdaysaying he had not come under White House pressure on this issue or any other… All the assertions and denials left a lot of questions about the administration’s motives, but they were ultimately of the president’s own making. There is copious evidence of Mr. Trump’s longstanding vendetta against CNN.” [NYTimes]

Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo: “Multiple sources I spoke with noted Delrahim’s apparent 180, and questioned whether he was being strong-armed, telling me it would be a bad look for him to go to court and lose. “If you’re the new head of the D.O.J. and the first thing you do is lose a major lawsuit, that’s a major embarrassment,” one of these people said. “If this is political and it really is about CNN, the media is just going to slaughter the Trump administration. It would be a bad political move, and it would be really bad for AT&T to agree to that.” [VanityFair]

FLASHBACK — to a 2009 report in the Jewish Journal: “Makan Delrahim is currently an attorney with the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Orange County and is among a growing number of local Iranian Jews who are becoming more politically active. “There are many folks who support Israel that may want more entrepreneurship or lower taxes,” Delrahim said. “So we as a community that have particular interests that may not be voiced by others should be more engaged with government officials, support them and help shape their policy.” [JewishJournal]

STARTUP NATION: “Meet SimilarWeb, One Of Wall Street’s Secret Weapons” by Omri Barzilay: “SimilarWeb’s was able to show that Amazon’s web traffic was 14% higher than the same period the year before, giving a critical indication to the upcoming earnings beat and corresponding surge. The result, they claim, is a huge advantage for customers. “The digital world is where business is taking place, and if you’re able to understand and track the patterns of digital behavior, you can gain tremendous insights that provide a critical advantage,” said Or Offer, SimilarWeb’s CEO and Founder.”[Forbes]

SPOTLIGHT: “Humvee maker sues Activision over ‘Call of Duty'” by Jonathan Stempel: “In a complaint filed on Tuesday night in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, AM General LLC accused Activision of taking advantage of its goodwill and reputation in the “Humvee” and “HMMWV” marks by featuring them prominently in “Call of Duty,” and licensing related content for use in toys and books… AM General is owned by MacAndrews & Forbes Inc and Renco Group Inc, which are holding companies for the billionaires Ronald Perelman and Ira Rennert, respectively.” [Reuters ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ takes one step forward, many steps back in its handling of the Holocaust[Mashable]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Q&A with Charles Bronfman on Birthright and the Best Prize of All” by Eitan Arom: How did the idea (of Birthright) come about in the first place? CB: “It came up when both Michael and I were in Israel in the summer of ’98 and both of us had met Yossi Beilin. He was one of Shimon Peres’ boys. And Yossi had this idea that all 17-year-olds should have a voucher from anywhere in the world for a trip to Israel. Michael was sort of taken with this idea. So later, I was at a party with Michael. We were at the Jewish Museum overlooking the — pardon the expression — the Valley of the Cross, sitting on a wall, because he’d asked to speak with me. And he said, “What do you think of this idea of Yossi’s?” And I said, “That’s a scheme to bankrupt the Jewish world.” I said, “Well, this is an audacious scheme.” And he said, “Well, if it’s audacious, why don’t we try to figure it out?”” [JewishJournal]

HOLLYWOOD NEXT GEN: “Hollywood’s Up-and-Coming Execs 35 and Under” by Lacey Rose and Rebecca Ford: “Ali Krug, 32… Though Krug’s childhood aspirations of working on Saturday Night Live never officially came to fruition, the University of Michigan film studies grad did end up pitching in on the comedy staple as an NBC page. But an opening on then-president Sue Naegle’s desk at HBO soon would take her back home to Los Angeles… Krug went from assistant to manager when Naegle departed HBO to create her own production company and then to vp when Naegle Inc. folded into Annapurna in 2016. In that time, Krug, who married her comedy writer husband in 2014, has been a key force in the in-demand producer’s TV efforts, which include a Carrie Brownstein autobiographical comedy and a Josh Safran ghost drama.” [THR]

TRANSITION — Paul Goldenberg is stepping down after more than a decade as head of the Secure Community Network, the security arm of the Jewish Federations of North America and Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations. Goldenberg will remain as a special adviser and join a think tank at Rutgers University that focuses on transnational security issues. [JTA]

SCENE LAST NIGHT — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was honored by the World Jewish Congress with the Theodor Herzl Award at its annual dinner at The Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. “Colin Powell may not be Jewish, but he has a Jewish heart,” WJC President Ronald Lauder said before be presented the award. In his remarks, Powell reflected on his upbringing in the Bronx, serving as a Shabbos Goy and learning Yiddish while working at local Jewish businesses. He also recalled his last meeting with Yasser Arafat and stressed the need for peace in the region. [Video]

BIRTHDAYS: British Conservative politician and businessman, David Wolfson, Baron Wolfson of Sunningdale, turns 82… British businessman and philanthropist, formerly Chairman of Lloyds TSB, Sir Maurice Victor Blankturns 75… Professional baseball manager in the minor leagues and college, he managed Team Israel at the WBC qualifier in 2016 and the World Baseball Classic in South Korea and Japan in 2017, Jerry Weinstein turns 74… Israeli war hero who transitioned to a long career in the Knesset (1999-2013) for the National Religious and Jewish Home parties, Zevulun Orlev turns 72… Chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based PR and public affairs firm, Cerrell Associates, Hal Dash turns 69… Chula Vista, California resident, Daniel Ajzen turns 67… Senior producer at NBC Nightly News, Joel Seidman turns 63…

Political consultant and fundraiser, founded “No Labels” in 2010 to solve problems across the partisan divide, Nancy Jacobson turns 55… Director of Los Angeles-based Remember Us: The Holocaust Bnai Mitzvah Project, she was previously the executive director of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Samara Hutman turns 55… Professor of journalism and media studies at Fordham University, Amy Beth Aronson Ph.D. turns 55… Partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis, he represents private equity and venture capital sponsors, Douglas C. Gessner turns 52… Founding Executive Director of OneTable, Aliza Kline turns 46… Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court since 2015, Richard H. Bernstein turns 43… Singer, songwriter Ari Benjamin Lesser turns 31…

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Daily Kickoff: Forbes on Josh Harris — “it all started with wrestling” | Rep. Goodlatte skeptical of anti-Semitism bill | Pantanowitz’s Brainternet

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SPOTLIGHT: “The Case Of Wilbur Ross’ Phantom $2 Billion” by Dan Alexander: “Fresh off a tour through Thailand, Laos and China, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. picked up the phone on a Sundayafternoon in October to discuss something deeply personal: how much money he has. A year earlier, Forbes had listed his net worth at $2.9 billion on The Forbes 400, a number Ross claimed was far too low: He maintained he was closer to $3.7 billion. Now, after examining the financial-disclosure forms he filed after his nomination to President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, which showed less than $700 million in assets, Forbes was intent on removing him entirely.”

“Ross protested, citing trusts for his family that he said he did not have to disclose in federal filings. “You’re apparently not counting those, which are more than $2 billion,” he said. When asked for documentation, the 79-year-old demurred, citing “privacy issues.” Told that Forbes nonetheless planned to remove him from the list for the first time in 13 years, he responded: “As long as you explain that the reason is that assets were put into trust, I’m fine with that.” And when did he make the transfer that allowed him to not disclose over $2 billion? “Between the election and the nomination.” So began the mystery of Wilbur Ross’ missing $2 billion. And after one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer: That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004.” [Forbes]

PARADISE PAPERS: “How Business Titans, Pop Stars and Royals Hide Their Wealth” by Scott Shane, Spencer Woodman and Michael Forsythen: “Appleby had 31,000 American clients, the most common nationality by far. The firm’s files include a who’s who of the nation’s wealthiest citizens: prominent Democrats like James Simons, George Soros, and Penny Pritzker, commerce secretary in the Obama administration; and high-profile Republican supporters of President Trump, including Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, and Carl Icahn, the private equity investor.” [NYTimes

ONE YEAR LATER: “Ivanka and Jared’s First Year in Washington Has Not Gone as Expected” by Emily Jane Fox: “It has now been a year since the Trump-Kushners walked out onto the stage of the Midtown Hilton, after midnight, to the astonishing reality that Donald Trump would become the next president of the United States. The historic election commenced an equally extraordinary opportunity for two scions who had built their own careers largely upon their parents’ success. After the election, the two proceeded apace. Despite anti-nepotism laws and looming conflicts of interests, the couple quickly determined that they would re-route their ambitions through the White House, impervious to any sort of significant public-relations setback.”

“President Trump himself has repeatedly reminded the couple of what a nice life they had in New York, before they were “getting killed” by the press in D.C., several sources have said… Nonetheless, the couple has been insisting to friends in recent weeks that their family has settled in well in Washington and that they’re focused on what the administration should prioritize in 2018, according to three people who have spoken with them.” [VanityFair]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Jared Kushner, Mohammed bin Salman, and Benjamin Netanyahu Are Up to Something” by Dov Zakheim: “Trump has given his son-in-law overall leadership on the peace process between Israel and the Arabs, and he is reportedly a welcome guest in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Given [Jared] Kushner’s role, did Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signal his plans when Kushner last met with him — and did Kushner then inform his father-in-law? And if so, how far will Washington, or more precisely, the White House, go to back up the Saudis if their confrontation with Iran gets hot? Or will Israel serve as Trump’s proxy? With this president, this crown prince, and the current prime minister of Israel, anything is possible.” [FP] • Abbas speaks with Saudi king about US peace efforts, reconciliation [JPost]

“The Saudi Crown Prince Is Gambling Everything on Three Major Experiments” by Hussein Ibish: “The Hariri resignation is likely tied to significant gains made by Iran and its key ally, Lebanese Hezbollah, in securing, along with their Iraqi allies and clients, key areas in northern and western Iraq… and in eastern Syria… These developments are a potential strategic game-changer in the Middle East, and the Saudi response, apparently, is to go after Iran and Hezbollah in their central and original locus of power in the Arab world: Lebanon. With the removal of Hariri, who is perceived in Riyadh as having been too accommodating to Hezbollah, the prospect of an all-out political war to destabilize Hezbollah’s dominance of the Lebanese state seems set.” [TheAtlantic]

In newly revealed recording, Kerry blames Israel for stalled peace talks: “Israel’s Channel 10 on Tuesday published a recording, purportedly made at a conference in Dubai during this past year, in which [John] Kerry can be heard praising the Palestinian Authority for its commitment to nonviolence… “The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence. And in fact, when the [knife] intifada took place they delivered nonviolence in the West Bank,” Kerry says. “This is overlooked by the general [Israeli] population because it is not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet currently in the current Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state,” he adds.” [JNS]

REPORT: “Israeli envoy to US questioned in Netanyahu graft probe” by Raoul Wootliff:“[Ambassador Ron] Dermer, considered a close associate of Netanyahu, confirmed to police that, on the direction of the prime minister, he asked then-secretary of state John Kerry to help organize a visa for Arnon Milchan, Hadashot news (formerly Channel 2) reported Tuesday… The television station also reported that the US State Department is preventing Israeli investigators from gathering testimony from former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro over the visa request.” [ToI]

KAFE KNESSET — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Dermer is the last in a long list of Netanyahu’s advisors who have found themselves part of the several probes… The Dermer report prompted Netanyahu to issue a response attributed to “sources close to the PM,” in which he first admits that he acted to help Milchan with the US visa, but claims that he did it for the sake of the security of Israel. “The wave of lewd and illegal leaks continues – this time in an attempt to discredit the Prime Minister only because he fulfilled his obligation to safeguard the security of the State of Israel,” the sources said. “The reason that Milchan’s visa was denied was media reports about his contribution to Israeli security. It is inconceivable that a person who helped Israel’s security would be harmed by this contribution and that a Prime Minister in Israel would remain indifferent to it. The Prime Minister also addressed foreign governments in the matter of Meir Dagan and others who contributed to the security of Israel.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

SIGHTING: Israeli PM was spotted leaving exclusive Mayfair nightclub LouLou’s — by Charlie Bayliss: “Benjamin Netanyahu was flanked by bodyguards as he made his way out the West London nightclub, which has been host to Princes William and Harry, Mick Jagger, Kate Moss and George Clooney… The exact nature of the 68-year-old’s visit to the nightclub is unknown, but he had been in London to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour declaration – which paved the way for a Jewish state.” [DailyMail]

ON THE HILL — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte signals skepticism about anti-Semitism bill — by Aaron Magid: In a contentious debate yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) appeared to demonstrate concern regarding the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. In December of 2016, the Senate unanimously passed the bill introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). However, the House legislation, sponsored by Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), has remained stalled in the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, headed by Goodlatte, and never received a vote…

Goodlatte revealed his preference to delay the bill and noted that President Donald Trump nominated Kenneth Marcus, an advocate for the usage of the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, to the Department of Justice’s civil rights division. Goodlatte asked that if he is confirmed, “Might it be best to wait and see the results of using such a definition before Congress codifies the statute?” [JewishInsider]

–Jake Sherman tweets: “In Playbook — other Virginia news — House Judiciary chairman  BOB GOODLATTE thought to be retiring.” [Twitter]

In letter, Congress slams Tillerson for closing sanctions office — by Aaron Magid: In a bipartisan rebuke of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, 27 members of Congress are urging the State Department to preserve the office of the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy. According to the letter, first obtained by Jewish Insider, the lawmakers note that restoring the office “would also demonstrate this administration’s commitment to a comprehensive and coordinated interagency sanctions policy.” [JewishInsider]

HAPPENING TODAY — At 10:00 AM: The House Subcommittee on National Security will hold a hearing to discuss the benefits and challenges of relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to the capital of Jerusalem. John Bolton, Mort Klein, Dore Gold, Eugene Kontorovich, and Michael Koplow will testify. [CSPAN]

HEADLINE: “Despite Trump’s misgivings, nuclear negotiator and watchdog say Iran deal works” by Carol Morello: “As Congress contemplates what actions to take, [Federica] Mogherini said she is talking with lawmakers to ensure that any changes would not violate the existing agreement. “I got clear indications that the intention is to keep the United States compliant with the agreement,” she told reporters at a news conference. Mogherini also pushed back against widespread criticism of the deal’s “sunset provisions” of varying lengths… “Article 3 says Iran will never develop a nuclear weapon,” she said.” [WashPost]

ELECTION RECAP — by Jacob Kornbluh: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio became the first Democratic mayor to win reelection since Ed Koch. In the race to replace outgoing Councilman David Greenfield in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park/Flatbush, Kalman Yeger defeated his opponent Yoni Hikind, the son of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, by a 2-1 margin. In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy easily beat Republican Kim Guadagno by 14 points. Of note, Murphy was supported in the town of Lakewood, New Jersey, a community that previously  voted for Christie and Trump. In Virginia, the Democratic candidate for Governor, Ralph Northam scored a big win. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Larry Krasner was elected Philadelphia District Attorney.

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Murray Koffler, Shoppers Drug Mart founder, dies at 93 [TheStarGlobe&Mail] • Heather Reisman’s Indigo Books & Music has announced plans to expand to the US [NewsaramaHuffPost] • For Black Cube, a network of for-hire ex-Israeli spies, information is big money [LATimes] • Carl Icahn, the Car Guy: Why He Bets on Hertz, Lyft and Pep Boys [Bloomberg• New York Observer’s 2017 Content Kings [Observer] • How Schwarzman, Leon Black and A-Rod Spent Their Monday Night [Bloomberg]

PROFILE: “It All Started With Wrestling, Says Billionaire Owner of Philadelphia 76ers” by Jennifer Wang: “Billionaire financier Josh Harris wears many hats. At his “day job,” he serves as the senior managing director of private equity giant Apollo Global Management, a $242 billion (assets) firm that he cofounded in 1990. When he’s off the clock, he checks in on his trio of professional sports teams: the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, NHL’s New Jersey Devils, and English Premier League’s Crystal Palace F.C. An avid athlete, he also invests in nutrition and fitness research and participates in marathons and triathlons.”

The Wall Street veteran credits his past as a wrestler for his legendary work ethics. A native of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Harris always played sports growing up — Little League, basketball, soccer — but a chance encounter with wrestling when he was 9-years-old got him hooked. “I had never done it, but I won this tournament at my [summer] camp,” says Harris. “So when you’re 9 and that happens, you get all excited.” [Forbes]

RISING STAR: “How This Bioengineer Linked a Human Brain to the Internet” by Tafline Laylin: “Before meeting Adam Pantanowitz in a ritzy alcove of Johannesburg, my brain is buzzing — and for good reason. At 33, the Wits University lecturer has designed an interface that connects the human brain to the internet. I’m thinking: Why would you do that, unless you’re an evil genius in a sci-fi movie? Only Pantanowitz’s intentions are sound and, dare I say, noble. By using his Brainternet — a device he first conceived of four years ago but just recently developed with two senior biomedical engineering students — he’s made it possible to convert brain waves into signals and stream them into cyberspace, a tech that offers practical, health-based applications.” [Ozy]

STARTUP NATION: “An Israeli startup claims Apple said it could copy the startup’s camera technology with few consequences” by Jan Wolfe: “An Israeli startup has sued Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of copying its patented smartphone camera technology. Tel Aviv-based Corephotonics… said its patented dual-camera technology for mobile devices was incorporated by Apple in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without its authorization. According to the lawsuit, Corephotonics Chief Executive David Mendlovic approached Apple about a partnership. Apple praised the startup’s technology but refused to license it.” [BusinessInsider]

“Real estate startup Compass nabs $100M at a $1.8B valuation” by Ingrid Lunden: “Ori Allon’s  real-estate startup Compass is announcing that it has raised another $100 million — money that it plans to use to expand its sales and rental listings service to every major city in the U.S., as well as build new CRM technology to integrate client, listings and transactions data. The Series E values the company at a whopping $1.8 billion.” [TechCrunch• Tel Aviv-based User-Based Marketing Startup Yotpo raises $51 Million [CTech]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Jerusalem protests look to preserve ultra-Orthodox lifestyle” by Associated Press’ Aron Heller: “Experts say tomorrow’s ultra-Orthodox will look much different from the community that mainstream Israel fears today. “If you are expecting everything to change tomorrow morning — that is not going to happen. But if this is done quietly and it is not forced upon us, it will happen on its own,” said Gidon Katz, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who runs and advertising and public relations agency in Jerusalem… Gilad Malach, an institute researcher who specializes in the community, said such fears are exaggerated. He believes the modernizing effect will make the Haredi community far more educated and employable, much the way ultra-Orthodox communities in the United States and Europe have adapted.” [AP]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Baltimore County votes to keep schools closed on Jewish holidays” by Talia Richman: “The Baltimore County school board voted Tuesday to approve an academic calendar that keeps schools closed next year on the Jewish High Holy Days… The 9-3 vote follows the order of Gov. Larry Hogan that public schools in Maryland begin after Labor Day and end by June 15. The requirement, aimed at extending the summer and boosting state tourism, has forced some districts to compress their academic calendars.”[BaltimoreSun]

“Kiryas Joel to become ‘Palm Tree,’ the first Haredi town in America” by Yair Ettinger: “In a referendum in the town of Monroe… a majority of residents voted to separate from the well-known village of Satmar Hassidic sect Jews, Kiryas Joel. The Yiddish-speaking village, founded in the 1970s, will become a separate town in 2020, which will be the first Haredi city in the United States. The city will be called Palm Tree, an English translation of the Rebbe’s surname – Teitelbaum.” [JPost]

BIRTHDAYS: United States Attorney for New Jersey (1971-1973), then US District Court Judge (1973-1987), now a criminal defense attorney, Herbert Jay Stern turns 81… Actress, comedian and writer, she played the recurring role of Doris Klompus on Seinfeld, Annie Korzen turns 79… Vice Chairman and CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, he was a senior White House aide to President Bill Clinton (1993-1998), Ira Magaziner turns 70… Senior Advisor for Global Government Affairs to the Blackstone Group, Wayne Berman turns 61… Chartered Financial Analyst in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael Sosebee turns 61… Michelle Silverstein turns 60… Major General in the IDF, his military career (1977-2012) included heading the Southern Command, now the Minister of Construction and member of Knesset for the Kulanu party, Yoav Galant turns 59…

Manhattan attorney, Charles “Chesky” Wertman turns 55… Senior Director of Bono’s The ONE Campaign, Laurie Moskowitz turns 53… Past President of University Women at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles,Allison Gingold turns 49… Popular Israeli female vocalist in the Mizrahi music genre, Zehava Ben turns 49… Teacher, writer, editor and diversity consultant, she is the CEO of Boston-based Dimensions Educational Consulting, she founded and led Ayecha (a nonprofit advocacy group for Jews of color), Yavilah McCoy turns 45… Allan Waxman

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Daily Kickoff: Interview with Danny Danon | The Mooch going to Israel | Natalie Portman awarded Genesis Prize | Tel Aviv, ‘Vegan capital of the world’

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TOP TALKER: “Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies: The film executive hired private investigators, including ex-Mossad agents, to track actresses and journalists” by Ronan Farrow: “In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein… began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations… The firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature. Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her…”

“‘Last fall, Weinstein began mentioning Black Cube by name in conversations with his associates and attorneys. The agency had made a name for itself digging up information for companies in Israel, Europe, and the U.S. that led to successful legal judgments against business rivals. But the firm has also faced legal questions about its employees’ use of fake identities and other tactics… One [contract]. dated July 11, 2017… states that the project’s “primary objectives” are to “provide intelligence which will help the Client’s efforts to completely stop the publication of a new negative article in a leading NY newspaper” and to “obtain additional content of a book which currently being written and includes harmful negative information on and about the Client,” who is identified as Weinstein in multiple documents. (In one e-mail, a Black Cube executive asks lawyers retained by the agency to refer to Weinstein as “the end client” or “Mr. X,” noting that referring to him by name “will make him extremely angry.”).” [NewYorker

KAFE KNESSET — The Submarine Affair — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: After two days of guessing and hinting as to whom the Police detained in their investigation of the Submarine Affair, the court-imposed gag order expired this morning. The headlines broke the news revealing the identity of the last Netanyahu confidant to visit the Police investigation rooms: Isaac Molcho. Molcho was arrested on Sunday and has been questioned for over 20 hours, two days in a row, on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust as part of the File 3000, a/k/a the Submarine Affair.

The Molcho interrogation occurred while his partner, lawyer David Shimron, was questioned in a separate room. Shimron represented the German shipyard ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel. According to media reports, Molcho claimed he had no connection to the affair whatsoever, but his addition to the long list of Netanyahu associates involved in various criminal affairs is notable, and also sheds light on his decision to retire from his job as Bibi’s special envoy, just last week. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

INTRIGUE: “Why is the head of the OU Kashrut department in Qatar?” by Yair Ettinger: “A small group of Jewish leaders is currently visiting the Gulf state… The senior rabbinic figure on the delegation is Menachem Genack… head of the Orthodox Union’s (OU) Kashrut Division. The trip was organized by Nick Muzin, a prominent Jewish Republican operative who is on retainer by the Persian Gulf nation to establish ties with the American Jewish community. The group is scheduled to meet with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Allen Fagin, the OU’s Executive Vice President, said that Genack’s visit was private and was not connected to his work with the Jewish organization.” [JPost

JI INTERVIEW — Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN — by Jacob Kornbluh: So has the UN job tamed the once Likud hardliner? “Absolutely,” Danon tells Jewish Insider in an interview at his 2nd Avenue office. “I understand world diplomacy much better because that is what I do all day. You deal with global issues all day long, so your understanding is much better, but I didn’t change my values…” Contrasting the Obama administration and the Trump administration, Danon said, “I was sitting in the Security Council when the U.S. allowed the shameful resolution to pass in last December. It was a low moment between Israel and the US that the U.S. actually pushed for that resolution to pass. And today we have a great friend, Ambassador Haley, who stands with Israel.”

While in the U.S., Danon meets quite regularly with American Jewish business leaders and donors, but insists that he is not following Bibi’s model of using the position to develop personal alliances since he has already served as a Knesset Member and in the cabinet. “I know the Jewish community from before and I’m also a little bit older than the Prime Minister when he was in this position,” Danon explained. “I had connections with donors in the past. And actually, to be frank, we met on more occasions when I was in Israel. I’m in New York now. I don’t get to travel a lot outside of New York.”

Lightning Round: Favorite activity in private time? “I enjoy walking in Central Park on Shabbat, when it’s not too cold. I like to walk fast. I can allow myself to jog a little bit.” Favorite Broadway play? “I would say Fiddler on the Roof was the most exciting one I saw.” Favorite New York dish? “Deli sandwiches. You don’t get them in Israel.” Read the full interview here [JewishInsider]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) discussed the need for bipartisanship on Israel even in the age of Trump during a panel at the final session of the IAC conference: “I can’t think of anything more important than making sure that support for Israel continues to be a bipartisan objective because Israel has one friend in the world and Israel will be in much worse shape if Israel has only one half of one friend in the world. There is a Trump derangement syndrome [within the Democratic Party] – that whenever Trump says anything we have to be the opposite… We have to make sure that America is pro-Israel regardless of who is in Congress and who is in the White House and resist the Trump derangement syndrome.”

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC): “We have a new president with Donald Trump whose first focus is not on some type of vague peace process. His focus is to establish and maintain a strong relationship with the State of Israel, and it’s so refreshing that instead of focusing on something that can’t even be identified, that we have a president who has made it clear that he wants to work with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu… Hey, President Trump is for Israel, and he wants to reverse the tragic lack of veto that occurred last December.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer: Trump’s speechaddressing the Iran nuclear deal “was the second best day since I have been ambassador.”

Dermer on the peace process: “I’m more optimistic now because I see a change in the region. The Arab governments are in a different place than they were five years ago, certainly ten years or 15 years ago, because they see our interests as being aligned with theirs… Many things are happening underneath the surface, many remarkable things.”

“Egypt’s al-Sisi says Israelis ‘can be convinced of peace'” by Roi Kais: “We are trying, together with all sides who can contribute their part to this issue. The United States is the main world power that can steer the peace process toward a better future,” the Egyptian president said during the interview with the Arabic London-based [Asharq Al-Awsat] newspaper… “We, the Arabs, can convince public opinion in Israel of the advantages of peace…  The region is in need of peace because its absence has cost the region a high price and is draining its energy.” [Ynet]

“As Trump Goes, So Goes Netanyahu: Why is a master political survivor like the Israeli prime minister mimicking the moves of the rookie U.S. president?” by Daniel Gordis: “Netanyahu has clearly noted that Trump’s tactics are working… Trump’s unpredictability is also an enormous challenge for Netanyahu as he seeks to protect Israel in a turbulent region that the president clearly does not understand. It seems that the prime minister has opted for fawning as a protection against any future dustup with the American president. It is clever, and in the short run, it may work for Israel. But the dangers of this strategy are far-reaching. Trump’s attacks on the press, the judiciary and even America’s culture of civility will do damage, but that can be undone by the leaders who will follow. Israel’s democracy, however, is not two-and-a-half centuries old; it is less than 70.” [BloombergView]

DRIVING THE CONVO: “‘Game of Thrones’ Comes to Saudi Arabia” by Elliott Abrams: “Crown Prince Mohammed has spoken of a more modern Saudi Arabia, at least when it comes to the role of religion and the rights of women… But political liberalization is not in the cards… Few were in doubt about Crown Prince Mohammed’s ambition. Now there will be equal certainty about his determination. Those who think he’s going to fail, or hope he does, are on notice. This modernizer thinks the path forward is an absolute monarchy. Get out of his way.” [NYTimes]

“Is Saudi Arabia Pushing Israel Into War With Hezbollah and Iran?” by Daniel B. Shapiro: “With Assad clearly having survived the challenge posed by Saudi-backed rebels, the Saudi leadership may hope to move its confrontation with Iran from Syria to Lebanon. By pulling Hariri out of his office, they may hope to ensure that Hezbollah gets stuck with the blame and responsibility for Lebanon’s challenges… That could, the Saudis may believe, lead Hezbollah to seek an accelerated confrontation with Israel as a means of unifying Lebanese support for their dominance.” [Haaretz]

REPORT — Israel aligns with Saudis against Iran in Lebanon: “According to Channel 10, following Hariri’s resignation, Israel’s Foreign Ministry sent a message to all Israeli embassies around the world, instructing them to appeal to the highest political echelons in their host countries, asking that the nations of the world oppose the interference in Lebanon’s internal politics by the Hezbollah terrorist organization. The directive is unusual as it involves the internal politics of another country… The Foreign Ministry also asked Israel’s ambassadors to convey an unusual message of support for Saudi Arabia in light of the war it is engaged in against Iranian proxies in Yemen.” [INNTwitter] • Iran’s foreign minister blames Jared Kushner for fueling Middle East turmoil [BI]

THE MOOCH GOES TO ISRAEL — OJC Announces Executive VIP Tour of Israel with Wall Street Mogul Anthony Scaramucci: “The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce… has announced that it will host a trip to Israel on Sunday, November 19th through Wednesday, November 22nd. Former WH comms director Anthony Scaramucci will be a guest on the trip… “Our excitement to partner with Anthony Scaramucci in this quest knows no bounds,” says Duvi Honig, Founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce.” [JewishPress]

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Activist William Ackman Loses Bid for ADP Board Seats [WSJBusinessInsider] • Signature Bank’s Scott Shay: What You Should Know Before Joining a Board [Entrepreneur] • Jon Steinberg’s Cheddar and WeWork form remote studio partnership [Axios] • Isaac Chetrit shopping Diamond District buildings for $200M [RealDeal]

MEDIA WATCH: “21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Disney” by David Faber: “21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co., leaving behind a media company tightly focused on news and sports, according to people familiar with the situation.” [CNBC] • Disney CEO Bob Iger Would Forever Secure His Legacy With Fox Deal [TheStreet]

HOLLYWOOD: “Natalie Portman Honored in Israel With ‘Jewish Nobel Prize'” by Josef Federman: “Natalie Portman has been awarded Israel’s 2018 Genesis Prize in recognition of her commitment to social causes and deep connection to her Jewish and Israeli roots… The $1 million award, known as “the Jewish Nobel Prize,” is granted each year to a person recognized as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through professional achievement and commitment to Jewish values. The Oscar-winning actress said she was “deeply touched and humbled” by the recognition.” [AP]

TALK OF THE NATION: “The Quiet Religious-Freedom Fight That Is Remaking America” by Emma Green: “Seventeen years ago, Congress unanimously passed a law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, to prevent cities and towns from using zoning as a weapon against groups that want space to worship. At the time, everyone cheered a rare moment of legislative success. In practice, though, few congregations have the time, knowledge, money, or energy to pursue the legal process set up by RLUIPA, leaving many in a desperate limbo with no place to pray…”

“The congressional testimony on RLUIPA  includes alarming anecdotes about local officials acting with hostility toward religious bodies. One New Jersey lawyer recounted a hearing on an Orthodox Jewish group’s zoning application where an objector stood up, turned to the yarmulke-wearing crowd, and said, “Hitler should have killed more of you.” These cases of outright bias get the most attention from the U.S. Department of Justice, which has the power to enforce RLUIPA.” [TheAtlantic]

TRANSITION — Eric Trager‏ joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s majority staff as the professional staff member covering the Middle East and North Africa. [Twitter]

DESSERT: “What happened to the big Jewish delis in Chicago?” by Louisa Chu: “”I think, in the next couple of years, we’re going to start seeing an influx of maybe not-so-traditional Jewish delis,” said [Max] Stern. “Places where you can get classic deli sandwiches and some other things. More of a modern ‘world’ deli instead of just a modern Jewish deli.” … Chicago has never been known as a deli town, but Chicagoland has in fact sustained dozens of neighborhood delis in the city and suburbs for decades. If the new generation of deli owners and diners has its say, we may yet become a “newish” Jewish-style delicatessen destination.” [ChicagoTribune]

“This is the vegan capital of the world” by Jasmine Phull: “In Tel Aviv, “there is a real emphasis on freshness of produce,” says vegan restaurant owner Merav Barzilay. Though he founded Meshek Barzilay on an organic farm 15 years ago, he says it was an easy choice to move to the city. Tel Aviv’s proximity to fresh vegetables “means a customer can eat a tomato the same day it was picked in the field.” [Independent]

BIRTHDAYS: Neuropsychiatrist, a 1944 graduate of Yeshiva of Flatbush and 2009 Nobel Prize laureate in Medicine, Eric Kandel turns 88… United States Senator from Minnesota (1978-1991) and now on the boards of AIPAC and JINSA, Rudy Boschwitz turns 87… Stage, screen and television actor, Barry Newman turns 79… MIT professor in electrical engineering and computer science, Barbara Liskov turns 78… Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2002-2010), the last four years of which he served as Vice Chairman, Donald Kohn turns 75… University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard, expert on Shakespeare and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Stephen Greenblatt turns 74… Professor of music at the Norwegian Academy of Music and founding member of jazz ensemble Moscow Art Trio,Mikhail Alperin turns 61… Canadian entrepreneur and CEO of Canadian Arctic luxury apparel company, Canada Goose, Dani Reiss turns 44…

Senior director of corporate reputation at GE, she was previously a deputy press secretary in the Obama White House (2014-2017), Jennifer B. Friedmanturns 37… RN at Johns Hopkins Hospital following multiple media stints, Avi Zenilman turns 33… Campaign reporter at Politico, focused on House and Senate races, she was formerly a news assistant at the New York Times, Elena Schneider turns 27… Toronto-native, he is the founder and CEO of Count Me In, a global youth empowerment organization, Shane Feldman turns 23… Co-Founder and CEO at NYX Technologies, Tomer Aharonovitch… Principal at Foothill Enterprises, Mary Streit

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Digital learning bills would expand reach to non-public school students in Florida

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jeff Solocheck, of the Tampa Bay Times, reports on a new bill out of the Florida House Education Choice and Innovation Subcommittee that would, among other things, require the…

Ruby Schron pays $25M for Coney Island retail site

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Real estate investor Ruby Schron has forked out $25 million to buy a 49,000-square-foot building at 532 Neptune Avenue near Coney Island, according to public records filed with…

LA mayoral contenders share strong ties to Jewish community

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The LA Times reports on the upcoming mayoral election and the big impact the local Jewish community is having on it even though they account for only about…

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…