Daily Kickoff: Day 6 in search for kidnapped boys | How Yeshiva University Lost $1B | US, Iran close to a deal? | NY Mistrial – No Yiddish Translation

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

DEEP DIVE: “How To Lose $1 Billion: Yeshiva University Blows Its Future on Loser Hedge Funds” by Steven I. Weiss in TakePart: “What they couldn’t have known… a decade ago was that the real danger in Yeshiva’s new leadership was not to the school’s spiritual welfare but to its very existence. Over the years to come, the new leadership at Yeshiva would ramp up risk in the school’s investment portfolio, vastly increase spending, and do little to insure against a rainy day. When rainy days did arrive, with the global financial meltdown of 2008, Yeshiva was heavily exposed. Today, its finances are overwhelmed by a sea of red ink. According to a recent announcement by credit ratings agency Moody’s, the school will run out of cash next year. (more…)

Daily Kickoff: Eric Cantor’s Loss Stuns – ‘Jewish Insiders’ React; J Street Donors to Host President Obama Today; Rising Jewish Star Raises Millions

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

SHOCKED! – The One Word To Describe How Everyone Felt Last Night When They Heard That House Majority Leader & Sole Jewish GOP Congressman, Eric Cantor, Lost His Primary Election – The First House Majority Leader to Lose Renomination Since The Office Was Created in 1899. Tea Party Challenger Dave Brat, an economics professor for the past 18 years at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va., defeated Cantor 55.5% to 44.5%.

Several Prominent ‘Jewish Insiders’ Sent Us Their Reactions… (more…)

Daily Kickoff: Does Hillary have Christie’s ‘Occupation’ problem?; Bipartisan Senate Letter on PA GOV; Inside Story of (pending) Sterling Ballmer Deal

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

DRIVING THE DAYUPSET IN ISRAEL’S PRESIDENT ELECTION: Dovish Knesset member Meir Sheetrit surprised everyone this morning by surging to 2nd place in the first round of voting. Out of 117 qualified votes, frontrunner Reuven Rivlin came in first place with 44 votes, Sheetrit in second place with 31 votes and former Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik with 28 votes. The momentum has now shifted towards Sheetrit as the top two face each other in the second round. WATCH LIVE BROADCAST [Knesset Channel] (more…)

Daily Kickoff – Dec. 10th

Driving the Day: Bipartisan Senate group nears deal on new Iran sanctions – “A bipartisan group of Senators is close to an agreement on tougher Iran sanctions in opposition to the White House, which is easing them as part of an interim accord Tehran struck with world powers aimed at curbing its nuclear ambitions, CNN has learned. A Senate deal would include a new round of sanctions to begin in six months and would not allow for the enrichment of uranium. But it would permit commercial nuclear power as long as it was monitored by the international community. The bipartisan group includes Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York; Robert Menendez of New Jersey; Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mark Kirk of Illinois.” [CNN] “Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Time magazine in Tehran during the weekend that new sanctions – even if delayed – would kill the agreement reached in Geneva. “The entire deal (would be) dead,” Zarif said, adding that Iran’s parliament could also adopt legislation that would go into effect if talks fail. “But if we start doing that, I don’t think that we will be getting anywhere.” [Reuters]

Secretary of State John Kerry to Visit Israel, Again! – According to the State Department, John Kerry will travel to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Tacloban, and Manila from Dec. 11-18, 2013. In Jerusalem, Kerry will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss a range of issues including Iran and the ongoing final status negotiations with the Palestinians. In Ramallah, Kerry will meet with President Abbas, where he will also discuss the ongoing final status negotiations, among other issues. [StateDept]

Last Night: John Kerry and David Brooks addressed the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Centennial Celebration Dinner in DC — Kerry: “We will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Not now. Not Ever.” “Spoke today with Netanyahu, after my 8th trip to Israel, back for dinner with Bibi on Thursday – this is a commute folks.” David Brooks: “When we do philanthropy, it’s not enough to give money. It’s important to communicate the soft and squishy things.” [JewishInsider] — (Also watch David Brook’s Keynote at Yeshiva University’s Hanukkah Convocation [YouTube]) (more…)