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: Germany nixes subsidy to Israel, Is Obama to blame?; Soros invests heavily in Israeli companies; Avi Rosenblum on football in Israel

Scene Last Night: The Becket Fund honored Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks at its Canterbury Medal dinner for defending religious freedom. Some highlights from Rabbi Sacks’s speech – “Every persons faith is a flame – your flame doesn’t take from mine – and together we can light the world.” — “Secular societies are much less tolerant than the religions they accuse of intolerance.” — “Religion is the root of America… Don’t believe that when you sever these roots, the tree will survive.” — “America’s great contribution was to make faith into a force for liberty.” Cardinal Tim Dolan also spoke and said, “Rabbi Sacks reminds us that “a world without religion is a world condemned to violence and tyranny.” Mark Kellner profiled Rabbi Sacks for [DesertNews]…. Chelsea Clinton’s Jewish Mother-in-law skipped her own fundraiser headlined by Hillary Clinton: Congressional hopeful, Marjorie Margolies, instead attended a local Montgomery County Democratic Party dinner in her district. It didn’t matter too much as most donors were clearly only there to show early support for a likely Hillary 2016 campaign. The event marked Hillary’s first campaign appearance of 2014. Last night’s host, Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, supported Hillary in the 2008 primary but then switched to support McCain in the general election. (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…)

Jewish Insider Kickoff – Nov. 6

Top Talker – Report: Iran and Israel met for secret talks – “Iranian and Israeli diplomats, as well as those from the U.S. and Arab countries, participated in a secret meeting last month to discuss the possibility of an international conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East, according to The Jerusalem Post. Diplomats told the Israeli newspaper Tuesday the meeting occurred Oct. 21-22 in a hotel in Glion, Switzerland. The envoys expressed their positions, but the Israeli representatives had no direct communication with the Iranians and Arabs, the report says. An Arab diplomat told Reuters, however, “that they were there, the Israelis and Iran, is the main thing.”

–More than a dozen delegations attended the meeting along with Jaakko Laajava, Finland’s undersecretary of state, who is responsible for organizing the conference, a diplomat said in the reports. The source also described the meeting as “quite constructive,” and suggested another meeting would take place in November. “This was a completely procedural meeting,” a foreign ministry official in Jerusalem told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. President Obama tasked Secretary of State John Kerry with navigating peace talks with the Iranians on their nuclear program. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in September he would not produce nuclear weapons and told Obama he’s open to negotiating the limits of his country’s program with the international community. During his international trip Tuesday, Kerry said in Poland the U.S. does not yet have a deal with Iran. The G-5 — the U.S., France, Britain, Russia and China, plus Germany — are slated to hold a new round of negotiations in Geneva on Thursday and Friday.” [The Hill] (more…)