Jewish SXSW Recap

From Monday and Tuesday’s Daily Kickoff…

MONDAY: Jewish Insider is live from Austin this week for South by Southwest: A glimpse of the annual gathering’s diversity; yesterday we ran into both Jason Statham and Grover Norquist on the streets of downtown Austin. We also heard from Rand Paul who was interviewed by the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith. Rand discussed his appeal to the “leave me alone coalition,” Hillary’s emails, and a potential Iran nuclear deal. Asked if there’s anything he could imagine would keep him from running in 2016 at this point, Rand responded “my wife. It’s a work in progress.”

Rand on Iran Talks: “I’ve said for my entire career that the separation of powers is very important. The sanctions that we put on Iran, I voted for. Congress passed them. They are law. To undo a law, Congress will have to undo them. I signed Cotton’s letter which said to remove sanctions, they have to be voted upon… There’s no one in Washington more against war and more for a negotiated deal than I am. I want the negotiated deal to be a good deal. I signed onto the letter because I want the president to negotiate from a position of strength. I want peace but I want Iran to say we’re done with terrorism in the middle east.”

Vincent Harris, Rand’s media guru who is also helping out the Likud party, told us that he’s flying to Israel this morning to be there for the election.

Tuesday: SXSW SCENE: From Israeli innovation to an awesome kosher food truck, we experienced quite the Jewish SouthBy experience yesterday. Some highlights…

Or Arbel, the co-founder and CEO of YO, was asked by TechCrunch’s Josh Constine at a packed panel to give an example of YO’s useful purpose. Arbel responded that during this past summer, an Israeli developer connected the app’s API to alert Israeli citizens whenever Hamas was firing rockets.

Former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones told Loop88’s Dave Weinberg that “SXSW is way more ‘bashert’ than it is serendipitous.” [Twitter

SXSW’s first kosher food truck, driven from Miami to Austin by Sholom Zeines, has seen large lines but swift service as word has spread quickly throughout downtown Austin about chef Deborah Benaim’s amazing beef brisket and chicken arepas. The Kosher Carne truck was arranged by Rabbi Mordechai and Chana Lightstone together with the Jewish National Fund’s Jessica Schwartz-Schapiro. [Twitter]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Israeli Government’s Ministry of Economy hosted an Israeli innovation showcase and networking event at The Madison in Austin. Eight Israeli startups pitched a panel of experts and a roomful of investors. Startups included Qork – a location-based local news discovery app; Homage – a video creation platform that allows consumers to insert themselves into video games; Styleit – started by 8200 alums to help consumers shop their personal style; SeatServe – the ‘Uber’ for stadium concessions; the live video messaging app GlideTalkitt – helping those with language disorders to easily communicate using their voice; Onysus – a visual editor for augmented, virtual reality; and unique gifting app CheerZ. Jerusalem-based ZUtA Labs was also on hand to demo their new portable printer. Drop us a note if you’d like to get in touch with any of the founders.

—Spotted: Galia Chanoch, Daniel Rubin, Susanne Goldstone, Dani Klein, Rebecca Seider, Dave Weinberg, Danny Weissberg, Tomer Harry, OurCrowd’s Zack Miller and Leah Stern, Hannah Janal, Nathaniel Malka, Alan Weinkrantz, Shay Dadush, Chaim Haas, Adam May, Sam Michelson, Jonathan Kopp, Lior Kodner, Gal Friedman, Blumberg Capital’s Bruce Taragin, and Fallon’s Jeff Kling.













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