Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Mike Bloomberg – ‘The Mayor vs. the Mogul’ | Genesis Prize Gala | Jewish Hats In Fashion | Usher’s son Nayvid insists he’s Jewish

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LongRead — Mike Bloomberg Profile: “The Mayor vs. the Mogul” by Luke O’Brien: “Bloomberg employees never imagined this level of involvement from the now 73-year-old oligarch. They expected him to decamp for philanthropy or relax with his grandkid, maybe write an occasional column about gun control for Bloomberg View, the editorial vehicle designed to promote The Mayor’s causes and filled with pedigreed smart types housed in a beautiful Stanford White-designed townhouse on the Upper East Side. They thought Bloomberg would cloister himself there with coffee and the Economist. But he was The Owner again now. And everyone—including perhaps The Mayor himself—had underestimated The Owner’s desire for control.” [PoliticoMag] • “Email exposes ‘climate of fear’ at Bloomberg” [NYPost]Bloomberg’s Facebook Post: “I’m happy to pass The Genesis Prize laureate torch to my good friend Michael Douglas, honored for his achievements in film, commitment to tikkun olam, and connection to the State of Israel. Mazel Tov!” [FB]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: “Genesis fetes Michael Douglas at Jerusalem gala” by Noa Amouyal: “I don’t consider myself your host, I feel like I’m more of your Shabbes goy,” Jay Leno joked during his monologue at the second annual Genesis Prize award ceremony, at the Jerusalem Theater on Thursday night. American actor Michael Douglas, 70, was honored for his work promoting a more welcoming and inclusive Judaism.” [JPostVariety]

–VIPs Spotted at Genesis: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Amb. Ron Dermer, Martin Schlaff, Jack Rosen, Mikhail Fridman, Eugene Shvidler, Natan Sharansky, Bar Refaeli, Jerry Silverman, Yuri Kanner, German Zakharyaev.

“Genesis Prize brings together Who’s Who of top world Jewry – even those considered ‘illegitimate'” by Avital-Chizhik-Goldschmidt: “The son of a Jewish Kirk Douglas and the non-Jewish Diana Dill, Douglas is now married to Catherine Zeta-Jones – an “illegitimate” Jew by Orthodox standards. Yet Douglas has emerged as an advocate for Israel, and last summer famously wrote in the LA Times about persecution his young son faced as a Jew.  “We [at Genesis] try to be disruptive,” said Jill Smith, Genesis Prize committee member. She said that every year the committee sought to address a different critical issue.” [Haaretz] • “Michael Douglas and Genesis Prize Foundation Launch $3.5 Million Inclusivity Initiative” [eJewishPhil]

“After 12-year absence, Austrian magnate embroiled in graft scandals is returning to Israel” by Gidi Weitz: “Police had wanted to quiz Martin Schlaff over cases involving Ariel Sharon and Avigdor Lieberman, but now he is free to return without questioning.” [Haaretz]

2016 WATCH: “The Great 2016 Foreign Policy Gamble” by Josh Kraushaar: “Republicans believe 2016 will be a national security election. Democrats think it’s merely an issue driving the conservative base. Somebody is going to pay the price of misreading the public… “It’s a much more important issue for the Republican base than the Democratic base. That may give the Republicans a distorted picture of the general election,” Democratic pollster Mark Mellman said. “But there’s also no question that there’s momentum behind national security and terrorism issues. If present trends continue, the issue for 2016 is going to be whether people think this next president can keep the world in order.” [NationalJournal]

Happening Today: At 12:30-2:30pm, Janine and Peter Lowy will host Hillary Clinton for a fundraiser at their Beverly Hills home. [HollywoodReporter] • (Disclaimer: Peter Lowy is chairman of Tribe Media Corp.)

Heard Yesterday: “If I am president, this country will do whatever it takes to help the people of Israel survive and prosper as a Jewish state,” Marco Rubio said.” [WashTimes]

“Operation Replace Jeb Bush: John Kasich is on a last-ditch mission to prove he can be the Republican establishment’s dream candidate in 2016” by Alex Isenstadt: “In his talks with the party’s top donors — a group that includes retail king Les Wexner and publishing magnate John Wolfe — Kasich, 63, has argued that other candidates had failed to coalesce the party behind them. And he has suggested they consider holding off on giving to other contenders, or at least consider contributing to him as well.” [Politico]

“25 questions the Koch brothers want every 2016 candidate to answer” by James Hohmann: “Question #24: Should the U.S. use any means necessary to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon even if it required the use of ground forces?” [WashPost]

IRAN TALKS: “Is State Department skirting US law on sanctions?” by Julian Pecquet: “The State Department is three years late in slapping certain sanctions on Iran, prompting new allegations that the Barack Obama administration is deliberately skirting US law in its quest for a nuclear deal.” [AlMonitor] • “Iran Holds Out Improved Oil-Contract Terms” [WSJ]

More Michael Oren Talk: “Former Israeli Envoy Weighs In on Frayed Relations Between Obama and Netanyahu” by Jodi Rudoren: “As news sites in both countries erupted with new calculations of conduct unbecoming, Mr. Oren was tossed under the bus by the head of his political party, Moshe Kahlon… Mr. Oren did not respond to messages on Thursday. He was expected at his book party Thursday evening in Manhattan for another round of the parlor game.” [NYTimes• “Michael Oren, has Obama hurt Israel’s security? A conversation” by Shmuel Rosner [JewishJournal]

For those not buying the book… “From Clooney to Clinton: 20 revelations from Michael Oren’s new book” [ToI]

Op: “The Death and Life of the Two-State Solution” by Grant Rumley and Amir Tibon: “For the Palestinians, in other words, the increasingly likeliest way to achieve an independent state is, paradoxically, to give up on trying to get one.” [ForeignAffairs]

Heard Last Night: The 9th Annual Rays of Light in the Darkness dinner for EMET at the Grand Hyatt in D.C. Guests included Sarah Stern, Shmuley Boteach, Jim Woolsey, Mark Levin, Frank Gaffney, Louie Gohmert, Irwin Cotler, Nick Muzin, Tevi Troy, Cal Thomas, Nat Lewin, Noah Silverman, Morris Amitay, Richard Heidemann. The honoree for the evening was Kasim Hafeez, a pro-Israel Muslim, who noted that “[without Israel] would I have met my partner? No, because she’s Israeli and 10 years ago, I wanted to kill her.”

Yesterday On The Hill: A Congressional Tribute honoring the memory of Rabbi Tzvi Kestenbaum whose advocacy resulted in Congress creating a Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. The event was coordinated by the Friedlander Group and attendees included: William Daroff, Eric Fusfield, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Howard Friedman, Amb. Stu Eizenstat, David Moskovits, Emil Fish, Stanley Treitel, Herb Block.

HAPPENING TODAY: At 3:15pm at the Neue Galerie in NYC — “World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder will present Academy Award winner Helen Mirren with the WJC Recognition Award for her role in the acclaimed hit film ‘Woman in Gold’ at New York’s Neue Galerie. The WJC Recognition Award honors outstanding individuals working on behalf of the Jewish people. Harvey Weinstein is expected to participate as well.”

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Bets Israel Gas Dispute May End Send Delek Group to 6-Month High” [Bloomberg• “Teddy Sagi’s Playtech to raise £250m war chest to buy Plus500” [Telegraph] • “Robert F.X. Sillerman’s SFX Unloads $15 Million in Stock, Signaling Immediate Cash Needs” [Billboard] • “Activist investor Elliott set sights on Asia’s family-run firms” [Yahoo] • “The landlord, the Orbach Group, has installed the metal gates, which tenants say prevent them from using the stoops.” [NYTimes] • “WeWork to set up at Jared Kushner’s Piazza in NoLibs for first foray into Philadelphia” [BizJournal

SPOTLIGHT: “Why Ori Allon’s Real Estate App Is Making New York Brokers Nervous” by John Paul Titlow: “Right now, when you want to buy a place, it’s very hard to really understand the value,” says Ori Allon, Compass’s cofounder and executive chairman. Allon brings some serious tech industry cred to the real estate listings space: He sold his first company, a search startup named Orion, to Google, which won a bidding war with Yahoo and Microsoft over Allon’s creation. [FastCompany]

“Taking the Work Out of Short-Term Rentals” by Michelle Higgins: “Tel Aviv-based Guesty, created by twin brothers from Israel, Amiad and Koby Soto, calls itself an “Airbnb management service.” It does not have a staff on the ground. Rather, it facilitates short-term rentals remotely, charging a 3 percent commission for each reservation it handles through Airbnb.” [NYTimes]

Usher’s Fathers Day Letter: “The confidence you both have about life always makes for interesting conversation. Nayvid, I’ve heard you insist that you are Jewish, just because you go to a diverse school. I’m going to let you roll with that for now.” [TimeMag]

“Jewish Hats In Fashion: The Lasting Influence of Orthodox Judaism on Men’s Style” by Max Lakin: “The hats, like most things in modern Judaism, are weighted with the tonnage of collective history. Not a people to be satisfied with flat meaning, Judaism offers several explanations for its predilection for fly headgear, most of which concern the vast sweep of creation and man’s place in it… It’s worth noting that the fedora itself is neither a Jewish design or rabbinic diktat. Certainly the diaspora of Jewish Hats takes many forms. In certain precincts of Queens, for example, it’s a battered Mets cap caked in decades of regret and self-loathing. In Fort Lauderdale, the Jewish-American Gold Coast, it’s a white mesh number allowed to rise jauntily off the skull while kibbitzing at the co-op pool deck.” [Complex]

“Why Russian-American Jews Are Ballroom Dance Leaders” by Alexandra Starr: “Some of the most successful ballroom dance competitors in the U.S. are Russian-American Jews, and that’s not a coincidence. Inna Brayer is a former national ballroom champion. And, like all her students, is Jewish. Jonathan Sarna is a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University. He adds that the discrimination Jews faced in the former Soviet Union meant they had to outperform their peers — everywhere from the classroom to the dance floor.” [NPR]

DESSERT: “Father-son Rami team opens juice bar next door” by Jill Radsken: “For a large part of the Jewish community in Greater Boston, the name Rami is synonymous with falafel. Rami is Rami Cohen, 57, who opened Rami’s restaurant in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner in 1990. The third generation to offer the Middle Eastern fried chickpea fritters, Cohen moved to Las Vegas a decade ago, where he went into the restaurant business again. But recently he sold that spot, called Sababa, a kosher Mediterranean grill, to return here. Now the original Rami is coming home to help his son stake his own claim in the food world. As the falafel place celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, Cohen’s son, Haim, just opened Pure Cold Press, a sleek, modern juice bar and salad cafe next door.” [BostonGlobe]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Alex Jakubowski… David Yarus… David Makovsky turns 55…

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