Ed note: There will be no Daily Kickoff digest next Monday or Tuesday due to the holiday of Sukkot. Enjoy!
SPORTING SCENE: “When N.B.A. Players Go to Israel” by Giri Nathan: “Standing at a self-reported five-foot-eight (some colleagues say this measure is generous), David Schottenstein is a thirty-one-year-old Jewish-American entrepreneur and venture capitalist. The players he had helped bring to Israel were mobbed by fans who had come to worship at the Western Wall… Schottenstein began “literally throwing people out of the way, moving forward,” he recalled. “It was crazy. Iman was behind me, laughing his head off because he said he never saw such a small guy completely clear a path, like parting the Red Sea.”
“Judging from their social-media accounts, the players enjoyed themselves. The photos of Mediterranean relaxation attracted the attention of at least one sought-after demographic: other N.B.A. players. Casspi noted that planning for next summer’s trip is under way, and Schottenstein said that they have been contacted by the agents of “very, very, very high-profile, I mean top-five, N.B.A. players.”” [NewYorker]
“Delta Air Lines to beef up capacity to Israel” by Ben Mutzabaugh: “Delta Air Lines will boost capacity to Israel, announcing on Thursday it will add four additional weekly flights to its existing service between New York JFK and Tel Aviv. “From next summer, Delta will offer more than 2,300 extra seats between Tel Aviv and New York, one of our largest trans-Atlantic markets, responding to customer demand for increased nonstop service,” Nat Pieper, Delta’s Senior Vice President.” [USAToday; PressRelease]
TALK OF OUR NATION — Israeli ministry plows ahead with ‘world Jewry’ project, even as funding and future remain uncertain: Nearly two years after its launch was announced with much fanfare — and after a string of delays — the Joint Initiative of the Government of Israel and World Jewry has yet to get off the ground. Even as an Israeli government ministry moves forward with appointing its staff, two of the three bodies that once led the project are now distancing themselves from it, and funding remains uncertain. [JewishJournal]
“After the Iran Deal, Vitriol Reigns as U.S. Jews Struggle to Move Forward” by Debra Nussbaum Cohen: “It’s “the day after” a bruising fight in the Jewish community over the Iran nuclear deal — a debate marked by vitriol and vituperation. Reactions have often been hair-trigger fast and the language painful. While Jewish federations in communities around the country have grappled with what if any position to take, some have faced pressure from major donors who wanted them to come out on one side or the other.” [Haaretz]
–Notable: “Alan Solow is what anyone would call a macher. He’s a Chicago attorney, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and a close friend of Obama.” [ibid]
Press Release: “President Obama announced his intent to appoint Rabbi Steve Gutow to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships” [WhiteHouse]
Inbox: Orthodox Union’s Dr. David Luchins to be honored by the JCPA at its annual meeting.
U.N. Preview: “U.S. Moves on Russia Ties; Iran Holds Back” by Carol E. Lee, Nathan Hodge and Farnaz Fassihi: “Administration officials have said Mr. Obama is open to meeting with Iran’s president. But the Iranians have indicated to the U.S. that it won’t happen, underscoring the difficulty of redefining relations after decades of hostility. Rouhani arrived in New York on Thursday with a mandate to convey the message that Iran is open to the world, according to analysts and diplomats inside Iran. But when it comes to the U.S., Iran is drawing a red line.” [WSJ]
TOP-OP: “A Road Map to Regime Change in Tehran” by Peter Kohanloo: “Critics of the Iran nuclear deal can at least make sure America puts the 10-year horizon to good use.” [WSJ]
2016 WATCH: “Marco Rubio ‘outraged’ at DNC chair’s Hitler knock” by Tom LoBianco:“Marco Rubio said Thursday he was “outraged” that the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee criticized him for attending a fundraiser at the home of a real estate developer who has Nazi art — including two paintings by Adolf Hitler. “I was outraged because this is a private citizen and individual who participates in the political process, (and) anyone who knows him for two seconds realizes he’s not a Nazi sympathizer,” Rubio said. Rubio then said Wasserman Schultz’s support for the Iran nuclear deal was far worse than a collector’s holdings.” [CNN; FoxNews]
Peter Lowy Op: “In case you missed it, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently gave a foreign policy speech worthy of a president… For those in the pro-Israel community, this speech and policy prescription should be a rallying cry for how to move forward, to project the power and commitment of the United States, and to make the world and the Middle East a safer place. Clinton’s record on supporting Israel is as strong as they come, and this speech makes clear that Israel will have no stronger partner than her as the next president.” [JewishJournal] • Peter Lowy is chairman of TRIBE Media
HAPPENING TODAY: At 9am, Jeb Bush and his senior staff will hold a Jewish Leadership Briefing at campaign headquarters in Miami. [JewishInsider]
SNEAK PEEK — Jeb 2016 National Jewish Leadership Committee: The Committee will be chaired by Eric Cantor and includes Yitz Applbaum, Scott Arogeti, Harold Beznos, Joshua Bolten, David Carmen, Adam Chill, Renee Evans, Steve Friedman, David Gemunder, Sander Gerber, Ron Gidwitz, Rabbi Doniel Ginsberg, Ken Goldberg, Sherry Goldberg, Adam Goldman, Al Goldstein, Michael Granoff, Yudi Gross, Reuven Hahn, Cheryl Halpern, William Heyman, David Javdan, Mark Kaplan, Autumn Karlinsky, Jeremy Katz, Joia Kazam, Joshua Kazam, Jay Kislak, Jonathan Kislak, Fara Klein, George Klein, Glenda Krongold, Ronald Krongold, S. Randy Lampert, Michael Lebovitz, Jay Lefkowitz, Leora Levy, Steven Levy, Ken Lipper, Jason Lyons, Ethan Marcovici, Bernie Marcus, Larry Medvinsky, David Metzner, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Attorney General Sam Olens, Morgan Ortagus, Thane Rosenbaum, Jason Rosenberg, David Schulman, Brian Schwartz, Betty Sembler, Mel Sembler, Michael Sevi, Florence Shapiro, Ned Siegel, Stephanie Siegel, Barry Silverman, Jeffrey Silverman, Councilman Scott Singer, Keith Sonderling, Gordon Sondland, Marc Stern, Jay Stieber, Eric Tanenblatt, Barry Volpert, Jonathan Weinberger, Alex Weiss, Anat Zeidman, Fred Zeidman, and Jay Zeidman.
Cheryl Halpern statement: “I am privileged to know Jeb Bush. He is a man of integrity and compassion who is respected by his family, friends and community. He is a former Governor who’s record reflects his achievements as a “doer” not just a “talker.” And if elected President, I am certain that Jeb will not only be a staunch defender of America and American values, but will also be a “Shomer Yisrael” a guardian of the special relationship with the State of Israel as well.” — Press Release later today
SCENE LAST NIGHT — by Jacob Kornbluh: British Prime Minister David Cameron was honored Thursday evening by Rabbi Arthur Schneier’s Appeal of Conscience Foundation with the 2015 World Statesman Award at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Ballroom in NYC. But Cameron was a no show. Instead, he addressed the crowd via video message. The United Kingdom’s UN Ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, accepted the award and spoke on Cameron’s behalf. According to the organizers, the prime minister will be presented the award in person at a private ceremony next week.
Spotted: Blackrock’s Larry Fink, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Johnson & Johnson’s CEO Alex Gorsky, Abe Foxman, Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni, Deputy Consul General Amir Sagi, Michael Miller, Jeff Wiesenfeld, Martin Schlaff, David Lobl, Ezra Friedlander, Meir Laufer.
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “The Redstone Discount at CBS: Sumner M. Redstone says he plans to live forever. If that doesn’t work out, his media empire will be controlled by a trust.” [DealBook] • “Will Steven Spielberg Drop the DreamWorks Name?” [HollywoodReporter] • “This is bad news for people who spend millions on art” [Fortune] • “Related Group and Dezer to break ground on Hyde Midtown condo/hotel” [BizJournals] • “Top 10 biggest real estate projects coming to NYC” [RealDeal]
STARTUP NATION: “Tel Aviv’s Real-Estate Boom Powered by Tech Startups” by Ruth Bloomfield: “Even with $1 million, a buyer coming to real-estate broker Eyal Hartogs looking for a waterfront home would have to settle for a modest one-bedroom apartment measuring a mere 200-square feet. But Mr. Hartogs isn’t based in London or the Hamptons. This is Tel Aviv.” [WSJ]
“Can a computer help you shop for work clothes? Fortune puts Israeli algorithm-based Stylit to the test” by Valentina Zarya: “Stylit is an Israeli startup that brings together human stylists and a machine learning algorithm to help users pick out clothes. Co-CEO Assif Versano says Stylit is “more data company than personal styling service.” As with most online styling services, the process begins with an online profile. Then, users receive weekly curated “looks” on the Stylit website and can order any items that they like.” [Fortune]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “Avoid New York ‘Popelock’ Traffic With a $95 Flight on Jewish-Owned Chopper” by Maia Efrem: “In about 5 minutes, Blade will take customers from West 30th Street to the East 34th Street heliport, covering the three miles of street closures that will surely wreak havoc on Manhattan. Co-founded by the now former CEO of Warner Music, Rob Wiesenthal and GroupMe’s Steve Martocci, the company offers flights to all New York City airports, the Hamptons and as far away as Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod.” [Forward; Fortune]
HOLLYWOOD: “In ‘Shah Bob,’ an Iranian Jewish screenwriter’s dreams get lost in L.A.” by Michael Sragow: “The writer-director, Babak Shokrian, has made an erratic autobiographical film about juggling artistic ambitions and family expectations in L.A.’s close-knit Iranian Jewish community. The second feature film by Babak Shokrian, “Shah Bob” includes numerous autobiographical elements as it takes on many of the things he both loves and finds annoying in his community of Tehrangelenos.” [LATimes; JewishJournal]
Jewish Tech: “6 Jewish-Themed Apps For Daily Inspiration And Learning” by Carol Kuruvilla: “Ari Werth, creator of the YouTube account TorahChannel, recently launched an app that curates the best online videos on Judaism.” [HuffPost]
Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “It is hard to know which is more beautiful, the drive up to the Jezreel Valley Winery or the winery itself. It’s located in one of the nicest parts of all of Israel, nestled in the hills of the Galilee. The winery is chic and modern. The staff is extremely friendly and quite knowledgeable about their product. The offerings of this winery are a great segue for me to start talking about Israel’s very edgy blends.”
“The Jezreel Valley Israel Red Blend 2012 is made from grapes which were grown originally in Israel. The Carignan grape is from a thirty year old vine. The other grapes used are Syrah and Argaman. The wine is aged in French oak and has some unusual tasting notes of predominantly black pepper and smoked meat. I would suggest drinking this wine with smoked meats or spicy cheese and tangy fruits. This wine is very drinkable now.”
WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Josh Mandel turns 38… Sam Zell turns 74.. Arthur Blank turns 73… Walter Stern… Yanky Rodman… Barry Mandel… Alou Amas… Judy Tashbook-Safern