Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Israelis Gal Gadot & Adam Neumann on Time 100 | Inside Rexit | Vaynerchuk & Oseary team up | The men smoking cigars with Michael Cohen

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TALK OF THE TOWN — “Blackstone’s Epic Swap Trade Intrudes on Friendly Lunch With Blankfein” by Sridhar Natarajan and Nabila Ahmed: “Lloyd Blankfein and Jon Gray, two of the most powerful figures on Wall Street, sat down for lunch last month, just as tensions between their firms were ratcheting up. It was a friendly chat between Blankfein, head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Gray, heir apparent of Blackstone Group LP, that veered toward a thorny matter. At issue: a controversial trade involving credit-default swaps that has riveted players in the vast derivatives market — and set Goldman and Blackstone on a collision course… The gathering was a routine relationship-builder between one of the world’s most influential investment banks and one of the industry’s most important clients — but in the $11 trillion global market for credit derivatives, it’s taken on the weight of a state lunch.” [Bloomberg]

RELEASED THIS AM — TIME 100 Most Influential: Among those named on this year’s list include Israeli actress Gal Gadot, Yuri Milner writing about Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg on London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Sheryl Sandberg on New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, and finally Salesforce’s Marc Benioff writing about WeWork’s Adam Neumann: “By enabling the next generation to come together to work and play in a whole new way, Adam shows how we can “make a life, not just a living.” See the full list[Time100]

DRIVING THE CONVO — “Trump’s “great man” play on North Korea” by Jonathan Swan: “Trump came into office thinking he could be the historic deal maker to bring peace to the Middle East. He’s stopped talking about that. There’s very little point. The peace deal looks dead and cremated, with the Palestinians excoriating the U.S. nonstop since Trump announced he was moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. But Trump wants to sign his name even larger into the history books, and he views North Korea as his moment.” [Axios]

FIRST LOOK — “Inside Rex Tillerson’s Ouster” by Ronan Farrow: “The day I met with [Tillerson], they were still reeling from an announcement [Nikki] Haley had made about plans to withhold U.S. funding for U.N.R.W.A., the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees. Tillerson hadn’t been consulted. In a series of tense e-mails, Haley’s press office told Tillerson staffers that it had checked with the White House instead. Tensions between Secretaries of State and U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations were nothing new, but this enmity seemed to run deeper. “Holy s**t,” the source close to the White House said, “I’ve never seen anything like the way he’s treated her . . . it’s shocking.” Tillerson’s “rage” toward Haley had drawn the disapproval of even the President, the source added.”

“When Tillerson prevailed in reinstating some of the humanitarian funds for U.N.R.W.A. that Haley had sought to withhold, press items discussing potential negative repercussions for [Jared] Kushner’s Middle East peace efforts began appearing. A State Department official with knowledge of the situation accused Kushner of planting them. The source close to the White House said that Kushner had attempted to work with Tillerson and met with resistance. “Here’s what I saw: a President who surprised [Kushner] on the spot and said, ‘You’re doing Mideast peace,’ after the campaign. A guy who tried to brief Rex every single week but could never even get a call back or a meeting… And it wasn’t just Jared. It was many people across the government, including fellow Cabinet members, who complained.”

When I asked Tillerson whether he had been frustrated when responsibilities were handed to Kushner, he was surprisingly passive. “Uh, no,” he said. “It was pretty clear in the beginning the President wanted him to work on the Middle East peace process, and so we carved that out.” He shrugged. “That’s what the President wanted to do.”

“To the bitter end, Tillerson seemed passionate about fighting stories of his ouster. Surrendering Middle East peace he greeted with a shrug… The messy division of labor between Tillerson and Kushner had policy consequences. When Tillerson began to work as a mediator in a dispute that saw Saudi Arabia and a number of Gulf states cut off relations with Qatar… Trump veered off course, issuing a vociferous, off-the-cuff takedown of Qatar… Kushner, according to White House sources, had sided with the Saudis based on his close relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman… Middle East policy had been given to both men, and it appeared that Kushner… was winning the tug-of-war.” [NewYorker]

TURTLE BAY — “The U.N. ambassador made crystal clear after initially being blamed for ‘confusion’ on Russia sanctions that she will not tolerate public humiliation quietly” by Elaina Johnson and Burgess Everett: “At the center of the story, this incident will raise questions as to whether she’s speaking for the administration when she speaks at the United Nations,” said Ely Ratner, who served as deputy national security adviser for Vice President Joe Biden. “That’s something that has haunted Cabinet-level officials since the beginning of the administration.” [Politico]

Aaron David Miller emails us… “Haley has a lot of support. Marginalizing her won’t be easy. If it happens it will be because Mike Pompeo emerges as the central force in Trump Administration’s foreign policy, and Haley’s influence — such as it is — diminishes.”

ISRAEL AT 70 — “Israel marks 70 years as a nation as new and old challenges lurk” by Jean-Luc Renaudie: “At the traditional Jerusalem torch-lighting ceremony kicking off what Israelis call Independence Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed what he called “real seeds of peace” he said were beginning to sprout among some of Israel’s Arab neighbours. He did not elaborate… “Our hand is outstretched in peace to all of our neighbours who want peace,” Netanyahu said… “And to our enemies who think that we are a passing phenomenon, I have news for you: In 70 years from now you will find here a country seven times stronger than what we have done so far. This is just the beginning!” [YahooNews]

Trump, Netanyahu exchanged congratulatory messages on Twitter to mark Israel’s 70th anniversary. “Best wishes to Prime Minister Netanyahu and all of the people of Israel on the 70th Anniversary of your Great Independence. We have no better friends anywhere,” Trump tweeted. “Looking forward to moving our Embassy to Jerusalem next month!” The White House later released a video with footage of Trump’s Israel trip — including Ivanka Trump’s visit to the Western Wall — and his meetings with the Israeli Prime Minister. It ends with ‘Yom Atzmaut Sameach’ in Hebrew.

Netanyahu replied in a tweet“Thank you, President Trump! We too have no better friend than America. We are greatly looking forward to your moving the embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.”

SIGHTINGS — U.S. Ambassador David Friedman was spotted in attendance at the start of the torch-lighting ceremony [Pic] • Friedman later tweeted: “At Mount Herzl tonight (Israel’s Arlington Cemetery), Israelis abruptly shifted from mourning their losses to celebrating the miracle of their 70th anniversary. As King David said from Jerusalem 3000 years ago (Psalm 30), from tears at night come joy in the morning.”

— Sheldon and Miriam Adelson attended a Yom Ha’atzmaot event earlier today at Hilton in Tel Aviv hosted by Israel Bonds [Pic] Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, who is leading a delegation of 40 UN Ambassadors, spoke at the event [Pic] h/t Zach Ehrlich

— Conference of Presidents’ Malcolm Hoenlein at the annual Independence Day event at the President’s residence in Jerusalem, awarding the Medal of Excellence to 120 soldiers and officers of the Israel Defense Forces. [Pic

RJC’s Matt Brooks emails us from Israel: “It’s incredibly meaningful to be here at this time. The atmosphere is electric and the whole city of Jerusalem seems to have collectively gathered in the streets with everyone dancing and singing, and having an incredible time. Being here now gives me tremendous pride about how Israel has evolved into such a successful and vibrant nation, a beacon of freedom in a challenging neighborhood, and the eternal home for the Jewish people. I, along with a very large delegation from the RJC and other political, Congressional and organizational leaders, will be returning in a few weeks to continue the celebration when the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is opened formally! It will indeed be historic.”

Daniel Gordis writes… Israel’s First 70 Years Have Surprised the World: As the modern Israeli state celebrates 70 years, the prevailing sentiment is one of extraordinary accomplishment. American Jewish leaders were incensed in 1948 when Ben-Gurion came to the U.S. and spoke about the fledgling state as the new center of the Jewish world; today, that status is nowhere in doubt.” [BloombergView]

TALK OF THE REGION — “Iran’s Moves in Syria Raise Risk of Conflict With Israel” by Yaroslav Trofimov: “In Israeli assessments, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other units in Syria have now switched their primary mission from preventing a collapse of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to preparing for a future confrontation with Israel. “They’ve succeeded in the war for Assad to survive. Now their first priority has changed and Israel is the target,” said retired Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, who served as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser from 2011 to 2013. “They want to prevent Israel from reacting in any way to the next stage, in which Iran is building its nuclear capability.” [WSJ

ON THE HILL — Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced the Disarm Hezbollah Act (HR 5540), a bipartisan bill that instructs the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to investigate Hezbollah’s capabilities and the ways Hezbollah raises and distributes funds in the territory under UNIFIL’s mandate. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Mr. Kinzinger to improve our intelligence community’s understanding of a serious ongoing threat on the doorstep of one of America’s most vital allies,” Suozzi said in a statement.

“Lawmakers worry about securing U.S. goals in Syria as Trump looks for the exit” by Karen DeYoung: “In a House hearing, members repeatedly challenged the State Department’s top officials on the Middle East and Russia to explain how the administration planned to reach its stated goals of defeating the Islamic State, building a stable Syria without President Bashar al-Assad, and keeping his Russian and Iranian backers from taking over… A. Wess Mitchell, assistant secretary of state for Europe, said that “in the days and weeks ahead, the United States and our allies will degrade and defeat ISIS, support a stable Syria, and limit the spread of Iranian malign influence.” [WashPost]

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) to Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield: “Has Iran violated the letter of the JCPOA?” Satterfield: “The IAEA has not found significant violations…” Zeldin: “I am not asking the IAEA, I am asking you.” Satterfield: “That is what we rely upon. The IAEA has not found significant violations.” Zeldin: “So is it the State Department’s position that Iran has not violated the letter of the JCPOA?” Satterfield: “That is the judgment of the IAEA.” When further pressed about publicly known reports that indicate Iran is possibly violating the terms of the deal, Satterfield repeatedly stated he’d only respond in writing. [Video

Eli Lakes writes… “Democrats Should Give Pompeo a Chance to Fix the Iran Deal: [Pompeo] was much closer to Senate Democrats on the Iran deal than he was to Trump. Tillerson was able to delay Trump’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance with the deal. But along the way, he lost Trump’s trust… Pompeo still has a chance. As a hawk who supported decertification inside Trump’s cabinet, Pompeo has more credibility with Trump if a deal can be forged. Trump, after all, chose Pompeo to help prepare for the North Korea summit.” [BloombergView]

Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg in the WSJ… “Use Iran Sanctions to Stop Assad: The U.S. and Europe have to agree on fixes to the nuclear deal by May 12… If they can’t agree on a fix, the U.S. can offer a face-saving gesture to win European support for a maximum pressure campaign targeting Mr. Assad. Rather than labeling the reimposition of sanctions on Iran’s central bank a way of nixing the nuclear deal, the president should announce the move as a response to Iranian behavior in Syria…  Instead of making Iran look like a diplomacy-loving victim of American unilateralism, Tehran would have to defend its odious Syria policy.” [WSJ]

Dov Zakheim writes… “Trump Needs a Plan for Israel’s Confrontation With Iran: A complete U.S. withdrawal from Syria could result in two outcomes: one bad, the other worse… The bad outcome would be an Israeli preemptive strike on all Iranian forces in Syria. Hezbollah would certainly retaliate on behalf of Iran, and the Iranians would certainly fire a missile barrage at Israel as well… An even worse outcome would be a preemptive strike on Israel by Hezbollah and the Iranians, in coordination with Hamas, with Moscow’s support… Unless his Defense Department advisors can bring him around, the United States may well come to rue the day that it found itself not only once again rushing to the aid of Israel but fully engaged in yet another war in the Middle East.” [ForeignPolicy

JARED INSIDER — “Kushner’s prison-reform push hits bipartisan resistance” by Elana Schor and Heather Caygle: “[Jared] Kushner was given an expansive portfolio early in the Trump administration, from leading Middle East peace talks to overseeing a new Office of American Innovation, but he has yet to notch a significant policy win. Passage of a prison reform bill could change his fortunes, but the odds remain long… “He has very much of an interest in it [because of] his father,” [Rep. Doug] Collins said, noting he’s been discussing the legislation with Kushner for more than a year…” [Politico] • Key Dem bails on prison reform meeting with Kushner [Axios

IN THE SPOTLIGHT… “Cohen Would Turn Against President if Charged, Counselor Warned Trump” by Joe Palazzolo, Michael Rothfeld and Michael Siconolfi: “One of President Donald Trump’s longtime legal advisers said he warned the president in a phone call Friday that Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and close friend, would turn against the president and cooperate with federal prosecutors if faced with criminal charges. Mr. Trump made the call seeking advice from Jay Goldberg, who represented Mr. Trump in the 1990s and early 2000s. Mr. Goldberg said he cautioned the president not to trust Mr. Cohen. On a scale of 100 to 1, where 100 is fully protecting the president, Mr. Cohen “isn’t even a 1,” he said he told Mr. Trump.” [WSJ]

— “Two sources close to the president said people in Trump’s inner circle have in recent days been actively discussing the possibility that Michael Cohen… might flip… “That’s what they’ll threaten him with: life imprisonment,” said Alan Dershowitz… “They’re going to threaten him with a long prison term and try to turn him into a canary that sings.”” [Politico]

“Who are the mystery men photographed sharing cigars with Michael Cohen?” by Ali Dukakis and Lucien Bruggeman: “Among those photographed sharing cigars with Cohen outside his Upper East Side hotel on Friday were two men who appeared to be Rotem Rosen and Jerry Rotonda as identified by ABC News. Rosen and Rotonda are co-founders of a Manhattan-based real estate group called MRR Development… In 2007, Rosen, an Israeli-American businessman, married the daughter of Alex Sapir, who developed the Trump SoHo building in Manhattan, at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort… A year later, an invitation to their son’s bris ceremony included Donald Trump and Jared Kushner on the guest list. In 2013, Rosen attended the infamous Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow…” [ABCNews]

2018 WATCH — “Grayson Says He’s Running, but Not Where” by Eric Garcia:“Democratic firebrand former Rep. Alan Grayson said he is running for Congress again but has not given indication where he will run. The former Democratic congressman raised $192,000 in the first quarter of 2018, according to Orlando Rising, and reported having $694,967 in cash on hand at the beginning of April… Grayson has officially filed to run in Florida’s 11th District, which is held by Rep. Daniel Webster, who beat Grayson in 2010 during his first tenure in the House.” [RollColl

** Good Thursday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Marc Lasry’s Avenue Capital to launch ‘impact’ investment fund, source says [Reuters] • Schottenstein’s Second Avenue Capital Partners Launches New Middle Market Lending Platform [ABLAdvisor] • EU to fine Patrick Drahi’s Altice for jumping gun on PT Portugal deal [Reuters] • Larry Silverstein plans Israel debut with $200M bond offering [TheRealDeal]  Steve Cohen Donates Dung-Adorned Art That Giuliani Tried to Ban [Bloomberg] • Cosmetics tycoon Bobbi Brown striking out on her own again [Scotsman]

“Gary Vaynerchuk Joins Forces With Guy Oseary for Digital Marketing Collaboration” by Dave Brooks: “Guy Oseary’s Maverick Management is teaming up with Gary Vaynerchuk’s communications firm VaynerMedia to create the Vayner/Maverick Music Content Project… The Vayner/Maverick Music Content Project will focus on developing long and short-form videos, episodic series and other activations for sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, pairing talent with companies for unique story-telling and collaboration, with Vaynerchuk describing an artist’s reach and fame as “the ultimate arbitrage in our society… Besides developing content, the Vayner/Maverick Music Content Project will focus on analyzing fan data and platform preference for artists while developing content specific to an artist’s audience.” [Billboard]

“Kevin Warsh and Stan Druckenmiller Just Invested In a Cryptocurrency That’s Designed to Be Boring” by Julie Verhage: “A group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists and Wall Street fixtures are spending $133 million on a cryptocurrency that’s boring by design. The concept is called Basis. The startup behind it wants to create an “algorithmic central bank,” inspired by economic principles that underpin fiat currency to adjust supply and minimize price swings… Basis said Wednesday that it sold $133 million in a pre-sale coin offering to the venture capital arms of Alphabet Inc. and Bain Capital, as well as Andreessen Horowitz, Foundation Capital and Lightspeed. Stanley Druckenmiller, a billionaire hedge fund manager, and Kevin Warsh, a former governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve, also bought in.” [Bloomberg]

INTERVIEW — “Marissa Mayer Is Still Here: The former Yahoo chief is renting Google’s original office, where “there’s a lot of good juju,” and planning her next act. She just won’t say what it is” by David Gelles: Yahoo had to deal with some nasty shareholder activist campaigns, and several readers asked about your thoughts on activism. Were there upsides, or was it more of a distraction? One of the more tragic cases of Yahoo is the Alibaba stake. Both Carl Icahn’s campaign and some of the people who were part of Dan Loeb’s campaign really wanted a commitment to see that stake sold. And Yahoo sold half of that stake in a $35 billion market cap for Alibaba, eroding tens of billions of dollars of upside. So certainly that was not positive. Sometimes that shortsightedness of wanting to get a return quickly can cause you to miss a much bigger gain.” [NYTimes]

CAMPUS BEAT — “Barnard SGA referendum on divestment from companies with ties to Israel passes with 64 percent support” by Aubri Juhasz: “Barnard students have voted in favor of a referendum asking the Student Government Association to write a letter to the administration asking them to divest from eight companies that “profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians,” SGA announced in an email to students… Of the 1153 students that voted on the referendum, 64.3 percent voted in its favor.” [ColumbiaSpectator]

“Palestinian students, supporters occupy SA office to protest canceled divestment vote” by Sarah Roach: “Dozens of [George Washington University] students frustrated with the cancellation of a highly anticipated Student Association Senate debate about a pro-Palestinian divestment resolution packed inside the SA’s Marvin Center office for a sit-in Monday night… SA leadership called off the senate meeting earlier Mondayabout 10 minutes before it was set to begin amid concerns for the safety of senators and attendees… The resolution called for the University to divest from nine companies supporters said profited from Palestinian suffering.”[GWHatchet]

ACROSS THE POND — “Sadiq Khan challenges Corbyn to ‘walk the walk’ on antisemitism” by Pippa Crerar: “The London mayor singled out his predecessor Ken Livingstone, saying it was “difficult to believe” that he had not been expelled nearly two years on from his “clearly antisemitic” remarks. [Khan] issued a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn to “walk the walk” on tackling antisemitism within the party, after the Labour leader instructed his new general secretary, Jennie Formby, to make it a priority… Khan told the Guardian that he had spoken to Jewish Londoners who “genuinely believe” that the Labour party was not for them because it had failed to deal with the problem effectively.” [TheGuardian]

“Merkel condemns attack on 2 men wearing skullcaps in Germany” by Kirsten Grieshaber: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesdaysharply condemned a street assault in Berlin on two young men wearing Jewish skullcaps that has stoked the debate about anti-Semitism in the country. In a surprising twist, however, the victim of the attack, who identified himself on Israeli television as Adam Armoush, later told German TV that he wasn’t Jewish, but an Israeli from an Arab family. Armoush told Deutsche Welle Television that he wore the skullcap to make a point to a friend who said it was risky to do so in Germany. “I was saying it’s really safe and I wanted to prove it, but it ended like that,” he said.” [AP

“Four Strangers on Facebook Pulled Off Man’s Escape From War Half a World Away in Yemen” by Sandra Sobieraj Westfall: “Mohammed Al Samawi, a Muslim who, in 2015, was targeted with death threats from extremists in Yemen for his interfaith peace work with Jews and Christians… He tapped out a desperate appeal to everyone he knew on Facebook: “Can you help me at all?” Half a world away, New York City bioengineer Daniel Pincus, 39; San Francisco social entrepreneur Justin Hefter, 29; and humanitarian activists Megan Hallahan, 38 and Natasha Westheimer, 27, then based in Israel, separately hit “reply.” “And just like that, my own personal Justice League came together,” Al Samawi writes in his new memoir of the ordeal, The Fox Hunt (which is already being made into a movie by La La Landproducer Marc Platt).” The four strangers spent the next 13 days working every contact and friend-of-a-friend they had around the world, eventually coordinating as team over Skype and improbably shepherding Al Samawi through a harrowing escape to the United States.” [PeopleMag

“The holiday village run by spies” by Raffi Berg: “In 1977… Ferede Aklum, joined a wave of non-Jewish Ethiopian refugees who crossed the border into Sudan to escape civil war and a deepening food crisis. He sent letters to relief agencies, pleading for help, and one found its way to the Mossad… Then Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin… instructed the intelligence agency to act. Located by a Mossad agent, Ferede channelled messages back to his community… What happened next is the subject of a soon-to be released Hollywood film called Red Sea Diving Resort. Filmed in Namibia and South Africa, it tells the story of the operation and the village. Though while it is based on true events, some of the scenes are fictitious.” [BBC]

“Why Rahm Emanuel is banned from discussing ‘The Deer Hunter’ with his brothers” by Elvia Malagon: “Don’t get Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his brothers started on “The Deer Hunter.” The 1978 movie staring Robert De Niro is such a sore subject among Emanuel and his brothers — Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel and medical ethics professor Zeke Emanuel — that their spouses banned them from further discussing the accuracy of the movie’s depiction of the Vietnam War, Emanuel revealed to Anthony Ponce on an upcoming episode of “Backseat Rider.” “If either one would be sitting here, they’d be calling me an idiot,” Emanuel told Ponce. “That’s what they’d be saying. That’s how we are.”” [ChicagoTribune]

‘SHELDON THE SHADCHAN’ — How Pamela Anderson and Shmuley Boteach met: “The unlikely duo first got together in a Malibu, Calif., coffeehouse in 2016, after being introduced by a mutual friend, the casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is a neighbor of Anderson’s in Malibu.” [NYPost]

SPORTS BLINK — JI-ers in the news… “How Cory Booker’s ‘failed’ football career at Stanford shaped his political future” by Jonathan Tamari: “On his gleaming resumé, Booker’s college football career stands out as an unusual bullet point. Unlike at most stops in his life, the onetime Stanford class president, Rhodes scholar, Newark mayor, and political celebrity who became a senator at 44 never achieved star status as a Stanford athlete. He was relegated to the background, a role player on a talented team… Even in a shirt and tie, Booker remains a burly presence behind his Senate desk, and now calls himself “the most overrated football player I think in the history of high school football.” [Philly

— “Cleo Wade Is Everybody’s BFF” by Alex Hawgood: “Ms. Wade blushed when the topic of her romantic life was brought up. She has long refused to discuss her relationship with Mr. Booker, once telling New York magazine, “I don’t confirm or deny anything in the romantic realm.” After much prodding during her interview this time, she finally said, “We’re very close, and I consider him family.” In an interview last September, Mr. Booker said he has “been a bachelor too long” and that he was “hopeful” a marriage to Ms. Wade was in the cards.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Head of strategic human resources at Elliott Management Corporation, philanthropist and director of The Paul E. Singer Foundation,Terry Kassel… US diplomat, former President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Peter Tarnoff turns 81… Literary theorist, legal scholar, author and public intellectual, has taught at Cardozo School of Law, Florida International University and University of Illinois at Chicago, Stanley Fish turns 80… Israeli criminal defense attorney who also served as the Attorney General of Israel (2010-2016), Yehuda Weinstein turns 74… Comedienne, actress and mental health campaigner in the UK, Ruby Wax (born Ruby Wachs in Chicago) turns 65… Investor and hedge fund manager, Jacob Ezra Merkinturns 65… Overland Park, Kansas resident, Gloria Elyachar turns 58… Angel investment fund manager, who during his 12-year NFL career (1987-1998) won three Super Bowls, Harris Barton turns 54…

Law professor at Arizona State University, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, former State Department official and an expert on Iran’s nuclear program, Orde Félix Kittrie turns 54… Jerusalem-born historian, author, screenwriter, political commentator and senior lecturer at the Hebrew University, Gadi Taub turns 53… Israeli entrepreneur, best known as the founder and former CEO of Better Place, an electric car company that raised $850 million yet was liquidated in a 2013 bankruptcy, Shai Agassi turns 50… French stand-up comedian and actor, Gad Elmaleh turns 47… Award-winning, film, televison and theatre actor, his official bar mitzvah was in 2015 at age 37, James Franco turns 40… Tel Aviv-born, now living in Toronto, entrepreneur, philanthropist, CEO and co-founder of Klick Health (a digital marketing firm in the medical field), Leerom Segal turns 39… Assistant Director of Campus Affairs at AJC: Global Jewish Advocacy, Seffi Kogen turns 27… Arthur Cohn… Jake Gerber