Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: DC’s Hanukkah scene | Jewish Dems vs. J Street on anti-BDS bill | U.S. annoyed Israel is trying to resell F16s

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WHITE HOUSE SCENE — President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted their second annual White House Hanukkah party yesterday, which was split into two events, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Rabbi Shmuel Felzenberg and Rabbi Avraham Friedman of Chabad-Lubavitch of Parkland respectively led the menorah lighting ceremonies.

At the first event, Trump was joined on stage by Vice President Mike Pence, whom he called “a tremendous supporter of yours.” Pence, in turn, remarked: “It is the greatest honor of my life to serve as Vice President to the most pro-Israel President in American history.” The President also invited eight Holocaust survivors, who thanked him for expelling Jakiw Palij, America’s last known Nazi concentration camp guard, to Germany in the summer. “You honor us, truly, with your presence, and you inspire us with your courage,” Trump said. “Today and every day, we renew our solemn pledge: Never Again. Right? Never again.”

Marking the first anniversary of his announcement to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump marveled at his ability to deliver on a promise other presidents haven’t kept, at a lower cost than expected. “You know that story, right?” he asked rhetorically, retelling the story about saving almost a billion dollars on building a new embassy with “expensive” Jerusalem stone. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful embassy. And it’s an honor to do it for all of the people in the room,” Trump remarked. The estimated cost of the embassy relocation was also reduced within hours, going down to $180,000 from an estimated $200,000 during the afternoon event.

Trump also reaffirmed his commitment to fighting “anti-Semitism everywhere it occurs.” And while acknowledging his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump said he was “so proud to have you, Jared, in our family with all of his relatives and all of our friends. We are proud of him. I’m very proud of Jared.” [CSPANCSPAN]

At times, the events sounded more like Trump rallies than holiday parties. At the afternoon event, the crowd erupted, chanting “Four more years!” In the evening, the chants switched to “Trump, Trump, Trump.” Trump also earned high praise from Andrew Pollack, the father of Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack. “Mr. President, despite the pundits and so-called experts who said you couldn’t, you have retaken Washington for the American people,” Pollack said. “You are the greatest friend that the Jewish people have ever had in the White House, not only because you recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel… but because you understand the spirit of Hanukkah, within your heart.”

From the White House pool report: “Trump recalled the story of Judah Maccabee and the lamp he lit that “burned for eight nights” rather than the one he expected under duress. POTUS said the Jewish people have “endured, overcome and thrived” despite a long history of “hardships” and “terrible violence.” “Thrived like few, that I can tell you,” POTUS said. “Thrived.” … POTUS applauded the Jewish people for building Israel into a “mighty and majestic nation.” He then pledged his administration would always stand beside Israel. That, and what was perceived as tepid applause, led one of the gentlemen called onstage by Trump to shout from over his left shoulder, “Let’s hear it, everybody. Go! C’mon!” as he encouraged them to cheer louder. The crowd obliged as POTUS smiled.”

Following his remarks, Trump shook hands and posed for selfies on the rope line, and also received the Birkat Kohanim blessing from Rabbi Avraham Friedman.

HOW IT PLAYED — President and First Lady put on an unusually loved-up display at White House ceremonies as they celebrate with Holocaust survivors [DailyMail]

PHOTO: Sheldon Adelson getting his fair share of White House latkes. [Pic

MAN OF THE HOUR — Jake Tapper tweets“Spotted at the WH Hanukkah party in the East Room this evening: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the professional embodiment of one day’s worth of oil that has surprisingly lasted eight days. Happy Hanukkah.”

Trump acknowledged and thanked Rosenstein at the beginning of his remarks, mistakenly referring to him as “Attorney General” Rod Rosenstein: “Where is Rod? Rod, where are you?” Trump said trying to locate him. When noticed among the crowd, Trump quipped, “He’s entitled to a much better location than that.” [CSPAN]

Spotted among the 600+ attendees: Senator Roy Blunt, Reps. Lee Zeldin, David Kustoff, Ted Deutch, Josh Gottheimer and Jared Polis; Jared Kushner, Justice Stephen Breyer, Elliott Abrams, Rudy Giuliani, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Ivanka Trump, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Seryl and Charles Kushner, Ambassador Ron Dermer, Matt Brooks, Dawn Arnall, Ben Shapiro, Joe Kristol, Abbe Lowell, Safra Catz, Cliff May, Mark Isakowitz, Ken Weinstein, Jason Greenblatt, Paul Teller, Avi Berkowitz, Stephen Miller, Norman Brownstein, Heather Nauert, Eli Miller, Larry Mizel, Marc Kasowitz, Mark Wilf.

Malcolm Hoenlein, Richard Sandler, Rebecca and Morton Klein, Mark Levenson, Ralph Herzka, Nathan Diament, A.D. Motzen, Dov Hikind, Michael Savage, Maury Litwack, Rivka Kidron, George Klein, Yitz Applbaum, Ira Rennert, Pastor John Hagee, Sandra Parker, Michael Makovsky, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Rabbi Levi and Nechama Shemtov, Pesach Lerner, Howard Kohr, Karen Paikin Barall, Barry Mannis, Ezra Friedlander, Adam Milstein, David Malpass, Sol Werdiger, Larry Gordon, Leon Goldenberg, Jeff Ballabon, Alex Friedman, Scott Gottlieb, Chanina Sperlin, Yoel Lefkowitz, Zev Brenner, William Daroff, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Joel Eisdorfer, Mendy Carlebach, Duvi Honig, Martin Sweet, Ika Lillas Lindman, David Milstein, Shawn Evenhaim, and David Suissa. [Pic]

AT THE ISRAELI EMBASSY PARTY — held in the newly renovated Jerusalem Hall at the Israeli Embassy: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, Rep. Ted Deutch, William Daroff. [PicPic]

AT THE BIPARTISAN HANUKKAH EVENT — hosted by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and held at the James Madison Memorial Building of the Library of Congress: Reps. Steny Hoyer and Ted Deutch; William Daroff, Nathan Diament, Halie Soifer, Michael Wilner, Ron Kampeas, Steve Rabinowitz, Aaron Keyak, Aharon Friedman, Ezra Friedlander, David Makovsky, Shelley Greenspan, Arianna Daroff, and Aaron Weinberg. [Pic]

AT THE RJC RECEPTION — held at the Trump International Hotel: Senator Ted Cruz, Reps. Lee Zeldin and David Kustoff; their spouses Diana Zeldin and Roberta Kustoff; Rep. Billy Long, Barbara Long, Larry Mizel, Matt Brooks, Norm Brownstein, Marc Goldman, Jonathan Tratt, Michael Epstein, Ronnie Krongold, Norman Freidkin, Eliot Lauer, Jeff Miller, Ken Kurson, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Malcolm Hoenlein, Susan and Ben Farahi, Iris and Shalom Maidenbaum, Rifky and Joel Eisdorfer, Dr. Rich Roberts, and George Klein.

SCENE IN JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman appeared together at a menorah lighting ceremony at the Western Wall, marking the one year anniversary to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Friedman notes that this is actually the first time an Israeli prime minister is accompanying a U.S. official at the Western Wall. Friedman added that the Jerusalem Embassy move was the “most significant political victory for the state of Israel” since Truman’s recognition of Israel’s independence. [Video

HEARD ON CABLE — Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) to CNN New Day host John Berman: “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy whatever religion you are, John.” (Berman is of Sephardic Jewish descent[Video]

SPOTTED — at an engagement party for David Urban and Kellie Mooney at the St. Regis in DC hosted by Dina Powell and David McCormick: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting-Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Kellyanne Conway, Comcast’s David Cohen, Jake Tapper, David Bossie, Corey Lewandowski, Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Bill and Darla Shine, Gen. Mark Milley, CNN’s Sam Feist, Adrienne Arsht, Politico’s Patrick Steel, Elise Labott, Jennifer Jacobs, Peter Baker, Senator Ted Cruz, Heidi Cruz, Senator Dan Sullivan, Johnny DeStefano, Matt Schlapp, Warner Media’s Josh Hurvitz, Sally Donnelly, Fox News’ John Roberts, Jim Sciutto, Jonathan Swan, Daniel Lippman, and Josh Dawsey. [Pic]

Trump to Pick Nauert to Replace Haley as UN Ambassador, Sources Say — by Jennifer Jacobs and Nick Wadhams: “President Donald Trump has decided to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to replace departing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley… Nauert has gained Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s trust… She is also closely aligned with Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner.”[Bloomberg]

TURTLE BAY ― U. N. fails to vote to condemn Hamas, dealing a blow to Israel and the Trump administration — by Carol Morello: “A resolution that would have condemned the militant group Hamas and its attacks on Israel failed to pass the United Nations on Thursday… The U.S.-drafted resolution got 87 votes in favor and 57 against, with 33 abstentions, meaning it fell short of the required two-thirds majority needed to pass.”

Ambassador Nikki Haley’s impassioned plea before the vote: “I want to take a personal moment and ask my Arab brothers and sisters: is the hatred that strong? Is the hatred toward Israel so strong that you’ll defend a terrorist organization, one that is directly causing harm to the Palestinian people? Isn’t it time to let that go?” [Video]

Why it matters: “The vote was a personal defeat for Haley in what is likely to be one of her final major actions as the U.S. envoy… It also represented a political disappointment for the Trump administration, which had lobbied hard to get many Arab states to break away from their routine support of the Palestinian position… But all the Arab states voted against it… Their refusal to back the U.S. resolution comes just weeks before the White House is prepared to unveil a proposal to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Support from the Arab states is considered crucial to getting it launched, and the U.N. vote suggests that it might get a standoffish reception.”[WashPost]

Former Ambassador Daniel Shapiro tells us: “Although the resolution did not pass, it got a strong showing of 87 votes. That is to the administration’s credit. Hamas deserves every ounce of condemnation it gets for its terror and commitment to Israel’s destruction, and it was appropriate to seek that condemnation at the UN. Arab states, many of whom despise Hamas and know it contributes to Palestinian suffering, voted against it, which is disappointing but not surprising. There are political risks that they won’t take when it involves the Palestinians, even when they see Israel as a partner, which reminds us to avoid irrational exuberance about prospects for normalization.”

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, emails us: “I applaud Nikki Haley, whose initiative led to the first-ever majority of countries voting for a UN resolution to condemn the Hamas terrorist organization. And I condemn the actions of Switzerland, Norway and New Zealand, whose abstentions on a PLO-backed procedural maneuver paved the way for an unusual two-thirds requirement to be imposed on the U.S. resolution against Hamas, thereby blocking its adoption. And Ireland should also be ashamed of itself for sponsoring what will be this year’s 21st resolution criticizing Israel. The UN’s pathological obsession with demonizing the Jewish state only undermines the world body’s claim to speak for universal standards.”

TOP TALKER — Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) kicked up controversy yesterday when, during an appearance on Fox Business News, he pivoted abruptly from a conversation about China to an accusation that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator, echoing a popular right-wing conspiracy theory about the billionaire philanthropist. “George Soros is supposed to be Jewish, but you wouldn’t know it from the damage he’s inflicted on Israel and the fact that he turned on fellow Jews and helped take the property that they own,” said Gohmert.

Host Stuart Varney apologized for the comments later in the show, saying, “In the last hour, one of our guests, Congressman Louie Gohmert, for some reason went out of his way to bring up George Soros and made unsubstantiated and false allegations against him. I want to make clear those views are not shared by me, this program or anyone at Fox Business.”

Gohmert doubled down on his remarks in a statement to The Daily Beast: “My remarks were not anti-Semitic. Even the Israeli government has condemned Soros. They were about the horror of his lack of remorse over his actions.” According to the Republican Congressman, his comments about Soros was “a pro-Jewish statement on my part” and referenced a year-old statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry which Gohmert said asserted that “anti-Soros statements are not anti-Semitic because George Soros ‘continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected governments by funding organizations that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.’”

The ADL immediately condemned Gohmert’s remarks. “Abhorrent that a sitting Congressman propagated debunked Soros conspiracies,” the organization tweeted. “Rep. Gohmert should retract his remarks immediately. This rhetoric is common in extreme far-right circles and perpetuates anti-Semitism.”

ON THE HILL — The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) and J Street have locked horns over the prospective passage of an anti-BDS bill before the end of the Congressional session.

The JDCA announced its support for the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, introduced in the 115th Congress by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Reps. Peter Roskam  (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA), on Thursday. Executive Director Halie Soifer said in a statement, “The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is consistent with the 2016 Democratic Party Platform that states Democrats ‘oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.’” A JDCA action alert asks supporters to send letters to their Congress members “urging passage before the end of the calendar year, including in an omnibus spending bill.”

J Street sent out its own action alert condemning the legislation and asking supporters to reach out to lawmakers earlier in the week, warning that “the bill’s backers will try to pass it quietly by slipping it into a government funding bill.”

“The legislation draws no distinction between Israel and the West Bank, effectively extending US legal protections to illegal settlements,” J Street wrote, noting that the ACLU has also “flagged major free speech issues” with the bill. “While J Street has always been clear about our opposition to the Global BDS Movement, this legislation is absolutely the wrong way to oppose BDS.”

J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami tells us: “We’re very critical of the BDS movement. We oppose the BDS movement. It’s not even just a matter of being critical. The question is, how do you fight and defeat those at the core of the BDS Movement who are anti-Israel? And the way that you do that is not by labeling every critic of Israeli government policy as an anti-Semite. And further, the legislation being maneuvered on Capitol Hill to try to further criminalize, penalize supporters of the BDS movement increases support for the BDS movement. It turns the movement into the victim because you are trying to squelch their first amendment rights. It is a very un-strategic move, and this is an argument we make all the time on Capitol Hill. We make the argument to the Jewish establishment… that attempting to criminalize and penalize and use the law against the BDS movement is a counterproductive strategy.”

REPORT — U.S. blocking Israel-Croatia arms deal — by Barak Ravid: “The Trump administration is blocking a $500 million arms deal between Israel and Croatia, for the sale of 12 U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets refurbished and upgraded by Israel… U.S. officials claimed Israel was being dishonest and trying to profit off the back of the U.S… This is a very rare standoff after two years of incredibly close relations between Israel and the Trump administration.” [Axios]

BUZZ ON BALFOUR — How Netanyahu ‘The Magician’ Makes Political Threats Disappear — by Jonathan Ferziger: “The four-term prime minister will soon surpass Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, as its longest-serving premier. His party’s coalition has a single-vote majority in parliament… Even his opponents today grudgingly admire Netanyahu’s ability to defy political dogma… Should he be indicted, Netanyahu could use the time to rally his base, which believes he’s being persecuted by leftists in the government and media… Win or lose, Netanyahu may yet end up at Ma’asiyahu Prison near Tel Aviv, in a cellblock where security arrangements were custom-tailored to house a disgraced prime minister. Its last inmate was Olmert.” [Bloomberg]

Inside the Evangelical Money Flowing Into the West Bank — by Judy Maltz: “A review of the financial statements of the main organizations active in raising money from evangelicals for the settlement project indicates that the numbers are still relatively small in absolute terms. But they appear to be growing… Haaretz estimates the total amount of funding raised in the past 10 years at somewhere between $50 million and $65 million… Christian Friends of Israeli Communities raises about $1 million a year for settlement projects, with almost all of the donations coming from evangelicals.” [Haaretz]

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White House huddles with tech executives on future of jobs —  by David Shepardson: “The Trump administration, which has had strained relations with technology companies, met on Thursday with top tech executives to discuss ways to “ensure American dominance” of innovation and the future of high tech jobs. Chief executive officers who participated included Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella, Alphabet Inc’s Sundar Pichai, Qualcomm Inc’s Steven Mollenkopf and Oracle Corp’s Safra Catz.” [Reuters]

— Nancy Scola‏ tweets: “Washington really can be a whiplash-inducing place. Among the ten or so outside attendees at today’s White House small-group discussion session on emerging tech: Google’s CEO, Microsoft’s CEO, IBM’s CEO, and…Henry Kissinger.”

MEDIA WATCH — Reporters At Bloomberg News Are Worried About Michael Bloomberg’s Potential Presidential Run — by Steven Perlberg: “Reporters at Bloomberg News are on edge after their boss announced that if he chooses to run for president in 2020…  it could mean the end of the news outlet’s political coverage… The politics team, in particular, has been rankled by what Bloomberg said about how in-house political reporters should handle his potential campaign (not at all)… There has been no wider communication from top editors about the remarks. “A lot of people are confused and don’t really know what to expect in the next two years,” said one Bloomberg News staffer… Another source described the environment as “semi- but not acutely anxious.” [BuzzFeed]

CAMPUS BEAT — Student Government Passes BDS Resolution After Shouts, Screams and Snaps — by Victor Porcelli: “A resolution that would have NYU divest from companies associated with Israel and institute a socially responsible investment policy passed on Thursday. Of the 63 members of student government voting, 14 abstained, 14 voted no and 35 voted yes… Before voted on, a motion was made to edit the name and content of the resolution in the University Senate, where it would go next before becoming policy. The title of the resolution would be changed to “Resolution on Responsible Investment at NYU: Palestine as a Case Study.” These changes were made due to concerns… that the resolution unnecessarily targeted Israel.”[NYUNews]

HOLLYWOOD — Richard Gere to Star in Apple Remake of Israeli Series ‘Nevelot’ — by Joe Otterson: “Apple is close to ordering an American adaptation of the Israeli drama series “Nevelot.” Richard Gere is attached to star in the project… The series would be written by Howard Gordon, who would also executive produce along with Warren Leight, Gere, Dror Sabo, Lee Yardeni, Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Rachel Kaplan, Peter Traugott, Yoram Mokady, and Mirit Toovi. Gordon and Leight would serve as co-showrunners. The project hails from Fox 21 Television Studios, Teakwood Lane Productions, and Keshet Studios.” [Variety]

SPOTLIGHT — Reconsidering the Jewish American Princess — by Jamie Lauren Keiles: “The Jewish American Princess, or JAP, embodies both an attitude and a style of dressing… The JAP is neither Jewish nor American alone. She makes herself known where these identities collide in a calamity of Coach bags, upmarket loungewear, and entitled dispositions toward luxury and ease… Like all the most successful slurs, the term embodies both descriptive power and judgment. (The word bears no relation to the anti-Japanese slur.) When JAP is utilized in its Jew-on-Jew sense — by leaps and bounds its most common application — it can serve as a means of impartial description, as well as a tool for policing other Jews.” [Vox]

ONE HANUKKAH THING — How Hanukkah gets lost in the holiday retail rush — by Rachel Siegel: “Retailers know they won’t see huge profits from Hanukkah sales, so they have little incentive to stock a range of options… But there are signs of progress. This year marks the first time Target has stocked Hanukkah merchandise in all of its 1,850 locations nationwide… Nevertheless, Hanukkah still confounds the retail industry. Rabbi Chaim Mahgel-Friedman, co-owner of the Judaica store Afikomen in Berkeley, Calif., said buyers for supermarkets, drug and convenience stores often “miss the mark” by placing Hanukkah orders too late in the season. “They didn’t order the gelt in time for Hanukkah, and it’s like, ‘Oh god, we missed it! Isn’t it always around Christmas?’” Mahgel-Friedman said.” [WashPost]

IN MIAMI THIS WEEKEND — Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel, explained. [Vox]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: British expressionist painter, known for portraits, life drawings and cityscapes of London, England, Leon Kossoffturns 92… Linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, political activist and Professor Emeritus at MIT, Noam Chomsky turns 90… Rabbi of The Jewish Center of Princeton, NJ (1992-2005), now Rabbi Emeritus, author or editor of 45 books including the New York Times best-selling Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul, Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins turns 81… Hedge fund manager, co-founder of Taglit-Birthright Israel and the founder of Hebrew language charter schools in NYC, Michael Steinhardt turns 78… Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, Nicholas Michael Katz turns 75… Novelist (15 books), essayist and screenwriter, Susan Isaacs turns 75… Former Israeli Foreign Ministry legal advisor and then Israeli ambassador to Canada, now at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Ambassador Alan Baker turns 71… Chair of the Longmeadow, Massachusetts Democratic Town Committee, Candy Glazer turns 71… Woodland Hills, California resident,Elaine Kretchman turns 71… President and COO since 1996 of Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the US, Richard S. Sokolov turns 69…

Board chair of AIPAC, Lillian Pinkus turns 67… Chairman of Loews Hotels and co-owner of the NFL’s New York Giants, Jonathan Tisch turns 65… Pamela Decker turns 64… Teacher in the Elko County School District in the northeast portion of Nevada and leader of the local Jewish community there, Shawn Welton-Lowe turns 55… Co-Founder of Laurel Strategies, a CEO advisory firm based in Washington, formerly at the International Finance Corporation, Dafna Tapiero turns 49… Director, producer, writer, actor and comedian, best known as the director of “Modern Family” and “Life in Pieces,” Jason Winer turns 46… Leading actress in multiple television series including “Roswell,” ” Life Unexpected” and “Unreal,” Shiri Appleby turns 40… President of NYC-based Capitol Consulting, he was previously at the UJA-Federation of NY (2014-2017) and at the Orthodox Union (2012-2014), Jeffrey Leb turns 40… VP and executive recruiter at NYC’s Mission Staffing, Jaime Leiman turns 28… Founder of Dash Dot, an active wear accessories brand, Hannah Fastov turns 28… Account Manager at WGSN, Hannah Vilinskyturns 27… Partner in Cornerstone Venture Partners and founder of “Made in Jerusalem,” Hanan Brand… Jeff Blum… Toby Lerner...

SATURDAY: Founder and CEO of Top Rank, a boxing promotion company based in Las Vegas, Bob Arum turns 87… Film, stage and television actor, composer of film and theater music, and son of concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein, John Rubinstein turns 72… Israeli folk singer, Chava Alberstein turns 71… Astrophysicist and senior scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Margaret Geller turns 71… Film director, producer and screenwriter, including box office successes such as “The Parent Trap” (1998) and “What Women Want” (2000), Nancy Meyers turns 69… Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, following high ranking academic positions at the University of Wyoming, Oklahoma State, Tufts and Yale, Robert Sternberg turns 69… Doug Bohannon turns 67… Senior executive producer of special events at ABC News, Marc Burstein turns 65… Chairman of a nationwide insurance brokerage, Bruce P. Gendelman turns 64…

Author of Toward a Meaningful Life, he is the publisher of the Yiddish English weekly, The Algemeiner Journal, Rabbi Simon Jacobson turns 62… Rabbi, speaker and musician known as Rav Shmuel, he was the head of the Yeshiva program run by the IDT Corporation in Newark, New Jersey, Shmuel Skaist turns 54… Co-founder of three successful companies, including Office Tiger in 1999, CloudBlue in 2001, and Xometry in 2013, where he is CEO, he ran for Congress from NY-1 in 2010 and 2012, Randy Altschuler turns 48… Attorney by training but in real life a social media blogger and author, she has been an editor at Huffington Post, the Daily Beast and Mediaite, Rachel Sklar turns 46… Writer of newsletter “Popular Information” started in 2018, Judd Legumturns 40… Venture capitalist in Israel, Alex Oppenheimer turns 30… Associate Attorney at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Ali Krimmer turns 27… Writer, photographer and designer, founder of the Honey Sharp Gallery and Ganesh Café in the Berkshires, mother of Daniel Lippman of Politico’s Playbook, Honey Sharp

SUNDAY: Leading box office star of the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in over 90 movies during his 60 year acting career, Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch) turns 102… Los Angeles investor and entrepreneur, she is the founder of CaregiversDirect and Beverly Hills Egg Donation, and a past president of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, Lisa Greer turns 60… Former senior White House aide and Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury in the Clinton and Obama administrations, now CEO of the Brunswick Group, Neal S. Wolin turns 57… President of the Little Rock-based Advance Arkansas Institute, a free market think tank, he was previously a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives (2006-2011), Daniel “Dan” Greenberg turns 53… Former member of the Knesset for Likud (2003-2014) with stints as Minister of the Interior and Education Minister, Gideon Sa’ar (born Gideon Zarechansky) turns 52…

Junior United States Senator from New York since 2009, Kirsten Gillibrandturns 52… Senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, previously she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs (2009-2012), Tamara Cofman Wittes turns 49… Senior Rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg turns 44… Actor, comedian and musician, best known for his role as Howard Wolowitz in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory (2007-present), Simon Helberg turns 38…2015 graduate of Yale Law School, she works as a Skadden Fellow at the Legal Aid Society, Daniella Rohr Adelsberg… Manager of digital media for the R Street Institute, co-founder of Network Red and Executive Director for CityGOP, Shoshana Weissmann turns 26…