Daily Kickoff

Nixing strikes, Trump sends Iran tweets instead | Rep Khanna’s bipartisan amendment | The Bronfmans bringing baseball back to Montreal?

From left, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, and President Donald Trump sit together during a meeting with Caribbean leaders at Mar-A Lago, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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WELCOME TO THE TEAM — We’re excited to announce that Amy Spiro is joining Jewish Insider as Digital Editor. Amy comes to JI from The Jerusalem Post where she was a culture reporter and an editor. Welcome, Amy! Feel free to drop her a note at Amy@JewishInsider.com

LAST NIGHT IN JERUSALEM — In his acceptance speech at the Genesis Prize ceremony, New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft pledged $20 million to establish a new foundation dedicated to combatting antisemitism and the BDS movement. “In combating the scourge of antisemitism, my solemn ambition is to counter all forms of intolerance in the spirit of the ancient Jewish value of ‘tikkun olam’ — to heal and repair the world,” Kraft said.

The project, named ‘the Foundation for Social Media Messaging Against Antisemitism,’ has already received two $5 million pledges, including one by Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.  

Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Kraft and his delegation at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. The group presented Netanyahu with a signed Patriots helmet and posed for a joint picture alongside the team’s most recent Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy.[Pic]

HOW IT PLAYED — Robert Kraft Steps Back Into the Limelight, Thousands of Miles Away in Israel — by Ken Belson: “Kraft has kept a low profile since the case made international headlines in February. He has declined interview requests and steered clear of the news media… But he apparently is more willing to step back into the limelight in Israel, which is like a second home. Kraft has made at least 100 trips to the country, starting with his honeymoon with his late wife, Myra.” [NYTimes]

DRIVING THE DAY — A U.S. strike on Iranian targets Thursday evening was called off while the operation was already underway after President Donald Trump withdrew his approval, according to a New York Times report. This comes amid a debate in the White House on how to respond to Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone on Wednesday. Earlier Thursday, the Pentagon released video footage showing the drone was attacked over international waters. 

Iranian officials told Reuters that Trump sent a message through Oman warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent and urging the Iranians to engage in talks to deescalate the situation. “We made it clear that the leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] is against any talks,” an Iranian official was quoted as saying.

Trump is reportedly engaged in an “ongoing debate” with National Security Advisor John Bolton about how to handle the U.S. response to Iranian aggression. According to CNN, Vice President Mike Pence, incoming acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are considered “swing votes.”

RETALIATION BY TWEET — Trump defended his decision in a series of tweets just minutes before we published the Daily Kickoff:“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!” 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Republicans leaders at an afternoon briefing on Thursday in the White House Situation Room, presided by Trump. Following the session, Schumer told reporters at the Capitol, “The president may not intend to go to war here, but we’re worried that he and the administration may bumble into a war. We told the room that the Democratic position is that congressional approval must be required before funding any conflict in Iran.” [Video]

Later in the day, Pelosi held a briefing for the House Democratic caucus with Wendy Sherman, the chief U.S. negotiator for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and former CIA Director John Brennan.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The administration is engaged in what I would call measured responses.” And House Republicans on the Foreign Affairs, intelligence and Armed Services committees issued a joint statement, saying, “There must be a measured response to these actions.”

Eli Lake writes… “The U.S. Has Lots of Options With Iran: Options currently under consideration include strikes on [Iranian] outposts [throughout the Middle East] timed not to result in casualties. A more serious option under consideration: direct lethal strikes on Iranian commanders stationed outside of Iran… And the list of U.S. options is not limited to traditional warfare. Currently, the U.S. limits its cyberoperations to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, according to U.S. officials. If Iran continues to escalate, the U.S. could attack Iranian military computer networks.” [Bloomberg]

Iran’s Cyber Army Is Under Attack From All Sides — by Kevin Poulsen:
 “Iran’s state-sponsored computer hackers have been under a steady and unusually public bombardment in recent months, with details of their secret operations bared to the world and portions of their online infrastructure stolen away.” [DailyBeast]

WATCH — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was asked by CNN’s Manu Raju whether she has any concerns about the administration’s handling of Iran? “I think they are trying to goad us into a military conflict that’s completely irresponsible,” she replied. [Video]

ON THE HILL — By JI’s Laura Kelly: House Democrats are pushing to prevent President Trump from launching strikes against Iran without first consulting Congress, and the effort is gaining key Republican support.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) will, with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), introducean amendment next week blocking the use of funds for military action on Iran unless approved by Congress. The amendment, Rep. Khanna tells Jewish Insider, is separate from efforts to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which the House approved during its passage of the $1 trillion spending bill.

Khanna’s amendment will be attached to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020, expected to go to the House floor next week, and mirrors a similar effort underway by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). 

In response to a question from JI about whether the administration could launch military attacks even without the AUMF, Khanna replied, “no.” “In fact, Matt Gaetz and I are on next week introducing an amendment to deny any funding to the administration for an action in Iran without Congressional authorization. It’s a big deal that it’s being co-led by Matt Gaetz, who’s one of the president’s closest allies,” he said. “My instinct is still that the President doesn’t want war and that his advisors are trying to push him into it.”

Yet, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said military actions should be on the table in reacting to Iran’s egregious behavior. “In fact, I think that we should look at a measured strikes to hit naval units and perhaps attack Iran’s refineries to hit them in the pocketbook and prevent this bad behavior,” he tells JI. “I know that we need to act in coordination with Israel and our ally, Saudi Arabia, to assess the situation. But, we cannot allow Iran to shoot down our drones, we can’t allow them to block the straits of Hormuz, we certainly can’t let them go nuclear.”

Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D-NY) tells JI that any action against Iran should be considered between Congress and the White House. “Look the Iranian regime is a horrific regime, but I don’t know that we want to plunge ourselves into another war again. So we’re gonna put our heads together and hopefully come up with a response and I hope that the White House will not try to go it alone.”

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) argued against debating the use of force against Iran in Congress,saying any response to their latest actions should deliver shock and be a surprise.“I don’t think you can debate something like that in Congress. That, I think, it has to be some element of surprise for effectiveness for these types of things, unfortunately,” he tells JI. 

VIEW FROM JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuurged the international community to support the U.S. against Iranian aggression. “I repeat my call for all peace-loving countries to stand by the United States in its effort to stop Iranian aggression,” Netanyahu said in a video statement, flanked by Israeli and U.S. flags. “Israel stands by the United States on this.”

REPORT — Israeli officials are concerned that the Trump administration’s response to Iran “so far has not been strong enough,” Ch. 13’s Barak Ravid reported on Thursday. The Israeli officials said that “without some kind of a military action by the U.S. — even a limited one — they believe the Iranians will continue to escalate.”

VIEW FROM MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a military conflict with Iran would be a “catastrophe.” Speaking during an annual marathon telethon, Putin said, “I will say it straight, it would be a catastrophe, at a minimum for the region.”

HEARD YESTERDAY — Former CIA director Leon Panetta suggested in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio on Thursday that the warm relationship between the Trump administration and the Israeli government has created “serious problems” for efforts to present an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. “In some ways, it seems to go overboard in the way they treat each other,” Panetta said.

“It cannot look like the United States is in the pocket of Israel, or Israel for that matter is in the pocket of the United States… We’ve always tried to maintain a balanced relationship and because the United States appears to have given up that balanced approach it has created serious problems.”

Zev Chafets writes… “Bibi Netanyahu Has Cast Israel’s Vote for 2020: The present field of candidates are not necessarily bad for Israel, but it is doubtful that any of them aspire to have their names on the map of the Jewish state. If one gets elected, Israel will spend the next four years trying to hold on to the gains of the last four.” [Bloomberg]

COMING SOON — Ben Rhodes and Tommy Vietor team up with J Street: J Street has partnered with Crooked Media, a political media company founded by former Obama administration officials, ahead of its annual national conference set to take place on October 26-29 in Washington, D.C. On Thursday, J Street announced that former Obama administration national security officials, Ben Rhodes and Tommy Vietor, will do a live podcast taping of their foreign policy-focused podcast “Pod Save the World” at the conference.[JewishInsider]

TALK OF THE REGION — U.S. redoubles sanctions threat over S-400 as Erdogan vows retaliation — by Jonathan Spicer and Humeyra Pamuk: “The U.S. government on Thursday said economic sanctions over Turkey’s planned purchase of a Russian missile defense system remained a ‘very viable’ option.” [Reuters]

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Hamas signaled that it was ready to accepthumanitarian aid and investments initiated by the Trump administration if the assistance is unconditional and is not in place of a Palestinian state. “We will not sell our homeland,” Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said on Thursday. Haniyeh also warned that the terms of an informal ceasefire settlement are not being honored by Israel.

2020 BRIEFS — Joe Biden called Cory Booker. But apologize? It’s not the Biden way… Booker thinks he’s figured out Iowa… Back home in South Bend, Mayor Pete Buttigieg faces ‘his nightmare’ on police-community relations… Bernie Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, previews Bernie’s debate strategy. 

** Good Friday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip? 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: Michael Smith sells his smaller Hamptons estate for $42.5M [NYPost] • Jeff Sutton lands $90M refinance for Madison Ave Gold Coast property [RealDeal] • Dan Loeb is at it again, but should Sony listen this time? [HollywoodReporter] • Raphael Toledano reaches $3M settlement over tenant harassment [RealDeal] • Facebook’s new rapid response team, led by Sheryl Sandberg, has a crucial task: Avoid fueling another genocide [NBCNews• J.J. Abrams and son to write spider-man comic [NYTimes] • Searchlight in deal to buy control of Israel’s Bezeq [Reuters]

VISITING DAY — Michael Cohen Is Settling With Stormy — And Settling Into Prison Life — by Emily Jane Fox: 
“One month into a three-year sentence at Otisville Correctional Facility in upstate New York, Michael Cohen has settled into something of a rhythm. Between the wake-up call at 6 a.m. and lights out at 11:30, Cohen sorts through hundreds of letters people have sent him, some of which he shares with other inmates. He has been assigned a job working on the prison’s HVAC system, works out in the gym four times a week, and has read more than 15 books so far, including Licensed to Lie: Exposing the Department of Justice and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, which he donates to the prison library once he’s finished. And he’s begun to write some of his own story. He is also turning the page on one chapter of his former life. On June 6, Cohen signed a settlement agreement with Stormy Daniels to throw out two cases she had filed against him more than a year earlier.” [VanityFair]

MEDIA WATCH — In a memo on Thursday, Atlantic Media Chairman David Bradley announced The Atlantic‘s President Bob Cohn has decided to leave the company in September. Cohn has been named a Resident Fellow at The Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School.

PROFILE — From Batman to Holy Land, comics artist sees heroes on all sides — by Rinat Harash and Dan Williams: “Born Mike Nasser to U.S.-Lebanese Druze parents, he found in art a release from childhood polio, worked for franchises including Marvel and D.C. Comics, learned he had Jewish roots and moved to Israel, ending up in a settlement in the occupied West Bank. Fluent in Arabic as well as English and Hebrew, Netzer, 63, paints portraits or superhero reproductions on commission to a clientele that he says includes Palestinians — an unusual interaction for a religious settler.” [Reuters

‘Our Boys’ Limited Drama Series Gets Premiere Date On HBO — by Denise Petski: “HBO has set Monday, August 12 for the premiere of Our Boys. The ten-part limited debuts with two one-hour back-to-back episodes beginning at 9 PM, followed by single episodes debuting subsequent Mondays, exclusively on HBO… Created by Hagai Levi, Joseph Cedar and Tawfik Abu-Wael, Our Boys is set in the summer of 2014, when three Jewish teenagers are kidnapped and murdered by Hamas militants… Filmed in Israel, the series is based on the true events which led to the outbreak of war in Gaza.” [Deadline]

Unpacking the Immense Popularity of Shtisel — by Peter Beinart: 
“At a time when many American Jews are struggling with the ethics of political Zionism, the show — despite featuring haredi Jews who don’t identify as Zionists themselves — constitutes a form of cultural Zionism, an easier way to connect with the Jewish state. American Jews, however, likely don’t only find Shtisel appealing because it’s set in Israel. They may also find it appealing because the anxiety about fitting in that plagued Eli Peck and Alvy Singer has been replaced by an anxiety about Jewish unity… American Jewry’s bitter political divisions over Israel… have led many to fear that Jews are becoming strangers to one another. Shtisel soothes those fears. Jewish tradition encourages Jews to think of themselves as an extended family; by reaching into the most extreme and insular corner of the Jewish world to find universal themes, Shtisel sends the message that, despite everything, they still are.”[TheAtlantic]

David Brooks writes… “Your Daily Dose of Optimism! 
We could learn to be minorities together, to be what Rabbi Jonathan Sacks calls creative minorities. In a brilliant 2013 lecture, Sacks noted that when Solomon’s temple was destroyed and the Jews were cast into exile, the prophet Jeremiah had a surprising message: Go to new lands. Build houses. Plant gardens. Seek the peace and prosperity of the cities in which you settle. Jeremiah was saying you don’t need to assimilate into the new place. Nor do you need to withdraw into a culturally pure enclave. Instead, don’t be afraid to be a distinct, orthodox version of yourself within a larger society. Build a rich moral community. Just don’t try to universalize your faith or even become a dominant minority.”

“This stance — aggressive interaction without an attempt to be hegemonic — made the Jews creative in three ways, Sacks argues. First, the encounter with other cultures led to great flowerings of Jewish thought. Jews wrestled with the best ideas they encountered from outside. Second, Jews were often bridges between different civilizations. Through trade, they linked China and the West during the Middle Ages. Third, Jews emerged from their secure base and made great contributions to the wider world: Spinoza, Freud, Einstein, etc. In a world of radical pluralism, we are all Jews.” [NYTimes]

NOT KEEPING UP — Kim Kardashian Eyewear Flop: Israeli Brand Paid Star $6 Million, Sold Only $1 Million in Eyeglasses: “Israeli clothing and accessories brand Castro is sending some 300,000 pairs of ‘Carolina Lemke’ eyeglasses back to Israel from the United States after it failed to entice Americans to buy them. The clothing chain had tried to expand its Carolina Lemke subsidiary into the United States via social media and reality TV megastar Kim Kardashian West, whom it hired for its advertisements. Kardashian received $6 million from Castro for her part in the advertising campaign.” [Haaretz

ACROSS THE SEA — Europe’s Jews Are Resisting a Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism — by Vivienne Walt: 
“Not waiting for their leaders, communities across Europe have begun to take action themselves. Raised learning about Nazism, many fear what might happen if anti-Semitism is left unchallenged. In recent years, teachers, imams, rabbis and local activists have launched countless initiatives to break stereotypes, educate youth and forge links across religions. In several interviews with Time, those fighting anti-Semitism caution that it is likely to take many years for their efforts to succeed.”[Time]

TALK OF THE NATION — Supreme Court upholds cross on public land in Maryland — by Jessica Gresko: “A 40-foot-tall, World War I memorial cross can continue to stand on public land in Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in an important decision about the use of religious symbols in American life. The justices said preserving a long-standing religious monument is very different from allowing the building of a new one… Two of the court’s liberal justices, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, both of whom are Jewish, joined their conservative colleagues in ruling for the memorial… Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is also Jewish, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, with Ginsburg writing that ‘the principal symbol of Christianity around the world should not loom over public thoroughfares, suggesting official recognition of that religion’s paramountcy.'” [AP]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Academy Museum Opening Delayed Until at Least 2020 — by Scott Feinberg: 
“Contrary to plans previously announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will not open in 2019, or any time prior to the 92nd Oscars on Feb. 9, 2020… The Academy has given many journalists and VIPs hard-hat tours of the site, and in December hosted a luncheon announcing the first exhibits being planned and a ceremonial lighting of the exterior of the museum’s Saban Building (made possible by a $50 million gift from Cheryl and Haim Saban).” [HollywoodReporter]

SPORTS BLINK — Tampa Bay Rays to explore splitting games with Montreal — by Jeff Passan: 
“The return of baseball to Montreal, which lost the Expos when they moved to Washington and became the Nationals before the 2005 season, has long been speculated and has significant support among power brokers in the city, including Stephen Bronfman, the private-equity magnate whose father, Charles, was the Expos’ original owner. A month ago, Bronfman — who along with Montreal businessman Mitch Garber has expressed interest in taking a minority stake in the Rays, alongside owner Stuart Sternberg — reached an agreement with a developer on a site in Montreal’s Pointe-Saint-Charles neighborhood to potentially build a new stadium.” [ESPNBloomberg

WINE OF THE WEEK — Chateau Sainte Marguerite Rose — by Yitz Applbaum:
 “The Chateau Sainte Marguerite Rosé is a vivacious, colorful, stimulating and energizing wine. The grapes come from the Provence region of France. The terroir comes through very distinctly in this bottle. The tastes of peach and passion fruit fills the drinker’s whole mouth. This is a wine to drink immediately upon purchase, although it can be held for two years. Drink with cheese and Melba toast.” [Pic

 The leaders of five nonprofits and religious advocacy groups sent a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday supporting moves to repeal a tax on religious institutions and nonprofits.

Jewish Insider incorrectly stated that lawmakers are debating whether to repeal a tax-break and that nonprofit and religious organizations oppose this. Such organizations supported the repeal. The House Ways and Means subcommittee on oversight passed yesterday the repeal of a 21 percent tax on business expenses for houses of worship, charities and nonprofits, like providing transportation benefits to employees.

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Our ‘newsletter rabbi,’ co-founder and executive editor of AxiosMike Allen turns 55… Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1993-1995), mother-in-law of Chelsea Clinton, Marjorie Margolies turns 77… Institutional investment banker in NYC and Greenwich, Connecticut, he is a former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador (2007-2009), Charles L. Glazer turns 76… Ingeborg Rennert turns 76… British businessman, co-founder with his brother Charles of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, appointed to the House of Lords in 1996, Baron Maurice Saatchiturns 73… UK cabinet minister in both the Thatcher and Major governments, Sir Malcolm Leslie Rifkind turns 73… Creditors rights’ attorney at Chicago-area Blitt & Gaines, David Stephen Miller turns 69…

Senior counselor at The Reis Group, a PR firm, since 2013, following 32 years as an award-winning journalist with the Washington PostPeter Perl turns 69… Member of the Knesset for the Yesh Atid party since 2013 (and since 2019 for the Blue and White party), he was the head of Jerusalem branch of the Israel Police (2000-2003), Mickey Levy turns 68… Susan Gutman turns 65… CEO of Amir Development Company in Beverly Hills, a real estate company active in California, Arizona, Texas and Utah, Keenan Wolens turns 61… Washington Institute fellow and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, David Makovsky turns 59… Director of media relations at American Jewish World Service, he is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, David L. Marcusturns 59… National education reporter for the Washington PostLaura Meckler turns 51…

Former general manager of Bloomberg Politics, Tanya Rebecca Singer turns 46… Public affairs consultant based in Manhattan, he was hired and fired three times by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, Sam Nunberg turns 38… Member of the Knesset since 2019 as a member of the Blue and White party, she is the first Druze woman to become a Member of the Knesset, Gadeer Kamal Mreeh turns 38… Born in Melbourne, Australia, now living in San Francisco, co-founder and CEO of Kaggle, a data science platform acquired by Google in 2017, Anthony Goldbloom tuns 36… Manager of Originals Documentary Publicity at Netflix, she was previously a communications officer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jacqueline (Jackie) Berkowitzturns 35… Deputy editor for programming and social media at CNN PoliticsMadeleine Morgenstern… Daniel Padilla

SATURDAY: A leading securities, corporate and M&A attorney, he is a founding partner of the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Martin Lipton turns 88… United States Senator from California since 1992, most recently re-elected in 2018, Dianne Feinstein turns 86… Jerusalem-born 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, she is the director of a research center at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Ada Yonath turns 80… UK judge, who chaired high profile hearings on ethics in the media, prompted by the 2011 News of the World phone hacking affair, Sir Brian Henry Leveson turns 76… Winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics, he is a professor at Brown University, J. Michael Kosterlitz turns 76… A justice on Israel’s Supreme Court (2004-2014), she was previously the Israeli State Prosecutor (1996-2004), Edna Arbel turns 75…

Member of the California State Assembly since 2012, prior to that he served as a member of the City Council and then Mayor of Santa Monica, Richard Hershel Bloom turns 66… Past President of the UJA – Federation of New York (2013-2016), Alisa Robbins Doctoroff turns 61… Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2017-2018), David Jonathon Shulkin turns 60… Member of Congress since 2001 (D-CA-28), he is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff turns 59… Creator of the Android operating system which he sold to Google, then executive at Google (2005-2014), founder in 2014 and CEO of tech incubator Playground Global, a $300 million fund, Andrew E. “Andy” Rubin turns 57… Member of the Knesset for the Likud party since 2009, he is currently serving as Minister of Tourism, Yariv Gideon Levinturns 50… Director of media strategy at Red Banyan, Kelcey Kintner turns 49…

Program director at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Rafi Roneturns 48… Second baseman for MLB’s San Diego Padres since 2019, his first twelve seasons were with the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox, Ian Kinsler turns 37… Russian-Israeli Internet entrepreneur, co-founder of Russia’s largest social network VK, Vaizra Capital investment fund, and Selectel network centers, Lev Binzumovich Levievturns 35… Baltimore-based endodontist, Jeffrey H. Gardyn, DDS turns 33… Israeli-born NBA player since 2009, Omri Casspi turns 31… Outfielder in the Washington Nationals organization, he started all three games for Team Israel in the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifier round, Rhett Wiseman turns 25…

SUNDAY: Professor emeritus of medicine and health care policy at Harvard, Samuel O. Thier, M.D. turns 82… Real estate developer and co-founder of Tishman Speyer, Jerry Speyer turns 79… Music director of the Metropolitan Opera (1976-2016), he is the grandson of a synagogue cantor, James Levineturns 76… Managing director at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, he is the author of 18 books on foreign affairs, global politics and travel, Robert D. Kaplan turns 67… Novelist and journalist, he was born in Mobile, Alabama and is the author of three books, Roy Hoffman turns 66… Los Angeles-based activist, a 2008 Lifetime Television movie starring Renée Zellweger portrayed her cancer-fighting efforts, Lilly Tartikoff Karatz turns 66…

Klezmer expert, violinist, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer and playwright, he is the artist-in-residence in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University, Yale Strom turns 62… Co-founder of the Center for Contemporary Political Art, Robin Strongin turns 60… Member of the front office of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles since 2000, Howie Roseman turns 44… Born in Israel and raised in France, founder of Innovation Africa, which uses Israeli solar technology to bring electricity and solar-powered water pumps to impoverished African villages, Sivan Borowich-Ya’ari turns 41… Actress and comedian, best known for playing Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on CBS’s sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” Melissa Rauch turns 39… Actress, singer and model, Marielle Jaffe turns 30… Ethiopian-born Israeli model who won the title of Miss Israel in 2013, Yityish Aynaw turns 28… Mr. Josh Lauder turns 24…

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