Daily Kickoff

“If that’s your issue, I’d understand if you want to support somebody else” — Cory Booker to anti-Israel activist on campaign trail

Cory Booker

Mark C. Olsen

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker addresses family, friends, elected officials, and New Jersey National Guard leadership during the farewell ceremony for more than 180 New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers from Alpha and Charlie Companies, 2nd Battalion, 113th Infantry Regiment, at the Prudential Center, Newark, N.J., Feb. 4, 2019.

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HEARD ON THE TRAIL — Former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) were confronted by IfNotNow activists while campaigning in New Hampshire over the weekend and asked about their views on the Israeli “occupation.” 

NOT THIS TIME — On Saturday, an activist, who introduced herself as Becca, asked Booker — who was on a weekend RV tour in New Hampshire — if he’s okay with the “imprisonment of Palestinian children” and whether he thinks the “occupation” is a “human rights crisis and a violation of international law.”

“So I am sorry that you think I’m okay with that, which I am not, and I will continue to do everything I can to address this issue,” Booker replied. “We may not agree on strategies.”

When the activist pressed on about the occupation, Booker said: “You are not going to get me to address that question as you want, and I know that that’s the question that you’ve been asking every presidential candidate. But I am working on this issue, probably more than any other foreign policy issue… If that’s your issue, I would understand if you want to support somebody else, but know I am just as committed to that as you are — committed to human rights.” [Video]

During a campaign event in Atkinson, New Hampshire, Biden was approached by an IfNotNow activist — identified as Elias Newman — and asked the same question. “I think occupation is a real problem, a significant problem,” Biden said. “I think the settlements are unnecessary. The only answer is a two-state solution, number one. Number two: the Palestinians have to step up to stop the hate. So, it’s a two-way street.” 

Asked if he would pressure Israel to end the occupation, Biden said: “You know anything about my record? You know I have.”[JewishInsiderVideo]

While greeting supporters, Biden also got into a heated debate with another IfNotNow activist over Israel. “As the heated discussion dragged on, Biden raised his finger at the woman, moved his face within inches of hers and slid off his thin-rimmed aviators,” the Concord Monitor reported. “I felt that he was trying to intimidate me,” the activist, identified as Sarah Kate Feferman, told the publication. “That, in combination with hearing him use the same talking point… it’s so disheartening.”

At a town hall meeting in Laconia, New Hampshire, on Saturday, Buttigieg told another activist that, “The occupation has to end.”

Buttigieg pointed to comments previously made by former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon about the occupation in the West Bank. “Even people… associated with the Israeli right… like Sharon — towards the end of his life — recognize that this state of affairs is unsustainable. And the pathway to peace has to include Israelis and Palestinians living side by side with self-determination.” [Video]

IfNotNow “has said that six full-time fellows are in New Hampshire to spend the summer publicly confronting candidates during their events.” [Haaretz

TALK OF 2020 — Axios asked the Democratic 2020 presidential candidates whether they would reverse President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. 

The Biden campaign told Axios“Vice President Biden would not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv. But he would re-open our consulate in East Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians.” 

Booker, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Buttigieg told Axios that they would not reverse Trump’s decision. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)  recently told Jewish Insider they would keep the embassy in its current location.

Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, declined to express an opinion on the matter. Read the full list of responses here [Axios]

Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) told the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) that he would return the embassy to Tel Aviv. 

REPORT — Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) visited the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and met with Rabbi Jeffrey Meyers while visiting the area for a campaign rally in April, The New York Times reported on Saturday. But Sanders instructed his campaign aides not to tell the news media about the visit because he didn’t want it to be perceived as a publicity grab, according to the report. 

Now, facing competition by candidates who have made their personal stories central to their campaign, his advisors are urging Sanders to talk more about his post-World War II childhood in Brooklyn surrounded by Holocaust survivors. “In a campaign in which issues of race and discrimination have been central, and in which the inhumane treatment of migrants has become a partisan flash point, the senator’s advisors believe he has something to contribute to that discussion and that many voters today are open to a Jewish president,” according to The Times

In an interview with NowThis, Sanders acknowledged that being elected the first Jewish president would be “another barrier that’s broken down.”

HEARD ON CABLE — New York Times columnist Tom Friedman discussed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to avoid trial if he wins his re-election bid in September. “It would, in effect, turn Israel into a Jewish banana republic,” Friedman warned in an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. [Video]

NETANYAHU ON ISRAEL-DIASPORA RELATIONS — Netanyahu dismissed the perception that he’s seen as “a polarizing figure” among American Jews in an interview with TIME magazine, the transcript of which was published over the weekend.

“I don’t think I’ve been a polarizing figure at all,” Netanyahu said. “I’ve actually incorporated into law our communal responsibility with our fellow Jews abroad… I want every Jew to feel at home in Israel.” Read the full transcript of the interview with Netanyahu here [TIME]

HUCKABEE IN THE HOLY LAND — Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told reporters at a press breakfast at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem Monday morning that he certainly hopes the White House will consider endorsing the Israeli annexation of settlements in the West Bank. Huckabee said he asked President Donald Trump last year what made him decide to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and “he just shrugged his shoulders and he said, ‘Well, I said I was going to do it, and it’s the right thing to do,’” the former governor recalled. 

Huckabee also addressed the recent departure of his daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, from her position as White House press secretary, and her potential run for Arkansas governor. “I can tell you that she did not really want to leave the job,” he said. “She loved it. She loves the president. She’s anxious to tell what she considers to be the real story in the Trump White House.” But, he said, she felt the need to leave to spend more time with her three young children. Looking ahead, he said, Sanders “very well may” run for governor, “but she’s not going to make any decision about that for a while. The race is not until 2022 so she’s got some time.”

Huckabee said he has visited Israel five times already this year: “Bibi told me that if I spend any more time here, I would have to start paying income tax,” he joked. [JewishInsider

LAST NIGHT — Huckabee partook in one of his favorite pastimes during this Israel visit: playing his guitar. The former governor performed “Sweet Home Alabama” on Sunday evening at the Jerusalem home of Simon Falic, the chairman of Duty Free Americas. [Video

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — The burgeoning normalization between Gulf Arab states and Israel “could stall if Israeli-Palestinian ties remain frozen, or they could even be reversed if ties deteriorate,” wrote former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and INSS fellow Yoel Guzansky in Foreign Policy over the weekend. The willingness of Gulf states to engage with Israel “will be tested mightily if and when they must react to a Trump political plan that does not envision statehood for the Palestinians or an Israeli decision to proceed with annexation of parts of the West Bank. The Bahrain summit tells us that in such a circumstance, it is nowhere near certain that Gulf states would feel they could continue in their recent trend of warming toward Israel.”

TALK OF THE REGION — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that President Donald Trump should waive sanctions on Turkey over purchasing Russian air defense systems. “Right now, I don’t believe Trump is of the same opinion of those below him and he has said this in front of all the world’s media,” Erdogan said, according to Reuters. But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told The Washington Post that “the law requires that there be sanctions and I’m confident that we will comply with the law and President Trump will comply with the law.” Turkey received on Friday the first components of the S-400 missile defense system that it purchased from Russia.

According to Bloomberg, the White House has settled on a package of sanctions against Ankara and “the intention is to announce the sanctions late [this] week.”

IRAN WATCH — On Sunday, France, Germany and the U.K. called on Iran to “act responsibly” and fully comply with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) and “seek ways to stop the escalation of tensions and resume dialogue.” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told reporters on Monday that there’s a “small window to keep the deal alive.”

The State Department granted a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit New York this week to attend a meeting of the U.N. Economic and Social Council, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saidon Sunday. But Pompeo said Zarif and his delegation will only be permitted to travel back and forth between the U.N. headquarters and the Iranian mission, and to the residence of the Iranian ambassador. 

Last week, Reuters reported that the Treasury Department decided to hold off on sanctioning Zarif as part of a campaign against the Iranian regime, indicating that the door remains open for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. 

The House voted on Friday to prevent President Trump from launching into war with Iran without getting congressional approval. 

Trump told reporters on Friday: “Iran better be careful. They’re treading on very dangerous territory. Iran, if you’re listening, you better be careful.” 

The Daily Mail published on Sunday a leaked memo from former U.K. Ambassador Kim Darroch, arguing that Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year was “an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama’s deal.”

INSIDE THE ADMIN — Multiple U.S. officials revealed to the Washington Free Beacon that pressure is mounting on the State Department “to nix a series of sanctions waivers that have permitted Iran to continue some of its most controversial nuclear weapons research, including at a secretive military bunker known to have housed the Islamic Republic’s bomb program.” 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ret. Army Gen. Jack Keane write… “Call Iran’s bluff with an offer of nuclear power: Before we reach the point at which military conflict is inevitable, we hope the Trump administration will consider a simple, clear proposal. Iran could be allowed — in concert with their Arab neighbors — to operate reactors and produce nuclear power. If Iran wants peaceful nuclear power, fine. But under this plan, the regime would not have the ability to enrich, reprocess or fabricate its own nuclear fuel.” [WSJ]

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) tweeted“POTUS⁩ maximum pressure campaign on Iran is working. Must end ‘civil nuclear’ waivers, too. These waivers legitimize and sustain Iran’s illicit nuclear facilities.”

John Hannah, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), writes… “Trump’s Iran policy hasn’t failed — yet: Trump’s maximum pressure strategy may still seem ambitious but hardly fantastical. Indeed, at least as far as constraining the regime’s resources, it’s impossible at this point to argue that the policy is not making progress. The regime is systematically being denied billions of dollars that it heretofore was using to both subsidize its domestic stability and finance its imperial ambitions… The chances that the European Union or other world powers will be capable of circumventing the U.S. sanctions wall, now or in the foreseeable future, are slim.” [ForeignPolicy]

TOP TALKER — President Trump tweeted on Sunday morning that the four progressive congresswomen — Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — who have been critical of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the administration’s immigration policies should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” The tweets prompted Democrats — including Pelosi — to come to their defense. Pelosi called the attacks “xenophobic” and said they showed that Trump’s goal was “making America white again.”

Trump doubled down on his criticism of the Democratic freshmen on Sunday evening. “So sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion,” the president tweeted. “If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!”

Trump added this morning: “When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said… If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.”

TOP OP — Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes: “Can Ilhan Omar overcome her prejudice? Like me, Il­han Omar was born in So­ma­lia and ex­posed at an early age to Mus­lim anti-Semi­tism. In my ex­pe­ri­ence it is dif­fi­cult, per­haps im­pos­si­ble, to un­learn hate with­out com­ing to terms with how you learned to hate. Most Amer­i­cans are fa­mil­iar with the clas­sic West­ern fla­vors of anti-Semi­tism: the Chris­t­ian, Eu­ropean, white-su­premacist and Com­mu­nist types. But lit­tle at­ten­tion has been paid to the spe­cial case of Mus­lim anti-Semi­tism. That is a pity be­cause to­day it is anti-Semi­tism’s most zeal­ous, most po­tent and most un­der­es­ti­mated form.” [WSJ]

Poll: An internal Democratic poll published by Axios on Sunday revealed that progressive Democrats Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar are very well-known but deeply unpopular among swing voters. 

2020 BRIEFS — Bernie Sanders and former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein traded barbs on Twitter over “anti-endorsements” snub… Beto O’Rourke said on Sunday that his ancestors owned slaves… Kamala Harris makes the case against Trump at Brooklyn fundraiser… Struggling in White House bid, Kirsten Gillibrand seeks bump in Trump country… Democratic candidates juggle presidential race with day jobs… 

RACE TO THE KNESSET — Days after igniting a firestorm over his comments on intermarriage, Israeli Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz found himself at the center of a new controversy, after publicly endorsing gay conversion therapy. Peretz told Channel 12 News that he believed the controversial and widely discredited tactics could work: “I have a very deep familiarity with this kind of education, and I have also done this.” 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly distanced himself from the remarks, saying they “are not acceptable to me and do not reflect the position of the government under my leadership.” Likud Justice Minister Amir Ohana, Israel’s first openly gay minister, said in response that “sexual orientation does not require correction or conversion. Ignorance and prejudice require conversion.”

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean tweeted about Peretz’s comments on Sunday: “Israel’s government has lost its soul and its purpose. The nobility of the Jewish people conferred by their terrible suffering is being squandered by cheap bigoted political crooks. The result will ultimately be the loss of a Jewish homeland which would be an unspeakable tragedy.”

TRANSITION — The Israeli prime minister announced on Sunday the appointment of Evan Cohen as his new foreign media spokesperson. Cohen replaces David Keyes, who resigned last December amid several accusations of misconduct. Cohen, the founder of the Likud’s LGBT forum, was appointed a day after Netanyahu distanced himself from comments on gay conversation therapy by his education minister. Cohen told The Jerusalem Post that he was not appointed because he is gay, and that he was actually selected for the job weeks ago. A Likud official, meanwhile, said the timing of the announcement itself was not accidental.  

Israel’s National Conflict Plays Out in Clash Over a Sabbath Bus Service — by Dov Lieber: “[Ramat Gan] Mayor Carmel Shama-Hacohen’s desk is strewn with evidence of the threats against his life over his campaign to introduce public bus service on the Sabbath… The dispute was the latest in a national conflict over the Sabbath that has upended Israeli politics… The Sabbath issue will be among the most important issues deciding Mr. Netanyahu’s fate in September, said Yair Sheleg, a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute.” [WSJ]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be looking to neutralize one of his potential electoral rivals by offering the post of U.N. ambassador to former Education Minister Naftali Bennett. According to a report on Army Radio, Netanyahu offered the position to Bennett, whose New Right party failed to cross the threshold in the April elections. Bennett has yet to decide if he will run again in the September 17 election, but a source told The Jerusalem Post that he is not interested in the envoy post. 

The Jeffrey Epstein scandal has even spread to Israel’s election — by Jonah Shepp: “Whether or not the attorney general decides to open an investigation into [Ehud] Barak’s relationship with Epstein, it’s definitely become a serious political liability for the former Labor party leader… Netanyahu’s reasons for jumping on this story and gunning for Barak are harder to understand, as the prime minister has much bigger fish to fry if he hopes to survive September’s election.” [NYMag]

After downplaying his ties to Epstein for several days, Barak said Saturday that he was looking to dissolve his business partnership with the man accused of sex trafficking. “For close to five years, a firm linked to Epstein has been a passive investor in a limited partnership registered in Israel under the law and controlled by me,” he wrote. “Right after the current accusations in the Epstein case became known, I instructed my lawyers to look into the possibilities before us to remove the company tied to Epstein from the limited partnership.”

IN THE SPOTLIGHT — The Wexner Foundation, a Jewish leadership nonprofit founded by CEO of L Brands Les Wexner, distanced itself from Jeffrey Epstein in a statement on Friday. The letter from the foundation’s president, Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson, confirmed that Epstein was once a trustee of the organization, but “the Wexner Foundation and Jeffrey Epstein cut ties more than a decade ago. As reported, Les severed ties at that time as well,” Abrahamson wrote. “Needless to say, it is a highly disturbing story. Sexual abuse and trafficking is abhorrent and when it involves minors, all the more so… We are sickened by Mr. Epstein’s behavior.”

REPORT — In 2017, Epstein donated $50,000 to the UJA-Federation of New York, JTA reported. The donation was made through his charity, Gratitude America, according to his tax records. Epstein, who is currently being held in jail in New York City, is due in court in Manhattan this morning over his request for house arrest.

** Good Monday 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: ‘The town hall of Hollywood’ — welcome to the Netflix lobby [NYTimes•Israel Discount Bank names Uri Levin as new CEO[Reuters• Israel holds 5G mobile network tender, aims for 2020 launch[Reuters] • Cybersecurity company BigID raises $50 Million [Calcalist] • Israel social impact bond to help Bedouins in math studies [BusinessInsider]

STARTUP NATION ― The secret to success of an Israeli company that’s the darling of Warren Buffett ― by Ephrat Livni: “Iscar is a metalworking tool manufacturer in Israel that few people had heard of until the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, blessed it with an investment in 2006. It was the first time Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invested in a company outside of the US, and one of the biggest foreign investments in an Israeli company ever… Haaretz reports that ‘sources close to the company’ say Iscar has made about $6 billion for Berkshire Hathaway since its initial investment.” [Quartz

DEEP DIVE — OxyContin made the Sacklers rich. Now it’s tearing them apart — by Jared Hopkins: “Jacqueline Sackler was fed up. HBO’s John Oliver would soon use his TV show to pillory her family, the clan that owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin… Before the show aired, Ms. Sackler… emailed her in-laws, lawyers and advisers. ‘This situation is destroying our work, our friendships, our reputation and our ability to function in society,’ she wrote. The host of lawsuits, some of which name as defendants many individual Sacklers who served on Purdue’s board, has unraveled the family’s standing in philanthropic, academic and financial circles.” [WSJ]

Theodoric Meyer reports in Politico Influence“Joey Allaham, the New York restaurateur who helped mastermind a lobbying campaign for Qatar… has a new client. He’ll represent the government of Kosovo’s Ministry of European Integration through his new firm, Madison Global Strategies… Allaham isn’t working with Nick Muzin… with whom he did the Qatar work. (Muzin and Allaham also told The Wall Street Journal last year they were starting a new firm with Michael Flynn.) ‘There was no split with Nick — it is a common misperception that they were ‘partners’ but they never were,’ wrote Craig Engle, a lawyer for Allaham, in an email to PI.” [PoliticoInfluence]

ACROSS THE POND — Jewish figures rail against Labour’s handling of antisemitism charges — by Stefan Boscia: “A group of prominent Jewish writers and artists have expressed their ‘bewilderment and disgust’ with Labour’s handling of the antisemitism crisis engulfing the party. The letter — signed by Howard Jacobson, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Sir Simon Schama, Neil Blair, Tracy Ann Oberman and Rabbi Julia Neuberger —– claims that antisemitism has been ‘protected, sanctioned and propagated by the leadership faction.’” [TheGuardian]

The new antisemitism — by Yaroslav Trofimov: “‘Jews in this country are held responsible for the actions of the Israeli government in the way we wouldn’t demand for, say, British Pakistanis. It’s the way that is not applied to any other minority,’ said Luciana Berger, a [Jewish] member of Parliament who had to be protected by police at last year’s Labour conference and quit the party in February. Ms. Berger said that she is often asked whether Jewish life in Britain could continue under a Corbyn government. ‘It comes up all the time: Do we have to leave the country?’ she said. ‘It’s terrifying.’” [WSJ]

SPORTS BLINK — Omri Casspi is returning to Israel to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv —  and will re-assume his role as team captain — after 10 years playing in the NBA. Casspi will reportedly earn $3.2 million for three years. 

TALK OF THE NATION — After a police shooting, Ethiopian Israelis seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ reckoning — by David Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner: “Ethiopian-Israelis, a tiny minority of 150,000 in a country of 9 million, say they hope the killing of 18-year-old Solomon Tekah might finally be their Black Lives Matter moment. At a minimum, it has been a galvanizing one: In housing-complex courtyards and shady parks, on social media and in professional suites, people in all reaches of the community have become newly emboldened to speak out… The chances that the protests will gain the kind of traction and attention Black Lives Matter has in the United States are slim. Ethiopian-Israelis possess scant political power, lack recognized leadership and face internal resistance from disapproving elders when they rock the boat.” [NYTimes]

Israeli court halts park entry ban deemed racist by Arab citizens — by Rami Ayyub: “A court on Sunday ordered a predominantly Jewish town in northern Israel to lift a ban on non-resident visitors to its parks, a prohibition that a rights group said was aimed at keeping Arabs out. The town of Afula denied the edict was racially motivated.” [Reuters

TRAGIC — Police find body believed to be rabbi who saved student from drowning — by Tamar Lapin: “Search and rescue crews pulled the remains ‘presumed to be that of the missing swimmer’ Reuven Bauman, 35, from the ocean near False Cape around 2:15 p.m., Virginia Beach Police said in a statement. The teacher at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Norfolk was reported missing last Tuesday after he swam out to rescue a 13-year-old student caught in a rip current in the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.” [NYPost]

Politico Playbook‘s Daniel Lippman is transitioning to full-time reporting at Politico

DESSERT — A 96-year-old center city bakery is closing, at least temporarily — by Rachel Vigoda: “Kosher bakery Swiss Haus, a staple in Philly for close to 100 years despite multiple ownership changes, is closing for at least a month… According to social media posts by the bakery… the owner is looking to ‘revitalize and revamp our brand, culture and overall client experience for the better’ in a ‘significant undertaking.’” [EaterPhilly]

BIRTHDAYS: President and chairman of the board of the Annenberg Foundation, a multibillion-dollar charity formed by her father (Walter Annenberg), Wallis Annenberg turns 80… Member of the British House of Lords, he is a professor, medical doctor, scientist, television anchor and Labour Party politician, Baron Robert Maurice Lipson Winston turns 79… Professional sports bettor and poker player, he is a four time winner of the World Series of Poker, Mickey Appleman turns 74… Physician and life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, father of Politico’s Daniel Lippman, Dr. David H. Lippman turns 74 (h/t son Daniel)… Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, one of the largest rabbinical schools in the world with more than 6,000 students, Rabbi Dovid Schustal turns 72… Former congresswoman (1989-2019), she was Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (2011-2013), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen turns 67…

EVP at the Aspen Institute responsible for its policy and public programs, he was a Rhodes Scholar and he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (1980-1981), Elliot Gerson turns 67… Partner in the California-based appellate law firm of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, Feris M. Greenberger turns 63… Regional director in Florida for the Orthodox Union’s Advocacy Center, Miriam Baron (Mimi) Jankovits turns 63… Board Chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, she is also the Board Secretary of The Jewish Federations of North America, Julie Beren Platt turns 62… Professor at the UCLA School of Law, expert in human rights, international criminal law and international trade, Richard Harold Steinberg turns 59… News editor for BloombergJodi Schneider turns 59…

Member of Congress since 2011 (D-Rhode Island-1), previously mayor of Providence (2003-2011), his mother is Sabra née Peskin, David Nicola Cicilline turns 58… Anchorage-based attorney, a member of the Alaska House of Representatives since 2012, Andrew Lewis “Andy” Josephson turns 55… Former UK Labour Party member of Parliament (2001-2013) including three years as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, now CEO of NYC-based International Rescue Committee, David Miliband turns 54… Co-founder and chief investment officer of Toronto-based EdgeStone Capital Partners, one of Canada’s leading private equity firms, Gilbert S. Palter turns 54… Senior advisor at investment bank Greif & Co., he is also the CFO of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, David S. Felman turns 41… Florida Synagogue Initiative Director for AIPAC since 2011, Sam Kalmowicz turns 41…

Rabbi, blogger and attorney, he served for almost seven years at the Shul on the Beach in Venice, California, Eliyahu Fink turns 38… SVP of the Milwaukee Bucks and chair of the winning Milwaukee 2020 Democratic National Committee Bid Committee, Alexander Lasry turns 32… Baltimore native, now in Denver as the senior Israel Education Director at Hillel International, Jonathan Steven (“Jon”) Falk turns 31… Fund director of the Membership in News Fund at the Membership Puzzle Project, she was previously a Nairobi-based foreign correspondent and the Middle East editor at the Christian Science MonitorAriel Zirulnick turns 31… Bloomberg reporter and team leader covering mergers and acquisitions since 2019, she was previously at Thomson Reuters (2010-2019), Liana Balinsky-Baker (h/ts Playbook)…

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