DEBATE RECAP — by JI’s Ben Jacobs in Detroit: The Democratic debate Wednesday night was an all-out brawl. One night after moderate underdogs spent the evening vainly aiming jabs at the progressives on center stage, punches were seemingly thrown in almost every direction during the second of two debates this week at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.
Former Vice President Joe Biden not only took criticisms as the frontrunner, but took some preemptive shots at rival candidates after a poor performance in the first debate in Miami. Most notably, Biden targeted Sen. Cory Booker on criminal justice and his record as mayor of Newark — which prompted the New Jersey Democrat to retort: “You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.” Booker went on to criticize Biden for his past support of policies that led to mass incarceration.
Many on the stage Wednesday night were aware that this could be their last time participating in a 2020 primary debate. During the next showdown in Houston in September, the field is expected to be significantly culled due to more stringent standards. This likely led to candidates launching more attacks on their opponents, hoping for attention and a viral moment to keep them in the race. In her closing statement, Gillibrand made a pitch for donations, proving the impact of the new rules.
IN THE SPIN ROOM — Rep. Joaquin Castro, the twin brother of 2020 contender Julian Castro, told JI’s Ben Jacobs: “This is a competition among people who are aspiring to the highest office in the land. There comes a time when there are distinctions that are going to be made among candidates and that was tonight.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee has been running a campaign focusing on the existential danger posed by climate change, and sparred with Biden on the issue: “I certainly pointed out some differences between my plans and his and I was pointed and very accurate,” Inslee told JI after the debate. “The unfortunate fact is, science has given us deadlines and if we don’t meet those deadlines our goose is cooked, we’re toast.” [JewishInsider]
FOREIGN POLICY — Once again, Israel was not raised during the debate Wednesday night, and foreign policy was not a prominent topic. But there were several exchanges on the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked businessman Andrew Yang how he would respond to Iran violating the agreement.
“I would move to de-escalate tensions in Iran, because they’re responding to the fact that we pulled out of this agreement,” Yang said. “And it wasn’t just us and Iran. There were many other world powers that were part of that multinational agreement. We’d have to try and re-enter that agreement, renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don’t make as much sense.”
Inslee, asked the same question, side-stepped addressing the deal itself, simply stating that: “We need a president who can stand up against the drums of war and make rational decisions.” The governor also touted his 2002 vote as a congressman against the Iraq War.
Later, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio interrupted to bring up Iran again, saying: “We’re on the march to war in Iran right now, and we blew by it… we have to stop this march to war in Iran.”
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet made a reference to his mother fleeing the Holocaust during an exchange on immigration: “I disagree that we should decriminalize our border. This is personal for me. My mom is an immigrant, and she was separated from her parents during the Holocaust in Poland. And for those reasons, I was part of the Gang of Eight that wrote — I wrote the immigration bill in 2013 with John McCain that passed the Senate with 68 votes, that gave a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people that are here, that would pass the most progressive DREAM Act that had ever been conceived, much less passed on the floor of the Senate, and had $46 billion of border security. Every single Democrat voted for that bill.”
HOW IT PLAYED — Biden vs. the world [NYTimes] • Joe Biden defends the party’s past [NewYorker] • Cory Booker lands punches and punchlines[CNN] • Biden debate gaffe sends viewers in digital circles [Reuters] • Kool-Aid, Clorox and the best one-liners [BBC]
REACTIONS — Haley Soifer, the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) tells JI’s Jacob Kornbluh: “The two debates demonstrated the strength of the Democratic Party, in terms of the diversity, the views, experiences and background that the candidates brought to the stage. That is what the American people want to see in this election. They want to know that not only [are] the candidates ready to take on Donald Trump, but that they have strong ideas about how they are going to do so. And I thought the candidates did a great job on demonstrating that — on both nights.”
Soifer on the fact that Israel was not mentioned in the debates: “The candidates were speaking to issues that are the top priority of not only American voters, but also Jewish Americans. We know — based on polling — that Jews are voting primarily on domestic policy issues. Those issues were addressed. Israel is very important to Jewish voters, but it is not a key issue that Jews are voting on. They are confident in where the Democratic candidates stand on this issue.”
Mark Mellman, CEO of Democratic Majority for Israel, emails JI:“Obviously it’s the media questioners, not the candidates, who decide which topics are covered in the debates. And they do so with an understanding of what’s most important to Americans, and in this case, Michiganians. The fact is domestic issues like healthcare, the economy, education, racial disparities, criminal justice reform, trade, and climate change far outweigh foreign policy for most Americans. But there are lots of debates and many other opportunities to question the candidates yet to come.”
Aaron Keyak, former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC): “It is important to remember that compared to healthcare, the economy, and immigration, Israel just isn’t a top issue for voters. Plus, considering the desire to highlight differences in a debate, there wasn’t much of a contrast on this issue. I’m sure Yang and Biden disagree on some intricacies of Middle East policy, but who cares? Maybe next time, JI should host the debates? Then Israel would probably come up.”
Andrew Weinstein, a Florida attorney and a major Democratic donor: “I’m not a big fan of the format for these debates. I think they’re more geared towards creating conflict and generating ratings than providing the candidates with an opportunity to show why they’d make the best president. That said, I think Joe Biden excelled tonight. He was well prepared and deftly handled the attention he received as the front runner. Most importantly, he ably demonstrated why he is the Democrats best answer and antidote to Donald Trump.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro tells JI: “For Democratic primary voters, the overwhelming priority is a candidate who can win. There is a consensus among Democrats that the Trump presidency is doing extraordinary damage to our country, to its values and its institutions, and its international standing, and it’s absolutely imperative that he’d be limited to one term. And so I think the search for a nominee, including in these debates, is less about their positions on specific issues… [and] much more about who’s going to provide the compelling energizing vision that will motivate Democratic base voters, as well as appeal to swing voters… I think there’s more than one candidate in the field who’s capable of that.”
DIPLOMACY OF LOVE — Williamson sees Iran as “a potential ally” — by JI’s Ben Jacobs: In response to a questionnaire from the Council of Foreign Relations, Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson outlined a uniquely dovish view of foreign policy.
Williamson, an author who is running on the “politics of love,” not only supports re-entering the Iran nuclear deal but sees Iran as “a potential ally against Sunni extremism” and insists Saudi Arabia wants to provoke a war with the Iranian regime that they will fight to “the last American.” She also described nuclear weapons as “a symptom of conflict, fear, insecurity, and a drive to dominate.”
Williamson declared that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal and would rescind Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights — although she conceded: “I understand the occupation of the Golan Heights, but only until there is a stable government in Syria with whom one can negotiate.” She also advocated for the end of the blockade of Gaza.[JewishInsider]
CFR sent the questionnaire to all of the Democratic candidates to articulate their positions on twelve foreign policy issues — including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iran deal, and relations with Saudi Arabia — earlier this month. Read the questions and responses here. [CFR]
MONEY RACE — Democratic megadonor George Soros has already put $5.1 million into a new super PAC, called Democracy PAC, to serve as his 2020 hub. The down payment is already more than double the $2.1 million he contributed at this point in 2016. Other Soros family members may also contribute to the super PAC, Politico reported.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is slated to hit the Hamptons this weekend for a series of fundraisers, including an event hosted by Jeffrey Seller, a theatrical producer best known for his work on Hamilton.
ARGUMENT — Glenn C. Loury writes… “Why are Democrats defending Al Sharpton? The problem for Democrats is that Al Sharpton actually is, as Mr. Trump put it on Twitter, ‘a con man.’ And not just a con man: Mr. Sharpton is an ambulance-chasing, antisemitic, anti-white race hustler. His history of offensive statements is longer than the current American president’s. And Mr. Sharpton’s worst sin — his blatant incitement to violence during the Crown Heights riots of 1991 — leaves no doubt that he is not a leader, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described him, who has spent his years ‘pushing for justice in the teachings of Dr. King.’” [NYTimes]
SPOTTED — Joe Biden was seen chatting with Sharpton after the debate last night. [Pic]
ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — White House senior advisor Jared Kushner and his aides on the Mideast peace team met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also attended the meeting. [Pic]
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu visited the settlement of Efrat, vowing that no West Bank settlement homes would be demolished during his time in office. “No settlement or settler will be uprooted. That is over,” Netanyahu said. “What you’re doing here is forever.”
On Wednesday morning, Kushner met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman. The king reiterated his stance that any peace plan should be based on a “two-state solution” to “ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state… with east Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and security alongside Israel.”
A senior White House official denied a report by Yediot Ahronot that the Trump administration is planning a regional peace summit in Camp David. “No summit has currently been planned,” the official told the Israeli press. “The Middle East team will report back to the president, the vice president, the secretary of state and the National Security Council upon returning to discuss the many potential next steps to expand upon the success of the Bahrain workshop.”
Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt and Brian Hook, the State Department’s envoy on Iran, write… “Israeli-Palestinian peace would be Iran’s worst nightmare: A successful comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is among the important tools we have to help bring regional stability and prevent Iranian terror.” [Foxnews]
Kushner and Friedman were spotted dining at Jacko’s Street restaurant outside the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem on Wednesday night.
DRIVING THE DAY — The State Department announced on Wednesday the extension of U.S. waivers for signatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to continue their participation in civil nuclear projects with Iran.
At the same time, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. “Today President Trump decided enough is enough,” a senior administration official said on a conference call with reporters. The official added that the action against the regime’s top diplomat comes in light of Tehran’s recent “completely unacceptable” behavior.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the Trump administration still sought a diplomatic solution, but said Zarif’s foreign ministry was advancing the Iranian Supreme Leader’s “destabilizing” policies. “The only path forward is a comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of its threats,” Pompeo said. “Until then, our campaign of diplomatic isolation and maximum economic pressure will continue.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) released a statement Wednesday slamming the Trump administration’s decision to keep several sanctions waivers in place against Iran. “I hope these reports turn out to be wrong,” Cruz said. “The president has correctly ordered his administration to halt implementation of the catastrophic Obama-Iran nuclear deal. These waivers are part of the deal, and allow the Ayatollahs to build up their nuclear program.” The senator added that “if these reports are indeed accurate, then it is a temporary victory for the deep state staffers at Treasury and State who continue working tirelessly to preserve the Obama-Iran deal rather than implementing the president’s directive.”
ON THE HILL – by JI’s Laura Kelly: Senator James Lankford (R-OK) told Jewish Insider on Tuesday that he is concerned a House bill meant to strengthen avenues to justice for American victims of Palestinian terrorism won’t work as intended.
Lankford is the author of the Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act of 2019 (S.2132), a bill designed to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable in the U.S. courts system. A similar effort was included in a bill authored by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), which passed the House last week and was referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Both bills look at Palestinian Authority activity at the U.N. as possible avenues for applying “consent to personal jurisdiction,” although the Lankford bill attempts to be more stringent in identifying PA actions at the U.N., with the Senate bill calling for implementation immediately after passage and the Deutch bill allowing a grace period of 180 days for implementation. Other provisions in the Lankford bill include different activities by the Palestinian’s in their membership at the U.N., “outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.”
While the Deutch bill also addresses Palestinian membership at the U.N., it does not go as far as the Lankford bill text. “What I’d like to see is to make sure it actually works on it [the PA consenting to personal jurisdiction,]” Lankford said. “At the end of the day, my concern with the House version is when it gets applied into real-life situations, I’m not sure it works in the way that’s written,” he told JI.
Deutch’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Kent Yalowitz, the attorney who secured the $655.5 million judgement against the Palestine Liberation Organization under the Anti Terrorism Act, in the case Sokolow v. PLO, told JI that the Senate bill is an improvement over the House version.
“Congressman Ted Deutch has done very strong work for terror victims. There are several provisions in the Senate bill — all of which are supported by the State Department — that would be significant improvements over the version of the bill that passed the House,” Yalowitz wrote in an email to JI. “These improvements would provide a powerful incentive for meaningful engagement by the P.A. and PLO in a process by which they would accept responsibility for the grievous harm they inflicted on innocent Americans.”
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) came under fire on Wednesday for earlier comments about Republicans denouncing antisemitism to attract Jewish donors. At an event Sunday, Slotkin, who is Jewish, said “they are not looking for our votes, because we are a relatively small community. They are looking for our donors, right?”
The Republican Jewish Coalition said Slotkin’s comments “are factually wrong and ugly… Slotkin’s dismissive attitude towards our Jewish community is reflective of her party’s views, and is one of the reasons we see Jews moving to the Republican Party.”
The Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm Kelly Craft as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Craft was confirmed 56-34 after a more than seven-month vacancy in the post following the resignation of former Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon tweeted: “Congratulations to Ambassador Kelly Craft on her confirmation to represent the United States at the UN! I look forward to welcoming you to Turtle Bay, and continuing to build upon the great achievements of the United States and Israel!”
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) slammed the decision to appoint Craft in a seven-page report issued Wednesday. The report said that Craft was guilty of “rampant and inexcusable absenteeism” and “conflicts of interest” during her tenure as the U.S. ambassador to Canada. “Never in our nation’s history have we nominated such an underqualified person to this critical post,” he wrote.
DAY IN COURT —Facebook defeated an appeal by American victims of Hamas attacks in Israel at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Wednesday. The group sought to hold the company liable for providing Hamas with a social media platform to pursue its terrorist goals.
ROAD TO THE KNESSET — Israel’s political parties began arriving at the Knesset on Wednesday to register their final lists ahead of the September 17 election. The deadline for registration is Thursday night, and there are still rumors of last-minute mergers and negotiations in the works. Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut submitted its candidate slate, closing the door on joining the united right-wing party led by Ayelet Shaked. But the extremist Otzma Yehudit, led by Itamar Ben-Gvir, said it was still possible he would merge with Shaked’s list. Labor, meanwhile, definitively ruled out merging with the newly-formed Democratic Camp list.
NOT INVITED — Is Poland snubbing Netanyahu at World War II anniversary gathering? — by Herb Keinon: “On September 1, 17 days before the elections, Poland will host a gathering in Warsaw marking 80 years since the Nazi invasion of Poland and the start of World War II. U.S. President Donald Trump and a number of other world leaders are scheduled to attend. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for whom photos of a meeting with Trump and other world leaders so close to the balloting would be an obvious preelection boon, has not been invited.” [JPost]
** Good Thursday 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: Why Tesla sales show Frank Lowy was right to sell [AustralianFinancialReview] • Ari Emanuel buying $35 million mansion in Bel Air [HollywoodReporter] • Tom Barrack snagged Saudi money after Trump transition meetings [Bloomberg] • Ronald Perelman’s Deluxe Entertainment lenders commit to capital infusion [Bloomberg] • Goldman Sachs raises reported $2.5b for real estate purchases [CrainsNewYork] • Israel backs off rate hike as governor now sees long pause ahead [Bloomberg]• Amazon buys Israeli startup E8 Storage [Reuters] • Israeli content creation co Lightricks raises $135 million [Globes]
PROFILE — Groupon made Eric Lefkofsky a billionaire — His cancer-fighting startup is worth far more: “Eric Lefkofsky hasn’t taken a science class since college. But as he meanders through the Chicago lab of Tempus, his medical startup, he presents an air of expertise… ‘Tempus is attempting to bring the power of artificial intelligence to healthcare’ he says. ‘The first step in all that is data.’… The 49-year-old has launched five companies worth at least $250 million apiece, each promising to transform an industry by using big data. His best-known venture is Groupon; despite the deals site’s disappointing share price, Lefkofsky is worth an estimated $2.7 billion.”[Forbes]
ON THE HUNT — New England Patriots owner and Kraft Group CEO Robert Kraft is looking for an executive director to lead the new Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism, the nonprofit he pledged to establish last month. Kraft vowed to contribute $20 million of his own money — along with the $1 million Genesis Prize he received in Jerusalem in June — to establish the foundation in the Boston area. And now, he’s searching for the perfect candidate to lead the fledgling foundation. A job specification document has been circulating among Kraft’s associates and Jewish nonprofit professionals seeking a “proven leader” who can work to “educate individuals, create understanding, spur personal action and counter misinformation.”[JewishInsider]
WATCH THIS SPACE — Tel Aviv’s bus station is an eyesore, but an urban playground for artists — by Ruth Eglash: “Designed by renowned Israeli architect Ram Karmi, the hulking station, said to be the second-largest in the world, was envisioned as housing an entire city under one roof. But Karmi’s brutalist style, with coarsely strewn stairwells, mezzanine floors, winding walkways, vast corridors and dark hidden spaces made the station impractical and impossible to navigate almost from the start… Twenty-six years on, its legacy is as rough and as spurned as the abandoned stores and deserted floors inside it. Only a small part of the station is used today for daily travel, with most commuters hurrying through, hoping to spend as little time there as possible.” [WashPost]
EPSTEIN SAGA — Accused sex trafficker and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein appeared back in court on Wednesday, but he and his lawyers were mum on reports of a suicide attempt last week. Judge Richard M. Berman agreed to the prosecutors’ request to open the trial against Epstein in June 2020, rejecting the defenses’s request for more time.
Meanwhile, Epstein’s long history of moving in circles with the most elite celebrities, financiers and thinkers continues to generate headlines. The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that Epstein and Trump were socially acquainted for more than two decades before being split by a 2004 rivalry over a Palm Beach property. The New York Times revealed that Epstein had “hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch.” The report indicated that Epstein dabbled in eugenics, transhumanism and cryonics, saying he “wanted his head and penis to be frozen.” Epstein’s former lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, “said he was appalled, given the Nazis’ use of eugenics to justify their genocidal effort to purify the Aryan race.”
And the American Jewish community continues to grapple with the falloutfrom Epstein’s recent arrest, including his deep ties to Les Wexner and the Wexner Foundation. The Forward on Wednesday delved into the concerns plaguing many Jewish organizations with close ties to the foundation. The New York Jewish Week spoke with alumni and current participants in the foundation’s fellowship, who are struggling with the implications of the ongoing scandal.
SCENE IN ISRAEL — Musical superstar Jennifer Lopez and her fiance, former Yankees player and entrepreneur Alex Rodriguez, have been taking in the sights around Israel this week. The couple and their four respective children arrived in Israel earlier this week ahead of Lopez’s scheduled concert in Tel Aviv tonight. “What an amazing time we are having on my first trip to Israel!” Rodriguez wrote on social media. “The people have been wonderful and have such energy. I will definitely be back and recommend visiting this incredible country!”
HOLLYWOOD — Chris Evans-led ‘Red Sea Diving Resort’ is panned by critics as an ‘exploitative mess’ — by Hannah Yasharoff: “Reviews are in for Netflix’s action flick ‘Red Sea Diving Resort’ and critics are unsatisfied, to say the least. The Chris Evans-led movie is based on the true story of Israeli agents working to smuggle Jewish Ethiopian refugees out of Sudan in the 1970s and ’80s. Despite the amazing real-life story, the consensus is that the fictional adaptation’s story is less incredible and way cheesier.”[USAToday]
TALK OF THE TOWN — Bronxville, NY: An affluent village 15 miles from Manhattan — by Susan Hodara: “Mary C. Marvin, the mayor of Bronxville for the last 14 years, acknowledged its onetime reputation as restricted, unofficially discouraging Jewish home buyers, but said that changed decades ago. One indicator: Along with seven churches, there is now a synagogue, Chabad of Bronxville, which opened in 2011. Last year, the village displayed a menorah for the first time.” [NYTimes]
Rabbi spat at in German capital; police investigating: “[German] police say Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal was walking past an apartment building in the Wilmersdorf neighborhood Friday night when he said he was spat at and sworn at by two men inside the building. Teichtal, who said the two men spoke in Arabic, called in a statement for ‘tolerance, dialogue and training.’ Despite increasing antisemitic incidents, he says he remains ‘convinced most people in Berlin do not want to accept this aggression against Jews as a sad part of everyday Jewish life.’” [AP; ToI]
Archaeologists have searched for the Church of the Apostles for years. They say they’ve found it near the Sea of Galilee — by Doug Criss: “An ancient church long-rumored to be built over the house where the apostles Peter and Andrew lived has been found near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. A group of excavators — affiliated with Kinneret College in Israel, Nyack College in New York and the Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins — said they made the discovery in June. The church is believed to be from the Byzantine period, according to a news release from the center, and was found near the Jordan River estuary on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.” [CNN]
TRANSITIONS — Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor in chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency for the past three years, will replace Gary Rosenblatt as editor of The Jewish Week at the end of September.
Margaret Talev is joining Axios as a politics and White House editor. She previously served as White House reporter for Bloomberg.
SPOTTED IN NYC — Fauda actress Rona-Lee Shim’on on the subway on Wednesday. [Pic]
REMEMBERING — Towering Broadway director and producer Hal Prince dead — by Mark Kennedy: “Harold Prince, a Broadway director and producer who pushed the boundaries of musical theater with such groundbreaking shows as ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ ‘Cabaret,’ ‘Company’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’ and won a staggering 21 Tony Awards, has died. Prince was 91… Along the way, he helped create some of Broadway’s most enduring musical hits, first as a producer of such shows as… ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’” [AP]
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY — Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel (2011-2017) Daniel Shapiro turns 5-0… Shapiro shared his reflections and plans for the future in a phone interview with JI’s Jacob Kornbluh.
“I feel incredibly fortunate that in these fifty years I have been blessed with a loving family,” Shapiro said. “I have had extraordinary opportunities to serve my country. I’ve been able to contribute to a cause I care very deeply about, which is the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship, our mutual security and prosperity and the search for peace between Israel and its neighbors. And I feel energized to continue to make progress on all of those things for the next 50 years.”Read the full interview here [JewishInsider]
BIRTHDAYS: Culver City, California resident, Allene Prince turns 80… Formerly CEO of multi-billion travel and hotel franchisor Cendant Corporation (1990-2006), now CEO of 54 Madison Partners LLC, Henry Silverman turns 79… Israeli film director and screenwriter, winner of the Israel Prize and Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University, Ram Loevy turns 79… Founder and chairman of NYC-based Midtown Equities, a major developer of nationwide real estate projects, he started his career as the owner of a record label and then as a video game publisher, Joseph Cayre turns 78… President of Brandeis University from 1994-2010, he is now a professor at Brandeis and the president of the Cleveland-based Mandel Foundation, Jehuda Reinharz turns 75… Egyptian-born British businessman, he has been described as “the father of British venture capital,” Sir Ronald Mourad Cohen turns 74…
Israeli-born businessman and film producer, later CEO of Marvel Studios, he won the 2019 Academy Award for best animated feature, Avi Arad turns 71… Santa Monica, California resident, Eric Biren turns 67… Elected two weeks ago to become President of Hadassah starting in 2020, Rhoda Smolow turns 66… Long-time media writer now at Fox News, Howard Kurtz turns 66… Director of New York government relations at Agudath Israel of America, Yeruchim Silber turns 63… U.S. career diplomat, he is awaiting Senate confirmation to be the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, he was the Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba (2018), Ambassador to Bolivia (2006-2008) and the Philippines (2013-2016), Philip Seth Goldberg turns 63…
CEO of Atlanta’s Jewish Family & Career Services since last month, she was elected for three terms in the Minnesota Senate (2006, 2010 and 2012) and ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016, Terri E. Bonoff turns 62… Born in Israel, raised in Cleveland, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience and the director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D. turns 60… Government relations strategist in the DC office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, previously chief of staff for Senator Al Franken and more recently senior counselor to the Secretary of HHS, Andrew (“Drew”) Littman turns 58… Senior Rabbi of the British movement for Reform Judaism, Laura Naomi Janner-Klausnerturns 56… Chief Communications Officer at The Center for Strategic and International Studies, H. Andrew Schwartz turns 51…
Producer for CBS’s 60 Minutes since 2007, Shachar Bar-On turns 50… The son of two Hebrew University professors, himself a professor of mathematics at Princeton (since 2004) and Hebrew U (since 2009), winner of the 2010 Fields Medal, Elon Lindenstrauss turns 49… CEO of NYC’s Quantum Media Group, Ari Zoldan turns 43… Founder and CEO of Moishe House, David Cygielman turns 38… CEO of National Council of Jewish Women since last month, following 12 years as a VP at Hillel International, Sheila Katz turns 36… Staffer for Hillary Clinton in her Senate and State Department posts, now an associate director at Finsbury, David Helfenbein turns 33… Communications and policy analyst in the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, Yael Rabin turns 27… 2019 graduate of Harvard Law School, Asher Perez turns 27…