Good Friday morning!
The House of Representatives passed a resolution 224-194 to restrain President Donald Trump’s war powers in the ongoing situation with Iran. A handful of Democratic House members broke ranks yesterday and voted against the resolution, while several Republicans voted for it. More below.
Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are introducing bipartisan legislation that will authorize $3.3 billion in annual security assistance to Israel to protect itself against its enemies in times of uncertainty. “The events of the past few days remind us of the importance of U.S. assistance to Israel’s security,” Coons tweeted. Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), David Kustoff (R-TN), and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced a resolution (H. Res. 782) that encourages public schools to design and teach a curriculum about the history of antisemitism and the Holocaust. It also calls on law enforcement officials to hold perpetrators of antisemitic attacks accountable.
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TOP TALKER — U.S. says Iran likely shot down passenger plane
The Ukrainian plane that crashed outside Tehran this week, killing all 176 passengers on board, was likely accidentally brought down by an Iranian missile, U.S. officials said on Thursday, based on the intelligence community’s preliminary assessment. Later, The New York Times released video footage purportedly showing a missile hitting the plane moments after taking off from Tehran’s airport.
International crisis: At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that “we have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.” 63 Canadian citizens were killed in the crash.
Flashback: The details of the Tehran crash bear similarities to another recent airline disaster: the loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in 2014. The Boeing 777 was shot down in Ukrainian airspace, killing all 298 people on board. An independent Dutch investigation found that the plane had been hit by a surface-to-air missile originating from pro-Russian separatists.
On the Hill: The House of Representatives approved mostly along party lines a resolution (H. Res.83) that would require Trump to seek an explicit Authorization for Use of Military Force before taking military action against Iran. The Democratic-led measure restricts the president from striking Iranian targets unless Congress declares war or there is “an imminent armed attack upon the United States.”
Not toeing the line: Reps. Max Rose (D-NY), Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) were among the eight Democrats who voted against the measure. Rose explained in a statement that since the resolution is non-binding, he refused “to play politics with war and peace.” Gottheimer added that the measure may limit options in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat. Three Republicans, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) — who is considered one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress — joined House Democrats in favor of the resolution. “Engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision,” Gaetz said.
Oversight responsibilities: Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), who introduced the resolution, maintained that action was needed not to tie the president’s hand but to force members of Congress to have a serious conversation about its war powers and “provide oversight into how we put our young people into conflict. And I’m sorry if it’s politically difficult for people.”
On the trail: President Trump blasted Democrats at a campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio on Thursday evening. “He was a bad guy,” Trump said of Soleimani’s killing. “He was a bloodthirsty terrorist, and he’s no longer a terrorist. He’s dead.”
Moving away from Mideast: The New York Times reports that Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior advisor and point person to the Middle East, was notably absent from the situation room meeting to discuss repercussions of the killing of Suleimani because he was doing a photo shoot for Time magazine about the 2020 campaign.
TRANSITION — AIPAC’s Darius Jones tapped as Bloomberg campaign’s deputy national political director
Darius Jones, AIPAC’s national African American constituency director, will leave the organization to join Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign as deputy national political director.
Bio: Jones’s efforts at AIPAC included working with African American business, community and political leaders, traveling with them to Israel, and bringing black and Jewish communities together across the United States. An alumnus of Clark Atlanta University, Jones joined AIPAC in 2011 after a stint as a speechwriter for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
High gear: Jones’s hiring is part of an effort by the Bloomberg campaign to significantly increase its outreach around the country. The campaign has hired hundreds of staffers across more than 30 states since the former New York City mayor entered the race in November.
Bonus: The New York Times’ Matt Flegenheimer tagged along with Bloomberg for a day on the campaign trail, making stops in Ohio, Minnesota and Illinois before the former mayor headed back to his home base in New York.
GENDER EQUITY — How salary sharing can empower women in the workplace
New York Times reporter Jessica Bennett has issued a challenge to women in 2020: Share your salary details.
Women helping women: Bennett lauds the fact that “slowly but surely” the taboo around discussing salaries — in particular among women — is being broken down. “How can you know you’re being paid less than other races or genders if you don’t know what your colleagues make?” she asked.
Spreading the word: A variety of companies and organizations have sprung up in recent years dedicated to helping women make smart financial decisions, including DailyWorth, Ladies Get Paid and Ellevest. “Call it the salary whisper network for getting paid, ‘except we’re not whispering, we’re yelling,’” said Claire Wasserman, the founder of Ladies Get Paid.
Sara Shapiro-Plevan, who heads the Gender Equity in Hiring Project, told JI that the conversation around salaries is several years in the making. “The switch has happened around #metoo. I think it’s happened around the ‘Times Up’ issue, and the moment at which workplaces began to identify shifts in workplace culture around sexual harassment, and organizational culture around workplace protocol, around ethical treatment of employees,” she said. “That was that point at which people started to be able to speak up more vocally.”
Shapiro-Plevan said the issue is especially acute in the Jewish community: “The Jewish community has been sort of late to the game in posting jobs with salaries included… We know that women are less likely to apply for a position if there is no salary listed, and this is a particular issue inside the Jewish community, where budgets are perceived to be flexible and people would like to hire employees at the lowest possible salary point. So this has become a really powerful issue on either side of the equation, for employees and for employers.”
Stay tuned: The Gender Equity in Hiring Project has compiled salary information for hundreds of individuals working in the Jewish non-profit space, and will soon be releasing the findings.
BAGEL WARS — The 1960s tale of the bagel union vs. the mafia
|In New York Magazine, Jason Turbow takes an inside look at how New York’s bagel union fought — and eventually beat — a potential mafia takeover in the 1960s.Details: The story begins with Local 338 — the bagel bakers union. Founded in the 1930s, the union represented the interests of the Eastern European Jewish bakers who worked primarily on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Membership was strictly controlled, passing almost exclusively from father to son. At first, Yiddish remained the lingua franca.Rolling in the dough: By the 1960s, the Manhattan bagel industry was producing more than 2 million bagels per week, grossing roughly $20 million annually. Store owners enjoyed lavish lifestyles while union agreements provided benefits to the workers. According to Turbow, this level of success caught the attention of the Lucchese and Genovese crime families, whose non-union stores used automated production to undercut prices. As always, the family skimmed the profits.
Fighting back: In response to the threat, Local 338 members picketed the new bagels, urging customers to buy only union products. According to Turbow, “Their most effective tactic in such situations was handing out free product in quantities sufficient to devastate business.” The tactics worked, with the mob forced to sign a labor contract. But by 1971, membership had dwindled to 152, forcing Local 338 to merge with the larger Local 3 Bakers Union — thus ending the historic bagel union.Read the full feature here.
👑 Powerful Figure: The New York Timestakes a closer look at the political motives and the enormous power held in the region by Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi — known as MBZ. [NYTimes]
🥊 Punching Bag: In Gothamist, WNYC’s Matt Katz reports that a New York-based nonprofit, Legion, which trains Jews in self-defense, is growing in popularity and expanding in the wake of last month’s Jersey City shooting and the recent Monsey stabbing attack. [Gothamist]
🖊️ Bold charge: In an op-ed for Fox News, Jack Rosen, a longtime Democratic donor and president of the American Jewish Congress, suggests that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has turned his back against the Jewish people and Israel “with greater vehemence than any non-Jewish candidate for president.” [FoxNews]
☕ Never Lose Hope: Writer Marina Gerner is looking back in The Wall Street Journal at the extraordinary life of Simon Wiesenthal, who sketched designs for a cafe while imprisoned at the Mauthausen concentration camp. “Survival has always been the story of the Jewish people.” [WSJ]
AROUND THE WEB
📰 Media Watch: Hanaa’ Tameez talks to longtime reporter Nick Martin about his decision to launch The Informant, a news site focused on hate and extremism in America.
💻 Imminent Threat: In Vanity Fair, Nick Bilton expands on the fear that some countries could take advantage of the ongoing tensions with Iran and launch cyber attacks against Washington pretending to be the Islamic republic.
🔳⚫ Both Ways: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) defended her opposition to Iran sanctions despite her support of BDS, claiming that “the BDS movement is a movement that is driven by the people,” while Iran sanctions “are being placed to create maximum pressure by a government.”
💵 Payback: National Amusements and its owner, Shari Redstone, were hit with a lawsuit for expropriating “potentially billions of dollars from Viacom’s minority shareholders” by forcing through the $11.7 billion merger with CBS Corp.
🗽 Taking the Lead: Rockland County (N.Y.) Executive Ed Day is taking steps to find common ground between the general population and the growing Hasidic community after years of hostility. Day, a Republican, declared yesterday that Orthodox Jewish residents are equal citizens and urged those in the secular community to stop spreading rumors that would encourage hate and inspire attacks.
😨 Never Again:Moshe Kantor, head of the European Jewish Congress, suggested that antisemitism is best fought with “fear” of a future tragedy, in an interview with AFP ahead of the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem.
😣 Facing Reality: The Christian Science Monitorhighlights the struggle of Jews in Germany, who face daily antisemitism and take precautionary measures just to attend religious studies and synagogue.
🎥 Talking to People: Israeli-born Ofra Bloch talks to TheNew York Times about her documentary “Afterward,” which seeks to find out what people think about Jews, the Holocaust and the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
🏀 Sports Blink: Former NBA all-star Michael Redd is joining an Israeli-backed venture investment firm, ADvantage Sports Tech Fund, to source new sports technologies and advance development in new products in sports.
👑 Celebrating a First: The Cambodian royal family recently celebrated the first bat mitzvah of a family member, catered by Chabad of Cambodia. Elior Koroghli of Las Vegas is the great-granddaughter of HM King Monivong, who ruled Cambodia until his death in 1941.
🍖 Taste Buds:The Insiderfeatures the Jewish deli-inspired restaurant Freedman’s in Los Angeles, opened in 2017 by 26-year-old Jonah Freedman.
🎶 Making Music: Haim Saban’s Saban Music Group has a new distribution deal with Universal Music Group, which is launching today with the release of “Further Up” by Israeli pop duo Static & Ben El featuring Pitbull.
🍕 Hate at Work: A New Jersey teenage pizza delivery driver, Nicholas Bogan, claims in a lawsuit that his manager went on an antisemitic tirade when he asked for a night off for Rosh Hashanah.
🏅 Honoring Life:Agnes Keleti, the oldest living Olympic champion and a Holocaust survivor, celebrated her 99th birthday on Thursday.
⚖️ Transition: Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has joined law firm King & Spalding as a partner.
🔭 Paying Tribute: A new space observatory has been renamed in honor of the influential astronomer Vera Rubin, who passed away in 2016. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory, located in Chile, is the first American observatory to be named after a woman.
🕯️ Remembering: Former Canadian senator Leo Kolber, a respected Montreal philanthropist, passed away at the age of 90 after a battle with Alzheimer’s.
WINE OF THE WEEK
JI’s wine columnist Yitz Applbaum reviews Yarden Blanc de Blancs 2007:
“I recently celebrated with friends after having played matchmaker for their daughter and needed the perfect wine. The Yarden Blanc de Blancs 2007 is a splendid wine. It is made from one hundred percent Chardonnay grapes, using the traditional Champagne method — méthode champenoise — and is aged for five years. The nose reminded me of the cedarwood closet in my dad’s house where we kept our suits and coats.”
“The bubbles were gratifying on the tongue, the front palate was an overpowering macadamia nut sweetness and the finish left the mouth as dry as the desert floor in summer. The amazing array of tastes and sensations in this wine made it one of the greatest Champagnes I have ever tasted. Enjoy with friends and the food is hardly important with this bottle.”
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner turns 39 today…
FRIDAY: Founder of the Center for Research on Institutions and Social Policy, he was a former speechwriter for Robert F. Kennedy, Adam Walinsky turns 83… Conservative columnist and author, David Joel Horowitz turns 81… Executive editor of Denver’s Intermountain Jewish News, Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, Ph.D. turns 74… Professor at Brandeis University since 2018, he was president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston for 30 years before that, Barry Shrage turns 73… Former president of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (2012-2017), Baron David Edmond Neuberger turns 72… Passaic, N.J.-born musician, singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Steely Dan, Donald Fagen turns 72… Riga, Latvia-born, world renowned cellist, he emigrated to Israel in 1971 and has over 50 recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon label, Mischa Maisky turns 72… Long-time editor at Bantam Books, Simon & Schuster and Crown Publishers, Sydny Weinberg Miner turns 69… Retired executive director at Beta Alpha Psi, Hadassah (Dassie) Baum turns 69… Born in Paraguay, she is the founder and CEO at Los Angeles-based Quantifiable Media, Rose Kemps turns 69… Senior scholar for religious freedom at the Freedom Forum Institute after 33 years at AJC Global, Richard Thomas Foltin turns 68… Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, Jonathan D. Sarna turns 65… Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the majority owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob turns 64… Member of the Knesset since 2008 for the United Torah Judaism party, Uri Maklev turns 63… Actor with a recurring role in “Sex and the City” and author of two books on his recovery from acute myeloid leukemia, Evan Handler turns 59… Naples, Florida resident, Beth E. Wolff turns 58… Author and journalist best known for his novels Gangster Nation, Gangsterland and Living Dead Girl, Tod Goldberg turns 49… Boston area director for Birthright Israel Foundation and fitness instructor at the Worcester JCC, Caryn Beth Lazaroff Gold turns 42… Advisor and speechwriting director for Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Adam David Weissmann turns 37… Associate director for media relations at the Center for American Progress, Morgan Aubrey Finkelstein turns 29… Digital operations manager at JTA, Andrew Tobin… Senior project manager for the Jewish Futures Conference at the Jewish Education Project, Debbie Seiden…
SATURDAY: Retired judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago (he served from 1981 to 2017), author of 40 books on jurisprudence and economics, Richard Posner turns 81… Film, television and theater director, best known for his TV series “Full House” and “Family Matters” and his films “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Fat Albert,” Joel Zwick turns 78… Las Vegas resident, Stephen Needleman turns 78… Economist and professor of banking at Columbia University, Frederic Stanley “Rick” Mishkin turns 69… Noted gardener and florist, she has been married to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer since 1973, Lynn Greenfield Blitzer turns 69… Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of experimental medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, he is the author of five books, Dr. Jerome E. Groopman turns 68… CEO of Sense Education, an AI company, he was the founder of VisibleWorld, Seth Haberman turns 60… Attorney and activist, who happens to be the younger brother of Mark Cuban, Brian Cuban turns 59… Film, stage and television actress, Amanda Peet turns 48… Born in Montreal to a Moroccan Jewish family, former goaltender with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes who also played in six other leagues, Josh Tordjman turns 35… VP and head of strategic partnerships at Penzer Family Office, she is also a recruiter at The Bachrach Group, Michal (Mickey) Penzer turns 31… French-American actress, Flora Cross turns 27… Founder when she was just 12 years old of Nannies by Noa, a full-service childcare agency serving families in NYC and the Hamptons, Noa Mintz turns 19…
SUNDAY: U.S.-born biochemist, winner of the Israel Prize (1999), professor (now emeritus) at Hebrew U, Howard (“Chaim”) Cedar turns 77… Israel-born, raised in London from age 13, jewelry designer and businesswoman, she was the First Lady of Iceland (2003-2016), Dorrit Moussaieff turns 70… Author of over 40 books, most widely recognized for his crime fiction, Walter Mosley turns 68… NYC-based psychiatrist and the medical director of the Child Mind Institute, Harold S. Koplewicz, MD turns 67… Radio personality since 1976, on terrestrial bandwidth until 2005 and on Sirius XM since 2006, producer, author, actor, and photographer, Howard Stern turns 66… Director of the West Coast office of the Jewish Funders Network, Tzivia Schwartz Getzug turns 58… Midday news anchor at Washington’s WTOP Radio, Debra Feinstein turns 58… Former chair of Hillel International (2016-2019), she is also on the boards of the Israel on Campus Coalition and the UJA Federation of New York, Tina Price turns 55… Elected in 2018 after a four-year hiatus, following three earlier terms as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates (2003-2014), he is the nephew of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Jon S. Cardin turns 50… Identical twin comedians and actors, Randy Sklar and Jason Sklar, turn 48… Recording artist and musical entertainer, Yaakov Shwekey turns 43… National director of AIPAC’s Synagogue Initiative, Jonathan Schulman turns 38… Director of finance and operations at NYC-based Hornig Capital Partners, Daniel Silvermintz turns 27… Manager of Jewish life and learning at the Edlavitch DCJCC, Amanda Herring…