Good Wednesday morning!
Former Vice President Joe Bidenscored decisive victories over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Florida, Illinois and Arizona primaries yesterday. Biden now has an estimated 1,147 pledged delegates compared to Sanders’s 861. Biden beat Sanders 67-15 among Jewish voters in Florida, according to a Fox News/AP exit poll.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) endorsed Biden yesterday, citing his support for Israel and commitment to peace, among others. “Having served over 23 years on the Foreign Affairs Committee, I know that Joe Biden will have Israel’s back,” Sherman proclaimed.
With more than 6,300 confirmed coronavirus cases across all 50 states, including 1,500 in New York, shutdowns of schools, offices and non-essential stores are spreading across the country. The White House is weighing sending $1,000 checks to all Americans, while the IRS issued a 90-day extension on filing taxes for most Americans.
Patriots owner Robert Kraftcalled Tom Brady an “exemplary teammate and leader” after the star quarterback announced he would be leaving the team. Kraft expressed “appreciation for his countless contributions to our team and community.”
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the day after
Pro-Israel groups react to Rep. Dan Lipinski’s primary loss in Illinois
Following incumbent moderate Rep. Dan Lipinski’s (D-IL) loss last night to progressive challenger Marie Newman, critics are questioning why some pro-Israel groups didn’t do more to aid his primary campaign. One explanation provided is Lipinski’s conservative views on social issues.
Details: Newman, who lost to Lipinski by a small margin in 2018, received 47% of the vote to Lipinski’s 45%, with 99% reporting. Rush Darwish, a Palestinian-American activist who went after the eight-term congressman and Newman over their positions on Israel, came in a distant third with a little over 6%. Turnout yesterday was slightly higher than 2018, despite concerns that the election would be overshadowed by the growing threat of COVID-19.
Wednesday morning quarterback: Richard Goldberg, who served as chief of staff to former Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL) and senior aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), blamed “pro-Israel Democrats” for abandoning Lipinski, who was outspent 3-1 by outside groups supporting Newman. “Congressman Lipinski is an advocate for a strong national defense, a stalwart supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and an ardent proponent of efforts to counter the myriad of threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Goldberg explained to JI. “When a group like IfNotNow is celebrating a primary outcome, you know this is a big loss and embarrassment for pro-Israel Democrats.”
Pushing back: Mark Mellman, CEO of the Democratic Majority for Israel, told JI that his group chose not to endorse in the primary because as “an organization of Democrats and like most Democrats, we do not believe the incumbent represents the values of the Democratic Party.” Mellman cited Lipinski’s pro-life and anti-LGBTQ views, opposition to the Affordable Care Act and stance against stem cell research as reasons not to support the congressman’s re-election bid, adding that “criticism by Republicans” like Goldberg “is neither surprising nor meaningful.”
Taking credit: Ben Shnider, vice president of political affairs at J Street, told JI that Newman’s win “demonstrates the momentum behind her pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-diplomacy views in today’s Democratic Party. We were proud to support her and look forward to working with her in Washington.” Last year, Newman said she would support conditioning aid to Israel based on its policies toward the Palestinians.
Across the aisle: In the GOP primary for the third district, Republican Will County Board Member Mike Fricilone earned his spot on the general election ballot, knocking out Holocaust denier Arthur Jones, the sole Republican candidate in 2018, who came in third place with 10% this time around.
Read more on Illinois 3rd results here.
Other Illinois results: In the seventh district, incumbent Democratic Rep. Danny Davis won decisively over three rivals. In the state’s formerly red 14th district, a close race has yet to be called in the Republican primary, though it appears businessman Jim Oberweis will challenge first-term Rep. Lauren Underwood (D) in November.
In the Illinois State House 16th district, Rabbi Yehiel Mark Kalish lost his seat to Denise Wang Stoneback, a progressive candidate who was backed by his predecessor, former State Rep. Lou Lang.
White House’s Avi Berkowitz implores Hasidic leaders to follow coronavirus measures
Assistant to the President Avi Berkowitz implored Hasidic rabbis and leaders of the Orthodox community in a conference call on Tuesday to take the government’s strict measures to tackle the coronavirus seriously. Following the call, the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, ordered all shuls, yeshivas and schools in the upstate enclave of Kiryas Joel to close.
Background: An administration official toldJewish Insider’s Jacob Kornbluh that the White House reached out to the most relevant leaders from the community to “get people to be cautious by walking them through the guidelines.” The White House relayed that the guidelines were issued by President Donald Trump “and they are not something to be taken lightly.” The 45-minute call “went pretty well,” the official said. “There was a widespread understanding how serious this issue is and we are hopeful that it will lead to serious results as quickly as possible.”
The mediator: Berkowitz, who is Orthodox and had a Hasidic grandfather, was tapped by the White House to lead the call since he’s familiar with the community and “would be the right voice” to speak their language, explain the guidelines and the implications to their religious practices and traditions, as well as hear their concerns, the administration official said.
Growing numbers: More than 100 people tested positive for coronavirus in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood, according to the local Asisa urgent care clinic, which told JTA it has conducted 1,000 total tests as of Tuesday. The number of confirmed cases in New York City rose to over 800, with more than 1,500 in New York State overall as of yesterday. The New York City Fire Department broke up a wedding in Williamsburg on Tuesday afternoon after hundreds defied the restrictions issued by federal and state officials.
Speaking up: Met Council CEO David Greenfield, who represented Borough Park and Midwood in the City Council until 2018, told JI that he’s been sounding the alarm for days. “These are hard communities to break through to,” Greenfield explained. “That is why I spent the last few days working directly with their respective leadership to close down the yeshivas. I am genuinely concerned because these are such tight-knit communities that eat, pray, shop, study and socialize together.”
Off the trail: New York City Councilmember and congressional candidate Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) announced on Tuesday that he tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement, Torres said that he likely contracted the virus from a senior staff member who tested positive “after experiencing symptoms for several days.” Torres said he would be under quarantine and work from his Bronx apartment.
Bonus: New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss visited the Persian Jewish community in Great Neck, New York and spoke with members who explained why they are reluctant to give up their religious traditions and cultural norms. This is a community “for whom the concept of ‘social distancing’ is about as kosher as a double-bacon cheeseburger,” Weiss asserts.
GENERATION TO GENERATION
As the workplace landscape shifts, millennials take center stage — and the corner office
Roughly 80% of Jewish nonprofit CEOs are expected to retire in the coming decade. Millennials, who are ages 24-39, will comprise 75% of the American workforce in five years, experts say. But they’re already having an impact, with a number of millennial Jewish leaders taking the reigns and steering organizational strategy for groups big and small. Jewish Insider’s Debra Nussbaum Cohen reports on the growing trend.
Thinking ahead: At the American Jewish Committee, it was millennials who were behind some of the organization’s most successful recent social media campaigns. CEO David Harris told JI that employing millennials at senior levels is good for his legacy organization. “They bring new ideas, energy and inspiration. They bring a deeper understanding of the impact of the culture of change in America and how it affects organizations like AJC,” he said. “They also create a larger sense of optimism and buoyancy about the Jewish future, which allows them to connect with both millennials and their parents, who want to believe in the Jewish communal future and see them as proof positive.”
Adaptability is key: Millennials are able to respond nimbly to unique generational issues in a way that long-established organizations cannot, Zioness founder Amanda Berman told JI. “Jewish institutions are so large and institutionalized that it’s hard to change the language they’ve built into the system over years,” she said. “We need creative messaging that really responds to this complicated political moment.”
Connecting on Israel: One challenge is that millennials were children — or not yet born — during the period that included the Oslo Peace Accords and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Their earliest memories of Israel involve the Second Intifada and the Second Lebanon War. Millennial leaders are working to change the way their generation engages with the Jewish state. “People have been offered only a binary way to engage with Israel and feel like they have to choose between national security or peace-making frameworks. It’s two-dimensional,” said Tyler Gregory, 31, the executive director of A Wider Bridge, a nonprofit focusing on connecting the LGBTQ community to Israel. “We can reframe young Jews’ connection to Israel around shared values. We have to get beyond the binary.”
✍️ Watching and Waiting: New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman lays out a series of trends to watch out for as the coronavirus spreads across the United States, including exponential growth, political culture changes and the power of generosity. “The more we simultaneously tighten our culture and loosen our purses, the stronger and kinder society we’ll be A.C. — After Corona.” [NYTimes]
🖼️ Deep Fake: In Vulture, Kenny Schachter details his long friendship with Inigo Philbrick, who is described as “the art world’s mini-Madoff.” Philbrick’s “unbridled hubris had a big hand in his implosion,” he wrote, “which is slowly becoming apparent still.” [Vulture]
🌆 History Repeats: Writing in Vanity Fair, Marie Brenner suggests the lessons New Yorkers can learn from the blitz of London during World War II. “I am struck by a quiet dignity among my neighbors, almost a normalcy,” she wrote. “I encounter an orderliness, a sense of purpose among those I pass.” [VanityFair]
Around the Web
🗳️ Rescheduling: The Maryland presidential primary has been delayed from April 28 to June 2 and the special election to replace the late Rep. Elijah Cummings has switched to a mail-in ballot over virus concerns. Kweisi Mfume discussed the change in an interview with Jewish Insider yesterday.
🤝 Working Together: The CDC announced last week it was partnering with Charidy.com, a global crowdfunding platform started in 2013 by Yehuda Gerwitz, Moshe Hecht and Ari Schapiro, to help raise emergency funds.
🇮🇷 Rapid Spread:The Associated Pressdetails how Iran failed to confront the coronavirus outbreak, leading to more than 16,000 people infected and at least 988 deaths and climbing.
💻 Open Browser:Jewish educational organizations and advocacy groups are making their content available online and featuring interactive sessions to help people learn about Judaism and Israel from home during the crisis.
🕍 Across the Pond: The United Synagogue in the U.K. is closing all its affiliated synagogues following the advice of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who said in a statement that “our Torah obligation to protect the sanctity of life transcends all other considerations.”
😷 Communal Spread: Two Orthodox rabbis from the Miami area have tested positive for coronavirus.
🚶♂️ Cold Feet: SoftBank Group Corp indicated on Tuesday that it may no longer proceed with a previously planned offer to acquire as much as $3 billion of WeWork shares of its founders, investors and employees, including up to $970 million owned by ousted CEO Adam Neumann.
💵 Open Wallet: Former 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg announced on Tuesday he is donating $2 million to Swing Left, a grassroots organization focusing on get-out-the-vote efforts in 12 battlegrounds states. Bloomberg also announced a $40 million commitment to support “immediate action” to fight the spread of coronavirus in Africa and other low and middle-income countries.
🏗️ Still Building: Peace Now reported yesterday that Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank dropped slightly in 2019 compared to 2018, but overall has risen since 25% since President Donald Trump took office.
🏆 Top Award: The prestigious Abel Prize in mathematics was awarded jointly to Hillel Furstenberg, 84, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Gregory Margulis, 74, of Yale University.
🎙️ Living Archive: At age 101, Ida Schuster has become almost certainly the world’s oldest podcaster. Schuster talks about her colorful life in 10-minute episodes for her podcast named “Old School,” produced in Glasgow.
📖 Book Shelf: The New York Timesreviews the book Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best, about how Rene Dryfus won a series of Grand Prix races in the 1930s.
🧁 Baked Goods: Three Jewish moms and friends in Atlanta have each started up their own home-based bakery businesses: Chaklava, Challah Girl and Mandel.
Pic of the day
Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir posted an aerial image of Israel yesterday on Twitter, pointing to her father’s hometown of Tel Aviv, writing: “I take to heart one of his most uttered expressions, ‘This too shall pass.’”
Professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University, Deborah Esther Lipstadt turns 73…
Professor emeritus of biochemistry and genetics in the medical school of the University of North Carolina, Edward Glassman, Ph.D. turns 91… Screenwriter, best known for co-writing the screenplay for “Jaws” and its first two sequels, Carl Gottlieb turns 82… National columnist with Creators Syndicate and contributor to CNN Opinion, Froma Harrop turns 70… One-half of the eponymous Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (Jerry is four days older), Ben Cohen turns 69… CEO and chairman of Électricité de France and a board member of Societe Generale, Jean-Bernard Lévy turns 65… Crisis response team manager for the City of Los Angeles (1998-2013), consultant for non-profit organizations in the areas of event management, administration and development, Jeffrey Zimerman, MSW turns 64… Head coach of the Auburn Tigers men’s basketball team, he also served as the gold medal winning head coach for the Maccabi USA men’s basketball team at the 2009 Maccabiah Games, Bruce Pearl turns 60…
Dean of the Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Daniel S. Nevins turns 54… Filmmaker, writer and stand-up comedian, best known as the screenwriter for “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and for writing the screenplay adaptation of “Battlefield Earth,” Jake David Shapiro turns 51… Identical twin brothers and former yeshiva students, both singers and songwriters who recorded as “Evan and Jaron,” Evan Lowenstein and Jaron Lowenstein, turn 46… Lead vocalist for the pop rock band Maroon 5, Adam Levine turns 41… Actor, comedian and writer, Adam Pally turns 38… Sales manager at IKO Industries Ltd, he was previously a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, Ariel Koschitzky turns 31… Andrew G. Weiss turns 31… Northeast data analyst at AIPAC, Michael Schapiro… Jenni Volz…