Good Monday morning!
Tonight at 9 p.m. EDT/8 p.m. CDT, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) will debate her primary opponents, including Antone Melton-Meaux, who outraised the congresswoman by close to $3 million last quarter, ahead of the August 11th primary.
U.S. Federal Judge Esther Salas’s son was shot and killed and her husband wounded by an assailant disguised as a delivery driver inside their home in New Jersey yesterday.
Josh Kraft, the son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, is stepping down as CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston to become president of Kraft Family Philanthropies. According to ESPN, in the new role, Kraft will manage all of the family’s initiatives, including the Kraft Family Foundation, the Kraft Center for Community Health, the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism, the Patriots Foundation, and the Revolution Charitable Foundation.
Jared Kushner is on the cover of Newsweek this week where he weighs in on the Middle East peace process. “Everyone wanted to focus on process or history,” he said in an interview with the magazine. “Those are traps… it was almost an excuse for people to keep getting what they were getting. The Palestinian Authority could keep getting money and Israel could keep getting land. Neither side was actually motivated to solve the problem.”
The UAE successfully launched a probe to Mars this morning, marking the Arab world’s first interplanetary space mission.
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Catching up with Sir Ronald Cohen amid COVID-19
Global unemployment is surging, stock markets are fluctuating wildly and businesses are bracing for extended economic uncertainty amid the ongoing fallout from COVID-19. But Sir Ronald Cohen is still optimistic. The millionaire venture capitalist and activist philanthropist spoke with Jewish Insider’s Amy Spiro recently about his new book and his hope that the global economy can emerge from this crisis a fairer, more just and equitable system.
Sustainable recovery: Cohen, 74, believes that impact investing and social entrepreneurship, efforts he has been promoting for decades, will be key to economic recovery from the global pandemic. “The social impact on the market should grow hugely in these circumstances,” he declared. “We have to make an effort to invest in companies which are not polluting heavily, which are not creating social problems in their wake, and pave the way to a fair and sustainable recovery so that we can emerge from this quickly.”
Ambitious appeal: Cohen’s new book, Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change, lays out his ambitious appeal to players in the financial community to adopt an impact-driven approach to investing. “If you invest with three dimensions in your decision-making: risk, return and impact, rather than just risk and return — which has been our traditional model — you can deliver market rates of return or better,” Cohen said. “The notion that because you’re doing good, as you’re doing well, there must be a philanthropic element that means you’re going to make less money — is just wrong.”
Background: Born into Egypt’s Jewish community, Cohen and his family fled as refugees to the U.K. in the wake of the Suez Crisis when he was just 11. Though he arrived speaking little English, Cohen went on to attend Oxford University and then Harvard Business School. At age 26, he established what became Apax Partners, a venture capital firm that grew to become one of the largest global private equity companies in the world. But 15 years ago, Cohen left Apax to devote himself largely to pushing for “impact investment,” rethinking the way investors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, big businesses and the government approach both investing and tackling social problems.
Investing in peace: Cohen — who splits his time between Tel Aviv, London and New York — has been holed up in Israel since February due to the COVID-19 outbreak. And his extensive efforts to bring about social change have not skipped over the Jewish state. In 2013, he founded Social Finance Israel, which works with the Israeli government in establishing social impact bonds. And in 2003 he co-founded the Portland Trust, a nonprofit aimed at promoting peace between Israelis and Palestinians through economic measures. “I wouldn’t say we’ve become the impact nation which I aspire for Israel to become,” Cohen said. “But we’ve made first steps on the road to becoming that.”
Lottery winner Gil Cisneros likes his chances
A decade ago, Gil Cisneros walked into a Hawaiian barbecue joint in Pico Rivera and left with a chicken dinner and a handful of lottery tickets — which won him $266 million. Today, Cisneros represents California’s 39th congressional district. But the first-term congressman still enjoys testing his luck with a ticket purchase every once in a while. “It’s not like I buy one every week,” he told Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel in a recent interview. “But look, if it gets up to over $100 million, why not?”
First re-election test: Last cycle, the 49-year-old Democrat only narrowly defeated his Republican opponent, Young Kim, in the open-seat contest to replace retiring Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA). This year, Cisneros, a Navy veteran, is preparing to fend off the same challenger, though analysts predict he will win the general election in November. Cisneros, however, said he takes his opponent seriously, and he has reason to do so. Kim, whose campaign did not respond to an interview request, has raised $3.1 million, according to the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission — more than Cisneros, who has pulled in just $2.6 million.
Looking back: Though Cisneros has only served the 39th district for a year and a half, the span of time has been a particularly tumultuous one. “It feels like I’ve been here 10 years,” he said of his first term, which has included a government shutdown, a presidential impeachment, mass protests against police brutality and a global pandemic. Cisneros said he had secured $200 million in coronavirus relief money for his district as the disease continues to ravage the United States, and believes he has earned the loyalty of his constituents as his first term comes to an end. “I think the people in the district wanted change,” he said. “They wanted somebody who was going to serve them, somebody who was going to be in the district on a regular basis. And that’s what we’ve done.”
Record on Israel: Last summer, Cisneros visited Israel on a trip sponsored by the AIPAC-affiliated American Israel Education Foundation. He said he was inspired by the country’s mandatory national service and daily sacrifices. “People just continue to go on their normal daily routine, despite everything that’s going on around,” said Cisneros, whose foreign policy agenda includes supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and rejoining the Iran nuclear deal. He disagrees with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, and signed onto a letter along with 190 other House Democrats imploring Israeli leaders to reconsider the effort.
Jewish organizations mourn the death of Rep. John Lewis
Staunch ally: Members of Atlanta’s Jewish community noted Lewis’s decades-long commitment to the fight against antisemitism and support for Israel. Sherry Frank, a former executive director of the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee, who first met Lewis while he was serving on the Atlanta City Council in the 1980s, told the local ABC affiliate, WSB-TV, that the congressman “never missed an opportunity to stand with us to speak about his support for Israel’s security. He was righteous and he cared about the whole community and he was a treasure within the Jewish community.” In 1982, Lewis became one of the founding members of the Atlanta Black Jewish Coalition.
Watch: In 1987, Lewis addressed the Freedom Rally for Soviet Jews in Washington, D.C.:
“Almost 25 years ago, I participated in a march here for jobs and freedom. Hundreds and thousands of members of the Jewish community marched with us then. I think it’s fitting for me to be here with you today. Our message, the message of the Black community, is one that is very simple. We’re saying to President Reagan, ‘Mr. President, tell Mr. Gorbachev to open the doors, open the gates, and let the people out.’ I say that as long as one Jew is denied the right to immigrate, as long as one Jew is denied the right to be Jewish in the Soviet Union, we all are Jews in the Soviet Union.”
Sending a message: In 1995, Lewis refused to participate in the Million Man March in Washington, saying that statements made by the organizer, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, were “divisive and bigoted.”
DEMS AT CROSSROADS
Race to succeed defeated House Foreign Affairs chair Eliot Engel heats up
Three candidates are reportedly expected to vie for the chairmanship of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, following the defeat of Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), in what appears to reflect an ongoing debate about seniority and the future of the Democratic Party.
Details: Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was the first to declare his run on Friday. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), the second-ranked Democrat on the panel, will announce his intentions this week. Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is also expected to announce his candidacy. In an interview with The Washington Post last week, Castro said, “Our foreign affairs committee needs to catch up with where Democrats are in terms of foreign policy… too often Palestinian voices have been excluded.”
The challenge: Democratic campaign strategist Hank Sheinkopf told JI that the race indicates a trend that people of influence can’t control — a “challenge” to the existing order. “The country is changing, the demography is changing, interests are changing, and the seniority system is under attack by the AOC gang,” Sheinkopf explained. “So these radical and rapid changes are going to continue. And should the seniority system cease to exist, what it will do is it will create chaos in that structure and the likely direction of foreign affairs in this country will have more to do with Latin America and Africa, and less to do with the Middle East.”
Silver lining: Ann Lewis, co-chair of the Democratic Majority for Israel, told JI that notwithstanding the debate on foreign policy, the party is “about to nominate Joe Biden, who has a 30-year record of support for the U.S.-Israel alliance, and we are in the process of adopting a party platform that sounds like Joe Biden — a platform which continues our party’s strong pro-Israel tradition.” Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said she hopes that the “focus, attention to oversight, and commitment to Israel” that Engel demonstrated “will continue with the next chairperson.”
DFMI poll: A new poll conducted last week by pollster Mark Mellman on behalf of his organization, Democratic Majority for Israel, indicated that 68% of those who identify as Democrats describe themselves as pro-Israel, and 63% want to see the level of security assistance to Israel remain steady or increase. Overall, the poll found, 57% of Democratic voters — compared to 62% of all voters — have a favorable view of Israel. Ahead of the July 27 Democratic National Committee’s platform committee vote on the 2020 platform, the DMFI poll found that 71% of Democrats prefer the platform reflect the language adopted in 2016. Read more here.
Heard last night: Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley sought to draw a stark contrast between President Donald Trump’s record on Israel and the Obama-Biden administration’s record during an online town hall hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition. “Where was Biden when [UNSC] resolution 2334 passed? Where was Biden when Hamas was attacking Israel and no one was doing anything? Where was Biden when we were asked to have the embassy moved and he wouldn’t do it?” Haley asked rhetorically. “So don’t listen to what he’s saying now. Actions are louder than words. We have [the] actions of two different people who have held office, we’ve seen the results of two different people.”
💥 Limited Window:Jonah Shepp speculates in New York magazine on whether a military confrontation with Iran could be an “October surprise” ahead of the U.S. election. “Israel may have a limited window of time to act with carte blanche from Washington and is perhaps seeking to do as much damage to Iran as possible before that window closes.” [NYMag]
👩🏿💼 Hear Her Voice:Soraya Nadia McDonald writes in The Undefeated that as a Black Jew she can no longer remain silent in the face of antisemitism. “I felt a familiar pang of betrayal, disappointment and anger” after a series of recent comments from Black celebrities. “Now is not the time for me to shrink back, to remain quiet.” [Undefeated]
🚔 Pioneering Change: Ervin Staub, a Holocaust survivor and psychology professor, has been working for decades to change the culture of police in the U.S. and developed pioneering active bystander training programs. “It just takes one little person standing up to evil,” he says. [NBCNews]
👶 Baby Boom:The New Yorker’s Lizzie Widdicombe spotlights Ben and Abbie Rosenberg, a New York couple who had to scramble to get to Ukraine to meet their baby, born via surrogate, when flights shut down and borders closed due to COVID-19. [NewYorker]
Around the Web
🇮🇷 Death Sentence: Iran has executed a man it accused of being a spy paid by the CIA and the Mossad.
📺 Broadcast Delay: Cannon’s syndicated talk show, which was slated to premiere in September, has been pushed off by a year “to continue the healing process.”
📱Losing Revenue:Walt Disney, Facebook’s top U.S. advertiser in the first half of 2020, has dramatically reduced its advertising spending on the platform over its handling of hate speech.
💰 Settlement: Sheldon Adelson’s Singapore casino settled a lawsuit by paying out $6.5 million to a former patron.
⛽ Connecting:The Israeli cabinet approved a $6 billion plan to lay a pipeline to export natural gas from Israel and Cyprus to European markets.
🇮🇱 Buzz on Balfour: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial is set to resume in January with thrice-weekly hearings.
🏠 Peek Indoors:The Wall Street Journal’s real estate section spotlights the renovated Old Jaffa home of an Israeli-American couple.
⚖️ Back in Court: Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will be re-sentenced at a Manhattan courthouse today after his 2015 conviction in a $4 million bribery scheme.
👩⚖️ Staying On: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said on Friday that she is receiving chemotherapy for a recurrence of liver cancer but has no plans to retire from the Supreme Court.
🙏 Faithful Outreach: The Biden campaign has held dozens of faith-focused events recently to appeal to religious voters who were once the cornerstone of President Donald Trump’s base.
🤝 Join The Club: Jamaal Bowman, the declared winner in New York’s 16th congressional district primary who ousted longtime Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), toldThe Atlantic that he’s going to immediately join “The Squad” when he gets to Washington.
👨 Changing Times:Ritchie Torres, the Democratic candidate for New York’s 15th congressional district, writes in The Washington Post that outdated rules preventing him from joining both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus must be changed.
📈 Follow the Data: Political consultant and data analyst David Shor discusses trends in public opinion polling and the future of the Democratic Party in an interview with Intelligencer.
😁 Proud Moment: South Carolina Rep. Alan Clemmons, who resigned from the state legislature last week after 17 years, referenced the passage of his 2015 anti-BDS bill as one of his proudest career moments.
⛓️ Behind Bars:A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to vandalizing a synagogue as part of a white supremacist-led effort to “terrorize” the Jewish population.
🎥 Media Watch: The film rights have already been purchased for a new unauthorized biography of media titan Matt Drudge that will be published next week.
👮 Hate in Uniform: Manchester police are investigating a swastika drawn on the belongings of a police officer.
🏺 For Sale:A Canadian Jewish group is calling on an Ontario auction house to stop the online sale of scores of Nazi-era items.
👰 Under the Chuppah: Brooklyn Beckham, son of David and Victoria Beckham, has told friends that he and fiance Nicola Peltz, daughter of financier Nelson Peltz, are planning a traditional Jewish wedding next year. The Mirror UK says David Beckham is half Jewish and says he feels more connected to Judaism than any other religion.
Pic of the Day
Israeli police use water cannons to disperse people during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem on Saturday.
Comedian and featured player on Saturday Night Live, Chloe Fineman turns 32..
New York real estate developer, Sheldon Solow turns 92… Former U.S. senator (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski turns 84… President of the National Endowment for Democracy, Carl Gershman turns 77… Israeli diplomat, he served as ambassador to Germany, Yoram Ben-Zeev turns 76… Former commissioner on the Civil Rights Commission, Roberta Achtenberg turns 70… New York Times columnist, author and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Thomas Friedman turns 67… Molecular geneticist, Jeffrey M. Friedman turns 66… Broadcast and digital media executive, based in Baku, Azerbaijan, Farrell Meisel turns 65… Professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Barbara Risman turns 64… Past president of the Women’s Department at the Jewish Federation of Detroit, Marcie Hermelin Orley turns 61… LA-based wardrobe consultant, Linleigh Ayn Richker turns 59…
Member of the Knesset for the United Torah Judaism party, Yitzhak Ze’ev Pindros turns 49… Attorney, Jack Achiezer Guggenheim turns 48… Political director of CNN, David Marc Chalian turns 47… Co-author of Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame and staff writer at The Atlantic, Franklin Foer turns 46… Midwest regional director at AIPAC, David Fox turns 44… Singer who burst on the scene as a finalist on the fifth season of “American Idol,” Efraym Elliott Yamin turns 42… Executive vice president at Capalino+Company, Fred Kreizman turns 42… Managing partner of Main & Rose, Beth Doane turns 37… Co-founder and co-executive director of the Indivisible movement, Ezra Levin turns 35… Third baseman for Team Israel, Ty Kelly turns 32… Software engineer at Home Chef, Ashley Abramowicz Gibbs turns 31… Resident physician in anesthesiology at UCLA, Sheila Ganjian Navi turns 30… Engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, Etan Raskas turns 28… VP at BlackRock in San Francisco, Jonathan Tamir Alden turns 28… Goldie Fields…