👋 Good Friday morning!
For less-distracted reading over the weekend, browse this week’sedition of The Weekly Print, a curated print-friendly PDF featuring a selection of recent JI stories, including: Is the Green Party over?; Jazz Lewis steps out; Minister Elharrar outlines Israel’s biggest climate challenges; An interview with the University of Austin’s founding president; Israeli startup ‘cracks code to saliva’ with world’s first pregnancy spit test; Is Young Kim the future of the GOP?; and Making hiking boots bloom in the desert. Print the latest edition here.
“I hope we will soon see an Emirati and an Israeli go to space together,” United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba told moderator Rob Satloff to enthusiastic applause from the crowd gathered at The Plaza in New York City last night for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Scholar-Statesman Award Gala.
The dinner honored UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who recorded an interview with Satloff that was aired at last night’s dinner. Israeli President Isaac Herzog also addressed the crowd via video.
It was a busy night at The Plaza. One floor below the Washington Institute dinner, the Committee to Protect Journalists held its annual International Press Freedom Awards featuring the likes of Ronan Farrow, Nima Elbagir and Ed Yong.
Amid an eight-and-a-half-hour speech from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) overnight — the longest in House history — House Democrats bumped a planned vote on the Build Back Bettersocial spending package from Thursday evening to Friday morning. The bill is expected to pass.
More than 30 House lawmakers from both parties and across the political spectrum sent a letter to President Joe Biden questioning the legality of U.S. military strikes and activities in Syria without specific permission from Congress. The group was led by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY).
Attempts to move Senate deliberations on the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act stalled yesterday as several Republicans objected that their proposed amendments were excluded from consideration.
Further debate will now likely be delayed until after Thanksgiving.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) held a virtual meeting yesterday with Jewish and nonprofit groups to celebrate the passage of the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Klobuchar gave a shoutout to the Orthodox Union’s Advocacy Center, saying they “were the heart and soul of this bill.” The Minnesota senator added in a statement, “I’m looking forward to visiting grant recipients in the Jewish community to see how they use this federal funding to save energy.”
Making hiking boots bloom in the desert
Growing up in an outdoorsy New England family, Noah Swartz didn’t have a choice when it came to hiking. The family business was Timberland, the footwear company known for its iconic brown boots, that his father sold for $2 billion a decade ago. This week, Swartz launched his own footwear company, Erem, a sustainability-focused brand selling hiking boots for use in the desert, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports.
Not New England: “It always struck me as odd when I’d be in the Southwest or in Israel, and you’d see people wearing the same products and brands that you would see in New Hampshire or Vermont,” said Swartz, 28, who grew up in Newton, Mass. “Very different places, very different performance challenges. And yet, same brands, same products.”
Desert people: Erem intends to offer a solution for a population that Swartz believes is underserved by the outdoors industry: the 1 to 2 billion people who live in the planet’s deserts and drylands. “We are fundamentally first and foremost focused on desert landscapes and desert people,” Swartz saidin an interview from Los Angeles on Wednesday. The name Erem comes from Eremos, the Greek word for desert, and it’s also an acronym, for “exceptional, responsible, enduring and motivated.”
Dreaming globally: At this point, Erem is limiting sales to the United States, although international markets factor heavily into the company’s future plans. “If you are recreating in North Africa, if you’re recreating in Morocco, you are recreating in the desert,” said Swartz. Some of Erem’s product testing occurred in Israel, where Swartz spent much of the pandemic with family who live there. “The search-and-rescue folks out of Beersheva are like, ‘Wow, yes, finally, somebody speaking our language.’”
Rep. Frankel seeks to honor last living Nuremberg prosecutor
Six House members, led by Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), introduced a bill on Thursday awarding Ben Ferencz, the last living Nuremberg prosecutor, a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow on an individual, Jewish Insider‘s Marc Rod reports.
Long career: The 101-year-old Ferencz was the lead prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen Trial — the first of the Subsequent Nuremberg trials in which 20 members of the SS’s mobile death squads were convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity in a U.S. military court and two others were convicted of membership in a criminal organization. He subsequently became a driving force for establishing the International Criminal Court and an ardent anti-war activist.
High honor: “When I heard his story… not only did I find him to just be a remarkable person who’s dedicated so many years to pursuing justice, and the last living Nuremberg prosecutor,” Frankel told Jewish Insider, “but I thought it was also important to bring attention again to the Holocaust.” Ferencz now lives in Frankel’s South Florida district. The lawmaker said she heard about his story from a group of international lawyers.
Remembrance: Frankel told JI she felt it is important to take opportunities to bring attention to the Holocaust, especially as the number of surivors dwindles and Holocaust denial incidents continue — including in Frankel’s own county. “It’s important to highlight both the remarkable achievements of Mr. Ferencz and to again bring attention to the Holocaust,” she said. “I just believe reminding people and educating some — there may be some who are not even being reminded, they’re being informed for the first time of the horrors of the Holocaust — is important.”
Road ahead: Reps. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) co-sponsored the bill, but it will need support from two-thirds of the House and Senate. “Sometimes it takes a little bit to get because you have to get 290, but I feel pretty confident that we will be able to do that,” Frankel said.
🖌️ Painting a Picture: In The New York Times, Gal Beckerman looks at the work of Israeli artist Rutu Modan, whose graphic novels portray Israel in a new light. “The story is dark but Modan’s palette resembles a bag of Skittles. Her people have the pleasing cartoonishness of Hergé’s characters — when they shed tears, they appear as waterfalls cascading down their round cheeks — and her pages follow his ligne claire style. Each panel is full of movement, which has at least partly to do with an unusual process she has developed for her graphic novels: She ‘casts’ actors whom she photographs playing out the story and then uses the images as a basis for her drawings.” [NYTimes]
🚀 An Unremarkable Space Jew: In his “Deep Shtetl” newsletter, The Atlantic‘s Yair Rosenberg concludes his eight-year investigation into the story behind the Jewish character Amnon, played by Italian Catholic actor Al Pugliese, in Joss Whedon’s space drama “Firefly.” “What makes Amnon remarkable, however, is that he is not remarkable. None of the characters in ‘Firefly’ comment on his faith, because it is entirely unexceptional to them. In this universe, 500 years into the distant future, Jews are not a curiosity or a plot point or an endangered species, but simply a normal everyday presence. And that might be the most daringly hopeful message of all.” [DeepShtetl]
🇵🇸 Gaza Gab: NPR’s Daniel Estrin sits down with United Nations official Matthis Schmale, whose position as UNRWA’s director of operations in Gaza ended after an interview he gave to Israeli TV sparked outrage among Gazans. Just before Schmale left the Middle East for a new job coordinating U.N. humanitarian work in Nigeria, Estrin spoke to him about his fateful TV interview, UNRWA’S role in Gaza and his perspective on the Palestinian enclave’s prospects. “One way of putting this would be, are we Band-Aids?” Schamle told Estrin. “We educate, at the moment, 290,000 children. That is enormously gratifying. … That just gives them a basis for a life and a chance for change. We don’t want to continue providing basic services that do not lead to a … political solution [to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict]. It’s that constant balance that one has to grapple with.” [NPR]
Around the Web
💬 Scary Speech: The Washington Post’s Ellie Silverman looks at the ways in which antisemitic language and other hate-laced speech was employed by marchers at the “Unite the Right” rally and members of extremist groups.
🏫 Campus Beat: Duke University’s student government president vetoed legislation that would have allowed Students Supporting Israel to organize a chapter on the North Carolina university’s campus.
👐 A Rightful Return: After more than 80 years, Jewish property stolen by the Nazis was returned to its rightful heirs.
📺 Coming Soon: Jesse Eisenberg will play the title role in the upcoming series “Fleishman is in Trouble,” based on the 2019 novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
🎬 Long, Strange Trip: Jonah Hill is slated to portray Jerry Garcia in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biopic of the Grateful Dead frontman.
⚽ Kicking Back: A group of young Afghan female soccer players and their families have arrived in London, thanks to the help of celebrity Kim Kardashian, Tzedek Association founder Rabbi Moshe Margaretten and English Premier League club Leeds United.
🌊 Undersea Understanding: Israeli and Emirati weapons manufacturers will collaborate on a project to craft unmanned ships capable of conducting anti-submarine attacks.
🛑 Outlawed: U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to announce in Washington today that the U.K. will proscribe Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organization, and will no longer distinguish between the group’s military and political wings.
⚖️ Court Case: The U.S. Justice Department charged two Iranian men who allegedly conducted a hacking and disinformation campaign targeting voters ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
➡️ Transition: Aaron Keyak was named the State Department’s deputy envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism.
Pic of the Day
Finalists participate in the 13th Esports World Championship taking place this week in Eilat, Israel. The competition features the world’s top video gamers.
Outfielder for four MLB teams (2007-2015), he played for Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, he is now the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, Sam Fuld turns 40 on Saturday…
FRIDAY: Retired New York State Supreme Court judge, whose tenure on “The People’s Court” was shorter than that of his wife “Judge Judy,” Jerry Sheindlin turns 88… Attorney, investment banker and former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Louis B. Susman turns 84… Professor of chemistry at Stanford University, Richard Neil Zare turns 82… Former member of Congress and a partner at Gotham Government Relations, Gary Ackerman turns 79… Fashion designer, Calvin Klein turns 79… Founder and president of the Washington-based Arab American Institute, James J. Zogby turns 76… President of the University of Pennsylvania and nominated to be U.S. ambassador to Germany, Amy Gutmann turns 72… Los Angeles-based real estate investor, Sydney Ilene Cetner turns 72… Owner of Patty’s Piano Studio in Santa Monica, Calif., Patricia Fiden turns 68… Cosmetic dentist and chairman of Akelos, Inc., Steven Fox, DDS turns 68… Majority leader of the California State Senate, Robert Myles “Bob” Hertzberg turns 67… Dean and professor of Jewish history, literature and law at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Kanarfogel turns 66… Hollywood screenwriter, producer, director and lyricist, Charlie Kaufman turns 63… Angel investor and president of Sunrise Financial Group, Nathan Low turns 61… Retired member of the Knesset for the Kulanu party, Moshe Kahlon turns 61… Co-president of NORPAC New York and a partner in a Brooklyn-based law firm, Trudy Stern turns 61… Co-president of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Lisa Eisen… Founder of the World Values Network, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach turns 55… Director of state and local government affairs for SAIC, Eric Finkbeiner turns 53… Founder at Applied Optimism Group LLC, Seth Cohen turns 48… Member of the New York State Assembly since 2005, Andrew D. Hevesi turns 48… New York Times best-selling novelist, Lauren Grodstein turns 46… Digital director and executive editor of Time Magazine, Samuel P. Jacobs turns 36… Associate director at Northwestern University Hillel, Rachel Hillman turns 36… Senior account director at Sunshine Sachs, Michael Dale-Stein turns 33… Managing director at Climate Power, John D. Axelrod turns 30… Bloomberg News correspondent based in London, Ivan Levingston turns 28…
SATURDAY: Art dealer and former owner of MLB’s Miami Marlins, Jeffrey Loria turns 81… President of the United States, Joe Biden turns 79… Singer-songwriter, Norman Greenbaum turns 79… Former national security advisor and United Nations ambassador, John R. Bolton turns 73… Major-general (reserves) in the IDF, Amos Yadlin turns 70… Longtime spokesman (now emeritus) to the foreign press at the Jewish Agency for Israel, Michael Jankelowitz turns 69… Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning national affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal, Ronald Steven “Ron” Suskind turns 62… White House official in both the Bush 41 and Bush 43 administrations, now a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, Jay P. Lefkowitz turns 59… Pianist, composer and author, Robin Spielberg turns 59… Fashion designer, hotelier and real estate developer, Alan Faena turns 58… Vice chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and a trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, Heidi Monkarsh turns 57… Senior advisor at the National Science Foundation, Graciela Narcho turns 57… American-born former member of Knesset for the Likud party, Yehudah Glick turns 56… Rapper and founding member of the hip hop group the Beastie Boys, Michael Louis Diamond, better known as Mike D, turns 56… Founder and president of Greenlight Capital, David Einhorn turns 53… Boston-based real estate attorney at Goulston & Storrs, Zev D. Gewurz turns 50… Anchor for Yahoo Finance, Julie Hyman turns 45… Opposition research specialist and founder of Beehive Research, Devorah Adler turns 47… Rabbi Benjamin Gonsher turns 42… Director for North America at the Saban Family Foundation and the Cheryl Saban Self-Worth Foundation for Women & Girls, Jesse Bronner turns 40… Actress and writer, Margo Stilley turns 39… Actress and playwright, Halley Feiffer turns 37… Deputy health care editor for Politico, Dan Goldberg turns 37… Alexis Weiss…
SUNDAY: British entrepreneur and philanthropist, Baron Harold Stanley Kalms turns 90… U.S. senator (D-IL), he serves as the Senate majority whip, Dick Durbin turns 77… Academy Award-winning actress and director, Goldie Hawn turns 76… Founder of Men’s Wearhouse and Generation Tux, George Zimmer turns 73… U.S. senator (R-LA), John Kennedy turns 70… Beverly Hills resident, Julie Shuer turns 69… U.S. district judge for the Northern District of California, Judge Beth Labson Freeman turns 68… Chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, Thomas Rothman turns 67… Business development officer at the San Francisco office of Taylor Frigon Capital Management, Jonathan Wornick turns 58… CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan A. Greenblatt turns 51… Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Bret Stephens turns 48… Founder and publisher of The Real Deal, Amir Korangy turns 48… Former NFL running back for the Raiders and Rams, he is now a real estate entrepreneur, Chad Levitt turns 46… Political director of ABC News, Rick Klein turns 45… Director of government relations at the Hershey Company, Joanna Liberman Turner turns 45… Danielle Hana Monosson Raff turns 45… Reporter at Bloomberg News, Max Abelson turns 37… MLB pitcher in five organizations, Robert Stock turns 32… Social media strategist at Anti-Defamation League, Alexander Freeman turns 30… Judy Brilliant… Ruth Shapiro…