👋 Good Tuesday morning!
It’s Election Day in Virginia, New Jersey, New York City, Boston and parts of Florida and Ohio. In recent months, the team at Jewish Insider has profiled many of the leading candidates vying for office today. Here’s a quick rundown:
The Virginia Governor’s Race: 3/18 — “Terry ‘The Macher’ McAuliffe attempts a return to Richmond” | 6/22 — “Can Glenn Youngkin stem the blue tide in the Old Dominion?” | 10/29 — “Virginia’s education culture wars could decide its next governor”
Florida’s 20th: 10/13 — “In the Florida 20 special election, one candidate declares opposition to Iron Dome funding” | 10/14 — “A Black Muslim candidate in Florida’s 20th casts herself as a strong supporter of Israel” | 10/19 — “Dale Holness vows to continue Alcee Hastings’s legacy in Congress” | 10/20 — “Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick hopes the third time’s a charm in FL20” | 10/21 — “Bobby DuBose wants to bring his Tallahassee experience to D.C.” | 10/22 — “A former Florida House minority leader has his eye on Washington”
Ohio’s 11th: 8/2 — “Shontel Brown’s number is seven in Ohio 11” | 2/11 — “An Ohio special election highlights the Democratic divide” | 8/4 — “Shontel Brown defeats Nina Turner with support from Cleveland’s Jewish community”
Ohio’s 15th: 7/28 — “An early test of Trump’s clout in Ohio special election”
Boston Mayoral: 5/25 — “Meet the candidates vying to make history as Boston’s next mayor”
New York City: 2/22 — “The evolution of Eric Adams” | 6/14 — “Andrew Yang, Eric Adams and the battle for Orthodox Jewish support” | 4/13 — “Mark Levine, NYC’s pandemic darling, vies for Manhattan borough president” | 2/3 — “Alvin Bragg has a personal reason for pushing police reform”
Former President Donald Trump said in a radio interview yesterday that “Israel literally owned Congress” 10 to 15 years ago but that “today it’s almost the opposite,” adding, “You have, between AOC and Omar and these people that hate Israel, they hate it with a passion. They’re controlling Congress, and Israel is not a force in Congress anymore.” The former president again lamented his poor support among American Jews, saying “it’s incredible that I didn’t get the kind of a vote from Jewish people that you would think I would get. Jewish people in this country, many of them, do not like Israel.”
The Democratic Socialists of America’s Madison, Wis. chapter issued a statement, addressed to the DSA National Political Committee, calling for Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) to be expelled from the DSA for his votes in support of aid to Israel, as well as his statement commemorating former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died last month.
race to watch
Murphy’s and Ciattarelli’s closing messages to New Jersey Jewish voters
With hours to go until polls close, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy looks poised to win another term in Trenton. Late polls showed the incumbent Democrat with anywhere between a nine- and 11-point lead over his Republican challenger, former state Assemblymember Jack Ciattarelli, who has seen his conservative credentials questioned throughout the campaign after previously criticizing former President Donald Trump. In recent conversations with Jewish Insider, Murphy and Ciattarelli detailed their outreach and ties with New Jersey’s Jewish community.
Murphy on New Jersey-Israel ties: “On the optimistic side, I’d say deepening ties with the State of Israel [is a priority]. So that’s everything from being involved in Ben-Gurion University’s joint venture with NJIT [New Jersey Institute of Technology] to the work that Tel Aviv University is doing with Rutgers to commerce and direct investment. Israel is the innovation country, and I think we’re the innovation state. So we’ve got a lot in common in that respect.”
Ciattarelli on his August visit to Israel: “It was my first time and it was indeed a life-changing experience. My goal was to let civic leaders, business leaders and religious leaders know that Israel will have a strong ally in New Jersey when I’m governor. From an economic development perspective, Israel does more than $14 billion a year in bilateral trade with New York. It does only $1 billion with New Jersey. That shouldn’t be the case. So I made clear during my trip and meeting with all leaders, that New Jersey is going to strengthen its cultural, religious and economic ties with the State of Israel. And we will stand with her in defending its people.”
Murphy on working with the state’s Jewish community: “I think we’ve built outstanding relationships. And I’m grateful for the support from the community, wherever it comes out, but I feel like we committed to this long before I was governor that the Jewish community was going to be center-stage for us. I’ve got a long history with the community on both sides of the Atlantic. I’m the former U.S. ambassador to Germany. So the whole reality of the 20th century and the Holocaust and the pogroms that came before the 20th century, my wife’s father’s ancestors were driven out of Europe in the 19th century… The Jewish community here, whether it’s celebrating the community or mourning with the community after the violence in Jersey City or Pittsburgh or finding the funding to increase public school security, whether it’s more patrols or hardening of assets, or whether it’s pushing back with 100% energy against antisemitism, like Rise Up Ocean County, online or swastikas and other physical damage in other places in the state. I think we’ve been shoulder-to-shoulder, and I always have been and I always will be.”
Ciattarelli on the rise in antisemitism: “There’s too much hate in the community. We see hate crimes of all types, sadly, across the nation and in our communities. It all starts with leadership. Leadership has to set the right tone, has to call out hate when it’s seen, not delay in calling out hate and make clear that hate will not be tolerated, nor will discrimination of any type here in New Jersey. And so that is the standard that I will provide as governor. I think while I served in the legislature, my vote on things like our New Jersey pension plans divesting themselves of companies that take anti-Israel positions, sent a very clear and strong signal that anyone or any business that takes a position inconsistent with our very, very strong ties with Israel is going to suffer the consequences.”
Meet the creator of the tool that aims to predict — and prevent — suicide
The spirit of community — kehillah — is ingrained in Jewish tradition: the prayer quorum of 10 people, or the way friends pool resources to deliver meals to a mourner in the days after the loss of a loved one. Dr. Kelly Posner argues that tapping into that kehillah can also help prevent suicide. “When a community comes together, there’s hope,” said Posner, founder and director of the Columbia Lighthouse Project and an expert in suicide prevention. Amid a global spike in depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, she talked to Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch about the tool she created to identify and assist people at risk of suicide.
Just ask: “Just ask. You can save a life,” she explained, summing up her philosophy. “It’s a simple message that declares that asking about suicide is not difficult, and everyone is empowered to make a difference, and everyone in the community has a role in preventing suicide.”
Setting things straight: But for Posner, 54, “just ask” is more than a philosophy. It’s the basis of a protocol she created to detect suicidal thoughts and ideation that is backed by years of rigorous scientific research and is used in dozens of countries around the world. Known as the Columbia Protocol, the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale features a standardized set of straightforward questions to identify people who are considering suicide and to determine who is at risk of acting on suicidal thoughts.
In your hands: Posner called it “a simple set of questions that can be put in anybody’s hands to identify who’s at risk.” She encourages doctors to ask these questions of their patients, but she also seeks societal change — getting the questions to everyone from teachers to librarians to parents to clergy members, so that any person feels empowered to ask a loved one about suicide. “We have to have a public health approach, meaning we have to find people where they work, live, thrive and learn because many people don’t ever get to the doctor,” Posner said.
Israeli action: The Columbia Protocol has spread “like wildfire,” said Posner. One country that has introduced the Columbia Protocol nationwide — schools, governments, medical professionals — is Israel, where she has worked with the Israel Defense Forces to help identify soldiers at risk of suicide. The protocol has also been used with Holocaust survivors in Israel.
More GOP members sign onto letter opposing Jerusalem consulate
Some of the 12 House Republicans who did not sign onto Rep. Lee Zeldin’s (R-NY) letter to President Joe Biden opposing the administration’s plan to reopen the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem serving Palestinians are now throwing their support behind the effort, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Latecomers: Zeldin spokesperson Jacob Murphy told JI that the New York congressman’s office reached out to all House Republicans before the letter was sent inviting them to add their signatures before the initial letter was sent and noted Zeldin is planning to send an updated letter later this week with additional signatures. Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Cliff Bentz (R-OR) have already signed onto the updated letter, Murphy said.
Resistance: Some holdouts remain. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) told JI he supported the letter’s purpose of urging the Biden administration to reconsider reopening a Palestinian consulate general but “did not agree with all of [the letter’s] assertions.” A source familiar with Rep. Garret Graves’s (R-LA) thinking said he also supported the initiative, but added, “Unlike the other 199 members on the letter, [Graves was] legislating last week.”
Rest of the list: Reps. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Troy Nehls (R-TX), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Don Young (R-AK) — the remaining Republicans who have not signed — did not respond to requests for comment.
Presented by Sapir
Today’s SAPIR releases take a close look at Jewish communal organizations, and at institutional and individual responses to the core challenges of contemporary Jewish life.
Liberation or Bust: Liel Leibovitz prescribes courage and confidence: “Free and proud people owe no one any explanations, particularly on the matter of their inconvenient survival. Want to boycott Israel? Groovy! Thankfully, we’ve come up with an antidote, a system of thought that encourages Jews to wean themselves from caring what their haters think or do. It’s called Zionism, and it means that if someone doesn’t wish to grace us with their ice cream/bad TV shows/academic conferences, we can simply shrug our shoulders, move on, and acquire the thing elsewhere, most likely by making it ourselves and making it better. That’s what people do when they’re in command of their destiny. A century or more ago, Zionism brought us Jewish liberation; it’s time we finally started acting the part.” Read here.
Shaping Up: Jeffrey Solomon draws upon his decades of experience at the helm of Jewish philanthropic and communal organizations to urge Jewish organizations and boards to take their work as seriously as the corporate world does: “Without fundamental changes, the institutions that shape American Jewish life will not only fail to thrive – they may close their doors entirely. The future of Jewish life in America depends on our ability to confront the weakness of our system honestly and to invest in and incentivize organizational change in whatever ways we can.” Read here.
💰 Money Pit: The Atlantic’s Emma Green interviews Arabella Advisors CEO Sampriti Ganguli, whose company works with the myriad groups pouring money into local, state and federal campaigns, even as many of those organizations voice disdain for exorbitant amounts of money in politics. “Arabella, like the Sixteen Thirty Fund, undeniably benefited from the rush of panicked political giving on the left during the Trump years. As the Sixteen Thirty Fund’s revenue exploded, it spent more money on Arabella’s services—a tenfold increase from 2014 to 2019. And Arabella, as a mission-driven, progressive organization, is caught in a major tension on the left: How can progressive groups justify using billionaires’ money to influence American politics and civic life while earnestly advocating for a wealth tax or political-spending reforms?” [TheAtlantic]
🗞️ Audience Diversity: The New York Times’s Ben Smith explores Mark Zuckerberg’s recent decision to grant interviews to four independent media outlets, while snubbing America’s great legacy publications. “It has been more than half a decade since coverage of the tech industry, once known for its boosterism, turned adversarial, with Facebook often at the center of the story. As the battle between tech companies and the news media continues, Mr. Zuckerberg appears to be acting on the view, increasingly common in his circle, that journalists are just another hostile interest.” [NYTimes]
🇸🇦 Riyadh Relocation: The Associated Press’s Aya Batrawy spotlights a push by Saudi leaders to encourage families and companies to relocate to the capital of Riyadh in a bid to revamp the Gulf nation’s economy. “The landlocked, once ultraconservative capital of Riyadh is pitching itself as a city of concerts, movie theaters, world class sporting events and deal-making; a city where revamped cultural heritage sites wait to be discovered, distinguishing Saudi Arabia from other Gulf Arab capitals defined by sprawling malls and high-rise hotels. The pitch is part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to grab the limelight and title as the region’s top place to do business. Currently, the more glamorous emirate of Dubai is seen as the region’s hub for finance and tourism. No longer does the kingdom want consultants and executives flying in for a few days, only to fly right back out and spend those earnings elsewhere.” [AP]
🎩 Wedding Woes: The New York Times’s Patrick Kingsley and Iyad Abuheweila look at how the economic crisis facing Gaza has impacted young, newly married men. “Debt — and particularly wedding-related debt — has become emblematic of the economic crisis here. In the first nine months of 2021 alone, the Gaza City police alone issued 448 arrest warrants for indebted bridegrooms — already more than the cumulative total recorded in the city throughout 2017, 2018 and 2019. The figures for 2020 were not available. Since Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007, Israel and Egypt have heightened pressure on the militant group by enforcing a blockade on the strip. That has helped damage the Gazan economy and is one of the major causes of an unemployment rate of more than 40 percent. For young Gazans, one result of this is that they often cannot afford a wedding ceremony.” [NYTimes]
Around the Web
🏡 Drama in Dubai: Bravo greenlit the production of “The Real Housewives of Dubai,” set to air next year.
🏨 Property Hunter: Oracle founder Larry Ellison purchased a $345 million, 422-room resort in Lake Tahoe.
↘️ Scandal: Barclays chief executive Jes Staley stepped down under pressure from regulators over his relationship with the convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein.
👨🏻⚖️ Legal Ruling: A California judge ruled against several large counties that accused four drugmakers, including Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic.
⚖️ Court Case: A Houston-based engineering firm is suing the state of Texas, claiming that its 2017 anti-BDS law violates the First Amendment.
👀 Inside Look: A legal battle over the multimillion-dollar fortune created by online dating app Tinder’s co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen threatens to expose the inner workers of Barry Diller’s sprawling media empire.
💵 Mind the Gap: Israel’s supervisor of banks sent an amendment that would require lending institutions to set higher targets for female representation in boardrooms and asks banks to establish time frames for meeting their targets.
🙇🏽♂️ Archbishop Apology: The Archbishop of Canterbury apologized for comments made to the BBC ahead of the COP26 that impact of climate change would be worse than the Holocaust.
🛫 Flight Path: Israel relaxed its travel restrictions yesterday, permitting entry to visitors who have received a vaccine dose within the past six months and tour groups who test themselves for COVID-19 every 72 hours.
✋ No Access: Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, was unable to access the first day of COP26 events due to the venue’s lack of accessibility. Entry was arranged for her today.
🌍 Climate Pledge: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pledged to mobilize Israeli “innovation and ingenuity” to combat climate change at a speech at the Glasgow climate change summit on Monday.
🧑🤝🧑 Breaking Barriers: A new language-exchange project in Jerusalem — modeled after the concept of speed-dating — seeks to connect Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking Israelis and Palestinians.
↗️ Transition: The New York Times’s Emma Goldberg, who has covered a variety of topics for the newspaper, was named the Times’s future of work reporter.
🕯️ Remembering: Neuropsychologist Muriel Lezak, whose work focused on the effect of brain injuries, died at 94. Israel “Izzy” Arbeiter, a Holocaust survivor who testified in the Nuremberg Trials and played a key role in the creation of the New England Holocaust Memorial, died at 96. Dr. Aaron T. Beck, whose brand of psychotherapy became the centerpiece of a scientific transformation in the treatment of depression, anxiety and many related mental disorders, died at 100.
Pic of the Day
President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson chat Monday during the opening reception of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
Former NASA astronaut who has made five flights in the space shuttle and is currently a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, Jeffrey A. Hoffman turns 77…
County executive of Montgomery County, Md., Marc Elrich turns 72… Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, Larry Fink turns 69… Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in the 2018 Maryland gubernatorial election, Susan Wolf Turnbull turns 69… Professor of Jewish studies at the University of Virginia, Vanessa L. Ochs turns 68… Research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Alan D. Abbey turns 67… CNN special correspondent, Jamie Sue Gangel turns 66… Head of school at Weizmann Day School in Los Angeles, Lisa Feldman turns 63… Professor of Jewish history at UCLA and president of the board of the New Israel Fund, David N. Myers turns 61… Financial planner at Grant Arthur & Associates Wealth Services, and the author of a book on the complicity of Lithuania in the Holocaust, Grant Arthur Gochin turns 58… President of global content at Viva Creative, Thomas Joseph “Joe” Talbott turns 58…
Marc Solomon turns 57… Managing director of government affairs at Microsoft Azure, John Sampson turns 55… Actor, director and producer, best known for playing Ross Geller in the sitcom “Friends,” David Schwimmer turns 55… Former assistant attorney general for antitrust at USDOJ during the Trump administration, Makan Delrahim turns 52… Professor of economics at MIT, Amy Nadya Finkelstein turns 48… Founder and CEO of Spring Hills Senior Communities, Alexander C. Markowits turns 48… Columnist at The Guardian and editor at Jacobin, David Sirota turns 46… Eastern director at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Michael Cohen turns 44… Member of the Knesset for the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Alexander Kushnir turns 43… Editor of Outlook for The Washington Post, Adam B. Kushner turns 41… Marc B. Rosen turns 40… Director of government relations at the Israel Policy Forum, Aaron Weinberg turns 31… Front page editor at HuffPost, Celeste B. Lavin turns 31…