👋 Good Friday morning!
For less-distracted reading over the weekend, browse this week’s edition of The Weekly Print, a curated print-friendly PDF featuring a selection of recent JI stories, including: Are Israel and Iran competing on the same side in Ethiopia?; The Indiana senator with a bipartisan streak on the Middle East; Nir Bar Dea tapped as Bridgewater’s new co-CEO; Virginia’s Victoria Virasingh navigates the progressive lane; Ohio GOP Senate candidates shy away from two-state solution; At Sunflower Bakery, life skills baked into the kosher cookies; Visions of Abraham offers Jewish tourists to the UAE an interfaith experience; and Eric Adams taps Orthodox Jews for top posts. Print the latest edition here.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during an event with the Anti-Defamation League yesterday marking the one-year anniversary of the riot at the Capitol that “the fight against hate is something that is very important to me, personally, looking at my family’s long history… it drove my mother and her parents to flee Eastern Europe at the time of the Holocaust.”
Mayorkas added that his department has been undergoing an internal review to “ferret out domestic violent extremism within our ranks” and educate incoming members of the department.
He also mentioned Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt’s new book, It Could Happen Here: Why America Is Tipping from Hate to the Unthinkable — And How We Can Stop It, saying that its title reflects what “my mother always feared would materialize.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)previewed plans to introduce, during an event with the Jewish Democratic Council of America, legislation barring anyone who “planned or attempted to carry… out” the last year’s riot from holding public office.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise appearance at the Capitol to mark the riot’s anniversary, telling reporters he is “deeply disappointed” in current GOP leadership. He and his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) were the only Republicans present for a moment of silence in the House chamber.
Jewish groups, voters poised for large role in Levin Stevens showdown in Michigan
Democrats in Detroit’s northern suburbs are gearing up for what could be a bruising Democratic primary between two incumbent Democrats, Reps. Andy Levin (D-MI) and Haley Stevens (D-MI) — a race where local Jewish voters could help determine the outcome, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
To the left: Levin, a former synagogue president, introduced last year the Two-State Solution Act, which would, among other provisions, condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Levin has also vocally defended Democratic colleagues such as Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) who have been accused of antisemitism, telling Jewish Insider in a lengthy interview last year that that attempts to equate left- and right-wing antisemitism represent a “breathtaking” false equivalence. Levin was also endorsed by J Street PAC in 2020 and visited Israel on a J Street-sponsored trip in 2019.
In the other corner: Stevens falls into the more traditional pro-Israel camp and was endorsed by Pro-Israel America in June 2021, well ahead of redistricting. She was one of a coalition of members who pressed House leadership last year for a standalone vote on supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system. She visited Israel as a freshman with the AIPAC-affiliated American Israel Education Foundation. “Congresswoman Stevens has consistently been one of the strongest voices for Israel in the Michigan delegation and will continue to be so in this new 11th District,” her campaign manager, Jeremy Levinson, told JI.
Heavyweights: Noah Arbit, chair and founder of the Michigan Jewish Democratic Caucus, expects the district’s Democratic primary electorate to be “at least a third Jewish,” given that the redrawn district contains a significant portion of Michigan’s Jewish population. “I think the Jewish community will be one of the deciding factors in this primary,” Arbit said, adding that some of the heavily Jewish communities in West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills “will probably be the battleground that will decide the primary between Levin and Stevens.”
Split perspectives: “They’re both very committed to Israel, but many people will know that AIPAC and J Street… they each have different views of how to best be Zionist,” Rabbi Asher Lopatin, executive director of Detroit’s joint Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee organization, said. “The representatives think for themselves… but they were each influenced by these trips to Israel and they sort of reflect some of the nuances in the [U.S.-]Israel relationship or the understanding of the Middle East that J Street and AIPAC reflect.”
Bonus: Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC) said during an event hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America on Thursday that she expects the North Carolina Supreme Court to overturn the state’s new congressional map, which carved up her district and would make it very difficult for her to win in the redrawn district.
Joshua Malina speaks out
While the actor Joshua Malina, 55, is well known for his role as a decidedly non-Jewish presidential speechwriter in the “The West Wing,” he has long been involved in Jewish communal life and describes Judaism as “the key element” of his identity. The former yeshiva boy has visited Israel several times and expressed dismay that Jews in Hollywood avoid speaking openly about the Jewish state. Lately, he is assuming an even more high-profile role as one of Hollywood’s unofficial Jewish ambassadors, most notably with a new podcast, “Chutzpod!,” that he hopes will appeal to Jews and non-Jews alike, as he explained to Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel.
Jewish community: “One of the things about Jewish observance is the beauty of being part of a community and kahal and this idea that we’re better together than alone — and, during the last couple of years of the pandemic and not a lot of shul-going, or maybe none other than through Zoom, I like the idea, even if it’s virtual, of building another Jewish community,” Malina said of the podcast, which debuts today. “Not solely Jewish, but anyone who’s interested in Judaism enough to listen to the podcast I’m interested in interacting with.”
Torah talk: Malina, who previously hosted a podcast about “The West Wing,” is co-hosting “Chutzpod!” — which he coined — with Rabbi Shira Stutman, until recently the spiritual leader of Sixth & I, a non-denominational synagogue in Washington, D.C. Distributed by PRX, the weekly podcast will engage with current events and other more whimsical concerns through a Jewish prism, including regular Torah discussions. The first episode, for instance, centers on an examination of “Parashat Bo,” the weekly Torah portion that, “counterintuitively, is read in January, but is about the Exodus.”
Diverse portfolio: Aside from the podcast, Malina has, in recent months, taken on a range of Jewish issues, such as joining the board of Americans for Peace Now. All the while, he has forcefully spoken out against antisemitism on his Twitter feed and in a combative viral essay for the The Atlantic, where he questioned why Mel Gibson continues to find work in Hollywood despite his status as “a well-known Jew-hater.”
‘Scary times’: Amid rising incidents of antisemitism in the United States and abroad, Malina said he now feels something of an added sense of urgency to raise his voice. “I will say that these are scary times,” he told JI. “I was raised, as many Jews of my generation were, with ‘never again’ and ‘do not forget,’ and so it surprises me at times that you kind of have to remind people, like, antisemitism, you know, it’s real, and it’s ugly.”
In Jerusalem, an ancient site undergoes renovations with modern technology
When renovations began on Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum in March 2020, those behind the project were excited, not only about creating a new and innovative way to tell the intricate 3,000-year-old story of one of the world’s most important cities, but also because it offered a chance to rediscover and carefully preserve Jerusalem’s history-filled stones for a new generation, Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash reports.
Strategic spot: The museum, which sits inside the iconic citadel adjacent to the Jaffa Gate, is traditionally one of the most visited sites in the Old City, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year pre-pandemic. Its draw is that it is perhaps the only spot in the city where the handiwork of every previous ruler is still visible, with well-preserved remnants telling Jerusalem’s story — layer by layer — and sweeping panoramic views from atop the ancient Phasael Tower making clear why this location was so essential for those in power. “It’s the highest point in the Old City and very strategic,” Caroline Shapiro, director of international public relations for the museum, told JIduring an exclusive tour of the renovations and preservation efforts this week. “Anyone wanting to defend or rule the city had to do so from here.”
Preserving the past: Extensive archeological excavations and renovations were carried out at the site before the museum opened in the 1980s, but the methods of conservation and preservation popular at the time were rudimentary and often misguided or insensitive to the techniques and skills of the original builders. Now, thanks to a $50 million remodeling project — with funding from Vivien Duffield and the Clore Israel Foundation, the Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, the Ministry of Tourism, the American Friends of Museums in Israel and Keren Hayesod — archeologists and conservationists are applying new concepts and new technology to better understand Jerusalem’s past and better preserve its venerable architecture for the future.
Remaining relevant: Yotam Carmel, director of conservation at Ken Hator Engineering Ltd., which is spearheading the project, told JI that operating in such a historical space is about balance and preparing for the unknown. The overall goal, he said, was finding a way to combine the old with the new by “using the same materials and techniques as the original builders but adding in modern solutions” to repair and safeguard the buildings. But the key to preservation, he theorized, was making sure the complex remained relevant. “If a building is being used, then it is better maintained and there is also a better budget for restoration,” said Carmel. A structure that is not heated or cooled to present-day standards or is not accessible to accepted levels will stop being used, he explained, and then it will fall into disrepair.
Jerusalem’s story: “The Tower of David is a special site that represents all the archeological layers of Jerusalem,” said the museum’s director and chief curator, Eilat Lieber, who is the visionary and driving force behind this ambitious project. Lieber said that after three decades, the museum needed to be updated not only to include the most recent layer of history but also to incorporate the living history of the actual building. “In the past, the building was just a venue for the museum, but the story of the Tower of David is the story of Jerusalem,” she said.
🌎 Climate Concerns: Blackrock CEO Larry Fink is making waves in the financial world as he pushes companies to create policies to address climate change, the Wall Street Journal’s Dawn Lim reports. “Today, Mr. Fink is telling CEOs that companies must prepare for a scaleback of fossil fuels, and that the private sector should work with governments to do so. He warns of the disruption climate change could cause both the economy and financial markets, but sees historic investment opportunity in the energy shift. It’s a point he has made to conferences in Davos, Venice, Riyadh and Glasgow over the past year… Mr. Fink’s power, combined with his advocacy on a hot-button issue, has made him a flashpoint for activists, politicians and unions, both those who think BlackRock isn’t doing enough and others who say it’s doing too much.” [WSJ]
🇦🇹 Anger in Austria: In New/Lines Magazine, Liam Hoare looks at the tensions surrounding the closing of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), based in Vienna, due to Saudi policies and Austria’s own move to the political right. “KAICIID was the victim of a shifting political climate in Austria and an unusual constellation of parties and pressure groups — including the far right — united solely by their opposition to the so-called Abdullah-Zentrum. But KAICIID was itself undermined, for it was the Saudi government’s own human rights abuses — and in particular, the case of Raif bin Muhammad Badawi — that provided the basis for Austria’s turn against the center. That move, in turn, now threatens to undermine Vienna’s status as a center for international diplomacy and de facto destination for international organizations.” [NewLinesMag]
Around the Web
⚖️ Hate Crime? New JerseyAssemblyman Gordon Johnson has asked the Bergen County prosecutor to probe an incident from September last year in which a protester allegedly screamed “Jew” at Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).
🪖 Military Man: President Joe Biden nominated Army Lt. Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla to lead the military’s Central Command, which includes the Middle East.
❌ Declined: The Oregon Elections Division rejected former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s filing to run for governor, ruling that he does not satisfy the state’s residency requirement.
👩⚖️ Date Set: A trial has been set for March 2023 over the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla., last June.
🚗 Ford-ward Focus: The Detroit Jewish News spotlights Israeli native Gil Gur Arie, chief data and analytics officer for multinational automobile manufacturer Ford.
👩🍳 Top Chef: Cookbook author Alison Roman is starting a new cooking program series on CNN Plus.
📃 Reviving History: Starting Monday, 4.1 million pages that document Yiddish culture in Eastern Europe before World War II will be made available online as part of an agreement between the government of Lithuania and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York.
🏺 Raising Eyebrows: A looted artifact bought by American billionaire Michael Steinhardt is still on display at the Israel Museum, despite a deal last month in which he surrendered the piece along with 179 others in order to avoid prosecution.
💊 Fifth Wave: Israel began offering Pfizer’s antiviral drug for vulnerable COVID-19 patients, making it one of the first countries worldwide to offer the new pill treatment.
✋ Across the Pond: Britain’s Labour Party suspended West Lancashire Councillor Ron Cooper for tweeting that Labour Party leader Keir Starmer follows “commands from Israel.”
🔥 Fiery Comments: A volunteer who assisted in the aftermath of the 2017 fire that destroyed the Grenfell Tower in London was charged with stirring racial hatred after she posted to Facebook that the fire was caused by a “Jewish sacrifice.”
🚴 Name Change: Israel’s cycling team changed its name from “Israel Start-Up Nation” to “Israel — Premier Tech” after Premier Tech, a Canadian packaging machinery company, backed the team.
📰 Transitions: Jared Hohlt will step down as editor in chief of Slate after three years running the media company. Steven Ginsberg, previously the national editor of The Washington Post, was named the paper’s managing editor.
🕯️ Remembering: Actor and director Peter Bogdanovich died at 82.
Wine of the Week
JI’s wine columnist Yitz Applbaum reviews the Gurra di Mare Tirsat 2019:
“Seated in Lower Manhattan’s bustling Reserve Cut kosher steakhouse eating raw Wagyu beef cheeks and rounds is hardly the time to be considering white wine. My host Ralph, a luminary amongst the new generation of great European wine curators, convinced me he had a unique white bottle up to the task. To my shock, the Gurra di Mare Tirsat 2019 enhanced the delicacies and stood up to everything we were eating.
“The Tirsat is a blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% viognier. From looking at the wine you would swear it was an orange wine, the color of a magnificent Sicilian sunset. The front palate is all apricot, the mid-mouth is of ripe peaches and the finish has a smoked meat salinity. The wine starts with a subtle dryness and then, just as you think you are finished, the raw fruit of the chardonnay kicks in. This is a wine to enjoy now, and notwithstanding my above food recommendations, to be paired with odorous, aged cheese.”
Pic of the Day
Members of Congress held a prayer vigil on the steps of the Capitol Thursday evening to mark the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
British-American actress, she stars in “The Walking Dead” and previously appeared in “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries,” Lauren Cohan turns 40…
FRIDAY: U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, Judge Paul D. Borman turns 83… Pulitzer Prize-winning sports writer, Ira Berkow turns 82… Co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine and co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jann Wenner turns 76… Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, Bruce Robert Dorfman turns 76… Retired president of the University of South Florida System, Judy Genshaft turns 74… Former Israeli minister of Jerusalem affairs, Rafi Peretz turns 66… Author and former “Today Show” co-anchor, Katie Couric turns 65… Former CEO of Glencore, Ivan Glasenberg turns 65… Dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon in Beverly Hills, and oversees a nationwide real estate company, Dr. Ezra Kest turns 64… Documentary filmmaker Roberta Grossman turns 63… Heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, Tony Pritzker turns 61… U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) turns 61… U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) turns 59… Chief of staff of the White House National Security Council, Yohannes Abraham…
Managing director and senior relationship manager at Bank of America, Zoya Raynes… Author of the recently published Paths of the Righteous and founder of Keystone Strategy + Advocacy, Ari Mittleman turns 39… Concord, N.H.-based public affairs consultant, Holly Shulman turns 39… Assistant director at Hillel of Stanford University, Jeremy Ragent turns 35… Music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Lahav Shani turns 33… Drummer and founding member of The Groggers pop punk band, Chemy Soibelman turns 31… Reporter for Walla News, Yaki Adamker turns 31… Los Angeles-based creator and host of the history podcast “Noble Blood,” Dana Schwartz turns 29… National chair of Israel Policy Forum Atid and senior account executive at Admix, Jonathan Kamel turns 28… Baseball pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, the first Israeli player ever drafted by an MLB team, Dean Kremer turns 26…
SATURDAY: Actor and comedian, Larry Storch turns 99… Talmudic scholar living in Bnei Brak, Israel, widely acclaimed as the leader of the Haredi community, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky turns 94… Classical pianist, Vladimir Feltsman turns 70… Founder and chief investment officer of Pzena Investment Management, Rich Pzena turns 63… Co-founder and co-owner of Pizza Shuttle in Milwaukee, Wisc., Mark Gold turns 59… VP of wealth management at GCG Financial in Deerfield, Ill., he was an NFL tight end for the Bears and Vikings, Brent Novoselsky turns 56… Founder and president of D.C.-based Professionals in the City, Michael Karlan turns 54… Founder and CEO of lobbying firm Invariant, Heather Miller Podesta turns 52… Former state senator in Maine, Justin Loring Alfond turns 47… Singer-songwriter, musician and actress, Jenny Lewis turns 46… Public policy program manager for Facebook, Avra Siegel turns 40… Dayton, Ohio native, deputy editor at Asurion, Ross M. Schneiderman turns 40… Actor, screenwriter and director, son of film director Barry Levinson, Sam Levinson turns 37…
SUNDAY: Law professor at Georgetown University, Peter Edelman turns 84… Swiss politician, she was president of the Swiss Confederation in 1999, Ruth Dreifuss turns 82… Rabbi emeritus of Kehilath Israel Synagogue in Overland Park, Kansas, Herbert Jay Mandl turns 77… Vice chairman of Gilbert Global Equity Partners, Steven Kotler turns 75… Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, now a research scholar at Yale Law School, Linda Greenhouse turns 75… Former MLB umpire, he worked in 3,392 major league games in his 26-year career, Al Clark turns 74… Presidential historian and visiting lecturer at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, GW, Hopkins and Penn universities, Alvin S. Felzenberg turns 73… Singer-songwriter under the name “Country Yossi,” Yossi Toiv turns 73… Australian author of over 40 books of children’s and young adult fiction, Morris Gleitzman turns 69… Former governor of the Bank of Israel, Karnit Flug turns 67… Chairman at Odyssey Engines, Joel Darren Plasco turns 51… NFL insider and reporter for the NFL Network, Ian Rapoport turns 42… Film producer and CEO of Skydance Media, David Ellison turns 39… Director of development and community relations at Manhattan Day School, Allison Liebman Rubin… Pulitzer Prize-winning staff writer at The New Yorker, Ben Taub turns 31… Strategic growth manager at Compass, Madeline Peterson turns 30… Television and film actress, Nicola Peltz turns 27…