👋 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: Donna Edwards steps back into the fray; Josh Shapiro’s open Pennsylvania primary lane; The story of Rodoba Noori’s harrowing evacuation from Afghanistan; Adam Fox, on the edge of stardom; Sol Werdiger’s Super Bowl LVI game plan; With politics in his blood, Gideon Taylor takes on Jewish community relations; and Addressing the gender imbalance in Israeli high-tech. Print the latest edition here.
Among the names being floated to take over CNN after Jeff Zucker’s departure last week are CNN’s Virginia Moseley and Andrew Morse, TV veterans Ben Sherwood and David Rhodes, and UTA’s Jay Sures, according to Puck News’ Dylan Byers. Another name said to be under consideration is CNN DC bureau chief Sam Feist.
Retiring Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) endorsed Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) in her primary against Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI). Lawrence represents around a third of the new 11th District, where both incumbents are running, and is also the only Black member of Michigan’s congressional delegation.
Lawrence said in a press conference on Thursday with Stevens, “No person represents the qualities, the compassion, the work ethic better than Haley Stevens… I want everyone to know that as I transition to my new life, I will be able to breathe knowing that the City of Pontiac and the 11th District has a leader that will not sit down on the job, a leader that understands her oath of office.”
Later in the day, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC — led by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) — announced its endorsement of Levin, who is a member of the caucus.
Pocan said in a statement, “He draws on a lifetime of activism in the labor, human rights and climate movements to craft policy that puts working families first every single time… Andy Levin is a progressive champion driven by a commitment to universal justice and equity, not backroom special interest agendas.”
The 19 Democratic members of the House Homeland Security Committee wrote to Appropriations Committee leaders urging them to “take urgent action… and provide significant new funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program” in the pending 2022 appropriations package.
The letter notes that “even with this significant increase” to NSGP funding provided for 2021, “the demand has never been greater.”
Morgan Ortagus brings foreign policy to the ballot in Nashville
Just over a year ago, Morgan Ortagus was the voice of former President Donald Trump’s foreign policy. As the State Department’s top spokesperson, she conveyed the Trump administration’s policy to reporters and the public. Now, she’s running for Congress, and although she no longer works for the former president, she wants voters in Tennessee to know she’s with him — on everything. “I obviously hope that President Trump will put his hat in the ring and run again and win in . But I thought to myself, ‘You know, things have gotten so bad. I can’t sit around and wait,’” Ortagus told Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutchin an interview on Wednesday.
New in town: Ortagus, who officially entered the race earlier this week, is running in Tennessee’s newly drawn 5th Congressional District, outside of her home in Nashville. Tennessee’s Republican-controlled redistricting effort redrew retiring Rep. Jim Cooper’s (D-TN) Nashville-area seat to lean heavily Republican. Ortagus and her family have lived in the state for about a year, starting a few weeks after President Joe Biden took office.
Divisive decision: Trump endorsed Ortagus last month, before she entered the race, saying at the time that she “will be tough” and that she “won’t bow to the Woke Mob or the Leftist LameStream Media.” But some of the president’s most strident backers — including Candace Owens and former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka — criticized his endorsement of Ortagus over competitor Robby Starbuck, a conservative activist and music video producer who entered the race in June.
No daylight: Ortagus, an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, is emphasizing her foreign policy chops in her campaign. She said there are no differences between her foreign policy positions and those of her former boss: “I think that we had an incredibly strong foreign policy,” said Ortagus.
Iran action: One goal for Ortagus would be to provide congressional oversight of the Biden administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran. “I do think it’s fundamentally important that if you’re going to make these sorts of deals, you have to put them before the Congress,” she said. “I’m going to do everything that I can to hold this administration accountable for what I think will lead to a lot of chaos in the region if the Biden administration does things — not just getting back into a weaker deal than the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], which would be disastrous — but if they actually do things like reversing sanctions on terrorism.”
Threat assessment: Congressional Democrats and some Republicans have described the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as a pressing national security matter, but Ortagus disagrees. At a gathering last weekend, members of the Republican National Committee voted to censure Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Liz Cheney (R-WY) for joining the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks, saying they were participating in the “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.” “I think what the RNC — I think they were right,” said Ortagus. “It’s not a bipartisan investigation. I think it is incredibly political.” Ortagus did not share when asked for her view of the events of Jan. 6.
In a first, UT Austin student government takes up measure condemning IHRA definition of antisemitism
In the first challenge to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism on an American college campus, a student governing body at the University of Texas at Austin is set to vote on a resolution condemning the definition and “affirming the rights of advocates for Palestine,” Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports.
Free speech: The goal of the resolution is “to affirm the speech, actions, protests, and campaigns of students advocating for Palestine as a protected right at the University of Texas at Austin,” according to its authors. The UT Senate of College Councils, which took up the resolution at a meeting on Thursday night and is expected to vote on it later this month, is an academic body with appointed representatives from each college at Texas’ flagship university.
Dueling resolutions: Student governments at more than two dozen universities have adopted the IHRA definition. The University of Texas is among them: UT’s Undergraduate Student Government — the elected undergraduate governing body — unanimously approved a resolution adopting the IHRA definition last March.
First time: Thursday’s effort is believed to be the first measure at an American university to explicitly condemn and reject the IHRA definition of antisemitism. In a 2019 executive order, former President Donald Trump adopted the definition when adding antisemitism to a list of types of discrimination prohibited by federal law. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said last year that the Biden administration “enthusiastically embraces” the IHRA definition.
Campus voice: “I’m incredibly proud of the UT Jewish community for the fight it has put up,” said Jordan Cope, a UT Austin alum who authored last year’s resolution condemning antisemitism and adopting IHRA. He called the new measure “outrageous in that it seeks to deprive the mainstream Jewish community of its right to define and defend against antisemitism.”
Trendlines: The resolution comes on the heels of a wave of anti-Israel sentiment that hit American campuses last spring during an intense round of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Universities have considered resolutions in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for years, and in 2015, UT Austin defeated a student bill that would require the university to divest its endowment from several countries that do business in Israel.
the jewish iceman cometh
Adam Fox, on the edge of stardom
In a city whose seemingly never-ending sports devotion defies the unfulfilled dreams and spells of mediocrity that have come to characterize the last two decades, New York City fans nevertheless possess the stamina and market-share ability to turn any star player of talent into a national sports celebrity in a way no other fan base can.
By this criteria, Adam Fox should soon become a household name. The 23-year-old New York Rangers defenseman starts the halfway point of his third season as a star on the rise. After a promising rookie campaign, Fox surprised the hockey world by winning the Norris Trophy in his sophomore season as the league’s top defenseman — a feat previously only accomplished by Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr. The win also made Fox the first Jewish player in NHL history to receive a major individual award. Now in his third season, the Long Island native’s continued improvement has played a significant role in the Rangers’ surprise success this season.
Growing up in Jericho, a town on Nassau County’s North Shore, Fox took to hockey early, first learning to play as a 4-year-old. For many years, despite living deep in New York Islander’s territory, his father, Bruce, owned Rangers season tickets, affording Adam and his brother the frequent opportunity to attend games. The exposure also turned the brothers into committed Rangers fans.
Like much of the surrounding Nassau County, Jericho includes a sizable population of Jewish residents.
“I grew up in a pretty good Jewish community. I didn’t feel like an outsider at all for being Jewish,” Fox recalled in an interview with Jewish Insider’s Sam Zieve Cohen.
For his bar mitzvah, Fox chose, perhaps not surprisingly, a hockey-themed party. “I had these T-shirts with [hockey] sticks on them and everything.” Fox described. “I didn’t want to have any adults there. I know people like to do that.”
Off the ice, Fox sounds exactly like the nice Jewish boy his background suggests. He speaks in a thoughtful, calm and thoroughly polite manner. He describes a Jewish upbringing that included attending services and gathering for holiday meals.
“The Jewish holidays are especially big on just bringing family together and spending time,” Fox remarked. “When it comes to food, I know my family loves some brisket and some latkes. So I think those are a staple in my house.”
Arab party’s Abbas dismisses claims Israel is an ‘apartheid state’
Mansour Abbas, leader of Israel’s conservative Islamist Ra’am party, declined to call Israel an apartheid state during a virtual event with a Washington, D.C., think tank on Thursday, reports eJewishPhilanthropy‘s Ben Sales. He also voiced support for the Abraham Accords and affirmed that Israel was created as a Jewish state.
Strategic sidestepping: Abbas made history last year when his party joined Israel’s governing coalition — the first independent Arab party to do so in Israel’s history. In his talk Thursday with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Abbas at times sidestepped contentious questions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead emphasizing his vision of Arab-Jewish partnership within Israel based on the shared experience of citizenship.
Avoiding ‘apartheid’: “If you’re talking about the state of relations within the State of Israel, I don’t use the word ‘apartheid,’” he said, referencing a recent report by Amnesty International that accused Israel of apartheid. Critics of the report have pointed to Abbas as an example of minority rights in Israel, which he echoed. “In practice, I’m inside the coalition, and if I wanted to be in the government [as a minister], I could have been in the government… I don’t say, ‘You’re a racist,’ or ‘The state is racist,’ or ‘This is an apartheid state,’ or not apartheid.”
Community concerns: Last year, Abbas’ Ra’am split from the Arab-Israeli Joint List after failing to bridge divides with the other factions who preferred to remain in the opposition. Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said, “We want peace to dwell in the Holy Land between Jews and Arabs, and that the Palestinian issue will be addressed.” But he added that his top priority was the welfare of Israel’s Arab citizens, and said “we failed” because the government “did not pay attention to the situation in the mixed cities,” Arab-Jewish cities where riots erupted last May. He added, “You can’t always aspire to change the world when you can’t protect your own private world, your community.”
Disagree from within: Abbas did say that he supports the Abraham Accords, Israel’s recent normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, and added, “If there are other agreements, we will definitely support them.” More broadly, Abbas said his goal is to forge compromise from within Israel’s ideologically disparate governing coalition, which came together last year to unseat former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In that sense, he said, he’s departing from the Arab-Israeli political tradition. “The discourse of Arab parties was a discourse of opposition,” he said. “We saw ourselves always as an opposition to whatever existed — it didn’t matter who was in the government, left or right… Ra’am is coming to say, despite the disagreements, some of which are difficult, first of all, we want to create a certain partnership, and have the disagreements within the partnership.” He added, “The magic word is ‘compromise.’”
Watch the full conversation here.
👨🍳 Chef’s Table: For Tablet, Flora Tsapovsky spotlights the rise of chef Assaf Granit, the force behind Jerusalem’s popular Machneyuda and half a dozen other restaurants in Israel and Europe, as he adds “model” to his already lengthy resume. “In a small country like Israel, a chef can get famous by becoming a social media sage or by going on television. Granit isn’t on social media — not really, anyway; his Instagram profile has only five posts and fewer than 10,000 followers. And while he is on TV — as a judge on the popular TV show ‘Game of Chefs’ — that’s not what he’s most famous for. Instead, he’s made his name as a member of the very exclusive group of Israeli Michelin star holders. And, perhaps equally notably, he’s the only Israeli chef who’s also a style icon.” [Tablet]
🇮🇱🇺🇸 Making it Work: In Foreign Policy, Amir Tibon looks at the challenges regarding the Palestinians, Iran and China that face President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during this “honeymoon period” for the two leaders, who both took office last year. “The bad news for Biden and Bennett is that none of these tensions will be easy to resolve. Bennett’s government includes too many right-wingers to satisfy even the most modest of the White House’s expectations on the Palestinian issue. China is too important and powerful for Israel to accept each and every U.S. demand regarding Beijing. And on Iran, the gaps between Biden’s and Bennett’s public statements seem only to grow with time. The good news is that even disagreements that cannot be resolved can still be managed wisely, if both sides want to do so.” [ForeignPolicy]
Around the Web
👉🏻 Accountability: White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said yesterday that the U.S. will hold Yemen’s Houthi rebels accountable for carrying out a terror attack Thursday that injured at least a dozen people at an airport in Saudi Arabia.
🤝🏼 Regional Tour: Jared Kushner, former senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, recently met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during a tour of the region, Bloomberg reports.
🇹🇷 Thwarted Attempt: Turkey reportedly foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate an Israeli-Turkish businessman in Istanbul.
🔥 Russian Call: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova urged Israel to stop striking targets in Syria.
🇱🇻 Never Again: The Latvian Parliament voted to appropriate $46 million to the Jewish community as it seeks to correct the country’s historical misdeeds during the Holocaust.
👪 Family Fun: On a private call with House Democrats yesterday, former President Barack Obama joked to Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), who is 33, that he could be his son.
🥣 Soup for You: Soupergirl, the Washington, D.C.-based soup and gazpacho shop, is sending gazpacho, a dictionary and a copy of Elie Wiesel’s Night to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) after her comments confusing the Gestapo and gazpacho.
🙍♀️ My Unexpected Life: Julia Haart, the focus of the Netflix reality show “My Unorthodox Life,” was fired on Wednesday — while the cameras were rolling — as CEO of Elite World Group, the company she co-owned with husband Silvio Scaglia, from whom she filed for divorce later that day.
✈️ Rough Skies: El Al said it will begin experiencing flight disruptions on its Tel Aviv to Dubai route on Sunday, amid a disagreement over security arrangements at the Gulf airport.
🏦 Public Poll: Israel’s central bank is inviting public advice about setting inflation goals and determining interest rates, as significant inflation becomes apparent for the first time in years.
🇮🇶 Next in Line: Analysts predict the Islamic State will select its next leader from a group of four battle-tested Iraqis who fought the U.S. after its invasion in 2003.
🥇 Big Honor: Elan Carr, the former special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism; Daniel Elbaum, the Jewish Agency’s head of North America; and Jewish Democratic Council of America chair Ronald Klein were awarded the Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation’s Gitelson Silver Medallion.
📰 Transition: Jason Willick is joining The Washington Post as a staff columnist.
🕯️ Remembering: White House reporter Trude Feldman, who interviewed every president from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush, died at 97.
Wine of the Week
JI’s wine columnist Yitz Applbaum reviews the Marciano Sauvignon Blanc 2020:
“Meeting up with my five travel buddies after a two-year COVID hiatus was a moment I have been waiting for — well, for two years. We have explored the world together and shared so many significant life experiences. From the cigar bars of Cuba to the monuments of the Warsaw Ghetto. For our recent reunion, I prepared a panel of single malts that were meant to dazzle. One of the boys surprised me and insisted that we start with a special white wine: the Marciano Sauvignon Blanc 2020. This wine is a white with the boldness, depth, fruit and viscosity of the most bravado reds. The front palate is overwhelmingly umami in flavor and viscous in texture. The mid-palate is a bold rendition of a ripe kiwi and the finish has adopted the new French toasted-oak richness with a grapefruit wraparound. Drink this wine with sous vide-prepared filet mignon. This wine will last for five years at a minimum.”
Pic of the Day
The bronze sculpture of the influential Jewish financier Licoricia of Winchester, considered one of the most important medieval Jewish women in England, and her son, Asher, after its unveiling yesterday in Winchester, England.
Prince Charles canceled an appearance at the unveiling of the statue after testing positive a second time for COVID-19.
VP of programming at City Winery, a pitcher for Team Israel in qualifying for the 2020 Olympics, Shlomo Lipetz turns 43…
FRIDAY: Los Angeles attorney, Shirley Cannon Munch turns 92… Journalist, writer and author of a Passover Haggadah co-written with his late wife Cokie Roberts, Steven V. Roberts turns 79… NYC-based gastroenterologist, Julio Messer, M.D. turns 70… Former governor of Florida, Jeb Bush turns 69… Former member of Knesset, Eliyahu Michael “Eli” Ben-Dahan turns 68… ProPublica’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Engelberg turns 64… Victorville, Calif., resident, Tricia Roth… Hospice and palliative care physician, Gary E. Applebaum, MD, turns 63… Principal at Buck Global, LLC, Alan Vorchheimer turns 62… U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) turns 60… Admin and special project coordinator for Jewish Renewal programs at JDC, Debbie Halali… Founder and president of RAINN and CEO of A&I Publishing, Scott Berkowitz turns 53… Lieutenant governor of Hawaii and physician, Joshua B. Green turns 52… CEO at Baltimore-based real estate firm, Quest Management Group, Jason Reitberger turns 48… Elected as a member of the Broward County (Florida) School Board in the months following the death of her 14-year-old daughter Alyssa at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Lori Alhadeff turns 47…
Executive producer of the broadcast team at Salesforce, Rob Hendin turns 45… SVP of global public affairs at Blackstone, Ilana Ozernoy Mouritzen turns 44… Former tight end on the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, Mike Seidman turns 41… Republican strategist and president of Somm Consulting, Evan Siegfried turns 39… VP of global healthcare banking at Bank of America, David B. Stern turns 38… Director of enterprise solutions at Brightspot, Michelle Zar turns 33… Director of account management at Politico, Rachel Kosberg turns 32… Director of baseball development for MLB’s Baltimore Orioles, Eve Rosenbaum turns 32… M&A associate at the NYC office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Alix Simnock turns 31… Recent graduate of Yale Law School and author of two books on origami, he is a legal fellow for Greenpeace International, Scott Wasserman Stern… and his twin brother, working on the John Fetterman campaign for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Eric Wasserman Stern, both turn 29… Politically active Riverdale high schooler and Red Sox fan, Eytan Saenger turns 18… Johns Hopkins University computer science major, CY Neuberger… and YTC student Yisroel Neuberger…
SATURDAY: Commercial director in the Inglewood and Beverly Hills offices of Keller Williams Realty, Gary Aminoff turns 85… Best-selling author, Judy Sussman Blume turns 84… Author, former member of Knesset and daughter of Moshe Dayan, Yael Dayan turns 83… Former prime minister of Israel, highly decorated IDF soldier and general, Ehud Barak turns 80… Periodontist in Newark, Delaware, Barry S. Kayne, DDS turns 78… Economist, physicist, legal scholar and libertarian theorist, son of Milton, David D. Friedman turns 77… Google’s computer genius, author, inventor and futurist, Ray Kurzweil turns 74… Great-grandmother of Leah, Esther Dickman… Former co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and the president of Disney-ABC Television Group until 2019, Ben Sherwood turns 58… Associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Brett M. Kavanaugh turns 57… President and general counsel at The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Alyza Lewin turns 57… Film director, Darren Aronofsky turns 53… Comic book author and illustrator, Judd Winick turns 52… Comedian, actor and producer, Ari Shaffir turns 48… Deputy director for external affairs and communications at the Kresge Foundation, Christine M. Jacobs turns 43… Former MLB player, now the program director and owner of Centrefield Sports, Adam Stern turns 42… Work & Life columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Rachel Feintzeig turns 37… Visiting assistant professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Michael Zuckerman turns 35… Director of research at the White House, Megan Apper turns 31… Associate in the D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis focused on international trade and national security issues, Jeremy Iloulian turns 31… Senior manager of communications at Revel, Anna Miroff turns 29…
SUNDAY: Rabbi and Talmudic scholar, also emeritus professor of economics at NYU, Yisroel Mayer Kirzner turns 92… Former chair of the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute think tank, Norm Gardner turns 84… Professor at American Jewish University in Los Angeles and scholar of biblical literature and Semitic languages, Ziony Zevit turns 80… Pamela Brown turns 79… Former talk show host of “The Jerry Springer Show” and former Democratic mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer turns 78… Newsletter editor specializing in U.S. intelligence and foreign policy issues, Jeff Stein turns 78… U.S. Senator (D-CT) Richard Blumenthal turns 76… Professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto, author of I Did Not Know You Were Jewish and Other Things Not to Say, Ivan Kalmar turns 74… Former CEO of the Cleveland Browns and president of the Philadelphia Eagles, Joe Banner turns 69… Radio broadcaster for the New York Mets, Howard “Howie” Rose turns 68… Former president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, Ihor Kolomoyskyi turns 59… Casting director, Amy Sobo turns 59…
President and CEO of the congressionally chartered National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Jeffrey Rosen turns 58… Internet entrepreneur best known as the co-founder of Zynga, Mark Pincus turns 56… Immediate past chair of national women’s philanthropy of The Jewish Federations of North America, Rochelle “Shelly” Kupfer turns 55… Former senior speechwriter for Treasury secretaries Geithner and Lew, Mark Cohen turns 52… Retired Israeli soccer player, Alon Harazi turns 51… Founding partner of Drowos Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Bryan M. Drowos turns 43… Publisher of Southern California’s Jewish Link Magazine, Dov Blauner turns 43… Corporate crisis correspondent at Reuters, Mike Spector turns 41… Director of communications at Columbia World Projects for Columbia University, Samantha Slater turns 39… Principal at Health Supply America, Jonathan Neuman turns 38… Director of philanthropy at LPPE LLC, Daniel Sperling turns 35… Founder and owner at Miami’s Cadena Collective, Alejandra Aguirre turns 31…