👋 Good Wednesday morning!
Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) handily beat Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), 60%-40%, in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, in one of last night’s most-anticipated primaries, and one of only a handful of member-on-member races that have seen opposing ideological wings of the Democratic Party go head-to-head. JI’s Marc Rod was at Stevens’ election night watch party. More below.
Former Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman, who endorsed Stevens in May, told us on Tuesday night that Stevens’ win “proves that voters still pay attention to issues and if people care about issues — such as clear support for Israel — they can make a difference and even overcome a family dynasty and name. It is also a victory for the moderates against progressives — which is important to the Jewish community. Chalk one up for the good guys.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) easily won her primary in the state’s 12th Congressional District, securing a third term in the blue district.
Next door in Michigan’s 13th District, state Rep. Shri Thanedar is leading the crowded pack with 32% of the vote, with roughly a third of precincts reporting. State Sen. Adam Hollier and attorney Portia Robeson trail with 22% and 16%, respectively.
Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, lost by four percentage points to John Gibbs, who had been backed by the former president, as well as Democrats hoping to bolster far-right challengers over centrist Republicans.
In Arizona, venture capitalist Blake Masters, who was also endorsed by the former president, will face off against Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in November after handily defeating solar executive Jim Lamon and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in the state’s heated GOP Senate primary.
In Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, state Rep. Daniel Hernandez conceded to former state Sen. Kirsten Engel in the district’s Democratic primary.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt will be his party’s candidate for Senate on the ballot in November, after beating former Gov. Eric Greitens and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO).
Voters in Kansas overwhelmingly rejected — 59%-41% — a ballot referendum that would have removed the right to get an abortion from the state’s constitution, just weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
scene last night
Inside Haley Stevens’ victory party in Michigan-11
With early returns showing Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) with a 20-point lead over fellow Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, it was a relatively short night at the campaign’s election watch party, which took place at the city’s Townsend Hotel. Stevens took the stage for her victory speech just over an hour after polls closed, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports from Birmingham, Mich.
Victory speech: It took nearly half an hour for the news to reach most in the dense crowd, when the results came up on a local news channel playing in the room. The news prompted an impromptu dance session by some Stevens supporters. Stevens took to the stage moments later. “It’s not a mystery why we beat the odds. We stayed in Congress because we listened. I listened,” Stevens said in her speech. “I heard your stories. I learned… every single day doing this work what is most important to you.”
Jewish community support: Stevens was asked about the role that Jewish supporters played in the race. Many leaders in the mainstream Jewish community in the district were early and forceful backers of the congresswoman. “I thank my wide-ranging supporters from all over Oakland County from labor to our Jewish community to our African American community,” Stevens responded. “Certainly having Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence’s early support and endorsement, which is so significant… She started the Black-Jewish caucus. She’s led the Women’s Caucus. That is [whose] footsteps I’m going to follow in the Congress.”
Heaping praise: Later in the evening, Lawrence, who is retiring at the end of this term, delivered brief remarks congratulating Stevens, whom she endorsed early in the primary. Lawrence currently represents part of the redrawn 11th District. “I wanted to turn over some of my district to a person that puts people before politics, a person who understands what it means to fight,” Lawrence said.
torah on tap
A new ‘Jewish tavern’ aims to bring Torah learning to Boston’s Jewish masses
To the extent that Lehrhaus, a new bar coming to Somerville, Mass., could be compared to anything, its closest analog would probably be an Irish pub, rather than a synagogue multipurpose room or a grab-and-go café at the local JCC. But the new neighborhood establishment bills itself as a Jewish tavern and house of learning, akin to a neighborhood watering hole and community library, with educators on hand to guide people in learning Jewish text. “We want to build on-ramps to Jewish learning in an environment that people understand and want to spend time in,” Lehrhaus director Rabbi Charlie Schwartz told Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch in an interview last week in this still-under-construction space.
Place to be: “This is gonna be the place to be and the best kosher food in New England, if not farther afield. And good Torah, and community,” said Lehrhaus board chair Joshua Foer, who also founded Sefaria, a digital library of Jewish texts. The name comes from a term coined by the early-20th-century German Jewish thinker Franz Rosenzweig, who hosted a salon called the Freie Jüdische Lehrhaus, or “free Jewish house of learning.”
Big plans: If Boston’s Jewish community catches on to Lehrhaus, which is set to open in September or October to serve the vibrant Jewish community in Cambridge and Somerville, Foer and Schwartz anticipate taking the concept nationwide: “This is a project that ultimately has national ambitions, and we think that this is a pilot for something that should exist in lots of places. That’s our long-term goal,” said Foer. “If you make it work here,” added Schwartz, “I think we can make it work in Cleveland, and Detroit, and D.C. and L.A., in Brooklyn and Miami.”
Multipurpose: During the day, Lehrhaus will be a members-only space for people who join the institution’s beit midrash and want to stop by to study alone or in hevruta, with a partner. In the evening, Lehrhaus will be open to the public, with a bar and dining program designed by award-winning veterans of Boston’s restaurant scene.
Sneak peek: The food will be “pescatarian kosher.” A sampling of menu items shared with JI includes a signature “Lehrhaus kugel” with crispy Roman artichoke, and fish schnitzel with fries seasoned with Old Bay, the tangy spice popular on Maryland seafood. “It’s a Jewish tavern. The milieu is a Jewish one,” said Schwartz, adding that even the menu offers an opportunity for “passive learning moments that you can incorporate in a non-preachy way.” Take, for instance, those Old Bay fries: “What does it mean when the server knows the Jewish history of Old Bay?” (The seasoning was created by a Holocaust survivor.)
Emiratis reveal DOJ first alerted them to concerns about Khashoggi lawyer’s tax fraud
Following weeks of criticism for arresting an American citizen, the United Arab Emirates revealed it had charged American attorney Asim Ghafoor in absentia with tax evasion and money laundering, following an investigation provoked by the U.S. Justice Department, Jewish Insider’s Jacob Miller reports. Ghafoor, an Arab-American attorney who represented Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi before the prominent dissident was murdered by Saudi agents, was arrested in the UAE on July 14.
Heard on the Hill: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) labeled the allegations “false charges,” while Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) suggested that Ghafoor was convicted because of his work for Khashoggi. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) called the process “politically motivated” and accused the Emirati government of denying Ghafoor due process. Five Virginia lawmakers adopted a more measured approach, demanding the UAE allow Ghafoor — a Virginia resident — to be released on bail and allowed access to his attorneys.
American affair: A State Department spokesperson told JI that the United States did not seek Ghafoor’s arrest and that it had raised the issue with senior Emirati authorities, adding that Ghafoor is receiving consular support, and that American embassy officials last visited Ghafoor on July 30. The Emirati government explained that it was first alerted to Ghafoor’s financial maneuverings by Department of Justice officials, whom the UAE claims were conducting their own investigation of Ghafoor. “This case is part of broader legal cooperation between the UAE and United States to strengthen policies and enforcement to uncover and prevent transnational financial crimes and illicit money flows,” the UAE wrote in a press statement. The UAE has not made any evidence publicly available and the Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Mideast moves: Along with Khashoggi, Ghafoor co-founded a nonprofit called Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN), an organization profoundly critical of both Israel, which it has called an apartheid state, and the Abraham Accords, which it labeled “regressive.” DAWN has called for Ghafoor’s immediate release.
🗳️ The New Class: In Rolling Stone, Kara Voght talks to Greg Casar, Summer Lee and Delia Ramirez, left-leaning Democrats who will join the next Congress after winning their respective primaries in deep-blue districts. “‘This is the point in the interview when they ask if we’re gonna join the Squad.’… I had actually asked whether there were any current federal lawmakers who they might emulate when they enter the House next year. Only Casar ventured an answer: He’d just met Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and deemed her both ‘brave’ and ‘brilliant.’ Details like those answered the query Lee posed. Casar had even posted a photograph of the trio after they’d first met in person the previous day. ‘Triple threat, coming to DC on Jan. 3!’ read the caption. (Not quite the same ring as ‘Squad,’ but a start.)” [RollingStone]
🎯 On Target: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Aaron David Miller considers the implications of the Biden administration’s targeted drone strike on al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. “The precision strike against Zawahiri, ensconced in a safe house in Kabul, was a master class in intelligence and operational capacity and an affirmation that U.S. intelligence could still be effective in Afghanistan. The intelligence community had been tracking Zawahiri for months, establishing a pattern of his routine and activity much like the period leading up to the strike on Osama bin Laden in May 2011. And it managed to carry out an operation that reportedly caused no civilian deaths or injuries. The strike was a counter-argument to those who believed a permanent presence on the ground was essential to what President Joe Biden had declared in August 2021 was the only U.S. vital interest in Afghanistan: preventing a terror attack on the homeland. Indeed, Saturday’s strike was a much needed corrective to the failed U.S. drone strike a year earlier against IS-K that killed ten Afghan civilians.” [Carnegie]
Around the Web
🛂 Visa Request: A group of seven Republican senators led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called on the Biden administration to refuse visas to the Iranian delegation, led by President Ebrahim Raisi, to the U.N. General Assembly in New York next month.
🏈 Sacked: The NFL suspended Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross until mid-October and fined him $1.5 million for his interactions with Tom Brady while the quarterback was playing for the New England Patriots and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
😡 Bad Analogy: Darren Bailey, a Republican candidate for governor in Illinois, is facing backlash for comparing abortion to Holocaust atrocities.
✈️ Plane Protocol: The Department of Justice requested that Argentina seize a Venezuelan plane previously owned by Iran and impounded in Buenos Aires due to potential ties to terrorist groups, as Argentinian officials allowed 12 of the 19 crew members to leave the country.
🦠 Polio Spread: The strain of polio diagnosed in a Rockland County, N.Y., man has been identified in patients in London and Jerusalem.
🔫 Upstate Attack: An Orthodox Jewish resident of Monsey, N.Y., was shot in the face with a gel gun by a teen out for a joyride.
🍩 Doughnut Mashup: Brooklyn’s Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop and Edith’s, a Jewish deli, collaborated to create a coffee-tahini donut.
⌚ Abhorrent Auction: A European Jew was the highest bidder in a Maryland auction for a watch that was believed to be owned by Adolf Hitler.
🚗 Value Added: The value of Israeli company Innoviz soared this week after it filled a $4 billion order of vehicle sensors for Volkswagen.
🛢️ Mending Fences: Officials are optimistic about the settlement of an ongoing maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon after a series of talks mediated by the U.S. this week.
⚠️ Nuke Threat: Iran boasted progress on a nuclear weapon via a government-affiliated media channel, claiming they could soon “turn New York into ruins and hell.”
☢️ Power Play: Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid made a veiled reference to the country’s suspected nuclear arsenal during a speech at the Atomic Energy Commission.
Pic of the Day
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (left) and Israeli Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Oded Forer met yesterday in Annapolis, Md., where they signed an agreement to expand collaboration in marine aquaculture and biotechnology.
Fashion model and social entrepreneur, Karlie Kloss turns 30…
Retired head coach of the NFL’s Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Marv Levy turns 97… English actor, author, playwright and theatre director, Steven Berkoff turns 85… EVP emeritus of the UJA-Federation of New York, John S. Ruskay turns 76… Retired regional director and development director in the Cleveland office of the ADL, Anita Gray… Former chairman and CEO of the NYC office of commercial real estate brokerage firm Savills, Mitchell S. Steir turns 67… Voice actor in dozens of Disney films, video games and television programs, known professionally as Corey Burton, Corey Gregg Weinberg turns 67… Vice chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and board member of JFNA, Orna Amir Wolens… President of D.C.-based Freedman Consulting, LLC, Thomas Z. Freedman turns 59… Co-founder of Pushkin Industries podcast company, Jacob Weisberg… Israeli filmmaker, producer and director, Ilan Moskovitch turns 56… Canadian entrepreneur and former commodities trader, Alexander Shnaider turns 54… VP of community planning at the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Evan Goldman…
Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, Suzy Shuster turns 50… Editorial page editor of the New York Daily News, Josh Greenman… U.S. senator (D-CT), Chris Murphy turns 49… Chief advancement officer at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Joshua Cherwin… Owner of Win the Future Strategies, Brian Morgenstern… Executive editor of the Washington Examiner magazine, Seth Mandel turns 40… Partner at SoftBank Group International, Jeffrey A. Dressler turns 38… Director of philanthropic outreach for the southern division of the Anti-Defamation League, Erica Greenblatt… Podcast host of “Us Among the Israelis” and reporter at The Times of Israel, Caroline Keller-Lynn… Congressional liaison development associate at Christians United For Israel, Liliya Bychuk… Executive director of The Natan Fund, Adina Poupko… Executive director of the Reducetarian Foundation, Brian Kateman… U.S. newsletter editor at the Financial Times, Emily Goldberg… Former Maryland congressional candidate and Washington Free Beacon journalist Matthew Foldi turns 26… First-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft, Jared Shuster turns 24… Social secretary to the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ariana Kaufman… Director of talent at VMG, Leigh Bonner Levine…