👋 Good Friday morning!
Ed. note: In honor of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, the next Daily Kickoff will arrive on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Shana tovah, and happy new year!
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we cover Rep. Ted Deutch’s final House address and take a look at a new exhibit on the Samaritans at the Museum of the Bible, the museum’s first partnership with Yeshiva University. Also in today’s newsletter: Ari Wallach, Roya Hakakian and the latest Democrats to speak out against Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about Israel and progressivism.
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: Masih Alinejad saw this coming; For Israel’s ambassador to Germany, strengthening ties is both professional and personal; The U.N.’s unlikely campaigner against antisemitism; UAE rabbi weds before 1,500 as Abraham Accords enter third year; This Israeli nonprofit is trying to create spaces where Ukrainian refugee children can be themselves; In Utah Senate campaign, Evan McMullin’s independent views on foreign policy; and Pandemic’s aftermath and economic crisis have some synagogues rethinking their membership fees. Print the latest edition here.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid made his United Nations General Assembly debut yesterday afternoon, calling for a two-state solution — and in doing so, marking the first time in several years that an Israeli premier has explicitly pushed the policy on the world stage.
“An agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy and for the future of our children,” Lapid said. “Peace is not a compromise. It is the most courageous decision we can make. Peace is not weakness. It embodies within it the entire might of human spirit. War is surrender to all that is bad within us. Peace is the victory of all that is good.”
Unlike the speeches given by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at past General Assemblies, Lapid used no props or imagery as he warned of the threat posed by Iran. “Iran has declared time and time again that it is interested in the ‘total destruction’ of the State of Israel. And this building is silent. What are you afraid of?” Lapid said. “Has there ever been a time in human history where silence stopped violence? The country that wants to destroy us, is also the country that founded the largest terrorist organization in the world, Hezbollah. Iran funds Hamas and Islamic Jihad and is behind mass terrorist attacks from Bulgaria to Buenos Aires. It is a murderous dictatorship that is making every effort to get a nuclear weapon. If the Iranian regime gets a nuclear weapon, they will use it.”
Netanyahu, for his part, slammed Lapid before the address had concluded. The opposition leader, who was speaking at a campaign event in Ramat Gan yesterday evening, released a statement accusing Lapid of “bringing the Palestinians back to the forefront of the world stage.”
In new museum exhibit, a rare journey into Samaritan life and religious practice
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a good Samaritan as “one who voluntarily renders aid to another in distress although under no duty to do so,” and suicide-prevention charities around the world bear the name “Samaritans.” But the notion of a good Samaritan comes from a parable in the Book of Luke, in the New Testament. “Everyone’s heard of the ‘good Samaritan,’ of course,” Jesse Abelman, the curator of Hebraica and Judaica at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., told Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch last week on an exclusive tour previewing the museum’s newest exhibit, “Samaritans: A Biblical People.” But the Samaritans “go back farther than that. They see themselves as the descendants of the biblical tribes of Ephraim and Menashe, and so they’ve been continuing their tradition sort of beside, parallel, to Jews.”
Unique artifacts: Abelman pointed out some of the unique artifacts on display, like a centuries-old mosaic from a Samaritan synagogue and a stone with an inscription of the Samaritans’ Ten Commandments, on loan from Israeli President Isaac Herzog. A replica of a Samaritan sukkah, the makeshift hut erected in the fall harvest festival Sukkot, showcases their unique tradition of building a roof out of fruit: More than 1,800 pieces of plastic fruit sit atop the structure in a rainbow array of concentric circles.
New partnership: The exhibit, which runs through the end of the year, is meant to educate visitors about Samaritans and their encounters with other monotheistic religions over the past 2,000 years. It is the museum’s first partnership with Yeshiva University, which helped curate the exhibit through its Center for Israel Studies. The museum, which opened in 2017, has close ties to the evangelical Christian community through its founder and board chair Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby. But it has made efforts in recent years to broaden its reach into other religious communities.
Religious tradition: Like Jews, the Samaritans are descended from the Israelites. Their religion is similar to Judaism — they also read a version of the Torah, and use a form of ancient Hebrew with different letters — but one of the biggest differences is that they still conduct animal sacrifices, a ritual that is explained in videos and photographs at the museum. The exhibit also makes other comparisons between the faiths, such as one display case where a Samaritan Torah and a Jewish Torah are placed next to each other to show the difference in calligraphy and style.
eye on iran
Current Iran protests ‘very different from anything before,’ Iranian writer tells Congress
Iran’s current round of protests are unlike anything the Islamic Republic has seen before and place the country at a pivotal moment in its history, an Iranian-American writer told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Quotable: “This last round of protests are very different from anything before,” poet and journalist Roya Hakakian told the Senate committee at a hearing focused on women leaders resisting authoritarian regimes. “In the past, there was the hope of a reformist movement or change. All that is done. In the past, the supreme leader would never be the target of the anger of the demonstrators. All that has changed. It is the very notion of the supreme leader that the people are objecting to, and it is the foundation of the system that these demonstrators on the streets are targeting.”
Next steps: Hakakian, who is Jewish, urged lawmakers and the U.S. to work to ensure continued internet access — which the regime has attempted to cut off — create a fund to facilitate nationwide strikes and demonstrations, further sanction the Iranian leadership and work to unwind Iranian networks targeting dissidents in the U.S.
Nuke talk: She also expressed opposition to a renewed nuclear agreement, which would lift sanctions on Iran. “The people in Iran are not asking for the JCPOA to succeed or continue. They’re not asking for the sanctions to be lifted. They are asking for freedom, liberty and freedom of women,” she said. “Sometimes nations are willing to undergo great difficulties in order to reach the sort of life that [the U.S. has] modeled in our tradition for them and for the liberty that they deserve.”
Bonus: On the Senate floor on Thursday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) sought unanimous consent in the Senate to immediately pass her newly introduced PUNISH Act, which would codify sanctions on Iran. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) objected, blocking the bill’s passage. He argued that it would be “not a great idea” to “short circuit any process of reviewing this legislation,” and claimed that similar attempts to attack U.S. citizens at home and abroad did not occur under the original deal. He also argued that the U.S.’s current sanctions are designed to be coercive, rather than punitive.
Ted Deutch makes his closing argument
In a tearful final speech on the House floor on Wednesday, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) — who has been a prominent advocate for the Jewish and pro-Israel communities in the House, and pushed back forcefully against anti-Israel sentiment in his own party — traced his service in Congress back to his roots in the Jewish community and his father’s service in World War II, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Looking back: “It was the opportunity to do the work on the House floor that he was fighting for,” Deutch, the incoming head of the American Jewish Committee, said on the House floor of his father. “My dad taught me… of the dual importance, the equal importance, the tremendous importance of being both a proud Jew and a proud American. One informs the other; they are inextricably linked.”
Record keeping: “My colleagues and constituents know me as a proud Jewish member of the American Congress,” Deutch said. “My involvement in the community, my travel to Israel, those have been such a fundamental part of what I’ve done since I’ve been here.”
Looking ahead: Deutch also led his final hearing on Wednesday as the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East subcommittee. The outgoing subcommittee chair gave specific recommendations for how his colleagues should approach a nuclear deal — “support for any deal must, at minimum, depend on satisfactory answers” to three questions: what the path is from a renewed JCPOA to a broader and permanent agreement; whether the benefits of the deal outweigh the risks to Israel and U.S. partners and proxies from increased funding for terrorism; and what the U.S. and its allies’ plans are today to stop Iran’s nuclear program with or without a deal.
Ari Wallach takes JI’s ‘Limited Liability Podcast’ on a trip to the future
Ari Wallach isn’t keen on being called a “futurist,” at least not in the typical sense. While most futurists spend their time using current trends to predict possible outcomes down the road, Wallach is more interested in individuals and helping them figure out what it is they want to see happen. Wallach is the founder and executive director of Longpath Labs, an initiative aimed at redirecting our tendency toward instant gratification and short-term decision-making, to a mindset that considers which actions would best help society in the long term. He is also the author of a new book, Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs, which came out in August. “It’s really thinking very seriously and critically about what your kind of long-term vision and goal is…in a way that transcends your own lifespan,” Wallach, 48, explained on this week’s episode of Jewish Insider’s “Limited Liability Podcast.” “So we use the term ‘futuring’ and ‘futurism’ or ‘applied futurist,’ to move away from kind of the crystal ball way thinking about it and more about how we help people prepare.”
The Longpath mindset and Judaism: “We’re kind of in this intertidal moment… The narratives that we use to run a society, especially in the West, in many ways are collapsing. You actually see that play out in day-to-day politics in the U.S., in terms of people’s trust in institutions, writ large. So in this intertidal moment, I’m arguing that we need to have a different kind of mindset…It’s very much coming from my wisdom tradition, known as, you know, Judaism, but if we step back and we see Judaism as a kind of social technology, the things that in many ways are created by humans to help us move better and, you know, adapt better to the world as it is, I’m taking what works for me in the thinking and the underlying kind of ontology and truths and maxims of Judaism, and incorporating them in kind of a secular way to allow people to navigate the intertidal better.”
On his new book: “This book is not a self-help book in any way, shape or form, but it is a book and it is an idea and a mindset to help people make sense of the moment that we’re in. I think of Longpath, the mindset, as a kind of social technology, as a way of kind of moving through this moment that allows you to move through it more successfully. And most importantly, you know, the subtitle is Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs. If you use this mindset and this way of thinking and seeing the world and behaving and acting in the world, what that leads to, is allowing us to move from like ‘eh, meh’ maybe making it through this moment, to actually helping shape the future in a way that several generations, hundreds of generations from now, there’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Wow, those were great ancestors. They did the things that we needed done to help us get to a moment of flourishing.’”
Lightning Round: Favorite Yiddish word or phrase: “Schlep…it’s this idea, it’s like, you do what you got to do, right? And it’s gonna suck, but you gotta do it.” Favorite book read recently: “Rural Renaissance: Revitalizing America’s Hometowns through Clean Power by Michelle Moore.” Favorite place to eat in New York City: “Gramercy Tavern, because that was the first restaurant I ever ate at in New York City [or] any really good taco truck. Doesn’t even matter. If there’s a line up for a taco truck in Midtown, you should get in that line.”
📘 Morgenthau’s Moves: In an excerpt in Politico from his upcoming book on Henry Morgenthau Jr., Andrew Meier looks at the wartime Treasury secretary’s efforts to push the State Department and Roosevelt administration into accepting Jewish refugees from across war-torn Europe. “The war in Europe would test Morgenthau in ways unlike any other member of the Roosevelt administration. In ‘those terrible eighteen months,’ as he would later call the period after the summer of 1942, when he first learned that ‘the Nazis were planning to exterminate all the Jews of Europe,’ Morgenthau would find himself surrounded by threats: an anti-immigrant old guard at the State Department, ‘America First’ isolationists on Capitol Hill and enraged Zionist leaders desperate for the attention of the White House. He would face the greatest test of his 12-year tenure in Washington, risking all that he held most dear: not only his friendship with FDR, but the trust of his best men at Treasury and even the faith of his own family. In the end, Morgenthau would rely on his moral compass — ‘Franklin’s conscience,’ Eleanor Roosevelt liked to call him — to affirm his belief in America as a sanctuary for the persecuted, and press his best friend to act, before it was too late, to save the remaining Jews of Europe. [Politico]
🎓 Problematic Prestige: Writing in his “Deep Shtetl” newsletter, The Atlantic’s Yair Rosenberg talks to writer Mark Oppenheimer about revelations made in his “Gatecrashers” podcast about how U.S. Ivy League universities were shaped by antisemitic policies. “Through eight episodes, one for each Ivy school, the podcast takes listeners through time, beginning at Columbia in the 1920s and ending at Harvard in the present day. The result is both entertaining and unnerving, as it quickly becomes clear just how many things that we associate with these institutions — their selectivity, their extensive application processes, even their push for geographical diversity — stemmed from one overriding motivation: to keep Jews out.” [TheAtlantic]
Around the Web
🏗️ Construction Concerns: American lawmakers are appealing to Ukraine to stop illegal construction near the resting place in Uman of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, as thousands of Jewish pilgrims, many of them from the United States, arrive in the city ahead of Rosh Hashanah.
👎 Dems Denouncing: The list of Democrats criticizing Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for her comments about Israel and progressivism grew on Thursday, with Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Donald McEachin (D-VA), Shontel Brown (D-OH) and Kathy Manning (D-NC), as well as NY-03 candidate Robert Zimmerman distancing themselves from Tlaib’s remarks.
🌟 Star Power: A bipartisan group of lawmakers urged Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to grant Elon Musk’s satellite internet service Starlink an exemption from sanctions on Iran in order to provide internet to Iranians amid widespread protests and restrictions placed by the Islamic Republic on social media.
🎙️ Tune In: This week’s edition of C-SPAN’s “The Weekly” podcast explores how non-Jewish officials and politicians have talked about Rosh Hashanah.
🍷 The Grapes of Wrath: The San Francisco Chroniclespotlights the growing popularity of kosher wines — and vintners’ attempts to distance their brands from the stigma of kosher wines of the past, which were often made with Concord grapes and sweetened with corn syrup.
🎤 The Crowd’s Gone Wild: An old video of the Orthodox Miami Boys Choir singing “Yerushalayim” has gone viral on TikTok and Twitter.
📓 Honored: A park in Chicago has been rededicated to honor German-Jewish poet Gertrud Kolmar, who was killed in the Holocaust.
👨⚖️ Capitol Sentence: An Army reservist who stormed the Capitol on Jan 6. and who has taken photographs dressed up as Adolf Hitler was sentenced to four years in federal prison.
🇮🇱🇦🇪 New Heights: Israel will sell an advanced air defense system, the Rafael-made SPYDER mobile interceptor, to the United Arab Emirates, according to Reuters.
👮 Suspected Terror Attack: An Israeli police officer shot and killed a Palestinian man who stabbed and lightly injured two Israeli motorists in central Israel yesterday.
❌ Off Air: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi refused to sit for an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after the journalist refused to cover her hair for their conversation.
💻 Meta Mistakes: Facebook and Meta violated the rights of Palestinian users to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, political participation and non-discrimination by over enforcing its rules on Arabic-language content during the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in May 2021, a report found.
🤝 Artistic Engagement: Qatar Museums, a Qatari government entity that oversees a network of museums, heritage sites, festivals, public art and programming, will collaborate with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in an exchange of exhibitions, programs and scholarly cooperation.
🕯️ Remembering: Donald Blinken, former diplomat and father of Secretary of State Tony Blinken, died at 96. President of the Syrian Jewish community Albert Kamoo, one of the last five Jews in Damascus, died this week.
Wine of the Week
JI’s wine columnist Yitz Applbaum reviews the One Hope Fume Blanc 2021:
“One of the biggest challenges a kosher wine proprietor faces is the halachic question of whether it is permissible to smell and taste, yet not consume, non-kosher wines in order to choose new wines to make kosher. Fortunately, I have received permission on occasion. OneHope is a Napa Valley winery with a large portfolio of great non-kosher wines. In reviewing its offerings, I was struck by the idea of sponsoring a production of a kosher Fume Blanc, an estate-grown grape rarely seen in the kosher world. It is a complicated wine to make. The second I tasted OneHope’s Fume Blanc, it was magical. Now I just had to pray hard that the kosher version would be as good. My prayers were answered. It is superior.
“The OneHope 2021 Fume Blanc is made from Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc grapes and aged in new toasted oak barrels. The emphasis is on the toasted. The front palate is bathed in a smoky vanilla flavor, the mid-palate has hints of lemongrass and the full-bodied finish takes you into the pristine vineyards and makes you want to be buried there so that you can enjoy the wine for eternity. Enjoy this wine with pasta, brick-oven pizza and risotto.”
Author of two best-selling books and co-founder of Sefaria and Atlas Obscura, Joshua Foer turns 40…
FRIDAY: Vice chairman of the board of Chanel, the French fashion house, Arie L. Kopelman turns 84… Sarasota Jewish Federation executive, Richard Bergman… CEO of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris turns 73… President at Trendlines America, Mark J. Dollinger, Ph.D…. Co-chairman and COO of Chesapeake Realty Partners, he is also a founding partner of Boulder Ventures, Josh E. Fidler… Senior analyst at AIPAC, Colin M. Winston, Ph.D…. Partner at Steptoe & Johnson, Darryl Nirenberg… Business manager for Los Angeles Cardiovascular Medical Group, Angela Maddahi… Former vice chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, she is a Birmingham, Ala., resident, Sheryl W. Kimerling… Israeli-American venture capitalist and head of Zeev Ventures, Oren Zeev turns 58… Co-owner of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, he is the RNC’s finance chairman, Todd M. Ricketts turns 53… Former U.S. ambassador to the E.U., now president and COO at the Business Roundtable, Ambassador Kristen Silverberg turns 52… President of Santa Monica-based PR firm Tower26, Naomi Seligman… Executive director of the Foundation at Alpha Epsilon Pi, Jay Feldman… Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington bureau reporter for The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt turns 39… Global head of news curation at Meta / Facebook, Gabriella Schwarz… VP of sales at Idomoo Personalized Video, Abby Glassberg… Saber fencing champion, he represented the U.S. at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2017 Maccabiah Games, Eli Dershwitz turns 27… Record-setting powerlifter, Naomi Chaya Kutin turns 21… Deputy director general for Latin America at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jonathan Peled… Rabbi at The New Shul of America, Rabbi Seth Frisch…
SATURDAY: Author of six books, best known for the semi-autobiographical novel I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Joanne Greenberg turns 90… Retired Israeli diplomat who served as Israel’s ambassador to Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, Rafael Eldad turns 73… Former CEO of American Media, David Pecker turns 71… Feature writer for Sports Illustrated for 27 years, he is a 2015 inductee into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Franz Lidz turns 71… Attorney and former judge advocate, Michael Alan Weiss… Founder, chairman and CEO of Hilco Global, Jeffrey Hecktman turns 69… Public safety success manager at FirstNet by AT&T, William Gross… President of Princeton University, Christopher L. Eisgruber turns 61… Co-founder and principal at D.C.-based PRG Hospitality, Alan Popovsky… EVP of governmental affairs at the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, Chanina Sperlin… Economist, best-selling author and a great-granddaughter of former British Chief Rabbi Joseph Hertz, Noreena Hertz turns 55… Screenwriter, television producer, comic book writer and novelist, Marc Guggenheim turns 52… Israeli television host, actress and model, Yael Goldman-Pfeffer turns 44… Yale Law graduate and former executive director of Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, Jessica Schumer… Former White House reporter at The Associated Press, Alexandra Jaffe… Actor, singer and songwriter, Ben Platt turns 29…
SUNDAY: Pioneering female television anchor/host of “Today,” “The View,” “20/20” and the “ABC Evening News,” Barbara Walters (family name Abrahams) turns 93… Foundation president, rabbi and teacher in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Eliezer Ben-Yehuda… Member of the U.K.’s House of Lords, expert on prison reform, Baroness Vivien Helen Stern turns 81… Former member of Knesset, he also served as Israel’s ambassador to France and then the United Nations, Yehuda Lancry turns 75… Beachwood, Ohio, resident, Dvora Millstone… Israeli television anchor and popular singer, Yardena Arazi turns 71… Former member of Knesset for Yesh Atid, Ruth Calderon turns 61… Founder, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, Marc Russell Benioff turns 58… Best-selling author and serial entrepreneur, Marissa Levin… Director and co-creator of the award-winning HBO series “Game of Thrones,” David Benioff turns 52… Son and grandson of leading British rabbis, he is the senior rabbi at the Beverly Hills Synagogue, Pinchas Eliezer “Pini” Dunner turns 52… Bloomfield Hills, Mich., resident, Mary Elizabeth Aaron… White House correspondent for NPR, Tamara Keith turns 43… Member of the California State Assembly where he serves as chair of the legislative Jewish caucus, Jesse Gabriel turns 41… Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, Jonathan Brostoff turns 39… Senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, Carmiel Arbit… Features writer at New York magazine and its culture magazine Vulture, Lila Shapiro… Media center director at the Democratic National Committee, Mitchell Israel Malasky… Assistant appellate federal defender at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Daniel Yadron… Yanky Rodman… Regional director at the Israel on Campus Coalition, Destiny Albritton… Director of national operations at the National Black Empowerment Council, Marvel Joseph… Senior associate at Laurel Strategies, Adam Basciano…