👋 Good Friday morning!
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we bring you the latest from the House floor, and interview Ukrainian-Israeli photographer Vera Vladimirsky about her new Tel Aviv exhibit. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Yair Lapid, Yossi Klein Halevi and Amb. Deborah Lipstadt.
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 and eJewishPhilanthropy stories, including: How Hady Amr represents Biden to the Palestinians; Nachman Shai’s goodbye; Inside Israel and Jordan’s new bid to rehabilitate the Jordan River; A hip-hop artist in the Holy Land; British TV judge Rob Rinder’s crowded docket; A Jewish nonprofit is changing the way a Florida city responds to 911 calls; and How an emergency vehicle in Jerusalem came to be known as ‘Bikey McBikeface.’ Print the latest edition here.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) announcement yesterday that she will not seek reelection when her term ends next year marked the start of what’s likely to be one of the most closely watched primaries — and general elections — of 2024.
Several Democratic candidates are already mulling bids for the seat: An individual close to Rep. Haley Stevens’ (D-MI) campaign told Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod she’s “strongly considering” and is “feeling really confident” about a run. Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) are also reportedly considering entering the race. Read more on Stevens’s thinking here.
Other possible Democratic candidates include state Rep. Mallory McMorrow and Secretary of State Joceyln Benson, Michigan political strategist Adrian Hemond told JI. He said he sees Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and Attorney General Dana Nessel as possible but longer-shot candidates. Shortly after Stabenow’s announcement, some floated the possibility that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who moved to Michigan last year, might enter the race. In a Fox News interview yesterday, Buttigieg said he is “completely focused on the job that I have.”
“To be blunt, Elissa Slotkin is the best general election candidate for Democrats in this race, if she can get the nomination,” Hemond said, noting that she’s won in three successive elections in a highly competitive district and has proven to be a strong fundraiser without corporate PAC support. “That’s not to say that some of the other names… would not be competitive or even reasonably heavily favored. But if Slotkin gets the nomination, she wins barring a toxic environment for Democrats nationally.”
Slotkin stands a strong chance in the primary as well, Hemond said, noting that moderates have done well in statewide Democratic primaries in recent cycles. The individual close to Stevens emphasized the Detroit-area representative’s high name recognition in the area, but Hemond noted that, in her 2018 and 2020 two runs, Slotkin also ran ads in the Detroit media market.
On the Republican side, Hemond said, “the high-quality get” would be moderate former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), who lost a primary to a Trump-backed challenger in last year’s primary. But, he added, “the primary is going to be tough for any electable Republican here.”
Rep.-elect John James (R-MI), who delivered a nominating speech for Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) speakership bid on Thursday morning, is also being floated as a possible GOP candidate. But Hemond called another James candidacy at the statewide level — he has lost past gubernatorial and Senate bids — “a tall order.”
Other potential Republican contenders include Kevin Rinke, who largely self-funded a bid for governor last year; 2022 attorney general nominee Matt DePerno; Ryan Kelley, a 2022 gubernatorial candidate and Jan. 6 defendant; and former Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). Tudor Dixon, the 2022 gubernatorial nominee, is also reportedly mulling a bid.
Another name being floated is former Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), who lost his member-on-member primary to Stevens following redistricting in the state. Hemond argued that the “smarter play” for Levin, rather than a Senate run, would be running for Stevens’ seat if she runs for Senate — “and I think he would be a heavy favorite in that primary.”
on the hill
House speaker vote heads to 12th ballot
The House conducted an additional five speakership votes on Thursday without any further defections among supporters of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Some of the members opposing McCarthy, however, shifted their votes from Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) to Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) and former President Donald Trump, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports from Capitol Hill. Off the floor, some lawmakers from each side of the impasse seemed more upbeat, telling reporters Thursday evening that a draft compromise between McCarthy and some holdouts had been put on paper. “We feel really good about where we’re at in the process,” Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), a close McCarthy ally, said. McCarthy declined to provide a specific timeline for the negotiations to reporters.
Let’s make a deal: Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), another McCarthy ally, said that the deal pertained to “our conservative agenda around spending and the nature of our Republican majority… a pledge on action on a foregoing basis around how we operate to achieve conservative reforms” — not reported demands from individual members for subcommittee chairmanships. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), said the deal included some of the detractors’ demands, including giving members a guaranteed 72 hours to review legislation and holding a vote on term limits.
Holdouts: The deal is unlikely to win over all 20 of McCarthy’s detractors. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told reporters after reviewing it that he remained opposed because “it results in Kevin McCarthy becoming the speaker.” Other lawmakers said they were not open to any deal with McCarthy. The California Republican’s supporters argued that winning over some defectors, even if not enough to secure the 218 votes he needs, is still a positive step. “You don’t eat a sandwich in one gulp. You need to take it one bite at a time… I think there’s a pretty good possibility we’re going to take a pretty big chunk out of that sandwich,” Johnson told JI. McCarthy also needs to avoid granting too many concessions and losing the support of moderates — a possibility his deputies dismissed on Thursday.
Read the rules: Other reported conditions in the deal include giving any single member the ability to call for a vote to oust the speaker, seats on the powerful House Rules Committee for members of the conservative Freedom Caucus or their allies and a promise that the House will vote separately on each of the 12 annual government funding bills — rather than combining them into a single omnibus — and allowing any lawmaker to offer amendments to the spending bills on the House floor. One specific name floated for the Rules Committee, which holds significant control over what legislation comes to the floor and the manner in which it is considered, is Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), a libertarian McCarthy supporter who has butted heads with the Jewish community over his votes against measures such as Iron Dome funding and condemning antisemitism. Boris Zilberman, the director of public policy and strategy for Christians United for Israel tweeted that “Putting Massie on Rules is like putting Bin Laden on the FAA board.”
Spending bill changes: The appropriations-related conditions would significantly change the way Congress passes annual spending bills, which provide funding for any number of Jewish community priorities like aid to Israel and synagogue security. Final appropriations negotiations have, in recent years, increasingly become a complex negotiating game largely conducted behind closed doors among key leaders in the House and Senate. The combined appropriations packages have also become a vehicle for passing a wide range of legislative priorities without separate floor votes; this year, those included granting a Nuremberg prosecutor a Congressional Gold Medal and designating a Holocaust memorial as a national memorial site.
home is where…
Vera Vladimirsky finds ‘meeting point’ between past and present in Tel Aviv photo exhibition
The photographer Vera Vladimirsky, 38, was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Israel at the age of 7. Her work, now on display in a solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, explores the relationship between her birth country and her adopted homeland. The exhibition, called “Sand Wall,” features colorful, collage-like photographs of her previous apartments in the Donbas region of Ukraine as well as Israel and England, among other things. “I wanted to visit all the places I called ‘home’ to reconstruct my story, to search for a sense of closure, and to find a meeting point between a few places in various moments in time,” she told Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel in a recent email interview.
Sand dunes: “About 25 years after our emigration, my parents were asked by distant family members who lived in Germany: ‘So how’s life in Israel?’” Vladimirsky said. “My father answered with a story: ‘Just recently, Vera moved to an apartment, again. She asked me to come and help to hang a few shelves. I started to drill in the wall, and when I took the drill out, sand just started to pour out of the wall. This is because this whole place is built on sand, and made out of sand. Tel Aviv was built on bare dunes, using local and cheap materials for construction. This place was built fast, in a survival mode, thinking only about the present with its immediate needs, without thinking about tomorrow. And this mindset manifests in so many forms in this culture.’”
An immigrant’s story: Vladimirsky’s initial motivation for the project was personal and emotional. “Moving so many times wasn’t easy; it was part of a deeper search for a place and a sense of belonging in a new country. I wanted to visit all the places I called ‘home’ to reconstruct my story, to search for a sense of closure, and to find a meeting point between a few places in various moments in time. As the project came together, I realized I’m not telling my story only, but that it is referring to a broader experience of immigration, migration and search — a struggle that so many people in the world have in common.”
Childhood home: Vladimirsky’s photographs feature her grandparents’ home in the Donbas region of Ukraine, which she last visited in 2012 and 2015. Her grandmother fled Ukraine during the outbreak of the war with Russia there. “My grandmother was the last family member who lived in Ukraine; now we don’t have any family there, but we do have many friends,” she said. “Up to this point, the place I consider as my childhood home, or one of them — which is my grandparents’ house — is still standing, while the whole area was bombed to the ground. Even though the house does still exist, the area was cut off from electricity and running water. The house is not habitable and will be neglected. I don’t think it will ever be possible to return.”
In first interview since leaving office, Lapid raises concerns about new gov’t
Israeli Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, who was replaced last week as Israel’s prime minister by long-serving leader Benjamin Netanyahu, discussed his concerns over the new government’s policies, especially plans to overhaul the country’s judiciary and turn the country into what he called a “democracy minus,” in his first interview since leaving office.
Foggy forecast: Interviewed by veteran Israeli journalist Ben Caspit from Walla!, Lapid said that Netanyahu was weaker than he has ever been, due to the ongoing court case and corruption charges against him, and because of his political allies, including Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich. “They are much younger than him and do not respect him,” said Lapid, theorizing that the new government will collapse because of Netanyahu’s weakness and due to the extremist views held by some of the new ministers.
Back to the polls?: Lapid predicted that Israel will most likely hold elections again in 2024, explaining that his own loss in last November’s election was because characters such as Ben-Gvir “played to the legitimate fears of Israeli society,” over the wave of violence and terror that permeated the country throughout the past year.
‘No stopping point’: Lapid, however, said his own fears were for the democratic character of the country, which he said was under threat from the new government and that he would do whatever he could to protect vital democratic institutions. “There are real efforts to turn Israel into a ‘democracy minus’ and that is very dangerous,” Lapid, speaking from his new opposition office in the Knesset, told Caspit. “It will not stop where Netanyahu wants it to stop,” he said. “People who are extreme, religious, and nationalist – in all of history, in all the world – have no stopping point. There’s not been a case where those people get to a point and say, ‘Thank you, we are happy with the results and we will not impose it on other people.’ It is a process that pushes and pushes and suddenly a little bit is a lot.”
Court of law: Lapid said that as opposition leader he would work to stop the plans to overhaul the justice system, some of which were unveiled by newly appointed Justice Minister Yariv Levin on Wednesday. “We will also hold a dialogue with people from the coalition in an attempt to explain to them and talk to them about the fact that what is happening here is profoundly improper,” he said. “We have to fight for the legal system. A state is a legal institution…and I believe the legal system will stand its ground,” he added.
About that Washington trip: Lapid does not have current plans to travel to the U.S. for meetings with American Jewish leaders, individuals close to the Yesh Atid leader told JI, as had been reported by Israeli media earlier this week.
a bike by any other name
How an emergency vehicle in Jerusalem came to be known as ‘Bikey McBikeface’
The Israeli emergency response organization United Hatzalah has a fleet of more than 1,000 ambucycles, or mopeds outfitted with emergency lifesaving equipment. Most of the ambucycles, which the organization uses to respond to some 2,000 calls per day, were donated in honor of people or milestone events. But only one of those ambucycles has an official name: Bikey McBikeface. Bikey McBikeface took to the road in 2017, the donation organized by a group of friends in honor of Yoni Jesner, a Scottish 19-year-old who was killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv in 2002, Melanie Lidman reports for eJewishPhilanthropy.
Honoring his memory: Jesner had dreamed of being a doctor, and was always running around helping people, so it seemed fitting to donate an ambucycle in his name, said Binyamin Casper. Casper studied with Jesner at Yeshivat Har Etzion in the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut before he was killed. After Casper immigrated to Israel in 2016, he started thinking about different ways to honor his friend’s memory in Israel.
Teaming up: Donating an ambucycle to United Hatzalah costs $36,000. People can also donate other vehicles, including an off-road 4×4 ambutractor for $92,000, or a mobile ICU ambulance for $225,000. Fifteen friends joined together to raise $18,000, and that amount was matched by Casper’s wife’s aunt and uncle, Phil and Malki Rosen.
Naming the bike: In 2016, the U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) invited the public to name a $300 million polar research ship, and out of more than 30,000 suggestions, voters on the internet chose Boaty McBoatface by an overwhelming landslide. Despite Boaty McBoatface capturing almost a third of the vote, NERC was less than enthused with the choice, and ended up naming the ship “Sir David Attenborough,” after the celebrated British nature presenter. British officials, however, did deign to name an onboard submarine with the winning submission. “Danny Steel [another friend from yeshiva] was inspired by [the] Boaty McBoatface story, and he said, ‘Can you ask Hatzalah if we can give the bike an actual name?’” Casper said. “Yoni was a huge jokester, one of the funniest guys I knew… This was a great shtick very much up Yoni’s alley.” United Hatzalah was more flexible than the British NERC, and the name was approved.
🇺🇸🇸🇦 Common Goal: The Wall Street Journal’s Dion Nissenbaum, Stephen Kalin and Nancy Youssef look at how tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have eased in recent months, as the two countries work together to counter Iran. “The emerging Saudi-U.S. thaw comes as the Biden administration looks to reshape the U.S. military presence in the Middle East by stitching together a security umbrella stretching from Israel through the Persian Gulf. Concerns about Iran have grown since Russia began using Iranian-made drones to attack Ukraine, with the White House warning that the two American adversaries are developing a full-scale military partnership. The Saudi and U.S. officials caution that the relationship remains shaky and could rupture again. Prince Mohammed has charted a more independent foreign policy, and good relations with U.S. rivals like China and Russia are strategically important to Riyadh. At the same time, the Biden administration remains intent on focusing its firepower on Russia and China, and not the Middle East.” [WSJ]
⛰️ Escape Route: In Smithsonian Magazine, Rebecca Frankel treks through the Alps on a path undertaken by thousands of Jewish refugees with the assistance of the Bricha, an underground movement that helped survivors leave post-WWII Europe for Mandatory Palestine. “Three times a week, the Bricha loaded 80 to 250 refugees into four trucks. It wasn’t safe to board until dark, which fell around 10 p.m. at the height of summer. Around 2 a.m., the guides would lead their charges by foot beyond a series of waterfalls through the valley. Five or six hours later, with the sun rising, they’d reach the Krimmler Tauernhaus, an inn and restaurant that had been in business since the 1300s. The inn’s owner, Liesl Geisler-Scharfetter, later wrote about the refugees who sought rest on her lawns and in her laundry room. ‘There were poor people who didn’t even have a rucksack; there were small children who were carried in wooden crates on people’s backs, and the house was often full. During the night I cooked flour mixed with water for the poor children.’” [SmithsonianMag]
🗳️ Free For All: In New York magazine, Ben Jacobs details the scene on Capitol Hill, as legislators-elect wait in limbo to be sworn in, absent a House speaker. “The United States House of Representatives is currently not governed by anybody or by any set of rules. No one has been sworn in because there is no Speaker, and therefore everyone on the floor is still a member-elect. There is technically still no Congress at all and therefore no rules for it to obey. In the interim, members can do what they want. They can commit minor acts of rebellion like wearing hats on the floor or even accusing their colleagues of drinking inside the legislative chamber, like Florida Republican representative Kat Cammack did when giving yet another nominating speech for McCarthy on Wednesday. Her claim that Democrats were enjoying popcorn and booze while watching the Republican infighting brought outraged howls that she had uttered unparliamentary language and that her ‘words be taken down’ for violating congressional decorum. After all, it is against the rules for members to cast ‘personal aspersions’ against one another on the floor. But nothing happened. If there is no Congress, how could there be congressional decorum?” [NYMag]
🙏 Power of Prayer: The Wall Street Journal‘s Barton Swaim spotlights the prominence of prayer following the on-field cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin. “Suddenly prayer — the ancient activity of speaking to God in the belief that he can hear and respond — was everywhere. Top-level coaches and players, former and present, posted appeals to ‘Pray for Damar.’ The NFL on Monday night issued a statement advising only that its ‘thoughts’ were with Mr. Hamlin and his family. A day later the league changed its social-media avatar, together with those of all 32 professional teams, to an image of Mr. Hamlin’s No. 3 Bills jersey bearing the words ‘Pray for Damar.’ Former quarterback Dan Orlovsky, discussing the game with two panelists on ESPN, did the until-now unthinkable: He bowed his head and actually prayed—with two other commentators, reporter Laura Rutledge and former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears, bowing their heads in reverential accord. The prayer concluded, each said ‘Amen,’ and you felt they meant it.” [WSJ]
🇮🇱 Identity Crisis: In the Times of Israel, Yossi Klein Halevi considers the rightward shift the country has taken following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to power, and what it means for the future of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. “And so, along with defending our democratic institutions from assault, we must challenge the Netanyahu coalition on its own agenda: protecting the nation’s Jewish identity. This election exposed two opposing visions of a Jewish state. For the ultra-Orthodox and the ultra-nationalists, Israel is the state of Judaism – Orthodox Judaism. For classical Zionism, though, Israel was intended to be the state of the Jewish people, without imposing a uniform notion of ‘authentic’ Jewish identity. The difference is crucial. A state of Judaism is bound by pre-modern norms defining membership in the Jewish people and upholds traditional standards for whom we as a people should be. The state of the Jewish people, on the other hand, accepts the Jews as they are.” [TOI]
Around the Web
🛫 Travel Plans: Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, will travel to Germany and Poland later this month in a trip that coincides with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27.
👂 Heard Yesterday: President Joe Biden addressed migration and the influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying, “Well, I think it is a human right if your family is being persecuted. I thought it was a human right for Jews in Germany to be able to escape.”
💲Candy Crush: Michael Rubin’s sports platform company Fanatics is selling its 60% stake in NFT company Candy Digital, according to CNBC.
☎️ Investor Talks: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is in talks with Thrive Capital and Founders Fund to sell existing shares, in a deal that would roughly double the company’s valuation to $29 billion.
⛹️♂️ Roaring Ahead: Aryeh Bourkoff’s LionTree is leading a group taking a majority stake in Transmit.Live, which helps advertisers promote their products on streaming services that carry sports programming.
📽️ New Release: Netflix released the trailer for “You People,” an upcoming comedy starring Jonah Hill and Lauren London as a mixed-faith, mixed-race couple navigating each other’s families.
✋ Roth’s Rejection:The Nation looks at the recent decision by the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School to opt against giving a fellowship to former Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth, citing “anti-Israel bias.”
🇹🇷 Spell Check: The State Department will use the spelling “Türkiye” going forward, at the request of the Turkish Embassy in Washington.
🕎 Buried Treasure: Construction workers in Łódź, Poland, discovered hundreds of pieces of Judaica hidden at the onset of WWII.
🥄 Stolen Relic: A looted ceramic spoon from an archeological site near Hebron that had been in the collection of Michael Steinhardt was repatriated to the Palestinian Authority.
⚖️ Prisoner Release: Israel released Karim Younis, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner, who was jailed 40 years ago for kidnapping and murdering an Israeli soldier.
🇮🇷 Faces to Names: The New York Times spotlights the 13 individuals sentenced to death by Iran for taking part in the anti-regime protests that have swept the country in recent months.
📚 Back to School: The United Arab Emirates will include Holucastion education in its primary and secondary schools.
➡️ Transitions: Mitchel Aeder was elected to serve as the Orthodox Union’s next president, succeeding Mark (Moishe) Bane. Gil Thompson, former a legislative assistant to Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) is joining Rep. Brad Schneider’s (D-IL) office as a senior foreign policy advisor.
🕯️ Remembering: Photographer Henry Grossman, whose subjects included the Beatles, Eleanor Roosevelt and Leonard Bernstein, died at 86.
Wine of the Week
JI’s wine columnist Yitz Applbaum reviews the Shiran Sémillon 2020:
“I was in Gush Etzion this past Friday morning with Shlomo, a dear friend, and Eli Shiran, the winemaker of a promising new winery. It was heavenly. Eli is a grape-blending magician, often mixing grapes that do not typically work together. In the coming weeks, I plan to review several of his wines. The first is not a blend, but rather his 2020 Sémillon, a single-variety roller coaster of tastes and sensations. The Shiran Semillon opens with a creamy freshness that segues into a peach tart explosion. The peach flavor bleeds into your mid-palate and after a bit of daydreaming, the pink grapefruit sweetness brightens the rest of the sip. This wine should be enjoyed at a frosty cold temperature and then again at room temperature for two very different experiences. Drink this wine alongside a large butter croissant. This bottle should last at least three years in your cellar.”
Retired president of the University of South Florida System, Judy Genshaft turns 75 on Saturday…
FRIDAY: Retired EVP and senior counsel of the Trump Organization, former advisor on “The Apprentice,” George H. Ross turns 95… Professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Chicago since 1957, member of the Board of Governors at Tel Aviv University, Stuart A. Rice turns 91… Canadian businessman, author and philanthropist, Seymour Schulich turns 83… Philanthropist and co-founder of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Henry R. Kravis turns 79… Chairman, president and CEO of Phibro Animal Health Corporation, Jack C. Bendheim turns 76… Yiddish-language author, journalist, playwright and lyricist, Boris Sandler turns 73… Attorney general of Oregon, Ellen Rosenblum turns 72… Interim provost and dean at Tennessee State University, he retired as a major in the IDF, Michael Harris turns 67… Retired television executive and political commentator, Mark E. Hyman turns 65… Former president and editor in chief of Rewire, Jodi Lynn Jacobson… Member of the Ukrainian Parliament and president of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Oleksandr Feldman turns 63… Daniel G. Slatopolsky… Founder of Pure California Beverages, Sarah Beth Rena Conner… Member of the Knesset for the Religious Zionist Party, Michal Miriam Waldiger turns 54… Actor, painter and fashion designer, a nephew of Ralph Lauren, Greg Lauren turns 53… Author of 12 spy fiction novels and four non-fiction books, Alex Berenson turns 50… President and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, Mat Ishbia turns 43… Founder and CEO at GTTFP Holdings and Jewish dating sites, Harei At and Jedding, Eli Ostreicher turns 39… Investigative reporter at WCCO/CBS in Minneapolis, both his parents are rabbis, Jonah P. Kaplan… Director of community engagement at CAMERA, Aviva Slomich Rosenschein… Philanthropic advisor at the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond, Sarah Arenstein Levy… One of the youngest to ever sign a Major League Soccer contract at age 15, he is now a senior associate at Acacia Research, Zachary “Zach” Pfeffer turns 28… Head of business development at Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Anna Phillips… Rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Aiden Pink…
SATURDAY: U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, Judge Paul D. Borman turns 84… Pulitzer Prize-winning sports reporter, columnist and writer, Ira Berkow turns 83… Co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine and co-founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jann Wenner turns 77… Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, Bruce Robert Dorfman… Former Israeli minister of Jerusalem affairs and former chief rabbi of the IDF, Rafael “Rafi” Peretz turns 67… Former co-anchor of the “Today Show” on NBC for 15 years before going to CBS and becoming the first woman anchor of a nightly news broadcast, Katie Couric turns 66… Former CEO of Glencore, Ivan Glasenberg turns 66… Dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon and real estate developer, Dr. Ezra Kest… Documentary filmmaker, Roberta Grossman turns 64… Heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, Anthony Pritzker turns 62… U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) turns 62… U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) turns 60… Managing director and senior relationship manager at Bank of America, Zoya Raynes… Television and film actress and model, Lauren Cohan turns 41… Executive director of Keep Our Republic and author of Paths of the Righteous, Ari Mittleman… Concord, N.H.-based public affairs consultant, Holly Shulman… Assistant director at Hillel of Stanford University, Jeremy Ragent… Music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Lahav Shani turns 34… Drummer and founding member of The Groggers, a pop punk band from Queens, Nechemia “Chemy” Soibelman turns 32… Reporter on Haredi and Knesset affairs for Walla News, Yaki Adamker… Author of four books and host of the history podcast “Noble Blood,” Dana Schwartz turns 30… National chair of Israel Policy Forum Atid and senior account executive at Vizio, Jonathan Kamel… Baseball pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, the first Israeli player ever drafted by an MLB team, his great-uncle is Haim Saban, Dean Kremer turns 27…
SUNDAY: Sociologist at the American Enterprise Institute, Charles Murray turns 80… Senior U.S. district judge for the Southern District of Florida, now on inactive status, Alan Stephen Gold turns 79… Classical pianist, Vladimir Feltsman turns 71… Founder and chief investment officer of Pzena Investment Management, Richard “Rich” Pzena turns 64… Deputy director general for Asia and the Pacific at Israel’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Rafael Harpaz turns 61… Co-founder and co-owner of Pizza Shuttle in Milwaukee, Mark Gold… Violinist and composer best known for her Klezmer music, Alicia Svigals turns 60… VP of wealth services at GCG Financial in Deerfield, IL, he was an NFL tight end for the Bears and Vikings, Brent Novoselsky turns 57… Founder and president of D.C.-based Professionals in the City, Michael Karlan turns 55… Attorney, patron of contemporary art, founder and CEO of lobbying firm Invariant, Heather Miller Podesta turns 53… Former state senator in Maine, Justin Loring Alfond turns 48… Singer-songwriter, musician, and actress, she was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the indie rock band Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis turns 47… Public policy program manager for Meta / Facebook, Avra Siegel… Creative director at Nashville-based Asurion, Ross M. Schneiderman… Actor, screenwriter and director, Sam Levinson turns 38…