👋 Good Monday morning!
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we talk to Sen. Jim Risch about Turkey and NATO, and have the exclusive details on a new push by a group of international lawmakers to force social media companies to address antisemitism. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Shelley Greenspan, Jason Greenblatt and Menachem Rosensaft.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York held its annual congressional breakfast on Sunday in Midtown Manhattan, where more than half a dozen House members — and one high-ranking Jewish senator — delivered remarks on countering antisemitism and upholding support for Israel, even as they drew some subtle contrasts while addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new governing coalition.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), one of two Jewish House members from New York, kicked off the event with a word of caution, voicing concern over the Israeli government’s proposal to overhaul the judicial system, among other policies. The U.S.-Israel alliance “will be endangered if democratic principles are not adhered to,” Nadler argued, echoing sentiments he expressed in a recent opinion piece for Haaretz. “We should continue to engage at all levels and continue to make clear that democracy here in the United States and Israel is something that we will fight for,” the congressman reiterated on Sunday.
The newly minted House minority leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), struck a relatively even-handed note while at the lectern. “It’s important to recognize Israel as a place that is and always shall be a Jewish and democratic state,” Jeffries told a packed room at the UJA-Federation of New York headquarters, insisting that New York’s “congressional delegation will remain committed on the Democratic side” to supporting continued U.S. security assistance to Israel. “We will never waver from it.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the former chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, vowed “to work with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s new government to jointly address our shared challenges, including the threat from Iran,” adding that he “will continue to work to have a two-state solution and oppose policies that make us less likely to achieve that goal or that endanger our mutual interests and values.”
Freshman Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), a Republican whose Hudson Valley district includes a sizable population of Orthodox Jewish voters, said “there is broad bipartisan support” for Israel in the House, while pledging to “confront” a recent uptick in antisemitism “on social media,” “in town hall meetings” and “even on the floor of Congress.”
Last month, Lawler, a former state assemblyman, was among several Republican House members from New York to call for the resignation of Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who was banned from attending the JCRC-NY breakfast following revelations that he had fabricated most of his biography, including claims to Jewish heritage.
During his speech, Lawler gave a brief shoutout to state Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, who was in attendance, describing the Queens Democrat as a potential “future colleague depending on what happens in” New York’s 3rd Congressional District, where Santos currently serves. While Rosenthal’s name has been included on an emerging list of possible candidates to replace Santos, the state lawmaker has so far declined to comment on his future plans.
The other House members at the JCRC breakfast were Democratic Reps. Adriano Espaillat, Yvette Clarke and Grace Meng, the latter of whom in the coming months will lead a JCRC-sponsored “study tour” to Israel with “elected officials and community leaders in Queens,” Jay Hershenson, a JCRC-NY board member, announced while introducing the congresswoman.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who spoke for nearly 20 minutes, called antisemitism a “poison” that is “growing” in the U.S., while casting particular blame on “celebrities and athletes with big platforms” for amplifying such bigotry. “I can’t root for the Nets anymore as long as Kyrie is on the Nets,” he admitted, referring to Kyrie Irving, the NBA player who belatedly apologized after he was widely condemned for sharing a link to an antisemitic film last year. Soon after the event, however, several news outlets reported that the Nets are now trading Irving, an all-star point guard, to the Dallas Mavericks.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in southern Turkey killed more than 1,200 people overnight and could be felt as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he had “instructed all authorities to make immediate preparations to provide medical, and search and rescue assistance” and that the government was readying a delegation to dispatch to Turkey.
A second earthquake, this one registering at a 7.5, occurred in the early afternoon local time.
International lawmakers push social media platforms for changes on antisemitism policies
Members of the International Interparliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism wrote to officials at major social media companies on Monday morning asking them to agree to a raft of commitments and policy changes aimed at combating antisemitism on their sites, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod has learned.
Letter writing: The letters, from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Canadian Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather and former Member of the Israeli Knesset Michal Cotler-Wunsh, who lead the group, are addressed to officials at Twitter, Youtube, Meta and Tik Tok. The letters, which come several months after a tense hearing on the issue on Capitol Hill, press social media leaders to answer questions that remained unaddressed at the hearing and urged them to make specific policy changes in combating antisemitism.
Digging deeper: The legislators specifically press the executives on how their platforms address antisemitism that may be masked as criticism of Israel, as well as the use of “Zionists” as a euphemism for Jewish people writ large. The lawmakers asked if the companies will include “Zionism as a protected characteristic/identity” and “commit to a specific, consistent policy for removing content and users who deny the Holocaust or call for violence against Jews, Israelis, or Zionists.” They further ask the executives how they will address antisemitism by government officials and how their companies will change their algorithms to stop serving antisemitic content to users.
Policy changes: The lawmakers also ask the platform executives to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, publicly share data on antisemitism as well as cooperate with the task force — potentially including independent audits, train content moderators specifically on antisemitism and “revisit the difference between legitimate criticisms of Israel and the demonization of the world’s only Jewish state.” The letters ask the companies to answer the task force’s questions and commit in writing to following its recommendations by March 15.
Twitter trouble: The letters convey similar language, with the exception of the one to Twitter, which experienced major turnover in leadership and staffing shortly after last year’s hearing. “We are disappointed that Ms. Austin was dismissed from her position as Director of U.S. and Canada Public Policy, as well as the purge of policy, public affairs, and content moderation teams at Twitter,” a unique passage in the Twitter letter reads, referring to Twitter’s former director of U.S. and Canada public policy, Michele Austin, who testified to the task force last year. “It is our strong belief that Twitter must continue to prioritize its efforts to combat hateful speech, disinformation, and incitement of violence, regardless of who owns the platform.”
Turkey risks ‘serious consequences’ if it blocks Sweden, Finland NATO accession, Risch warns
Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) warned of “serious consequences” for Turkey if it continues to obstruct Sweden and Finland’s bids to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in an interview with Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod at his Capitol Hill office late last week.
Red flag: “Turkey is a recalcitrant partner right now, and that’s the kindest thing I can say about that. We’ve got difficulties there,” Risch, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told JI. “We have a club of 32 countries, 30 of those strongly and adamantly want to add Sweden and Finland,” he continued. “There is every reason in the world to do it. They will be great partners, they will be better partners than some who are already there and some who are even fighting it — and that’s a pretty small club of two.”
Pressure’s on: Risch said he has discussed the issue with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said he thinks that Sweden and Finland will ultimately be admitted, but warned “there’s going to be serious consequences” if they are not. “When you have as much unanimity amongst the group as there is, really, if you want to belong to the club, you need to try to do what the club wants to do,” he said.
Warning lights: Risch also discussed the current violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories. “We’ve hit kind of a perfect storm that’s the result of internal politics on both sides, and that is very, very difficult to control,” he said. Risch said that the fact that all sides involved recognize the volatility “gives us at least a one-up when we’re looking at it now instead of six months after the fact.” Risch alluded to some plans — including one discussed by Jordan’s King Abdullah II with Risch and others on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week — that are being floated to reduce the temperature in the region, but said he couldn’t elaborate further.
Positive note: On a more hopeful note, Risch said that he and his colleagues “meet regularly” with officials from countries that are “natural additions” to the Abraham Accords, and “and that’s one of the things that’s right at the top of the agenda that we do discuss with them.” The Idaho senator said that discussions show that the leaders themselves are eager to sign on to the Accords, but that “internal political issues” are an obstacle to their joining.
A sentimental stop in Krakow for White House Jewish liaison
Before Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff traveled to Poland last month, he turned to genealogy experts to research his family history, ultimately tracing his great-grandmother to Gorlice, a small town two hours from Krakow. On his visit to the town, he hopped out of the motorcade to take a photo of the house in which he believed she once lived. Shelley Greenspan, the White House liaison to the Jewish community, accompanied Emhoff to Europe, and she had a similar personal experience in Krakow, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports. With the help of the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation and a Warsaw-based genealogist, Greenspan found an address for the apartment where her grandmother, Esther, grew up — and went to visit.
Door knocker: Enlisting a local Polish-speaking guide, Greenspan met the apartment building’s owner and knocked on the doors, curious to see who was home and what they could share about their lives. One family, the only Orthodox Jews in the building, invited her in, and asked Greenspan to stay for Shabbat. (She declined; Greenspan and Emhoff already had Shabbat dinner plans with local Jewish leaders.)
Picture it: “I was able to truly envision what my Bubbie’s apartment would have actually looked like back then: a traditional Jewish home,” Greenspan told JI on Sunday. Esther was sent to a forced labor camp in Siberia, but she survived, eventually meeting her future husband at a Displaced Persons camp in Germany after the end of World War II. They lived in Israel for a time before coming to the United States. She was 91 when she died in Aventura, Fla.
Sad reminders: “Seeing the traces of the mezuzah that was once affixed on her doorpost was a sobering reminder of the Jewish family, my own family, that once lived there and was forced out,” Greenspan said. Her grandmother’s mother, sister and brother were all killed in the Holocaust. “And yet, standing there I was filled with so much pride, both as a Jew and as a representative of the U.S. government.”
off the shelves
Missing pieces to cultural puzzles appear in UAE-Israel library ties
Nearly 120 years ago, Hermann Burchardt, a German Jewish explorer, was traveling in the Middle East, talking to Arab leaders and taking photographs. Among the iconic pictures was what is thought to be the first image of the founding father of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, known as Zayed the First. Although the pictures Burchardt took in Abu Dhabi became famous in the region and reproduced many times, his personal impressions of the people and places he photographed remained a mystery. He and his fellow travelers were murdered in Yemen in 1909 and his journals were assumed to have been lost. Eventually, Burchardt’s missing diary — and hundreds of pages of correspondence, notes and official documents, together with numerous photos — all found their way to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. It was this material that delighted Hamad Al-Mutairi, director of the Archives Department of the Emirates National Library and Archives (NLA), based in Abu Dhabi, when he and other colleagues visited Israel last summer. For Al-Mutairi, seeing the Burchardt collection filled in the blanks for his researchers. “We were able to see details about the kind of food he ate, and the type of traditional hospitality given to him at that time as a traveler in the region,” Al-Mutairi told Jenni Frazer for The Circuit.
Painting a picture: The Burchardt material is essential to drawing a fuller picture of the first years of the individual emirates that now make up the UAE. The Israelis have provided Abu Dhabi with digital copies of Burchardt’s diary and the accompanying papers, which will become part of the NLA collection. “We didn’t stop there,” said Al-Mutairi. “We’re now trying to find the right time to put together some sort of exhibition about Burchardt, charting his journeys across the region. It might be online or it might be physical.” The formal agreement between the two libraries will ensure that the material will marry the holdings that each has; and in the meantime, experts from the two institutions will work together to enrich and expand background information and metadata related to the archive’s contents, including translations, greatly increasing its value to scholars across the globe as a rare reflection of Gulf history.
Language barrier: For Al-Mutairi, the opportunity to work with the Jerusalem team on this oral history project allowed the Abu Dhabi library to demonstrate what it had learned about oral history. The Emiratis realized, he said, that the Jerusalem transcribers were dealing “with Arabic, but in a different dialect than we use in this region.” They sat with their Jerusalem counterparts and told them how they dealt with oral history: “There are some requirements to be identified. For example, the speaker or the storyteller, the location of the interview, some keywords which might be useful later on for the retrieval of the information. And the last part is how to publish the material.”
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🧔 Salman Speaks: The New Yorker‘s David Remnick interviews author Salman Rushdie, who survived an assassination attempt last year. “For Rushdie, keeping a low profile would be capitulation. He was a social being and would live as he pleased. He even tried to render the fatwa ridiculous. Six years ago, he played himself in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in which Larry David provokes threats from Iran for mocking the Ayatollah while promoting his upcoming production “Fatwa! The Musical.” David is terrified, but Rushdie’s character assures him that life under an edict of execution, though it can be ‘scary,’ also makes a man alluring to women. ‘It’s not exactly you, it’s the fatwa wrapped around you, like sexy pixie dust!’ he says. With every public gesture, it appeared, Rushdie was determined to show that he would not merely survive but flourish, at his desk and on the town.” [NewYorker]
🎶 DJ Downside: The New York Times’ Emily Flitter and Katherine Rosman look at the potential conflicts of interest between Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon’s day job and his hobby as a DJ. “But Mr. Solomon’s hobby occasionally brushes up against his day job in ways that could pose potential conflicts of interest, according to interviews with securities law experts and four people who have worked with Mr. Solomon who were not authorized to speak publicly… Mr. Solomon has told senior Goldman executives that he donates any profits he makes as a D.J. to charity. But Goldman employees have sometimes helped him manage his D.J. schedule and his donations, three people who have worked with him said. Through Goldman’s work in the music business, he has also made at least one industry connection that helped him pursue his hobby, raising questions about whether his opportunities have come about because of his talent or his position as the leader of Wall Street’s most elite investment bank. ‘The question is: What is best for Goldman Sachs?,’ said Jonathan Macey, a professor of corporate and securities law at Yale Law School. ‘Does Goldman Sachs deserve this guy’s undivided attention?’” [NYTimes]
👨 Mr. Mayor?: Politico‘s Christopher Cadelago explores the role that DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg plays in Los Angeles politics, including his recent backing of Mayor Karen Bass, who beat Rick Caruso in November. “His support for Bass and other local candidates has prompted a question among the political class in L.A. — and as far away as Washington, D.C.: Is he positioning himself to become a shadow mayor of the city Katzenberg’s confidantes insist he has no interest in meddling in day-to-day affairs at City Hall. Indeed, he is already in talks to again help raise money for President Joe Biden’s anticipated 2024 reelection campaign. But Katzenberg has made clear to Bass and those in her orbit that he’s there to help her, whether by pitching in on homelessness initiatives or placing calls to state and federal officials to clear bureaucratic red tape.” [Politico]
🌎 A World Apart: In the Arab News, former White House Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt compares his experiences celebrating Shabbat in Qatar and Saudi Arabia with recent anti-Israel demonstrations taking place at the same time in the U.S. “My experience in these Arab nations stands in sharp contrast to what happened here in the US while we were away. Protesters at New York City’s Grand Central Station vociferously opposed Israel’s right to exist. Even more vile individuals at the University of Michigan called for the murder of Jews, just as Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. And yet, in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Muslims I met could not have been kinder or more respectful of my faith. In all fairness, if they had known my positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, some might have been a little cooler toward me. I fully recognize that. Yet, that would have been a reaction to my political views, not a commentary on my religious beliefs. And I would be prepared to engage them in respectful dialogue. I have been involved in countless conversations like that with Arabs throughout the region. Those conversations may be difficult and challenging, but always respectful.” [ArabNews]
📰 The Universalization Trap: In Newsweek, the World Jewish Congress’ Menachem Rosensaft criticizes the recent op-ed that ran in the Louisville Courier Journal that stated that Jewish people “do not have a monopoly on persecution and atrocities.” “I wonder how the readers of the Courier Journal would react to a suggestion that the Fourth of July should not just be about American independence but should be universalized to celebrate the freedom of nations worldwide. No more American flags, no more parades honoring U.S. war veterans, no more hot dogs. Talk about non-starters. Which is not to say that we should not join the French in celebrating Bastille Day on July 14, or the State of Israel in annually recalling its Declaration of Independence on May 14,1948. Each country, each people, deserves to have its own celebrations, and they all similarly have the absolute right to commemorate their own tragedies.” [Newsweek]
💻 The Good Word: In the Wall Street Journal, Noam Neusner considers how ChatGPT could affect the future of the written word. “A robot might even manage to summarize important historical events without taking potshots at contemporary political figures. (That is, of course, if ChatGPT manages to fix its left-leaning tilt.) Those would all be welcome improvements. What about the writers who remain? They’ll be able to elevate their craft to higher purposes — or at the very least create something truly original. Consider how portrait artists responded to the invention of photography. The best ones excelled in impressionism, cubism and other movements of modern art. Art didn’t disappear, it simply shifted its gaze. Whether you want them or not, the robot-writers are coming. Soon we will be able to generate solid writing as easily as we use internet search engines. We’ll get practical results that work for practical purposes. But when something new or weighty needs to be shared, we will turn to human writers who have the gift of conveying the unexpressed thought in words that are original and artful.” [WSJ]
Around the Web
📜 On the Hill: After weeks of delays, Senate Democrats and Republicans released their committee rosters for the new Congress, JI’s Marc Rod reports, setting the upper chamber on the path toward beginning legislative business for the year.
🛰️ Drone Maker Sanctions: The Treasury Department announced sanctions on the board of directors of Paravar Pars, an Iranian drone manufacturer.
👨 Santos Scandal: A prospective staffer who was awaiting the completion of paperwork to join the office of Rep. George Santos (R-NY) alleged that the congressman sexually harassed him and forced him to work for free in violation of House ethics rules.
✍️ Sanctions Saga: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) called the Biden administration’s decision to waive sanctions on Iran “deeply troubling.”
🤝 When Kevin Met Jeff: The New York Times’ Kenneth Vogel spotlights the relationship between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and lobbyist Jeff Miller, who was integral in McCarthy’s ascension to the speakership.
👋 Leaving the House: Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who had been considering mounting a run for the state’s open Senate seat, announced that she plans to retire from Congress at the end of 2024.
🗳️ Maryland Scramble: Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and David Trone (D-MD) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks are reportedly considering running for the Senate seat held by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), should the 79-year-old senator choose to retire at the end of his term.
⚖️ Raleigh Rules: The North Carolina Supreme Court, now controlled by Republicans, agreed to rehear Moore v. Harper, a case involving controversy over the state’s congressional map, which was redrawn after being struck down by a Democrat-held state court last year, potentially rendering moot an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on the case.
💼 Head Honcho: The Carlyle Group is tapping Harvey Schwartz, who until 2018 was the co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, as the company’s chief executive, replacing Kewsong Lee, who departed Carlyle last year.
🏦 Family Matters: The Rothschild family is in talks to purchase the shares of Rothschild & Co not currently in its possession in a move toward private ownership.
🏢 Business Strategy: In an interview with “PBS Newshour,” IAC Chairman Barry Diller criticized “woke capitalism” and suggested that companies should not take stances on political or social issues.
👒 Got Your Back:The Cut spotlights Ella Emhoff’s ever-present Secret Service detail, which accompanies the model, designer and stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris, to fashion shows and social events.
📗 Famous Father:The New York Timesinterviews writer Priscilla Gilman about her new memoir that shines a light on her relationship with her father, drama critic and academic Richard Gilman.
💰 Payout: A former magistrate in Ohio was awarded $1.1 million in a lawsuit filed against her former employer, whom she said fired her after she requested time off for Jewish holidays.
🎵 Bad Tune: The New York Times looks at how music label BMG quietly signed — and ultimately canceled — its contract with a French rapper known for his antisemitic lyrics.
🏡 Hate Mail: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp condemned antisemitic flyers that were distributed in the heavily Jewish Atlanta neighborhoods of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody.
💻 Tech Talk: The Circuitinterviewed Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Vardi about the future of venture capital and AI.
🪑 New Chief: Ronen Levi begins work as the new director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
🚂 Full Steam Ahead: Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin said that the government’s plans to move forward on proposed judicial reforms would not be halted “for even a minute.”
💥 Firefight: Five Palestinians were killed in a firefight with Israeli troops attempting to arrest gunmen accused plotting an attack at a nearby restaurant.
🇺🇦 View from Kiev: Ukraine requested that Israel publicly condemn Russia and make a $500 million loan to Kyiv, Axios’ Barak Ravid reported. Meanwhile, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett revealed that in the early days of the war, he exacted a commitment from Russian President Vladimir Putin not to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
🚀 Rocket Power: Russia and Iran are progressing with plans to build a factory in Russia with the capability to produce 6,000 Iranian-designed drones.
⚽ Pitch Imperfect: The head of the Palestinian Football Association apologized for not casting a ballot for Saudi Arabia to host the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, citing “a technical issue” that kept the Palestinian representative from voting.
🧑🎤 The Beat Goes On: Iranian pop singer Shervin Hajipour won a special merit Grammy for his song “Baraye,” which has become the anthem of the country’s anti-regime protesters.
🐦 Iran backs Omar: The spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry tweeted criticism of the U.S House of Representatives for removing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
💻 Iran Hack: Microsoft said that Iran was behind the recent hack of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s subscriber database.
➡️ Transitions: Jay Solomon is joiningSemafor as global security editor. The Anti-Defamation League hired Lauren Wolman, formerly a staffer for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) as its director of government relations for extremist, and Joel Cohen, who was previously in Rep. Dina Titus’ (D-NV) office, as director of government relations for tech policy.
🕯️ Remembering: Former Pakistani President Perves Musharraf, who a decade ago mulled normalizing relations with Israel, died in exile at 79. Artist Fred Terna, whose paintings captured the trauma he experienced in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, died at 99. Holocaust survivor Solomon Perel, whose story of posing as a Hitler Youth to deceive the Nazi was immortalized in the film “Europa, Europa,” died at 97. Gil Troy pens a tribute to former AIPAC President Robert Asher, who died at 94.
Pic of the Day
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, alongside Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter, planted an olive tree this morning, on Tu B’Shevat, in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Neve Yaakov near the site of a recent deadly terror attack. Families of the victims, alongside police, medics and paramedics who were at the scene of the attack, attended the event.
Israeli-French singer-songwriter whose hit single “New Soul” was used by Apple in a 2008 advertising campaign for its MacBook Air, Yael Naim turns 45…
Israeli pediatric endocrinologist, winner of the 2009 Israel Prize, in 1966 he described the type of dwarfism later called Laron syndrome in his name, Dr. Zvi Laron turns 96… Advertising entrepreneur, part owner of MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks and the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, William Levine turns 91… Member of the New Jersey Senate for 17 years including 10 years as Senate majority leader, Loretta Weinberg turns 88… Rosalyn Kaplan… Cantor of Congregation Hugat Haverim in Glendale, Calif., Harvey Lee Block… Longtime syndicated columnist for the Washington Post for 43 years, Richard Martin Cohen turns 82… Louisiana commissioner of administration after previously serving as lieutenant governor of Louisiana, Jay Dardenne turns 69… Professor concurrently at both Harvard and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Michael Pollan turns 68… Chair of the Board of UJA-Federation of New York and a part owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, David Lewis Moore… Los Angeles attorney specializing in criminal and civil appeals, Paul Kujawsky… Former longtime foreign correspondent for NPR in many capitals including Jerusalem, author of the NYT-bestseller The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner turns 60… Special events producer at Ballas Bloom Consulting, Jacquelyn Ballas Bloom… Television and film actress, writer and producer, Naomi Grossman turns 48… Rabbi and author of eight books, Danya Ruttenberg turns 48… Professor at MIT, she is the co-trustee of the Pershing Square Foundation, Neri Oxman turns 47… Equestrian show jumper who competes for Israel, Danielle “Dani” Goldstein-Waldman turns 38… AIPAC’s Mid-Atlantic regional political director, Stephen Knable… Investigative journalist Steven I. Weiss… Deputy division director, public diplomacy and international relations at the Israeli Ministry of Health, Adam Cutler… Member of the Australian parliament, Joshua Solomon Burns turns 36… MBA candidate at Columbia Business School, Yadin Koschitzky…