👋 Good Friday morning!
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we talk to Republican donors about former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, interview Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Jacob Steinmetz about being the first practicing Orthodox Jewish baseball player drafted into the MLB and feature an exclusive interview with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema about her views on the situation in Israel and in the broader Middle East. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Judy Blume, Sam Altman and Brandon Uranowitz.
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 Jewish Insider and eJewishPhilanthropy stories, including: Utah Sen. Mike Lee breaks with his party on foreign policy; Mark Robinson’s run for N.C. governor to test GOP in battleground state; How Montana Tucker’s TikTok series on antisemitism made it to the White House; Establishment Republican donors reckoning with Trump’s staying power; In ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,’ a fictional crisis of faith at a real-life synagogue; Kyrsten Sinema’s consistency on reform — in the U.S. and in Israel; In Jerusalem, DeSantis teases presidential announcement; In electability pitch, Nikki Haley tests out ‘consensus’ line on abortion; and Herzog unveils new dialogue initiative, ‘Voice of the People,’ at JFNA General Assembly.Print the latest edition here.
One ironclad rule of politics in the Trump era: The preferences of GOP donors and voters are increasingly at odds with each other, JI Editor in Chief Josh Kraushaar reports.
Matthew Kassel’s deeply reported article surveying nearly a dozen top Republican donors, all critical of former President Donald Trump, underscores this growing chasm. Most are gradually recognizing that Trump is a heavy favorite to once again emerge as the Republican nominee. Some are declining to vote for him again, though others are proving that partisanship still is a powerful force.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is in the middle of his overseas trip, stopping in Israel yesterday to burnish both his foreign policy credentials and hobnob with backers. DeSantis dined with GOP mega-donor Miriam Adelson, a top backer of Trump in 2020. Adelson has pledged neutrality in the 2024 primary contest.
But if DeSantis’ international travel was designed to shore up his foreign policy credibility, he’s fallen somewhat short of expectations. His comments calling for a Russia-Ukraine “cease-fire” are bound to unnerve GOP hawks, and in Israel he followed in Trump’s footsteps, embracing the former president’s record of support for the Jewish state.
Indeed, Republican voters who approved of Trump’s policies are returning to the former president’s fold. DeSantis will need more than donations to his campaign (and super PAC) coffers — and a timely foreign trip before an expected presidential announcement — to turn his fortunes around.
Back in Washington, the Anti-Defamation League’s three-day National Leadership Summit kicks off on Sunday. White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last shah of Iran, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt are among those scheduled to address the event.
The event will feature panels regarding the Abraham Accords, Israel’s 75th anniversary, online antisemitism, Iran, American democracy, hate and extremism and antisemitism on campus.
And the White House Correspondents’ Associations Dinner will take place tomorrow night at the Washington Hilton. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are both expected to attend the dinner, which is being headlined this year by “The Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. Among those in attendance will be Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Paramount Global chair Shari Redstone, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and several JI reporters. The parents of detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich are also expected to attend.
Demand for entry into the sold-out dinner, WHCA President Tamara Keith said, is “painfully high,” with attendees “climbing over each other to get there,” owing in part to Biden’s attendance — Trump notably shunned the annual event during his presidency, and concerns about COVID-19 have kept attendee numbers lower in recent years. “Without a president, there was less demand, as I understand it,” Keith told The Hill. “But we’re definitely back.”
Kyrsten Sinema’s consistency on reform — in the U.S. and in Israel
In an exclusive interview with Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch on Thursday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) cautioned that a proposal to weaken Israel’s Supreme Court would be “a complete breakdown of separation of powers” but added that she backs some judicial reform in the Jewish state.
Democratic values: “Most of us who believe in democracy would be concerned about a proposal that would allow the Knesset to overturn the Supreme Court,” Sinema said in an interview in her Senate hideaway, a small windowless room with brightly colored modern furniture that matches her predilection for eye-catching outfits.
Recent events: “I was happy to see that [Israeli Prime Minister] Bibi [Netanyahu] stepped back from some of his proposed plans, because it was obvious that the people of Israel did not support those plans. It also seems fairly obvious that judicial reform is needed,” said Sinema. One element of Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reform would allow Israel’s Knesset to override rulings from the Supreme Court. That clause has been targeted in months of widespread protests throughout Israel.
Political evolution: Sinema began her political career two decades ago as an antiwar activist and local spokesperson for the left-wing Green Party. Now, her foreign-policy positions are much closer to the mainstream bipartisan Washington consensus, including support for U.S. aid to Israel and continued military and financial assistance to Ukraine. Despite Sinema’s eagerness to discuss her work on foreign policy, she did not want to say whether she identifies as a hawk or a dove. “I don’t know that I define myself,” she said. “That’s not really my thing.”
Future plans: Since her election in 2018, the Arizona senator has frustrated Democrats by taking a more moderate stance and spurning the party on several major votes, most notably on rolling back the legislative filibuster. Late last year, she formally changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Independent. Ever since, she has lost her base of Democratic support, and polls show her lagging in third place in a likely three-way Senate race. Sinema has not yet said whether she will run for reelection next year, and declined to comment on her future plans. “I’m not going to answer,” she said when asked whether she will run again.
Establishment Republican donors reckoning with Trump’s staying power
As former President Donald Trump dominates the Republican primary field, leading GOP donors and Trump skeptics are, however reluctantly, beginning to reckon with a new reality: that Trump seems increasingly likely to win the nomination in 2024, Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel reports.
What they’re saying: “The sense that I get is there’s pretty much a resignation he’s going to be the nominee,” Joel Geiderman, a physician in West Hollywood, Calif., who sits on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, acknowledged in an interview with JI on Thursday. “Based upon my circle of friends and my informal survey,” said Jon Tucker, a GOP activist in Pittsburgh, “there’s just a fervent hope and prayer that, somehow, Trump will get out of the way and allow other candidates to get back in.” “Right now, I don’t see anybody else getting traction,” concluded a prominent Republican donor in Chicago, who expects that Trump will win the nomination. “It makes me feel that people like me, the ‘before Trump’ Republicans, don’t have a home,” he sighed.
Post-primary prediction: Even as the nearly dozen Republican donors interviewed by JI declined to back the former president in the primary, they were divided on the question of supporting Trump if he becomes the nominee again. “There’s no one I see the Democrats putting up that means I would not support Trump being the nominee,” one top Republican donor explained, noting that he appreciated Trump’s policies, if not his personal conduct, as president. “Obviously, he has issues with respect to his, you know, temperament and pettiness, which I think helped cause him to lose.” Still, the donor was otherwise cautiously optimistic that another candidate may ultimately come forward ahead of the primaries who can “implement” Trump’s agenda “without the noise or baggage,” he said.
Alternatives: Bernard Hasten, a longtime confidante of former Vice President Mike Pence — who is now weighing a White House bid of his own — said he would not vote for Trump in the primary if there are other Republican candidates on the ballot. But, he added, “If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president and the Democratic nominee is Joe Biden, I’d pick Donald Trump hands down.” But, he said, “if there’s some wonderful Democrat who comes out of the woodwork” and is “middle-of-the road and somewhat reasonable, that could change my view in the general election.”
Menendez, Risch to introduce resolution honoring Israel’s 75th anniversary
Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID) are expected to introduce a resolution marking the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod has learned, days after a similar resolution passed the House with broad bipartisan support
History: The resolution asserts that “the establishment of the State of Israel realized the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and is an outgrowth of the existence of the historic and ancestral kingdom of Israel established in the Land of Israel 3,000 years ago with Jerusalem as its capital.”
Focus on democracy: It emphasizes Israel’s “pluralistic democratic political system,” noting its system of Basic Laws, “which provide the foundation of Israel’s democratic system,” its “vibrant Arab community… possessing equal rights under law” and Israel’s protections for free speech, press and elections and the rule of law. “The Senate… commends the people of Israel for their remarkable achievements in building a pluralistic democratic society in the Middle East,” the resolution states, and “reaffirms its continuing support for Israel as a Jewish and democratic state that is committed to — (A) defending the security, freedom and equality of all its inhabitants regardless of religion, race, or sex; and (B) guaranteeing freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture.”
Peace process: The resolution notes that the U.S. “has actively supported and played a significant role in the efforts to bring about Israeli-Palestinian peace, in line with the long-standing U.S. commitment to a sustainable, viable, two-state solution negotiated directly between the parties, resulting in an end to the conflict and two states for two peoples based on mutual recognition, dignity and peaceful neighborly relations.” It “reiterates [the Senate’s] support for a comprehensive lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, in which both enjoy peace, security and prosperity,” and asserts that “security coordination between Israelis and the Palestinian Authority promotes stability and is critical to de-escalating tensions.”
Bonus: Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) is set to introduce a resolution today that would reaffirm U.S. support for Israel and characterize the Iranian regime as “a threat to Israel, the region, the United States and global stability.” The resolution, obtained by Jewish Insider, warns that the U.S., Israel and the world could be at risk of an unprovoked nuclear attack if Iran develops a nuclear weapon, and asserts that the House “believes the United States and international community must ensure the Islamic Republic of Iran does not build or acquire nuclear weapons.” Co-sponsors of the legislation include 25 Republicans and four Democrats, Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), David Trone (D-MD) and Susan Wild (D-PA).
History-making Diamondbacks right-hander Jacob Steinmetz joins JI’s podcast
It’s not hard to see how Jacob Steinmetz developed a passion for sports as a child — his father, Elliot Steinmetz, a longtime basketball coach, has headed the Yeshiva University Maccabees since 2014 — but despite obvious talent, few would have imagined that a young, religious kid playing T-ball in his synagogue’s league would go on to become the first practicing Orthodox Jew to be drafted by a Major League team. Now 19, Steinmetz has nearly three years of professional ball under his belt and is currently a starter for the Visalia Rawhide, the Diamondbacks’ Single-A affiliate team in Visalia, Calif. During the most recent episode of Jewish Insider’s podcast, Steinmetz joined co-hosts Rich Goldberg and Jarrod Bernstein to discuss his journey into professional baseball as an Orthodox Jew.
On what it’s like to play professional baseball: “You definitely see that it’s a job and, I mean, it’s tough work. We go at it for 100, I mean, big leagues are 162 games, I’m not sure how many the minor league games are, but we go six days a week and we’re at the field for pretty much most of the day. As a pitcher, as a starting pitcher, it’s a little easier just because I pitch once a week and I know I’ll have the next six days off, but I mean I still love it, especially on days where I pitch. Once you go out there… there’s nothing like it.”
On maintaining a religious lifestyle in Visalia: “The team has been unbelievable about it, finding me kosher food wherever I go… But for me, the kosher food isn’t as big of a problem just because I know, worst case, I can do an Instacart order or something from a supermarket that has just bagels and cream cheese, and that could be my go-to meal if I have to… And for Shabboses, for Sabbath, the team has also been trying to avoid me having to pitch on Saturdays, which in minor league ball is pretty easy, because we have six-game series, as I said, and we have six starters, so it kind of worked out that each person has their own day, so they just slotted me in on whichever day, and so Saturdays I’m able to just kind of walk to the field and not really have to worry about anything else.”
Bonus lightning round: Favorite major leaguers to watch growing up? “My go-to is usually Derek Jeter.” Favorite Jewish sports player of all time? “I don’t know if I really had a favorite Jewish sports player, I mean, I always say that like I know Kevin Youkilis was a Jewish sports player, but he was with the Red Sox so [being a Yankees fan] I couldn’t like him. Alex Bregman’s with the Astros, so I couldn’t really like him. So, it kind of seems like a lot of the Jewish sports players that I grew up watching were rivals with the Yankees, so I don’t really know if I had a favorite.” Favorite baseball movie of all time? “I mean a lot of baseball movies I had watched when I was a lot younger, so I don’t really remember them as much. I mean, I’ve seen all the classic ones: I’ve seen ‘The Sandlot,’ I’ve seen ‘Rookie of the Year,’ I’ve seen ‘Bull Durham,’ I’ve seen ‘Major League.’ Favorite? The ‘Major League’ movies I always found pretty funny, especially as a younger kid.”
In ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret,’ a fictional crisis of faith at a real-life synagogue
For generations, Judy Blume’s 1970 coming-of-age classic Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret has made girls on the cusp of adolescence laugh, cry and commiserate over the realities of their changing bodies, writes Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch. But the beloved novel, which has sold millions of copies, is about more than a sixth grader who both dreads and anxiously awaits her first period as a harbinger of adulthood. A new movie adaptation of the book, the first feature film adaptation of any of Blume’s novels, which comes out today, depicts a girl grappling with the drama and indignities of middle school while also thinking deeply about a topic that is perhaps more scary to her than puberty: religion.
Soul searching: “What struck me was how profound Margaret’s spiritual journey is,” Kelly Fremon Craig, the film’s director, told JI in a recent interview. “That’s something I did not remember from when I was a kid reading it. So that was actually a big part of why I wanted to make the film, because I felt like there was this secret, very simple yet profound journey at the center of it that I think a lot of readers miss.”
Life’s big questions: The movie hews faithfully to the 1970s suburban milieu of the book, which follows 11-year-old Margaret Simon and her interfaith parents from their cramped Manhattan apartment to a spacious but unfamiliar home in the New Jersey suburbs. When she starts sixth grade, Margaret (played by Abby Ryder Fortson) falls in with a group of girls who are obsessed with such crucial questions as where to buy their first bras, when they will first kiss a boy and when they will get their periods. To help her grapple with such a pivotal time, Margaret starts an ongoing conversation with God in her head.
On location: Most of the film was shot in Charlotte, N.C., and Craig’s location scout suggested they film the temple scene at Temple Israel, a Conservative synagogue. “I just loved the pink and blue stained glass,” Craig said. “It was very important to me to get every single little detail right in those places, and to capture them in a way that felt respectful, and beautiful, and the best of these religions.” The synagogue’s real-life senior rabbi, Michael Wolk, leads a service and delivers a sermon in the background of the synagogue scene.
🧔🏻 History Lesson: In The Wall Street Journal, Rabbi Yosie Levine considers how Theodor Herzl’s position on religious pluralism could be applied to the present debate in Israel over judicial reform. “While the contours of the judicial-reform debate defy easy solutions, each side will have to make concessions that acknowledge Israel’s heterogeneity. Those who favor reform will need to abandon their insistence on Parliament’s unlimited ability to override Supreme Court decisions with a simple majority. Those against it will have to accept a new mechanism for appointing judges that significantly dilutes the power of those who currently have a say in these selections. Any workable solution will have to preserve robust checks and balances, protect minority rights and — in the absence of a constitution — enshrine Basic Laws. Herzl believed it was possible for the state to embrace a universalistic ethic even as it remained particularistic. The founders, several decades later, concurred. Israel’s Declaration of Independence doesn’t name ‘liberty, justice and peace’ as the nation’s values, but ‘liberty, justice and peace as taught by the Hebrew prophets.’ The best of Jewish and democratic values were meant to reinforce each other.” [WSJ]
🎉 Embassy Row: Politico’s Daniel Lippman and Hailey Fuchs look at the resurgence in popularity of social events held at the different embassies around Washington, D.C. “The embassies, which are hosting droves of partygoers this week for festivities around the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, have historically operated somewhere on the spectrum between diplomacy and lobbying. They exist first and foremost to do their government’s bidding. But if a measure of goodwill between nations can be achieved in the course of a good party, all the better. Boisterous embassy parties predate Benjamin Franklin’s memorable stint as a U.S. envoy to 18th-century Paris. What’s notable these days, at a time of stark partisan divide, is how the ambassador’s residence or garden is one of the few places in town where electeds and their hangers-on from both parties mix and mingle on neutral ground without a second thought. And it offers an opening to do a soft form of lobbying when the old ways of Washington are under greater scrutiny.” [Politico]
🎭 Life and Art: The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon interviews Broadway actor Brandon Uranowitz, who stars in the Tom Stoppard play “Leopoldstadt,” about a European Jewish family decimated by the Holocaust. “His father’s aunt — his mother’s sister — survived the camps. She lived in a bungalow in the Catskills, and Uranowitz remembers going to visit her when he was young. She was always forthcoming about her stories from that time, echoing what is said in the play, that it’s a duty to speak about what happened. ‘I grew up with that sentiment that, yes, this is old information. This is stuff that we know but you have to constantly say it out loud and remind ourselves so that it doesn’t fade away,’ he says. ‘Because my own DNA, my own family has such a connection to the story of this play, the way that I access the emotional requirements is to put my family in that situation. That’s a tough, dark place to go to every night. There’s also a sense of responsibility. I think that we all feel that obligation. So that also helps to mitigate some of the pain that we have to put ourselves through.’” [DailyBeast]
Around the Web
💥 Florida Stalemate: The Wall Street Journal reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ fight with Disney has shifted from the political arena to the legal system – “with no end in sight.”
🚢 On the Hill: Members of the Senate and House Abraham Accords Caucus introduced the MARITIME Act, aimed at creating integrated maritime defense cooperation among Abraham Accords allies.
🤝 Caucus Relaunch: House lawmakers, joined on Thursday by American Jewish Committee leadership and Latino community leaders from across the country, relaunched the House’s Latino-Jewish Caucus for the new Congress.
✍️ Naval News: Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) penned a letter to the White House calling on President Joe Biden to give the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations the authorization to seize Iranian oil tankers.
⚕️ Sante: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) announced that the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma for which he began treatment last year is in remission.
📺 Worthy Watch: Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, appearing on MSNBC, described antisemitism as “a threat to democracy” and said the ramifications of public figures making antisemitic comments are “horrendous.”
👎 Council Conundrum: Two New York City Council members voted against a resolution recognizing “End Jew Hatred Day,” while another four members abstained from the vote.
👩 Media Matters: CNN’s Dana Bash will succeed John King as the solo host of the network’s afternoon program “Inside Politics.”
🎙️ Podcast Playback: ChatGPT co-founder Sam Altman was interviewed on Bari Weiss’ podcast about technology and the risks of its evolution.
🪧 Protest Power: Israeli media estimated up to 200,000 people participated in a rally in support of the Israeli government’s proposed judicial reforms.
📜 Sanctions Regime: The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on four senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Russia’s Federal Security Service over the wrongful detention of U.S. nationals in both countries.
🪖 On the Front Lines: Sudan’s civil war is pitting “a well-armed conventional military against mobile paramilitary fighters,” the Financial Times reports.
👳 Cleric Attack: A senior Iranian cleric was shot and killed by a bank security guard, amid an uptick in attacks against Iran’s hard-line clerics in the months since the death of an Iranian woman in police custody sparked widespread anti-regime protests.
🕯️ Remembering: Jerry Springer, a longtime television host and former mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, died at 79.
Pic of the Day
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) speaks at the Jewish American Heritage Month congressional breakfast hosted by the Combat Antisemitism Movement.
Lawmakers also offered remarks at a separate lunch event to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary and the introduction of legislation honoring former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
Rep. Michael Lawler (R-NY) announced at the breakfast that the House Foreign Affairs Committee will debate and vote on his bill with Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) to create a State Department special envoy for the Abraham Accords next month. Lawler said he’s also discussed the legislation with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Co-founder and first CEO of Netflix, Marc Bernays Randolph turns 65…
FRIDAY: Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., he also served four terms in the Knesset, Zalman Shoval turns 93… White House chief of staff for Presidents Reagan and Bush 41, secretary of the Treasury and secretary of state, James Baker turns 93… Retired judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, Judge Irma Steinberg Raker turns 85… Co-founder of Mirage Resorts and Wynn Resorts, Elaine Wynn turns 81… Retired four-star United States Marine Corps general, Robert Magnus turns 76… SVP and COO of IPRO and former president of the Bronx/Riverdale YM-YWHA and the Riverdale Jewish Center, Harry M. Feder… Cantor who has served in Galveston, Houston and Buffalo, Sharon Eve Colbert… Criminal defense attorney, Abbe David Lowell turns 71… Director of congregational engagement at Temple Beth Sholom of Miami Beach, Mark Baranek… Cantor, Sharon Colbert turns 70… Associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Elena Kagan turns 63… American-born writer and translator in Israel, David Hazony turns 54… Director of criminal justice innovation, development and engagement at USDOJ, Karen Chaya Friedman… Retired soccer player, she played for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team from 1997 to 2000, Sara Whalen Hess turns 47… Executive editor and senior director of content at The Points Guy, Scott Mayerowitz… Actress and film critic, she is the writer and star of the CBC comedy series “Workin’ Moms,” Catherine Reitman turns 42… Co-founder and managing partner of the Arena, he is also the founder and CEO of The Branch, Ravi Gupta… Senior editor of investigations and enterprise at Sports Illustrated, Jason Schwartz… Senior editor at Politico Magazine, Benjamin Isaac Weyl… President of Saratoga Strategies, a D.C.-based strategic communications and crisis management firm, Joshua Schwerin… Israeli artist and photographer, Neta Cones turns 35… Senior director of strategic communications at Jewish World Watch, Jeffrey Hensiek… Associate in the corporate department of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Robert S. Murstein… Cybersecurity reporter, Eric J. Geller… Founder and CEO of Diamond Travel Services, Ahron Fragin…
SATURDAY: Nobel Prize-winning economist, professor at MIT, known for his analysis of Social Security policy, Peter Diamond turns 83… U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) turns 73… Marcy Smith… SVP of communications and journalist in residence at University of Maryland Global Campus, Michael Freedman… Comedian, actor, writer, producer and director, he is best known for playing a semi-fictional version of himself in the 180 episodes of the sitcom “Seinfeld,” Jerry Seinfeld turns 69… London-born actor with three Academy Awards for best actor, knighted at Buckingham Palace in 2014, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis turns 66… Sportscaster, best known as the radio and television play-by-play announcer for MLB’s New York Mets, Gary Cohen turns 65… Israeli diplomat, she is Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, Lironne Bar Sadeh turns 64… Former New York City comptroller, Scott M. Stringer turns 63… CEO and chairman of 20th Century Fox until its acquisition by Disney, she now leads the Los Angeles office of Sister Pictures, Stacey Snider turns 62… CEO of the United Democracy Project, Rob Bassin… Professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, he is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and author of many books including Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely turns 56… NYC-based award-winning artist who works with sound, kinetics, optics, magnetism and other materials to make sculptures and photographs, Julianne Swartz turns 56… Film and television actor, Paul Adelstein turns 54… Israeli-born, NYC resident, stand-up comedian, actor and sometimes chazzan, Modi Rosenfeld turns 53… Executive at Elliott Investment Management, Bennett J Schachter turns 48… Minister of environmental protection in Israel’s prior government, Tamar “Tami” Zandberg turns 47… Israeli model and actress, Bar Paly turns 41… SVP of government affairs at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Anne Brachman… Commercial, industrial and residential real estate developer in the Mid-Atlantic region, Samuel A. Neuberger… COO and director of government affairs for Teach Coalition, Daniel Mitzner… Baseball pitcher for Team Israel at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Jonathan de Marte turns 30… Surfer, she represented Israel at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Anat Lelior turns 23… Head of TV at WME, he is on the board of Israel Policy Forum, Rick Rosen…
SUNDAY: Rabbi, scholar and professor of Jewish studies at Yeshiva University, Saul J. Berman turns 84… Founder and CEO of Kansas City-based American Public Square, he was the U.S. ambassador to Portugal during the Obama administration, Allan J. Katz turns 76… Brooklyn-based clinical social worker, Marsha S. Rimler… Psychologist, author of several children’s books and president of the Saban Family Foundation, Cheryl Saban turns 72… Israeli Supreme Court justice until 2021, he was previously attorney general of Israel, Menachem “Meni” Mazuz turns 68… Partner in the communications and ad agency GMMB, he served as an advisor to President Obama in both his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, James David (Jim) Margolis turns 68… London-based international real estate investor and developer, Zachariasz “Zak” Gertler turns 67… Cartoonist and illustrator, best known for his more than 100 magazine covers appearing on The New Yorker and other publications, Barry Blitt turns 65… Former commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chai R. Feldblum turns 64… Professor of sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she served as president of Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Eva Illouz turns 62… Senior fellow at the Institute for Zionist Strategy and National Security, David M. Weinberg… Borough president of Manhattan, Mark D. Levine turns 54… CEO of Newton, Mass.-based Gateways: Access to Jewish Education, focused on children with special educational needs, Tamar Davis… Senior director for U.S. Jewish grantmaking at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, David Rittberg… Head of federal and international affairs at Airbnb, Eric Feldman… National security advisor for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Omri Ceren… Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot turns 38… Director of communications at The New York Times, Ari Isaacman Bevacqua turns 38… Founder of Lubin Strategies, he is also a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, Nathaniel (Nate) Lubin… Communications director for Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Rachel S. Cohen… Associate in the D.C office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Daniel E. Wolman… Elementary school teacher at Broward County Public Schools, Jenna Luks… Reporter at The Wall Street Journal covering consumer behavior, Rachel B. Wolfe… Senior manager for NextGen at the World Jewish Congress, Yonatan (Yoni) Hammerman… GM and operations lead at Israel’s Lightricks, Idan Megidish… Director of career development at Masa Israel for North America, Noam Aricha… Israel fellow at Israel Policy Forum, he is a former senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Nimrod Novik… Board member at Israel Policy Forum, Marc Slutsky…