👋 Good Friday morning, and shana tova to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah, which begins at sundown this evening. We at Jewish Insider wish you a happy and healthy 5784!
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we look at the looming intraparty debate over the Democratic platform regarding Israel, and spotlight Riyadh’s Expo 2030 bid amid the backdrop of talks to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Chaim Bloom, Michele Lowe and Richard Haass.
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, eJewishPhilanthropy and The Circuit stories, including: Harriet Schleifer looks to maintain Jewish unity as new Conference of Presidents chair; Thirty years on, are the Oslo Accords still relevant?; The political lessons of Oslo reverberate on the Israeli right 30 years later.Print the latest edition here.
Three years after Israel signed the Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — and later renewed diplomatic relations with Morocco — ties between the countries are thriving.
Over a million Israelis have visited the UAE since the Accords were signed, with over 200 flights between the countries each week reflecting warm people-to-people relations not seen in Arab countries that previously made peace with the Jewish state. The number of Emiratis visiting Israel, however, falls far short of that. Among the Israelis who have fallen in love with Dubai is one of the country’s biggest pop stars, Omer Adam, who has relocated to the Gulf state and written multiple hit songs about it.
Israeli aid workers arrived in Morocco this week to search for and provide medical care to the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit the North African state. Earlier this year, Israel recognized Western Sahara as Moroccan, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received an invitation from Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.
The Accords have also been a boon for trade, which spiked this year. The massive infrastructure project President Joe Biden announced at the G20 last week, connecting South Asia to the Middle East and Europe through railways and ports, has the potential to keep the momentum going.
However, some diplomatic efforts to bring the countries closer stalled in the last year. The Negev Forum, which brought together the aforementioned countries, plus Egypt and the U.S., has not reconvened its foreign ministers’ summit amid controversy over settlement construction and Israel’s responses to Palestinian terrorism. One Arab diplomat told Jewish Insider in recent weeks that the countries are reticent to give what looks like a reward to the current government in Jerusalem.
Sources in Washington were cautiously optimistic about the Negev Forum’s prospects and said, before the earthquake, that Morocco was considering an October date for hosting the summit. But on Wednesday, Washington’s representative in the Negev Forum dialogue said only that the ministerial meeting will happen “at the right time.”
The anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords coincides this year with the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. On a call yesterday evening with hundreds of rabbis, Biden offered Rosh Hashanah wishes and touted his administration’s national strategy to counter antisemitism and his support for Israel. He also noted his recent pick to be U.S. ambassador to Israel, former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, whom Biden said would make an “outstanding ambassador.”
“Jewish Americans today continue to enrich every part of American life. That’s the message. That’s the message of Rosh Hashanah,” Biden said. “We always have to stay open. I’ve always believed our actions have the power to shift the balance of our faith, our nation and our world for the better.”
After speaking for 10 minutes, Biden left the call and Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden answered questions from the rabbis. Tanden is the administration official responsible for overseeing the implementation of the antisemitism national strategy, and she delivered public remarks on the plan for the first time.
“We are really pleased with how aggressively agencies are taking up the work, but our work with you is so vital to ensure that you ensure that we are maximizing the potential of the strategy,” said Tanden, who started at the White House days after the plan was released in May. More specifically, she pointed to the plan’s approach to fighting antisemitism on college campuses.
“Obviously, there’s been a rising concern on campus on antisemitism, and the strategy really propels action on the part of the part of the [Department of Education] and the Office of Civil Rights to really be aggressive in addressing antisemitism as we look at and investigate other issues of discrimination,” said Tanden, who pointed to a settlement the Department of Education reached with the University of Vermont in April that said the university had not adequately responded to antisemitism on its campus.
Democrats anticipate messy debate over Israel in crafting 2024 platform
As the Republican presidential primary heats up, the Democratic Party appears set to avoid a major primary fight in 2024 — meaning that if President Biden is renominated, Democrats will defer divisions within the party over its ideological direction to 2028, when internal debates between moderates and progressives will almost certainly come to a head. But while Biden has secured the support of party leaders from the left and the center in his reelection bid, intraparty factions could still have one opportunity to do battle next year in the writing of the party platform, a wonky exercise that has in recent years played host to major ideological debates, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports. In the last three presidential election cycles, Israel has emerged as an issue that splits the party’s establishment from its left-wing activists.
Start a debate: In a president’s reelection year, the party’s platform usually remains relatively unchanged from four years earlier. The main goal, Democratic activists tell JI, is to avoid controversy and cede control to the president to set the agenda. But that doesn’t mean activists critical of Israel will not take the opportunity to try to force a messy debate over Israel to the forefront, and bring that internal debate to the public.
Committee selection: The committee tasked with drafting the platform will not be named until next year, and Democrats don’t expect any movement until at least the spring. One key question is who will serve on the committee. Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison has the final say and is ultimately responsive to the president. But in 2016 and 2020, Democrats included activists from the party’s progressive wing on the committee to placate progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
‘Everybody loses’: According to one former party leader, Democrats’ goal should be simple: “I am sure everything possible will be done so that there’s no fight over it, because everybody agrees that if there’s a fight about Israel, everybody loses,” said Susie Turnbull, a former DNC vice chair.
One side of Saudi normalization to watch for: the Riyadh World Expo 2030 campaign
The campaign to host the 2030 World Expo — the contemporary version of the World’s Fair — is heating up, with the vote set for November. Israel’s vote remains an open question. An Italian delegation came to Jerusalem in late August to make the case for Rome to Foreign Ministry officials, and South Korea has put out feelers in Israel for a vote for Busan to be the host city. The Expo vote decision, which would typically stay within the Foreign Ministry’s purview, climbed further up the ladder to the Prime Minister’s Office, due to the third city campaigning to host Expo 2030 being Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the timing as Israel-Saudi normalization talk heats up, Jewish Insider’s Lahav Harkov reports.
Saudi’s pitch: When Saudi Arabia submitted its bid to host the 2030 expo, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Bureau International des Expositions that it would “coincide with the culmination of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” in which the prince aims to diversify its economy and open it up to tourists from around the world.
Following in their footsteps?: When the United Arab Emirates announced in 2019 that it would allow Israelis into Expo 2020, it was a major public step toward diplomatic relations between Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem, who would go on to normalize ties the following year. Yet it remains unclear whether Riyadh would allow active Israeli participation if it hosts the Expo in 2030.
Mixed messages: Israeli representatives received an invitation to the Riyadh 2030 launch event in Paris in June, leading to media speculation that Israel planned to support the Saudi bid. However, just days later, the Israelis were turned away at the door from the Paris event hosted by the crown prince and were told they had been removed from the guest list. The event took place on the same day as an IDF anti-terrorism raid in Jenin, which the Saudi Foreign Ministry condemned as “aggression…which led to killing innocent victims.”
Despite divisions, lawmakers say they seek bipartisan path forward on Iran
This week, members of subcommittees of the House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight committees, joined by eight expert witnesses from outside the government, discussed and debated current U.S. policy toward Iran and potential paths forward toward a more comprehensive Iran strategy. The hearings suggested that, even if Republicans and Democrats do not necessarily all agree on the wisdom of either the Trump or Biden administration’s policies on Iran, they have — at minimum — a stated interest in finding a bipartisan path forward, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Bipartisan benefits: “It’s not as simple as saying it’s either maximum pressure or fall on our sword diplomacy, and I think we would all benefit from thinking about more bipartisan work on this rather than playing the blame game as to whether it was Biden or Trump or whomever,” Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) said in the hearing of the Oversight subcommittee on National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs on Wednesday. “This is a critical issue that I hope we… can engage in in a meaningful, bipartisan, collaborative way.”
Multipronged approach: Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, said at his hearing that the U.S. must “[implement] multi-prong[ed] policies targeting Iranian terrorism, missile and drone proliferation, and maximizing support for the efforts of the Iranian people seeking political change and survival. And I know it will be bipartisan that we work together, understanding and recognizing that we are in a conflict we did not choose,” Wilson continued, linking the Iran situation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and global authoritarian efforts to oppose democracy and rule of law.
Bonus: At an event at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies headquarters in Washington yesterday, FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz emphasized that FDD “has been very firm” that the influential think tank opposes allowing Saudi Arabia to develop domestic nuclear enrichment capacity. “I fear the administration and the Israelis are going to cave on this question,” Dubowitz said. “There will be some lovely formula, construct about how it will be under American control and supervision,” but ultimately “at some point the Saudis will be a threshold nuclear weapons power.”
Richard Haass: ‘For diplomacy to work, you have to have leaders who are both willing and able to compromise’
On this week’s episode of the JI podcast, Jarrod Bernstein and Rich Goldberg are joined by Richard Haass, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, of which he was previously president for 20 years, and former special envoy for Northern Ireland, for a conversation on America’s role in world affairs, the war in Ukraine, the anniversary of 9/11, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
On American foreign policy practices: “We cannot wash our hands safely of the Middle East. But the alternative to that is not getting too involved… I actually thought that a few years ago, we had reached a pretty good equilibrium in Afghanistan…We had a few thousand Americans, we were no longer involved in combat activities, operations, so American casualties had plummeted. We had thousands of contractors and we had thousands of NATO troops. And again, it wasn’t enough to win the war… But it was enough to keep the government in power and to avoid a Taliban takeover…both administrations, the Trump administration negotiated it, the Biden administration implemented it. It’s enough to make you think that bipartisanship isn’t what it’s often cracked up to be.”
On meeting with controversial world leaders: “As a matter of principle, yeah, I believe it’s fine to meet with Xi Jinping, I believe it’s fine to meet with the president of North Korea, I believe it’s fine to meet with the president of Iran. Again, these are not endorsements, this is simply a recognition that these people are actors with capacity, and they make a difference. That’s why they’re in the U.N. That’s why they’re invited to the G20. You’ve got to take them into account. It was [former Israeli Prime Minister] Yitzhak Rabin who said, ‘you don’t make peace with your friends, you make them with your enemies,’ and that was his justification for sitting down with Yasser Arafat.”
On normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel: “I would say the odds are against it. I mean, we know what the Saudis want, they want a security guarantee and they want a nuclear program. What I don’t know is how unconditional they want the security guarantee and how autonomous they want the nuclear program… Secondly, what the Israelis want is normalization, and what the Americans want is progress on the Palestinian front… It’s not clear to me the Israelis could live with what the United States is going to want. So there’s the question of will this come together? Can we agree with the Saudis on the security side? Can we agree with the Israelis and the Palestinian side? Maybe… So, call me skeptical.”
🇸🇦🇺🇸🇮🇱 What’s at Stake: Former Wall Street Journal publisher Karen Elliott House looks at what each side stands to gain in a Saudi-Israel normalization agreement, while considering the security concerns of all parties. “The biggest threat to the crown prince’s regional ambition is Iran. Normalization with Israel would heighten that vulnerability. Religious and royal opponents at home would accuse MBS of selling out the Palestinians, and Tehran would feel jilted. ‘Our dilemma is this: Do we open ourselves to terrorist attacks to secure Saudi-Israeli peace?’ a Saudi official says. MBS is therefore demanding that the U.S. offer the kingdom security guarantees, backed by Congress. Extending protection to Saudi Arabia — as America does with North Atlantic Treaty Organization members and Japan — isn’t as controversial as it seems. NATO’s Article 5 provision asserts that an armed attack against one is an attack against all. It doesn’t necessarily trigger war, but rather requires a party to take ‘such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force.’ Several U.S. congressmen will meet with the crown prince to discuss these issues next month, according to a Saudi source. Whatever guarantees the U.S. gives, the real boost to Saudi Arabia’s safety and prosperity would be diplomatic relations with Israel. Open partnership with Jerusalem on defense, economic development, technology and investment is a security guarantee that a future U.S. president or Congress can’t take away.” [WSJ]
🖊️ She Fixes Sermons: The New York Times’ Sarah Maslin Nir spotlights former ad exec Michele Lowe, who has found a second career advising rabbis on their High Holy Day sermons. “Over the course of the new year, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur, the somber day of atonement that follows over a week later, rabbis often give four sermons or more. Often interweaving contemporary culture, Judaic teachings and calls to action, some speeches can be highly politicized, others studiously neutral. They come as a halftime break in long ceremonies of prayers and scripture and are invariably hotly discussed over holiday meals. Rabbis say they receive criticism or praise for their High Holiday sermons all year long. The pressure to make an emotional mark from the pulpit is real. Ms. Lowe is part cheerleader, part writing coach. She instructs her clients, who are mainly women, to write three different introductions for their sermons, in different tones, from which they pick the winner. She spends the months leading up to the holidays in Zoom sessions and on shared Google docs, encouraging her clients to dig deeper for personal meaning, or to give their phrasing some punch — or, in Yiddish, a little zetz.” [NYTimes]
🌐 Regional Welcome: In the Arab News, former White House Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt reflects on shifting perceptions about Israel and Jews across the Arab world. “We have so much in common and so much to work on together, despite our differences…. In more and more conversations, people tell me that Israel must be integrated into the region. I see a welcoming of Jews, Christians and others into their countries, all while not giving up hope that, one day, a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will present itself. People recognize the numerous serious problems plaguing the region, such as the threat of the Iranian regime, the tragedy of the civil war in Syria, the suffering of the people in Lebanon, Daesh and other terrorist groups, the suffering in Yemen, and other problems. At the same time, they recognize that the region — and the GCC countries in particular — are evolving in ways most could not have imagined only a few years ago, focusing on their own visions for a new future for their societies and economies and playing a growing, critical role on the world stage.” [ArabNews]
🎙️ Talking Tucker: Puck’s Tina Nguyen spotlights former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s efforts to take his online show global. “In his quest to remain relevant and kick his former employers in the shins, he’s taken his paranoid style global, jetting around the world to foment various populist revolts: Over the past several weeks, he’s taped interviews with rising far-right politicians in Buenos Aires, Budapest, the U.K. and Romania. At the moment, I’m told, he’s traveling in the Middle East, scheduling interviews with world leaders. Among the interviews that have already been published are Carlson’s dialogues with accused sex trafficker and men’s rights influencer Andrew Tate in Romania over the summer, and his conversation with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which went live last week. Coming up is Carlson’s interview with Javier Milei, a right-wing presidential candidate in Argentina with distinctly Trumpian vibes, which will go live in the coming weeks. As for his appearances in the Middle East, a source close to Carlson told me: ‘All I can say is every world leader over that way… literally all of them… are very interested in speaking with Tucker.’ (Netanyahu? Assad? The source declined to push back when I asked if Mohammed bin Salman was on the schedule.)” [Puck]
👪 Parental Controls: Bloomberg’s Max Chafkin and Hannah Miller look at the role that FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents played in the crypto company. “Bankman and Fried have steered clear of much of the scrutiny that’s enveloped FTX. That’s at least in part because they’ve yet to deliver a full accounting of their roles in helping their son build a sprawling business and political-influence operation. Instead, they’ve generally been portrayed as spectators, who, often in tears, offer emotional support to their son at frequent court appearances. But their names will almost certainly come up during the trial. The defense team has signaled its strategy may, in part, rest on advice Bankman-Fried received from lawyers, including his parents… Last year, Bankman-Fried told the New York Times that his parents ‘weren’t involved in any of the relevant parts’ of his company. Former employees and business partners say this wasn’t the impression they had at the time, and legal filings suggest Bankman and Fried were crucial to their son’s transfiguration from schlubby startup nerd to hyperconnected crypto mogul. The couple profited tremendously from FTX, netting $26 million in cash and real estate in 2022 alone. They were regular fixtures at the company’s offices, offered words of encouragement to employees and were included in internal company communications. Their reputations and connections were essential to FTX’s success.” [Bloomberg]
Around the Web
🚗 State of the Union: The UAW union went on strike at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis — the first time workers have gone on strike at all three plants at the same time.
✈️ Washington Visit: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to Washington after appearing at the U.N. General Assembly in New York next week.
🐝 Beehive State Buzz: Former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien is being encouraged to run for the Utah Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).
✋ Passing on a Run: Former Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) ruled out a 2024 bid for Congress against Rep. John James (R-MI).
🗳️ Granite State Grind: Former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is focusing heavily on campaigning in New Hampshire, vowing to leave the 2024 presidential race if he does not have a good showing in the Granite State’s primary.
🖊️ Santos Saga: Rep. George Santos (R-NY) missed another deadline to file financial disclosures with the House Committee on Ethics, saying he would “rather be late, accurate, and pay the fine than be on time, inaccurate, and suffer the consequences of a rushed job.”
🕵️ Released for Publication: The CIA made public the name of a second official responsible for the extraction of six U.S. Embassy employees following the 1979 Iranian takeover of the diplomatic outpost — an effort made famous by the film “Argo.”
📓 SBF’s Screed: While in home detention, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried wrote a 250-page screed detailing his worldview and giving a look into his likely defense when he goes to trial next month.
🏫 Campus Beat: Ibram X. Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University is laying off between 15-20 staffers, with the funding being redirected to visiting scholars already employed by the university.
📖 Book Battle: Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber defended the inclusion in a course syllabus of a book, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, which Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) has called to remove, accusing it of veering into antisemitic blood libel.
🇵🇱 Heroic Family: The Wall Street Journal spotlights the Polish family who was killed while sheltering Jews during the Holocaust, whose members were beatified by the Catholic Church last week.
👪 Rising Numbers: New data from the Jewish Agency for Israel indicates that the global Jewish population grew by roughly 100,000 since last year, to 15.7 million.
🎙️ Crowning Moment: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman will give his first U.S. interview in four years to Fox News’ Bret Baier.
🇺🇳 Play for Peace: Saudi Arabia is slated to co-host an event on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly next week focused on galvanizing outside stakeholders in a move to revive the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
🚢 Suspicious Shipment: Israeli customs officials found 16 tons of ammonium chloride, which can be used to make rocket fuel, in a shipment from Turkey to Gaza.
☢️ Sanctions Decisions: Britain, France and Germany announced that they will maintain their sanctions on Iran’s missile and nuclear programs that are set to expire next month, but won’t seek to utilize the snapback mechanism in the deal that would keep those sanctions in place through the United Nations.
🇮🇱🇮🇷 War of Words: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami warned Israel that its “life will be cut short,” in response to comments by Mossad head David Barnea cautioning Iran against striking Jewish and Israeli targets.
🪧 Interviews with Iranians: The Washington Postinterviews family members of individuals who have been killed by the Iranian regime in the year since the uprising began.
💻 Hack Attack: Iranian hackers have for the last seven months been targeting U.S.-based and global satellite, defense and pharmaceutical firms, successfully breaking into several dozen systems.
🎮 Gaming in the Gulf: The Wall Street Journalspotlights Saudi efforts to break into the video game industry, which was once banned in the Gulf nation.
➡️ Transitions: Matt Nosanchuk is now the deputy assistant secretary for strategic operations and outreach in the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education. He was previously the president and executive director of New York Jewish Agenda. United Against Nuclear Iran announced the hiring of Alireza Akhondi, Kasra Aarabi, Maneli Mirkhan, Maryam Banihashemi, Omid Iravanipour and Hiva Feizi to its team.
🕯️ Remembering: Holocaust survivor Éva Fahidi, who told the story of her family’s persecution through dance, died at 97.
Pic of the Day
People gather at the burial site of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman, Ukraine, yesterday, ahead of Rosh Hashanah.
Comedian, writer and actress, Kira Soltanovich turns 50…
FRIDAY: Founder and former CEO of Elektra Records, he is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Jac Holzman turns 92… Professor at the Hebrew University and a leading scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Emanuel Tov turns 82… Chief rabbi of Migdal HaEmek, also known as the “Disco Rabbi,” Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman turns 77… Professor of education at Boston University’s Wheelock College, Diane Levin turns 76… NYC-based composer and multi-instrument musician, Ned Rothenberg turns 67… Business litigator in the Miami office of Gunster, Aron U. Raskas… Film executive, she produced “The Hunger Games” film series, Nina Jacobson turns 58… Managing partner and chief technology officer at Differential Ventures in Philadelphia, he is also the founder of several kosher restaurants, David Magerman… NPR’s media correspondent, David Folkenflik turns 54… Actor, best known for his roles on “Sports Night” and “The Good Wife,” Josh Charles turns 52… VP of leadership at the Anti-Defamation League, Deborah Leipzig… Chicago public schoolteacher, event organizer and fundraiser, Shayla Rosen… Author and longtime education correspondent at NPR, Anya Kamenetz turns 43… Data scientist, economist and author of the 2017 New York Times bestseller Everybody Lies, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz turns 41… Model and Israeli beauty queen titleholder, Yael Markovich turns 39… Partner in CHW Strategic Advisors and managing director of Harmon Retail Holdings, Jonah Raskas… CFO at the Israel on Campus Coalition, Tomer Zvi Elias… Chief strategy officer at PW Communications, Amanda Bresler… Reporter at The New York Times on the Metro desk, Eliza Shapiro… Singer and actress, she was the 2009 winner of the Israeli version of “A Star is Born,” Roni Dalumi turns 32… Miss Israel 2012, Shani Hazan turns 31…
SATURDAY: Argentinian physician, author of books on gender relations, Esther Katzen Vilar turns 88… Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives for multiple non-consecutive terms, in 2015 she became the president of Plaza Health Network, Elaine Bloom turns 86… NYC-based real estate investor and the founder of Cammeby’s International Group, Rubin “Rubie” Schron turns 85… Defense policy advisor to Presidents Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 and member of several D.C.-based think tanks, Richard Perle turns 82… Montebello, Calif., resident, Jon Olesen… Pompano Beach, Fla., resident, Shari Goldberg… Sheriff of Nantucket County, Mass., James A. Perelman turns 73… Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, Jonathan Medved turns 68… Fern Wallach… Award-winning illusionist, who has sold tens of millions of tickets to his shows worldwide, David Copperfield (born David Seth Kotkin) turns 67… Anthropology professor at Cornell, his work centers on Jewish communities and culture, Jonathan Boyarin turns 67… Director of stakeholder engagement at the National Council of Jewish Women, he is a nephew of former Senator Herb Kohl, Dan Kohl turns 58… President and rabbinic head of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in Riverdale, N.Y., Rabbi Dov Linzer turns 57… Writer-at-large for The New York Times Magazine, Jason Zengerle… Israeli windsurfer, he won bronze in Atlanta 1996 and gold in Athens 2004, Israel’s first Olympic gold medalist, Gal Fridman turns 48… Founder and chairman of “Over The Rainbow – the Zionist Movement,” a World Zionist Congress faction, Tzvi (Tziki) Avisar turns 45… VP of public affairs marketing at Meta / Facebook, Josh Ginsberg… President of basketball operations for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Koby Altman turns 41… National field director at the Israel on Campus Coalition, Lauren Morgan Suriel… VP of growth at RubiconMD, Suzy Goldenkranz… NYC-based wealth reporter at The Wall Street Journal, Rachel Louise Ensign… Israeli actress who played the lead role in the spy thriller “Tehran,” Niv Sultan turns 31… Winner of an Olympic bronze medal for Israel in Taekwondo at the 2020 Games, Avishag Semberg turns 22…
SUNDAY: U.S. Senator (R-IA) since 1981, Chuck Grassley turns 90… Investment banker who once served as a NYC deputy mayor, Peter J. Solomon turns 85… Newbery Honors- winning author of many young adult books, some with Jewish themes, Gail Carson Levine turns 76… Rochester attorney, he has held positions at the UJA-Federation of NYC and the Rochester Jewish Federation, Frank Hagelberg… Professional tennis player who achieved a world ranking of No. 5 in 1980, Harold Solomon turns 71… Comedian, writer and actress, she was a frequent guest of Johnny Carson on the “Tonight Show,” Rita Rudner turns 70… Israeli businessman with real estate holdings in Israel and NYC, Mody Kidon turns 69… Author and graphic designer, Ellen Kahan Zager… Former member of the Knesset for the Yesh Atid party, Rina Frenkel turns 67… Rabbi of the New North London Synagogue with over 3,400 members, Jonathan Wittenberg turns 66… Consultant at Quick Hits News, Elliott S. Feigenbaum… Washington columnist for the British daily newspaper The Guardian and author of two books on the Obama presidency, Richard Wolffe turns 55… Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) starting two months ago, Mandy Krauthamer Cohen turns 45… Former regional communications director and spokesperson for President Obama, now a partner at Seven Letter, Adam Abrams… Elected official on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education, Nick Melvoin… Former Obama White House speechwriter who has since written a bestselling comedic memoir, David Litt… Senior global product manager for CathWorks, Adina Shatz… Founder of the Israel Summit at Harvard and leader of General Atlantic’s Israel office, Max August…