Good Wednesday morning.
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we report on President Joe Biden’s first hours in Israel today, and have the scoop on former Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn’s bid for Congress. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Yossi Klein Halevi, Daniel Magerman and Rabbi Angela Buchdahl.
President Joe Biden arrived in Israel this morning. Biden was previously slated to travel on to Jordan for a summit with regional leaders, but Jordanian King Abdullah II, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi canceled their participation following a deadly explosion at a hospital in Gaza that is believed to have resulted from a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.
Speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv this morning, Biden said he “was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza,” adding that, “based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you, but there’s a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot — we’ve got to overcome a lot of things.” The IDF has since published intercepted communications from Hamas indicating that the explosion resulted from a misfired rocket from Gaza. More below.
A day before his sit-down with Biden, Netanyahu, meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was in Israel on a solidarity trip, said, “Hamas are the new Nazis.”
“The savagery we witnessed perpetrated by the Hamas murderers coming out of Gaza were the worst crimes committed against Jews since the Holocaust,” Netanyahu said, calling on the Western world to unite against Hamas as it did to defeat the Nazis and ISIS. Scholz noted Germany’s “responsibility coming from the Holocaust, which requires us to protect Israel’s existence and security.”
French President Emmanuel Macron is also planning a visit to Israel. Hebrew press reported that the visit would take place in the coming days, but the French Embassy in Israel told Jewish Insider that he would only come when there is a “useful agenda and concrete actions to promote.” Macron seeks to “avoid regional escalation, secure humanitarian access for Gaza civilians and to work with relevant parties on the ‘day after,'” meaning a plan for the coastal enclave when the war ends.
Earlier this week, Macron demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of French-Israeli citizen Mia Schem, 21, who Hamas took hostage at the Nova music festival. The terrorist group released a video of Schem in captivity on Monday.
Meanwhile in the U.S., a bipartisan group of 69 former senators and representatives, led by Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), is coming together to form the Former Members of Congress for Israel, to help build and maintain support for Israel during its war with Hamas.
Israel, the former congressman, told Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod that the group aims to use the influence that former members have in their districts and with national and global policymakers to “advocate for continued support for Israel in the difficult weeks and months ahead,” through bipartisan op-eds, joint bipartisan appearances, individual meetings, connecting lawmakers with policy experts and other avenues.
The precise form of their efforts will be at the discretion of the individual members involved, but Israel emphasized that conversations with former constituents will be particularly critical. “It’s going to be harder for many people to support Israel when the military battle gets tougher,” he said. “We’ve been here before… the terrorists strike, the world sympathizes. Israel responds, the world criticizes. We cannot afford a replay of that.”
Participants include former Reps. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and Tom Suozzi (D-NY), who are both running for seats in Congress in 2024. Read the full membership list here.
gaza war: day 12
IDF provides evidence hospital blast was a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket
The Israeli Defense Forces shared drone footage and a recording on Wednesday saying it was proof that an explosion at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday night was caused by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that had misfired and landed within the Gaza Strip, next to the hospital. According to unverified Hamas reports, hundreds of people were killed in the blast, sparking protests across the region and prompting Jordan to cancel a scheduled meeting with President Joe Biden, who was slated to visit the Hashemite Kingdom after his stop in Israel on Wednesday, Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash reports.
Timing: “Islamic Jihad was responsible for the strike on the hospital,” IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a press conference on Wednesday morning. Hagari recounted how a barrage of rockets were fired into Israel’s territory around 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, including towards Tel Aviv. Around 10 of those rockets were fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hagari said, and around 7 p.m. there were reports of an explosion at the hospital.
Media response: “Hamas checked what happened, they understood it was a rocket shot by Islamic Jihad and decided to launch a global media campaign to hide what really happened,” said Hagari, criticizing international media outlets that rushed to lay the blame on Israel, some of which have yet to change their headlines.
Evidence: Hagari shared aerial footage of the hospital, noting that the damage was in the parking lot, not on the hospital itself, and suggesting that the high number of casualties was inflated by Hamas. In addition, Hagari said, there were two independent videos showing the failed launch and its fall in the compound, as well as a recording of communication between Hamas terrorists. Hagari shared the recording with journalists, in which two Hamas terrorists can be heard recognizing that the rocket had hit inside Gaza, next to the hospital. Hagari translated the recording in real-time, relaying that the two men recorded were discussing how the shrapnel from the strike did not belong to Israeli munitions.
In show of unity, Jewish institutions rally behind Israel and condemn anti-Zionist rhetoric
Less than a week after a Shabbat that saw the largest massacre of Jews in a single day since the Holocaust, another Shabbat came — and with it, some of the largest crowds at American synagogues since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vigils and pro-Israel protests around the country have garnered thousands of attendees, with no sign of the numbers letting up as the war between Israel and Hamas enters a second week. The outpouring of grief and mourning with Israel in the week and a half since the Hamas terrorist attacks that killed more than 1,400 Israelis represents a new moment in American Jewish history, community leaders and scholars of Jewish history tell Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch and eJewishPhilanthropy’s Haley Cohen.
Moral clarity: The loudest anti-Zionist voices have been pushed further to the margins while American Jews across the religious and political spectrums have joined together in a unified show of solidarity. “I usually urge us to sit with the complexity and with nuances but some moments give you clarity,” Rabbi Angela Buchdahl told a packed sanctuary at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue last Friday. Her sermon has been viewed more than 63,000 times on YouTube.
Broad solidarity: As Jewish communities focus on the unprecedented brutality of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, the feeling of solidarity surpasses political divides. “On another day, let’s talk about the occupation and oppression. Not right now. People are being murdered and kidnapped,” said Rabbi Rachel Timoner, the senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim, a progressive synagogue in Brooklyn. “We have to talk about how any country has the right to defend itself against terrorism. Any country has the right to bring its hostages home. It’s not right to ask Israel to refrain from military action when 200 of its innocent people are currently being held.”
Misplaced blame: Many Jews on the political left have grappled over the past 10 days with comments coming from some progressives once seen as allies who are now blaming Israel for the attack, describing Hamas’ terrorism as a necessary response to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. “I have felt very — I don’t know, for lack of a better word, triggered — by the boldness of standing up in the midst of this colossal tragedy and changing the plotline. And that’s what it feels like. It’s like a changing of the plotline from collective grief and Israel’s necessity and obligation to not just respond, but to defend itself,” said Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. “There’s a refusal to engage with any measure of humility about what’s different as a result of this mass slaughter.”
Eileen Filler-Corn announces campaign for open House seat in Northern Virginia
Eileen Filler-Corn, the first woman and first Jewish speaker of Virginia’s House of Delegates, is launching a new campaign for a competitive open congressional seat in Northern Virginia, she announced in an exclusive interview with Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel.
‘Proud American Jew’: The 59-year-old Democrat is centering her campaign around her Jewish faith and support for Israel in the wake of Hamas’ attacks. “My connection to Judaism, my connection to the State of Israel, to the security of Israel, has always been part of who I am,” she said. “I am a very proud American Jew. I’m proud of my connection to Israel. I always speak out about my experiences in Israel and the importance of having a strong Israel-U.S. relationship, but also the importance of standing up to terrorism and against Hamas.”
First to declare: The recent atrocities have “been devastating,” said Filler-Corn, who has friends and family in Israel and spent a year before college living near the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, which has been targeted by Hamas rockets. The reactions from lawmakers who have downplayed the attacks, she said, have only strengthened her commitment to upholding support for Israel in the House. Filler-Corn is the first Democrat to declare for the seat held by Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), who said last month that she would not seek reelection after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder.
Emerging trend: Her focus on Israel is the most high-profile demonstration of how Middle East policy is now shaping several House races across the country. In Pittsburgh, Bhavini Patel, a new challenger to Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA), is drawing sharp contrasts on Israel, while in Minneapolis, Don Samuels, a former city councilman, is preparing to announce a rematch against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a fierce critic of the Jewish state. But Filler-Corn’s candidacy represents a more crystallized version of that trend, owing to her deep personal commitment to Jewish causes, which she has frequently highlighted as a state legislator.
Biden’s visit: A loving embrace or a bear hug?
When President Joe Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday, he became the first American president to do so in wartime. His speech last week and remarks to Jewish communal leaders who met with him at the White House showed an understanding of Israelis’ and Jews’ pain at this time at a level matched by few, if any, past presidents. The transfer of aircraft carriers to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf, among other acts, show that Biden’s support was not only in words, but in actions. However, there are concerns in Israel about Biden’s embrace — as reflected in a headline in Tuesday’s Yediot Ahronot calling it a “bear hug” — a phrase that in Hebrew refers to holding someone close in order to restrain him, not just to show love, Jewish Insider’s Lahav Harkov reports.
Comes with a price?: Prominent military analyst Yossi Yehoshua argued that, while U.S.-Israel cooperation is closer than ever before, the Biden administration may not allow the Jewish state to fully pursue its goals in the war. “There is a price to this aid, and the time has come to speak about it more clearly and without being sentimental: The Americans are taking the lead of this war in accordance with their interests in the region,” Yehoshua wrote. “It may be, for example, that Biden is not interested in an active move to remove the Hezbollah threat from [Israeli] towns in the north, and he is certainly interested in being as cautious as possible about a humanitarian disaster in Gaza.”
Officials respond: The message reverberated deeply enough for Jerusalem and Washington to address it. Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi opened his press conference on Tuesday by calling the headline “an injustice to a true friend in a time of need.” Then, the White House took things a step further than simply denying that it is not limiting Israel’s response; American officials told Axios that the White House discussed the possibility of joining the fight if Hezbollah attacks Israel.
Read more: The New York Times’ Bret Stephens writes that Biden “stepped into the vacuum” left by the absence of Israeli leadership. “I expect Biden to caution Israel’s war cabinet that a military campaign that concludes with a long-term Israeli occupation of Gaza would be a Pyrrhic victory. I expect the Israelis to reply that they cannot be asked to eliminate Hamas as Gaza’s dominant military and political actor without the cooperation of the United States and moderate Arab regimes, particularly Egypt. This is not a confrontation; it’s a potentially fruitful dialogue that will work much better once Netanyahu is out of office and cannot put his personal needs ahead of the national interest.”
pressing the president
As Biden’s visits Israel, Republicans ramp up pressure on administration
Ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel on Wednesday, Republican lawmakers escalated criticisms of the president over his pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel, policies on Iran, aid to the Palestinians and border security, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Side by side: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to hold a confirmation hearing today for Jack Lew, the president’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Israel. Lew is likely to meet with a harsh grilling from Republicans critical of his and Biden’s records on Iran.
Uncertain future: Foreign Relations Ranking Member Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) declined to say last night whether Republicans will support Democratic efforts to approve Lew’s nomination in the committee before the end of the week, but said that Lew has “a lot of baggage” because of his past work on Iran policy. “We can show support for Israel by filling the ambassadorship, but it has to be the right person,” Risch said. “He’ll have the opportunity to explain his differences with us over Iran [at the hearing tomorrow], and at that point we’ll see where we are.”
Legislation and messaging: Republicans also introduced a barrage of legislation on Tuesday aiming to force a harder line toward Iran and the Palestinians, and accused the administration of potentially allowing Iran or other foreign adversaries to set up a Hamas-style attack within the United States.
Goes both ways: At a GOP leadership press conference, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rejected former President Donald Trump’s description of Hezbollah as “very smart” and Trump’s criticisms of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I couldn’t disagree more. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, just like Hamas, funded by the same source as Hamas,” McConnell said. “And Prime Minister Netanyahu is one of the great leaders of modern times.”
aid action plan
Senate pledges to move quickly on Israel aid, will not wait for House
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pledged yesterday that the Senate will move quickly to approve a supplemental aid package for Israel, and will not wait for the still-deadlocked House to make the first move on an aid package, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
About the package: Schumer said yesterday at a Democratic leadership press conference that the Senate expects to receive the administration’s aid request by the end of the week, which he said will include military, diplomatic and intelligence aid to Israel, as well as humanitarian aid to Palestinians and Israelis. He said at a Jewish communal event that he’s urging that additional security aid for U.S. Jewish institutions be included in the bill.
Exclusive: Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Todd Young (R-IN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) will be introducing a resolution today demanding the hostages’ immediate safe release, JI has learned. The resolution lays out the scope of Hamas’ attack on Israel, “condemns Hamas in the harshest terms for its premeditated, coordinated, and brutal terrorist attacks,” demands Hamas provide medical care to hostages and release them and urges the U.S. to “lead a global campaign” for the hostages’ release.
Elsewhere on the Hill: Six additional progressives, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Greg Casar (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Veronica Escobar (D-TX) joined calls for an immediate cease-fire or truce between Israel and Hamas. “It is because of our dedication to the safety of both Israelis and Palestinians that we seek a path forward without further escalating the toll of civilian dead and injured,” they said in a joint statement with Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-IL), who previously called for a cease-fire, They alluded, without specifics, to a “different path” to stopping Hamas. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also appeared to call for a mutual cease-fire.
Campus Conduct: In The New York Times, Dr. Zeke Emanuel calls on universities to recenter the teaching of ethics and morality on campus. “Ethics are rarely either/or. It is possible to condemn the barbarism of Hamas and condemn the endless Israeli occupation of the West Bank. So, too, is it possible to condemn the treatment of women and the L.G.B.T.Q. community in Arab lands and the attempt by right-wing Israeli politicians to neuter Israel’s Supreme Court. But without the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and to recognize the fallacies of moral equivalence, students won’t be able to marshal the nuanced reasoning and a careful assessment of responsibility required in times like these. We in the academy need to look more deeply at how it is possible that so many undergraduates, graduate students, law students and faculty at our nation’s finest colleges and universities could have such moral blinders. We need to ask ourselves: What is in our curriculums? What do we think it means to be well educated? What moral stands are we taking? The timidity of many university leaders in condemning the Hamas massacre and antisemitism more generally offers the wrong example. Leaders need to lead.” [NYTimes]
Biden Time:The Atlantic’s Franklin Foer weighs in on President Joe Biden’s strategy of embracing Israeli leadership during times of crisis as the president touches down in Israel for a day of meetings. “In 2014, Israel’s war with Hamas extended across 50 days. In 2021, when Biden deployed his Hug Bibi strategy, the conflict lasted 11. Biden persuaded Netanyahu to wrap up the attack on Gaza in a call where he told him, ‘Hey, man, we’re out of runway here.’ This visit to Tel Aviv needs to be understood as the high-risk version of the same approach. By banking emotional capital with the Israeli public, he has acquired a position of leverage, from which he will privately prod the coalition government to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. His Socratic questioning can help sharpen Israeli thinking at a moment when emotions cloud judgment. This is a matter of American interest, as Biden tries to preserve the possibility of a regional peace deal, and to prevent the economic disaster of a wider war. And now his own political future depends on a warm embrace.” [TheAtlantic]
New Hate: In The Wall Street Journal, Ruth Wisse posits that anti-Zionism is more dangerous than antisemitism alone. “To blame Israel for occupying Arab land, it was necessary to keep the Palestinian population permanently displaced. That is why the Arab League never accepted the partition of Palestine and why the Palestinians have never built their state in the West Bank or Gaza. Anti-Zionism demands the continuing sacrifice of the Palestinians. The destruction of Gaza is the real object of the Hamas attack on Israel. Butchering Jews to prove Arab bravery was the minor goal, but the main goal was to ensure that Jews are blamed for killing Palestinians. Anti-Zionism misdirects attention from its carriers to its target, and even those of us who stand with Israel are inclined to follow their pointing finger. Will Israel overreact? How long can it expect American and Western support? How could Israel have allowed such a failure of intelligence? All such focus ought instead to be trained on the perpetrators — who will multiply unless they are contained.” [WSJ]
Learning from the Past: For CNN, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), drawing on his experiences in Iraq, writes that Israel needs to consider a plan for what happens after Hamas is dismantled. “To be sure, there are some fundamental differences between Israel’s war with Hamas and America’s war in Iraq. Israel is responding to an attack from within by a terrorist organization seeking to wreak havoc in Israel and across the region. In contrast, a coalition of countries invaded Iraq seeking to displace a brutal dictator who we thought had weapons of mass destruction — and in the process, we created an insurgency. In one case, the insurgency was the cause of the conflict, and in the other, the insurgency was the result. But we nevertheless learned valuable lessons that Israel should take seriously. Countering an insurgency is Israel’s task in Gaza just as it was America’s challenge in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel’s military victory in Gaza will be hard enough, but its government should explain their plan for the day after, a plan for the future of Gaza. If they simply kill a lot of Hamas terrorists and leave Gaza a smoldering mess, they’ll have the same problem they do today — much like America did after the first time we conquered Najaf.” [CNN]
Word from Washington: In Real Clear Politics, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) explains how the Biden administration and Congress can work together to support Israel. “Contrary to the propaganda spawned by Hamas supporters in America and around the world, the Iran-backed group is not a band of freedom fighters. It is a bunch of savages whose explicit, stated goal is to drive every Jew out of the region and replace Israel with an Islamic fundamentalist state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. No one can be expected to coexist with, much less empower, people dedicated to their annihilation. Any nation facing this kind of threat has every right to degrade and destroy the enemy. This is what Israel must do to Hamas, and America must help its ally until the job is done. Israel is not asking for a single American soldier. They are not asking America to conduct air strikes. And they are not asking us to preemptively start a war with Iran, as some others are suggesting us to do. What Israel has asked for, and what we have already committed to providing in a situation such as this, is the military resupply necessary to defeat their enemies.” [RealClearPolitics]
Words on War: In the Times of Israel, Yossi Klein Halevi lays out Israel’s objectives as it seeks to root out Hamas. “The outpouring of sympathy for Israel was good for our souls, especially in those traumatic first days. But we all knew that much of that sympathy would begin to evaporate with the terrible scenes of devastation in Gaza. And we also knew that, given the choice, we preferred to be condemned than pitied. Necessarily, in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, we disseminated the atrocity photos and brought foreign journalists to the scene of the slaughter. But in the face of growing suffering in Gaza, the political effectiveness of those images is fading. We need to make our case against Hamas not by seeking the world’s pity but its understanding. We are not engaged with the Palestinians in a competition for victimhood. The Palestinians will always win that competition, and rightly so. In opting for power, the Jewish people opted out of the victimhood competition. There is a price to pay for the loss of innocence. We have no choice but to own it.” [TOI]
Around the Web
New Sanctions: The Treasury Department is expected to announce new sanctions against Hamas leaders this week.
Worrisome Workplace: Current and former employees of the Government Publishing Office filed a lawsuit claiming that they were subject to “a severe and pervasive hostile work environment” that included a colleague who was vocally supportive of Nazis, invoked antisemitic conspiracy theories and displayed tattoos that indicated white nationalist leanings.
Cotton’s Call: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called on the U.S. to deport foreign nationals who supported Hamas’ attacks on Israel.
Missing the Meeting: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will not attend a briefing for senators on Israel slated for today, following a series of indictments on charges relating to bribery and acting as a foreign agent to Egypt.
In Limbo: A managing partner at Davis Polk said in an internal email that the top law firm had rescinded offers of employment to three law students at Harvard and Columbia who had signed onto pro-Hamas statements demonizing Israel, but is in talks with two of the students, who said they were not consulted when their organizations signed onto the statements.
UPenn Problems: World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, a 1965 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, told administrators he plans to reconsider his annual giving to the school if it doesn’t adequately address antisemitism on campus. Pennsylvania businessman and philanthropist David Magerman is also dropping his support for his alma mater.
Vandal Responds: The NYU student filmed ripping down photographs of abducted Israelis said she was acting out of “misplaced anger.”
Maccabees’ Moment: The New York Times interviews players on the Yeshiva University Maccabees men’s soccer team, who are pushing through the season despite the Oct. 7 attack that shook the team, which includes Israeli players.
Media Buzz: Semafor looks at how conservative media influencers are approaching conversations about Israel and Hamas.
Longing for Latimer: More than two dozen rabbis and Jewish leaders in New York’s 16th Congressional District penned a letter to Westchester County Executive George Latimer urging him to mount a primary challenge against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who, the signatories claim, has “doubled down on his anti-Israel policy positions and messaging.”
Northern Exposure: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country was experiencing a “scary rise” in antisemitism following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
Safe at Home: The Wall Street Journal spotlights the successful efforts of volunteer security officials at Kibbutz Mefalsim to defend their community against Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.
Making Contact: Israel said it is in talks with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to potentially set up Starlink internet services, ahead of a potential ground invasion of Gaza.
Berlin Concerns: The Wall Street Journal reports on the surge in antisemitic sentiment in Germany following an influx of Muslim immigrants to the country.
Pic of the Day
President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embrace on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday morning.
Former U.S. ambassador to Morocco and president of the Coalition for a Safer Web, Marc Ginsberg turns 73…
Engineer and co-founder and former chairman of Qualcomm, Irwin M. Jacobs turns 90… Former mayor of Amsterdam and leader of the Dutch Labour Party, Marius Job Cohen turns 76… Linguist, he is a professor at the University of Chicago, Victor A. Friedman turns 74… Professor of intelligence and global security studies at Capitol Technology University, Joshua B. Sinai, Ph.D…. Bakersfield, Calif.-based attorney focused on adoption and reproductive law, Marc Dennis Widelock… Television director, writer, producer, composer and actor, Chuck Lorre (born Levine) turns 71… Film producer and head of Dimension Films, Robert “Bob” Weinstein turns 69… President of the Economic Future Group, Jonathan Bernard Yoav Tasini turns 67… Award-winning illustrator and writer of books for children, Eugene Yelchin turns 67… Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler turns 66… Retired NFL running back, he writes of his conversion in From Rose Bowl to Rashi: My Unique Journey to Judaism, Leon Calvin (now Yosef) Murray turns 65… Israeli journalist, political commentator and author of two books on Benjamin Netanyahu, Ben Caspit turns 63… Retired in 2021 after twenty years as the director at Rutgers Hillel, followed by a year at the Harvard Hillel, Andrew Getraer… Executive managing director at Cresset, he is a former president at Birthright Israel Foundation, David Fisher… Professor and director of Jewish studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Steven Phillip Weitzman turns 58… Weather anchor for NBC 4 New York, David M. Price turns 57… Former ESPN television host, sports reporter and anchor, Rachel Nichols turns 50… CEO of Future Today Institute, she is a professor of strategic foresight at NYU, Amy Lynn Webb turns 49… Fashion designer, stylist and art director, Maryna Asauliuk turns 43… SVP and COO at the American Enterprise Institute, Suzanne Gershowitz… Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Graham Moore turns 42… Founding partner and Washington correspondent for Puck News, Julia Ioffe turns 41… Congressional correspondent for The New York Times, Annie Karni… Project manager at Moovit, Ayal Kellman… Popular Israeli singer, Idan Yaniv turns 37… Staff writer at The New Yorker, Emma Green…