Good Wednesday morning.
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we examine the possible consequences of New York’s redistricting and highlight the growing voices of dissent against Hamas in Gaza. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Harvard Chabad Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.
The decisions by courts in New York and North Carolina to allow a more-partisan redrawing of their states’ congressional maps are a blow to the prospects of several of the most pro-Israel lawmakers in Congress — while dealing an additional blow to swing-district moderates who have worked across party lines in an increasingly partisan Washington, Jewish Insider Editor-in-Chief Josh Kraushaar writes.
We don’t know what the new New York maps will look like. An independent redistricting commission will have first crack at drawing new district lines, but if it fails to reach an agreement, the Democratic-controlled legislature would then get its shot. The commission’s deadline isn’t until next Feb. 28, creating a lengthy period of uncertainty.
One outcome is likely: Democrats will gain additional House seats, as new maps would endanger a slew of newly elected Republicans already representing districts President Joe Biden carried. Small tweaks to the lines in Long Island or the Hudson Valley could have an outsized impact. As many as six GOP-held House seats could be impacted, though Democratic operatives expect party leaders to advocate for smaller tweaks to the current map in order to avoid future lawsuits.
Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), a pro-Israel stalwart who eked out an upset against the powerful Democratic campaign committee chairman in 2022, has the most to lose. He narrowly won a district Biden carried by double digits in 2020. If redistricting moves parts of solidly Democratic Westchester County into his district, it would make it difficult for any Republican to compete. Lawler is expected to face former Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones, whose political base is in Westchester County.
The two other GOP lawmakers with a lot to lose are: Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) and Brandon Williams (R-NY). Molinaro already lost a high-profile special election in 2022 (to Rep. Pat Ryan), and only won by two points in his subsequent bid. Williams could see his toss-up district become a shade bluer if mapmakers draw the left-wing college town of Ithaca into his district.
Republicans are cautiously optimistic about their prospects in Long Island, even with less-favorable district lines. The region has turned more conservative, amid widespread dissatisfaction over crime, immigration and the hard left’s anti-Israel posturing. But the redistricting decision could impact how aggressively Republicans compete for former Rep. George Santos’ swing seat in the upcoming special election, if the seat won’t be in existence much longer.
The new lines in New York will also affect Democratic primary positioning. Left-wing Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) is facing a serious primary threat from moderate Westchester County Executive George Latimer. But if a new district ends up taking in less of Latimer’s Westchester County base, it would dramatically change the dynamic of the race. (Alternatively, if the district took in less of the Bronx, it’s possible Bowman would try to run in a different district.)
The New York Times reported on this added bit of intrigue: The Democratic chairman of the redistricting commission is Latimer’s deputy and “has a longstanding interest in succeeding him as county leader,” according to the paper.
All told, the biggest impact of the new lines is that there will be fewer competitive districts and even less incentives for moderation. And with Lawler one of the most vulnerable lawmakers, a leading pro-Israel voice’s political future is on the line.
We’ve already seen the consequences of a deeply partisan Republican gerrymander in North Carolina, eliminating nearly all of the competitive districts in the state.
Already Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC), the former chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, announced her retirement as a result of the new lines. Other reliable pro-Israel Democrats in the delegation, such as Reps. Wiley Nickel (D-NC) and Jeff Jackson (D-NC), aren’t expected to return to Congress in 2025.
At a time when pro-Israel advocates need as many Democratic allies as they can muster, the departure of these lawmakers will tilt the party caucus in a more leftward direction.
Winning at all costs has become a phenomenon for both Democrats and Republicans, to the point where partisans have successfully appealed redrawing district maps off the normal 10-year cycle. The losers of this no-holds-barred version of politics are the moderates that pro-Israel supporters so often rely on.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) hosted her annual Hanukkah party on Capitol Hill yesterday, joined by more than 15 House Democrats, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA), as well as a slew of Hill staffers and Jewish community leaders. JI Capitol Hill reporter Marc Rod reports.
The families of multiple hostages and a survivor of the Nova festival massacre called on those assembled to keep the pressure on and continue advocating for the safe return of all hostages, as well as recounted their and their families’ horrific experiences.
“It’s incredibly important that we not allow the world to move on, and that we make sure that we continue to bring individual attention to these human beings’ captivity,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Let us not forget that the story of Hanukkah is all about finding light, even when it may appear scarce. And we must remember that there are always blessings, even in the midst of darkness.”
Voices against Hamas growing louder as war in Gaza continues
Perhaps it was the recent chaotic images of Hamas terrorists using sticks to beat back desperate civilians at a Gaza hospital, or the short clips circulating of armed terrorists trying to make off with vital aid meant for starving children that first prompted some residents of Gaza to speak out against their leaders. Whatever the reasons, after 68 days of a war that has changed – and even destroyed – the lives of many of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, a growing number of ordinary civilians in the Palestinian enclave, analysts suggest, are beginning to show their anger against Hamas – the brutal regime that has dominated their world for the past 16 years and which on Oct. 7 unleashed an unforgiving war in their territory, Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash reports.
Slowly but surely: “It’s a silent and gradual revolution that is spreading and brewing among displaced and suffering civilians in Gaza who hold Hamas, the nihilistic criminal enterprise that has governed Gaza since 2007, responsible for their annihilation, suffering, misery and displacement,” Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib, an American political analyst originally from Gaza, told JI in a recent interview.
Online accusations: Alkhatib, who has been posting daily video clips on X, formerly Twitter, added: “I see dozens of videos, messages, comments, outbursts and outcries daily by Gazans who are detesting Hamas, challenging its propaganda, condemning the consequences of its actions.” He said many are accusing the militant Islamist group “of hiding themselves underground while civilians are being obliterated above ground.”
Removing a barrier: Khaled Abu Toameh, a Palestinian Affairs analyst, told JI, “The deeper the Israeli army pushes into the Gaza Strip, the more we are likely to see people speaking out against Hamas. “We’ve seen it increase in the last few days, especially on social media,” he said. “There’s a feeling that the barrier of fear has been shattered and that Hamas has been weakened as a result of the military offensive.”
shining the light
Speaking to President Gay, Harvard Chabad rabbi blasts school’s handling of antisemitism
Standing next to a large menorah in front of Harvard’s historic Widener Library, Harvard Chabad Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi delivered a blistering speech on Wednesday, castigating the school for a lack of leadership on antisemitism and bemoaning the difficulties faced by Jewish students in recent months, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports.
Audience of one: Zarchi spoke to a crowd of several dozen students and community members, but the most important person in the audience was Harvard President Claudine Gay. Just a day earlier, Harvard’s governing board had voted to keep her as president after her disastrous handling of congressional questioning about whether calls for the genocide of Jews violate Harvard’s code of conduct.
Our university: “The email referred to you as ‘Our President,’” Zarchi said, referring to the subject line of the university-wide email sent on Tuesday by the board of trustees that affirmed Gay’s service as president. “We in the Jewish community are longing for a day that we can refer to the president and all of Harvard as ours.”
Missing menorah: Zarchi shocked the crowd by revealing that the menorah does not remain in the Yard at night. “This bothers me until this very day. You know what happens to the menorah? After everyone leaves the Yard, we’re gonna pack it up. We have to hide it somewhere,” Zarchi said. Harvard “would not allow us to leave the menorah here overnight, because there’s fear that it’ll be vandalized.”
Speak up: Throughout Zarchi’s speech, Gay, flanked by her husband, watched solemnly. Zarchi concluded by calling her up to help light the menorah for the seventh night of Hanukkah. “It’s my hope, and I know I speak for everyone here, that we can work together with you,” Zarchi said. He implored her to speak up when she sees people on campus targeting Jews: “You don’t walk by and say nothing. You speak. You don’t remain silent.” At the end of the event, Gay posed for a picture with the group. But she did not share any public remarks.
Bonus: The House voted 303-126-3 on Wednesday for a resolution condemning the testimony by three college presidents before the House of Representatives last week and calling for Gay and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth to immediately resign, JI’s Marc Rod reports.
Jewish lawmakers press White House officials to move faster in tackling campus antisemitism
White House officials met with Jewish lawmakers on Wednesday on Capitol Hill to discuss efforts to combat antisemitism in the wake of Oct. 7 and implement the administration’s national strategy, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports. At the meeting, administration officials highlighted the increase in antisemitic threats, while lawmakers pressed them to move more quickly on issuing regulations regarding antisemitism on college campuses, one lawmaker who attended told JI.
Move faster: Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC), said that lawmakers urged the administration to vastly accelerate its rulemaking process regarding campus antisemitism and provide better guidance to college leaders on best practices for combating antisemitism. The administration is expected to issue a regulation providing further guidance around a Trump-era executive order classifying antisemitism as a form of prohibited discrimination on campuses under the Civil Rights Act. “We all expressed our concern that they’re just taking too long and the date that they predicted last year of December 2024 was totally inadequate, and they heard that loud and clear,” Manning said.
White House side: Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall told lawmakers that the threat level to the Jewish community has “risen dramatically” since Oct. 7, and that they are “taking these threats very, very seriously,” according to Manning. Currently, the administration has not seen signs of coordinated terror attacks targeting the Jewish community, but is worried about lone actors. The White House officials told the group that they are meeting all of the implementation deadlines for various executive agencies laid out in the antisemitism strategy, which was rolled out in May.
In the room: From the White House, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Sherwood-Randall, Domestic Policy Council Director Neera Tanden and Justin Oswald, an official from the White House’s Office of Legislative Affairs, attended the meeting. They were joined by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Reps. Kathy Manning (D-NC), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Susan Wild (D-PA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Greg Landsman (D-OH), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Becca Balint (D-VT), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Max Miller (R-OH), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Sara Jacobs (D-CA).
Elsewhere on the Hill: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said yesterday he opposes any additional offensive aid to Israel for its war in Gaza, a hardening of his previous position that he would support aid with conditions. Sanders described the Israeli campaign as a “mass atrocity.” And he said he supports a “humanitarian cease-fire” laid out in a United Nations resolution, on the condition that the cease-fire would be “temporary.”
on the hill
House Foreign Affairs approves bills expanding anti-boycott legislation, human shield sanctions
The House Foreign Affairs committee voted along strongly bipartisan lines on Wednesday to advance a bill expanding the U.S.’ current anti-boycott laws designed to combat international boycotts of Israel and other U.S. allies, and a sanctions law targeting terrorist groups that use human shields, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Boycott pushback: The IGO Anti-Boycott Act passed the committee by a 42-3 vote, with Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Sara Jacobs (D-CA) and Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA) voting against. The bill expands the Anti-Boycott Act, which prohibits U.S. companies and citizens from participating in boycotts of countries “friendly to the United States” organized by foreign governments or providing information that could facilitate such boycotts, to include boycotts organized by international governmental organizations like the United Nations and European Union.
Unanimous: The committee also voted unanimously for a bill that would expand sanctions authority targeting terrorist groups that utilize human shields. The Strengthening Tools to Counter the Use of Human Shields Act would extend the sunset for these sanctions through 2030; allow some top lawmakers to request the administration evaluate specific individuals for sanctions and provide a determination on their eligibility to Congress; expand the sanctions to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (in addition to Hamas and Hezbollah, which are currently covered); and require that the administration report to Congress on past experience countering the use of human shields and how it is utilizing and sharing those takeaways with allies.
Houthi strategy: Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the U.S. could strike the Houthis inside Yemen if their attacks on shipping lanes — and U.S. personnel or ships specifically — continue. “If the attacks continue, particularly to American troops or ships, etc., I think that you’ll see us going right back at them,” Meeks told JI yesterday.
Iran has used funds provided under recent waiver for electricity sales to Iraq, administration official says
Iran has made two humanitarian transactions using funds from its energy trade with Iraq that were released under a sanctions waiver from the U.S. earlier this month, a Treasury Department official revealed yesterday, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports. The administration last month renewed a waiver on U.S. sanctions on Iran, which has been in place under multiple administrations and renewed 21 times, to allow Iraq to continue to purchase electricity from Iran. The funds released under the arrangement are held in an account in Oman, and are restricted to humanitarian transactions.
Funds update: Iran has utilized funds in that account twice since the waiver, Elizabeth Rosenberg, the assistant Treasury secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes, said during a House Financial Services Committee subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. Pressed on whether there had been “problems” with the account, Rosenberg said she could not answer the question in an unclassified setting. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), the chair of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, suggested that this response meant there had been issues.
Looking ahead: “[Qatar] has been and remains extremely helpful in securing hostage releases” of individuals kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7, Abram Paley, the deputy special envoy for Iran who has been leading the Iran office at the State Department added. “At the same time, we have discussed with Qatari leaders that there is no going back to the status quo of Oct. 6, and they have expressed their agreement with that.”
Letter writing: A bipartisan group of 14 House members wrote to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging Canada to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group. The signatories were: Reps. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Jim Costa (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Rudy Yakym (R-IN), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Thomas Kean (R-NJ), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), and Randy Weber (R-TX). Tenney led a similar letter earlier this year.
Judaica sales surge as community members seek ‘a little Jewish joy’ during a difficult time
In any given year, the months leading up to Hanukkah are their own kind of Super Bowl in the world of Judaica sales, as hanukkiot purchases typically spike and retailers see their largest influx of business. This year began similarly, with shop owners stockpiling supplies and logging orders ahead of their busiest quarter. Then came Oct. 7. and, in a burst of Jewish identification following the deadliest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust, sales of jewelry, mezuzot, the Israeli flag and books of reflection are rising in Judaica stores across the country, Jewish Insider’s Tori Bergel reports.
Public displays of support: “We have people, definitely on a daily basis, that are coming in looking for Star of Davids, looking for chais. They feel as if they need to have a physical way of showing support,” David Cooperman, owner of Shalom House in Woodland Hills, Calif, told JI. “Sometimes people will buy a small Star of David to pair up with a larger piece of jewelry that they might already own. So they’re wearing multiple pieces of jewelry, and they want to make sure that they’re wearing a star or chai as well.”
Loud and proud: “I think there’s an aspect of like, looking for joy in Judaism and culture right now,” Jordan Diatlo told JI. With his wife, Diatlo runs the online Judaica site Modern Mensch, known for its distinctive Nosh Menorah. His biggest seller so far this year is a new sleek, rainbow-hued mezuzah the shop calls the Sunrise Sunset Mezuzah. “If I tie it back to the feelings after Oct. 7, I feel like this one says the most about like, ‘here I am, I’m Jewish,’ like there’s a pride element to it,” Diatlo said. “I do think that just a big part of this one being the top seller is the boldness of it.”
Split on the Left: For Silver Bulletin, Nate Silver explains the divide over Israel between liberalism and leftism. “The old left-right coalitions have long been under strain as America has moved away from materialist politics to the politics of cultural grievance. The clearest manifestation of this has been intense polarization based on educational attainment (the more years of schooling, the more likely you are to vote Democrat). If, however, higher educational institutions and the ideas associated with them continue to become more and more unpopular, I’m not sure what happens next.” [SilverBulletin]
Satire and Solace: In The Free Press, Polina Fradkin spotlights “Eretz Nehederet,” Israel’s version of “Saturday Night Live.” She writes that in the wake of Oct. 7, the show has become “both a weapon and a spiritual first aid.” “Fun seemed to have come to an end on October 7 here in Israel. Amid the endless stream of tragedy flooding our phones and seizing our attention, it felt almost unconscionable to laugh. But for the cast and crew of Eretz Nehederet, which translates to Wonderful Country, Israel’s prime-time sketch satire show generating humor is a duty… Eretz Nehederet aired 19 days after October 7 — the same time it took SNL to go back on the air after 9/11. Then-mayor Rudy Giuliani, from whom SNL’s producers sought permission and approval before premiering, opened the show, flanked by 9/11 first responders. Alicia Keys performed. Reese Witherspoon hosted. Eretz Nehederet’s first wartime episode — the show has been running for twenty years — skipped the sentimentality. In one sketch, an army captain welcomes reservists with an upbeat roll call as they board the army bus.” [TheFreePress]
Losing Faith in the Military: Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and California State University, Long Beach political science professor Kevin Wallsten write about Gen Z’s isolationist sentiment in the Wall Street Journal: “This rapidly diminishing faith in the military threatens to undermine support for defense spending, as young people are now twice as likely as those over 65 to oppose increases in such spending. This is a growing problem for a military struggling to address an unprecedented recruitment crisis. Willingness to serve is six times as great among potential recruits who have “a great deal” of confidence in the military as among those with less confidence in the military. Unsurprisingly, the share of young people who say they’re unwilling to enlist is up nearly 10% from last year. Compositional differences among generations help explain some of these divisions, but the role of social media can’t be overlooked.
Around the Web
Dissent Channel: Vice President Kamala Harris has been telling colleagues in the administration — including President Biden — that she wants the White House to show more concern for the humanitarian damage in Gaza.
Behind Bars: Detroit police charged Michael Manuel Jackson-Bolanos, 28, with the murder of synagogue president Samantha Wolf. Jackson-Bolanos is accused of killing Woll during a home invasion; police say he did not know her.
Trial Date: A 13-year-old boy is set to go on trial over allegedly planning a mass shooting at Temple Israel in Canton, Ohio.
Let’s Make a Deal:Punchbowl Newsreports that negotiations over a border security package in exchange for Ukraine aid continued late Wednesday night and “it’s clear the White House is moving in Republicans’ direction.”
Hamas Support: Seventy-two percent of Palestinians support Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, according to a new Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll, the first on Palestinian public opinion to be released since the attacks.
Slogan Censure: Eighteen Senate Republicans introduced a resolution condemning the use of the slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” as “antisemitic and a call for genocide and the destruction of the Jewish state.”
Intern Intrigue:Politico delves into a mystery surrounding a person who, under the name of Thara Nagarajan, apparently infiltrated a GroupMe chat on White House interns in order to promote a letter urging the president to call for a permanent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
No Comment: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asked Adeel Mangi, the Biden administration’s nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, if he believes that Jews in Israel are “colonial settlers.” Mangi said he did not feel qualified to answer the question.
DEI Disclosure: Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) introduced a bill that would require all publicly traded companies to disclose whether they have diversity, equity and inclusion programs that include “any initiative and training to combat antisemitism.”
Gaza Update: The IDF said today that 70 Hamas operatives in the area of the Kamal Adwan Hospital surrendered to Israeli troops in northern Gaza.
Military Matters: The Pentagon is accelerating sustainment support for Israel’s F-35s, which are being used in its war against Hamas, William LaPlante, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, said on Tuesday.
Stalling Sales: The U.S. is putting off the sale of M16 rifles to Israel due to concerns over violence by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, Axios’ Barak Ravid reports.
Arms Sales: Democratic lawmakers are criticizing the Biden administration for lack of transparency about the weapons it’s sending Israel after the State Department skipped normal congressional review channels and approved the sale of nearly 14,000 tank shells.
Antisemitism Hotline: The House Education and Workforce Committee announced it would be establishing a dedicated email hotline for reporting campus antisemitism to the committee, as it launches an investigation on the subject.
Campus Probe: The Education Department is investigating Stanford, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Washington, Seattle, Rutgers University in New Jersey and Whitman College in Washington State, over allegations of discrimination on campus.
Intrepid Reporters:Vanity Fair spotlights the student journalists who have been tirelessly covering the antisemitism scandals on their campuses.
Neo-Nazi Suit: The New Hampshire attorney general’s office filed a civil rights lawsuit yesterday against 19 members of a neo-Nazi group accused of disrupting a drag story hour at a café in June.
Two-State Question: In an interview with Sky News, Israeli Ambassador to the U.K. Tzipi Hotovely said “absolutely no,” to the possibility of a two-state solution.
Across the Pond: A Hanukkah celebration was held in Westminster Hall, London, yesterday evening, reportedly the first time the holiday has been celebrated in the parliamentary building’s almost 1,000-year history.
Ray of Hope: “Light in the Darkness,” a game inside virtual platform Fortnite that allows users to interact with a digitally created Jewish family in Nazi Europe, officially launched a version for iOS as part of the Shine a Light campaign.
Music Man: The Wall Street Journal spotlights Berlin-based Israeli composer and musician Yair Elazar Glotman, who most recently scored the soundtrack for crime film “Reptile.”
Transition: Zvika Klein has been tapped as the new editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, replacing Avi Mayer.
Pic of the Day
President Joe Biden met privately yesterday at the White House with the families of Americans who are being held hostage in Gaza since Hamas’ terror attack on Israel on Oct. 7. He was joined by Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Jon Finer, the principal deputy national security adviser. “The meeting ended with the president who continues to show leadership and dedication towards the release of the captives, the State of Israel and the Jewish people. A true compassionate leader. He listened, shared, shed a tear and insisted on taking us all to the oval office at the end of the meeting. We left strengthened and with hope,” said Orna Neutra (second from right), the mother of Omer Neutra, 22.
British-Israeli chef, restaurateur and food writer, Yotam Assaf Ottolenghi turns 55…
Dean emeritus at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, Rabbi Zevulun Charlop turns 94… President emeritus of George Washington University, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg turns 86… Co-founder and Chairman of Creative Artists Agency until 1995, later President of the Walt Disney Company, Michael S. Ovitz turns 77… Retired NY State assistant housing commissioner, he also served as a military chaplain for 38 years, Jacob Goldstein… President of Bard College since 1975, he is also music director of the American Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein turns 77… Retired SVP at Warner Brothers, Howard Welinsky… Retired U.S. Air Force general who served as the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, he is currently the president and CEO of the Institute for Defense Analyses, Norton Allan Schwartz turns 72… Director of government affairs at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Robin Schatz… Member of Knesset for the Likud party, now serving as the Minister of Agriculture, Avi Dichter turns 71… Co-founder of several companies, including Beanstalk, Sixpoint Partners and Vringo, author of NYTimes bestseller Let There Be Water, Seth (Yossi) Siegel turns 70… Hedge fund manager, John Paulson turns 68… Owner of Bundles of Boston, Sheree Boloker… Retired CEO of San Francisco-based Jewish LearningWorks, David Jonathan Waksberg turns 67… Nurse and mental health counselor, Martina Yisraela Rieffer… Founder of the Center for Class Action Fairness established to combat abusive class-action settlements, now a division of the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute, Ted Frank turns 55… Partner and COO of Chicago-based Resolute Consulting, David Smolensky… Senior rabbi of the Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills, Calif., Kalman Topp turns 51… Policy counsel in the criminal defense practice at The Bronx Defenders, now also a candidate for NYS Assembly, Eli Clemans Northrup turns 39… Co-CEO of Health Consulting Services, Matt Kosman… Former NFL player now playing rugby, he was on the Patriots when they won three Super Bowls, Nathan “Nate” Ebner turns 35… Speech-language pathologist, Leora Neuberger… Former offensive lineman for the New York Giants, now a medical sales representative at Stryker, Adam Bisnowaty turns 30… Co-director of Chabad of Macalester-Groveland in the Minneapolis area, Tzemach Feller… Television, teen theater and voice actress, Mia Sinclair Jenness turns 18…