Good Friday morning.
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we spotlight the White House’s Gaza humanitarian envoy David Satterfield, and look at anti-Israel rhetoric disseminated by the Emir of Qatar’s mother, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Bari Weiss, Benny Gantz and Amy Rutkin.
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: After Hamas, what might come next for Gaza?; Dani Dayan’s new paradigm for Yad Vashem: Fighting today’s antisemitism; The BBC faces complaints, criticism over Israel-Hamas war coverage. Print the latest edition here.
The war has resumed in Israel and Gaza, with Hamas breaking the terms of the temporary pause with a salvo of rockets fired at Israel’s south on Friday, shortly before the deadline to submit a list of 10 living Israeli hostages to be released, Jewish Insider’s Lahav Harkov reports. When that list did not arrive by 7 a.m. local time, Israel announced that it was resuming hostilities and struck in northern and southern Gaza.
That Hamas shot first – and took credit for Thursday’s deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem – did not stop the international media from reporting the morning’s events with headlines such as “Israel resumes strikes,” “Israel resumes combat operations,” and more, providing estimated Palestinian death tolls within hours.
The resumption of hostilities came the day after Secretary of State Tony Blinken was in Israel to urge a continued pause. Blinken expressed concern to Israel’s leaders in Thursday’s war cabinet meeting that southern Gaza will have to be evacuated the way northern Gaza was, something that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reassured him would not be the case.
In a press conference later Thursday, Blinken called for “designated places…where [Gazans] can be safe and avoid the line of fire.” On Friday morning, the IDF dropped flyers in Gaza with a map of areas in the southern strip and instructions on where civilians can evacuate.
Blinken turned over a figurative hourglass for Israel’s war with Hamas during his visit, asking Israel’s political and defense leadership in the war cabinet meeting how long they thought the war would last. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant responded that Israel will take all the time it needs to destroy Hamas, because if it doesn’t, “Hezbollah or someone else will attack and we won’t survive here. It won’t take weeks; it’ll take months.”
“I don’t think you have months to continue at this intensity,” Blinken responded.
The secretary of state avoided making statements in public that would give the impression that he is putting a time limit on the war, but Gallant made his position on the matter clear at a photo-op between the two soon after the cabinet meeting. “This is a just war for the future of the Jewish people and the future of Israel,” he said. “We are going to fight Hamas until we prevail, no matter how long it takes.”
Blinken’s remarks in the war cabinet and in public focused mostly on the humanitarian conditions in Gaza. When he said Israel must avoid harming civilian bystanders, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy responded that “sometimes, Israel avoids attacking significant targets because there are civilians [nearby].”
On Thursday evening, Blinken seemed at pains to correct the impression made by the leaked quotes from the war cabinet suggesting widening gaps between the U.S. and Israel on the war. “We support and we will continue to support Israel doing everything possible to ensure Hamas cannot repeat the horrors of October 7…and no longer has the capacity to carry out attacks,” he said. “How Israel does it is up to Israel, but it is also…imperative to protect civilians and ensure humanitarian aid goes to Gaza. That is something that is vital to us and the Israeli government agrees with.”
Blinken spoke about the need for “plans to minimize harm to civilians,” such as ensuring that the IDF does not hit power stations and water facilities, while acknowledging that “Hamas intentionally embeds itself within and among civilian populations.”
“All of this can be done and still enable Israel to achieve its objectives,” he said, noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the members of the war cabinet agreed. “It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s also in Israel’s security interest.”
The secretary of state also said that after the war, “Israel’s enduring security” must be assured, while the lives of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank must be improved, along with “a credible path to their legitimate aspiration for statehood.” Blinken continued to press Israel for a plan for post-war Gaza, which the U.S. believes should include a role for the Palestinian Authority.
An individual familiar with the meeting told JI that the discussion between Blinken and Gallant was “good,” and that Gallant expressed to Blinken that Israel is “going to keep going, no matter how long it takes — with an emphasis on ‘no matter how long it takes’ — until we feel that we’ve achieved the two main goals of the war.” The individual specified the goals as “destroying Hamas’ governing and military capabilities to the extent that they no longer pose a threat to Israel” and “bringing home all of the hostages.”
fight and protect
‘Mission impossible’: Gaza humanitarian envoy David Satterfield’s high-stakes diplomacy
Soon after the first Israeli hostages held by Hamas were released last week, President Joe Biden held an impromptu press conference at a Nantucket, Mass., hotel to address the U.S.-brokered deal that encompassed the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, and the delivery of additional humanitarian aid to Gaza in exchange for a pause in Israel’s ground war. His brief remarks mentioned just one American official by name: David Satterfield, the U.S. special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues. Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch profiles the longtime senior diplomat who has the ear of the president.
Informing the president: “I’ve asked him to monitor our progress hour-by-hour and keep me personally informed,” Biden said of the increased humanitarian assistance that would be delivered to Gaza during the pause in fighting. Satterfield, who has held high-ranking positions across the Arab world, has become an indispensable part of the Biden administration’s handling of the war in Gaza. He was named to the post just eight days after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, tasked with leading “a whole-of-government campaign to mitigate the humanitarian fallout of Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israel,” Secretary of State Tony Blinken said in a press release.
Hamas’ fault: This framing was important: It laid the blame for the impending humanitarian crisis at Hamas’ feet, and bolstered Washington’s argument that considering Gaza’s humanitarian needs was not just morally right, but also a strategic component of Israel’s response to the Hamas attack. The administration’s thinking held that by easing the suffering of Palestinian civilians, Israel would have a longer runway for its military campaign.
Competing goals: But tying humanitarian concerns so closely to a military campaign means that Satterfield, more than any other American official, is walking a tightrope: His work is both crucial to Israel’s war effort and, sometimes, at odds with it. “If we back [Israel’s] campaign to eliminate Hamas, that means quite likely there will be more combat. So then that’s in tension with the humanitarian aid situation for Gazans,” said Brian Katulis, vice president of policy at the Middle East Institute.
Sheikha Moza: Qatar’s glamorous – but viciously anti-Israel – face
On Oct. 8, the day after Hamas massacred 1,200 Israelis and took 240 hostages, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the mother of the current emir of Qatar, shared a photo with her over 1.2 million followers on Instagram. It was of a man with his head in his hands in front of a demolished building, with the caption: “O Allah, we entrust Palestine to you.” Since then, Moza, one of the most famous and powerful women in the Middle East, has consistently used her significant public platform to rail against Israel. She has posted on Instagram 28 times since the start of the war, almost always about devastation in Gaza, often parroting unconfirmed claims of thousands of children killed, Jewish Insider’s Lahav Harkov reports.
Face of Qatar: Aside from her meticulously curated wardrobe, Moza’s public profile may not seem not so different from that of many Western first ladies, focusing on educational, health and humanitarian causes, establishing “Education for All” to get the world’s poorest children into school and serving, until recently, as a UNESCO special envoy for basic and higher education. “Sheikha Moza is the public face of Qatar, a country that cares a lot about PR,” Ariel Admoni, an expert on Qatar at Bar-Ilan University, said. “She’s a fashion icon who uses that status to advance the issues that she cares about.” But that is a deceivingly simple description. “From the beginning, Moza was very dominant,” Admoni said. “She is a critical factor in Qatar.”
Polite company: The emir’s mother is also said to be behind Qatar’s purchase of some of the most recognizable real estate in London, as well as the fashion house Valentino. Moza is “behind initiatives that put Qatar in polite company, while the regime continues to grant safe haven to the Taliban, Hamas, ISIS and Al-Qaida,” Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said. “She is very much part of the laundering operation of Qatar’s image – and in the process, she appears to really enjoy the spotlight.”
Return of hostages by Hamas has played out like a dark psychological thriller
It’s been a week since Hamas began releasing Israeli hostages as part of a U.S.-Qatari-Egyptian-mediated cease-fire. The nightly dribble of freed people, including elderly women, mothers and children, has played out like scenes from a soap opera or dark psychological thriller. Many of the roughly 240 hostages kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during its brutal attack on Oct. 7 have already become household names. Their faces appear on billboards and lampposts throughout the country, and their desperate relatives have been featured prominently in Israeli media. The Oct. 7 attack, which saw thousands of terrorists from Hamas and other Palestinian groups breach the border fence from Gaza, flood Israel en masse and murder more than 1,200 people in some 22 civilian communities, army bases and a music festival in a single day, has brought a new level of terror, fear and anxiety to the Israeli people, Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash reports.
Deep trauma: The slow return this week of nearly 100 hostages, including 3-year-old twins, children, teenagers, mothers and elderly women, has not only sent the country on a roller coaster of emotions but also made clear that this time around, the trauma runs deeper than ever. “I see it from my patients, even those not directly affected in any way by the recent events, they are very traumatized by everything that is happening,” professor Ofrit Shapira-Berman, a psychoanalyst and lecturer from the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told JI this week.
Preparing for their return: Professor Asher Ben-Arieh, dean of the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of the Haruv Institute, a center that trains professionals and researches methods to help children suffering from abuse and neglect, has been working on a comprehensive program to help therapists, such as Shapira-Berman, and others working with the massacre victims, since Oct. 11. “The Ministry of Social Services approached us even before we knew the exact number of people who had been kidnapped,” Ben-Arieh, a social worker who mainly works with children, told JI. “We knew that one day those children would return, and we needed to have a protocol to deal with them,” he continued.
University of Michigan calls off anti-Israel campus vote
Administrators at the University of Michigan, where students had begun voting this week on a ballot measure accusing Israel of “genocide,” canceled the referendum yesterday, citing “extraordinary, unprecedented interference” tied to the sending of an “unauthorized” email to the entire student body encouraging support for the legislation, Jewish Insider’s Melissa Weiss reports.
You’ve got mail: The campus-wide email encouraging students to vote in favor of the “University Accountability in the Face of Genocide” resolution, which calls on the university “to recognize the millions of people undergoing genocide in Gaza,” was sent on Wednesday by a collective of more than 60 campus organizations, including the campus chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace, Young Democratic Socialists of America and Sunrise Ann Arbor, under the banner of the “TAHRIR Coalition.”
Decision to nix: In an email sent to students on Thursday morning and obtained by JI, University of Michigan Vice President and General Counsel Timothy Lynch said that the administration “immediately brought this violation to the attention of Central Student Government,” but that the student government “declined to address this threat to the integrity of the election results.” Lynch said the university had initially allowed the referendum to move forward despite “serious concerns about the appropriateness of putting these types of questions up to a vote by the student body.” As a result, Lynch said, the administration “has been left with no alternative but to cancel the portion of the election process.”
House votes to block funds to Iran, splitting Democratic caucus in half
The House voted Thursday evening to cut off the administration’s ability to allow any funding to Iran, splitting the House Democratic caucus nearly in half, with 90 Democrats voting with almost all Republicans in favor of the bill, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Expanding scope: The legislation, as initially drafted, focused on freezing the $6 billion in Iranian funds released as part of the administration’s hostage deal with Iran, which the administration has said it informally refroze following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. But amendments introduced and approved on the floor with some Democratic support significantly expanded the scope of the bill. The final House vote on the bill was 307-119-1; Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was the only Republican opposed and Rep. George Santos (R-NY), expecting to be expelled from Congress on Friday morning, voted present on every vote on Thursday.
Key amendments: One key amendment cut off any further sanctions relief to the Iranian regime — permanently freezing all sanctioned Iranian assets, including a recently released $10 billion from Iraq to purchase electricity from Iran, and preventing the lifting of any sanctions on Iran in any form going forward. It was approved 231-198-1, with a dozen Democrats in favor and Massie in opposition. The House also voted 241-181-1 for an amendment that would prohibit the U.S. from directly providing any funds to Iran.
Calling out Hamas: The House also voted 412-11-1 to add language to the bill condemning Hamas’ and other Iranian-backed terror groups’ use of human shields, and stating that unconditional surrender and disarmament by Hamas is the only way to ensure the safety of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX), Delia Ramirez (D-IL), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Summer Lee (D-PA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Chuy Garcia (D-IL), Greg Casar (D-TX), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Massie were the only lawmakers to vote against the amendment.
Bonus: More than half of Senate Republicans are demanding a classified briefing next week from the administration on its plan to counter Iran, in response to the administration’s recent decision to waive sanctions on the Islamic republic to allow Iraq to continue to purchase electricity from Tehran, JI’s Marc Rod reports.
Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urges UN Women to condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack
A bipartisan group of nearly 90 House lawmakers is urging the United Nations’ Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known as UN Women, to speak out against the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the sexual violence Hamas attackers committed, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Putting pressure: The U.N. has been slow to speak out against and condemn the sexual violence that occurred during the Oct. 7 attack, with particular criticism focused on UN Women. This week, the U.N. posted and then deleted a condemnation of the attack, and an official from UN Women avoided condemning Hamas in a television interview. Reps. Sheila Cherfilus McCormick (D-FL) and Young Kim (R-CA) led 87 other lawmakers on a letter to UN Women Director Sima Bahous calling for a stronger stance.
Quotable: “UN Women cannot expect to be viewed as an honest advocate for women’s rights if it continues to ignore Israeli women and women of other nationalities brutalized by Hamas terrorists on October 7th in an attack that claimed the lives of 1200+ Israelis and injured thousands more,” the letter reads. “Your disregard and tone deaf response to Hamas’ attack is woefully unsatisfactory and consistent with the UN’s longstanding bias against Israel.”
Elsewhere in Washington: J Street, the progressive Israel advocacy group that holds sway with a swath of progressive Democrats, issued a statement calling on the U.S. to put “guardrails” on Israel’s prosecution of its war and to not provide a “blank check” to the Israeli government, outlining several conditions it would like to see attached to future aid to Israel. At the same time, the group’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, distanced himself from comments by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), a J Street endorsee, accusing Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
Siloed Sisterhood: In Slate, Dahlia Lithwick, Mimi Rocah, Tamara Sepper, Jennifer Taub, Joyce White Vance and Julie Zebrak raise concerns that the widespread sexual violence that took place during the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks is being ignored by much of the world. “The victims of the Oct. 7 attack stand excluded from the world’s sisterhood. In the face of overwhelming real-time documentation, murmurs of support are few and far between. We must ask ourselves, from a place of empathy, for all who suffer: Does our outrage about rape and abuse depend on the identity of the perpetrator and the victim? Is rape acceptable, even justifiable, if the victims live in a nation whose policies you disapprove of? Can we blame these victims, many but not all of whom are Israeli, for what happened to them? If the answer to these questions is no, as it should be, then we must all speak out about the violence, no matter who it is perpetrated against or where they live. To express moral outrage and legal horror at the offenses perpetrated on women in Israel is not tantamount to approving the governing Netanyahu coalition, nor does it signal support for the bombings in Gaza. It is simply to assert the long-standing feminist argument that our bodies are not to be weaponized in global conflicts.” [Slate]
Benny’s Bet: Politico’s Jamie Dettmer looks at how former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, is positioning himself as a potential future head of state in a post-war era. “The starting gun on a resumption of politics as usual will sound the moment Gantz, a former chief of the general staff, decides to leave the emergency cabinet, said Nimrod Goren, an academic and analyst with the Middle East Institute. ‘That will be the significant moment — when Benny decides to quit — and the public political discourse will change overnight,’ he said. There are clear signs things are already starting to shift. Gantz this week objected fiercely to the unfreezing of hundreds of millions of shekels in political funds earmarked for ultra-Orthodox and right-wing pro-settler parties. Gantz announced on Sunday his party’s five ministers would vote against the budgetary changes and, in a letter to Netanyahu, he criticized ‘disbursing coalition funds or any additional budget that is not connected to the war effort or advancing economic growth.’” [Politico]
Remembering Kissinger: In The Spectator, Andrew Roberts reflects on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s legacy. “Yet here is a man who in many ways fashioned the world we live in today, and who also saved us from a much worse one. When he was appointed National Security Adviser by Richard Nixon in January 1969, the United States was losing the cold war, utterly split domestically over Vietnam, on the retreat across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and failing to show leadership to the rest of the free world. The next four years saw full-scale war in the Middle East, Opec’s quadrupling of the oil price, the Watergate scandal, Palestinian hijackings and the Munich Olympics massacre, West Germany pursuing its own ‘Ostpolitik’ appeasement of the USSR, a Pakistani civil war. Throughout, Henry provided the American leadership necessary to keep the western alliance from disintegrating. Historians of Henry’s career, primarily of course his fine biographer Niall Ferguson, will show how close the US-led West came to general collapse in the early 1970s, and will concentrate on his efforts to stave that off, rather than on the incidents that the left love to fetishise. Even with those, Henry can be seen to have followed Realpolitik rather than the right-wing ideology his traducers all too often suppose.” [TheSpectator]
Sound of Silence: The Orthodox Union’s Rabbi Moshe Hauer notes the muted response from Muslim American organizations in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks. “Every major Jewish organization openly opposes acts of hate against Muslims. Every major Jewish organization would readily condemn an incident – should it happen – where pro-Israel protesters physically threatened others or called for genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Every major Jewish organization joins the Israeli government and army leadership in denouncing Jewish individuals or groups in Israel who perpetrate acts of violence or hate against others. We applaud the Israeli government and army when they punish and remove soldiers who deviate from their strategic mission of combat and defense to commit acts of brutality against Palestinians, and we support Israeli police and courts when they interdict and punish Israelis who take vigilante action against Palestinian civilians. We are saddened by civilian casualties in Gaza and are disgusted by Hamas’ cynical use of their fellow Gazans as human shields. And then we try to listen, from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans, from the river to the sea, waiting to hear similar sentiments from major American Muslim organizations. …Crickets.” [OU]
Around the Web
Borrowed Time: The Biden administration is considering pushing Qatar to shutter Hamas’ offices in the Gulf state after the return of all of the hostages being held in Gaza, as Israeli officials lay the groundwork to kill or capture Hamas leaders around the world.
Brushed Off: The New York Timesconfirmed earlier reporting by Israeli outlets that female intelligence and surveillance soldiers and officers warned senior IDF officers that Hamas was planning and training for a major attack on Israel, but were not taken seriously by their officers.
Ship Support: A bipartisan group of 55 lawmakers led by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Robert Aderholt (R-AL) urged the Department of Defense to deploy U.S. hospital ships to the waters off of Gaza to provide civilian access to medical care, in cooperation with Egypt and Israel.
Caucus Convening: The House Jewish Caucus will hold its first organizational meeting today.
Schumer Says:Punchbowl Newstalked to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) about antisemitism and Israel following the New York legislator’s address on antisemitism earlier this week.
Rutkin’s Review: Roll Callinterviews Amy Rutkin, the outgoing chief of staff to Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), about her time in Washington and plans to start her own political consulting firm.
Final Countdown: The House is slated to vote this morning on the expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-NY) from Congress.
Israel Tour: Westchester County Executive George Latimer returned from a trip to Israel ahead of the expected launch of his primary challenge to Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) in New York’s 16th Congressional District.
Grim Teaser: An excerpt from Ryan Grim’s upcoming book on the Squad details the fraught relationship between Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), then in House Democratic leadership, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) following the latter’s 2018 election.
Media Moves: MSNBC canceled Mehdi Hasan’s weekend show; Hasan will still appear as a commentator on Ayman Mohyeldin’s weekend program, which is being extended to two hours.
Press Popularity: The Wall Street Journal looks at how readership of Bari Weiss’ Free Press has surged amid the Israel-Hamas war.
Gray [Lady] Matter:The New York Timesquietly retracted a headline that appeared on the front page of the newspaper’s Sunday edition incorrectly claiming that more women and children died in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war than in Ukraine.
Problematic Posts: A member of the Massachusetts Task Force on Hate Crimes is under fire for antisemitic social media posts, including one decrying Israeli soldiers as “the nazis carrying out ethnic cleansing,” and suggesting, the day after the Oct. 7 terror attacks, that “violence is the language of the unheard.”
Campus Concern: The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights opened an investigation into the University of Tampa over the college’s handling of a September incident in which a Jewish student was physically assaulted on campus and then forced to write an apology to his attacker.
Sarandon’s Activism: The New York Times looks at Susan Sarandon’s history of political activism, after the actress was dropped by her agency for comments about Jewish Americans and antisemitism.
Peltz’s Play: Nelson Peltz is launching a new proxy battle against Disney after the company blocked his effort to join the board.
Zucker Deal: U.K. media regulators will conduct a review into a pending deal backed by UAE funds that would seat former CNN head Jeff Zucker atop both The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph.
Kissinger Considerations: In the Washington Post, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk considers how former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger would have approached the Israel-Hamas war.
Seeds of Hope: CNN spotlights the efforts to extract and preserve the sperm of Israelis killed during the war.
First Look: The producers of a documentary on the Nova music festival that was attacked on Oct. 7 released the film’s first trailer.
Spanish Steps: Israel recalled its ambassador from Spain and summoned the Spanish ambassador in Israel after Spain’s prime minister said he had “serious doubt” Israel was adhering to international law.
Remembering: Hebrew University professor Shlomo Avineri died at 90. Dr. Abraham Bergman, a leading expert on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome who advocated for expanded public health legislation, died at 91. Photographer Elliott Erwitt, born Elio Romano Erwitz, died at 95.
Pic of the Day
Israeli President Isaac Herzog met this morning with King Charles III at COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Herzog met with dozens of leaders at the conference, including United Arab Emirates President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Actress best known for playing Special Agent Kensi Blye in 277 episodes of CBS’s “NCIS Los Angeles,” Daniela Ruah turns 40 on Saturday…
FRIDAY: Chairman until earlier this year of Disney’s Marvel Entertainment, Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter turns 81… Former EVP of Stuart Weitzman, Jane Weitzman… NYC-based real estate developer, he owned the New York Post, served as chair of NYC’s MTA and is a noted car collector, Peter Kalikow turns 81… Executive producer of over 200 television shows, David E. Salzman turns 80… Singer, actress, comedian and author, Bette Midler turns 78… Comedian, actor and voice actor best known for his starring role in the animated sitcom “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist,” Jonathan Katz turns 77… Former director of Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, he is now the director of Yashrut, Rabbi Daniel Landes turns 73… Former president of the American Jewish Committee and a board member at Israel Policy Forum, John M. Shapiro… British playwright, director and scriptwriter, Stephen Poliakoff turns 71… U.S. senator (R-FL), Rick Scott turns 71… Chair of the Jewish Federation of Howard County (Maryland), Rabbi Gordon Fuller… Immediate past chair of the board of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Isaac “Ike” Fisher turns 67… U.S. District Court judge in Oregon, Judge Michael H. Simon turns 67… U.S. senator (D-MI), Gary Peters turns 65… CEO of Oracle Corporation, Safra A. Catz turns 62… Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Cambridge, Raymond E. Goldstein turns 62… Pittsburgh-based entrepreneur, David Seldin… CEO at My Pest Pros in Fairfax County (Virginia), Brett Lieberman… Emmy Award-winning stand-up comedian, actress, producer and writer, Sarah Silverman turns 53… Rabbi of Shaarei Tefillah Congregation in Toronto, Rafi Lipner turns 50… Principal in the media and communications practice at The Raben Group, he is the author of a book on military suicides, Yochi J. Dreazen turns 47… Emmy and Peabody Award-winning director, comedian, producer, writer and actor, Akiva Schaffer turns 46… Marketing and communications executive, Natalie Ravitz… Editor-in-chief at Jewish Insider, Josh Kraushaar… Writer and television producer, Evan Daniel Susser turns 38… English teacher at Jerusalem’s Keshet Talpaz, Shira Sacks… Principal at Magen Strategies, David Milstein… Mexican musician influenced by Sephardic brass and klezmer styles, known by his mononym “Sotelúm,” Jorge Sotelo turns 34… Becky Weissman…
SATURDAY: Professor of rabbinic literature at Yeshiva University’s Gruss Institute in Jerusalem, Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff turns 86… Real estate executive and founder of the Sunshine Group, Louise Mintz Sunshine turns 83… Sociologist and human rights activist, Jack Nusan Porter turns 79… Partner at Personal Healthcare LLC, Pincus Zagelbaum… Former drummer for a rock band in France followed by a career in contemporary Jewish spiritual music in Brooklyn, Isaac “Jacky” Bitton turns 76… EVP at Rubenstein Communications, Nancy Haberman… Author of more than 15 volumes of poetry, he is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Pennsylvania, Bob Perelman turns 76… French historian, professor at Sorbonne Paris North University and author of 30 books on the history of North Africa, Benjamin Stora turns 73… Retired associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Barbara A. Lenk turns 73… Professor at Montana State University, she was a member of the Montana House of Representatives and a board member of Bozeman’s Congregation Beth Shalom, Dr. Franke Wilmer turns 73… Partner in the Madison, Wisconsin law firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland, she is a class action and labor law attorney, Sarah Siskind… Rabbi of Baltimore’s Congregation Ohel Moshe, Rabbi Zvi Teichman… Canadian fashion designer and entrepreneur, he is best known for launching the Club Monaco and Joe Fresh brands, Joe Mimran turns 71… Celebrity physician and author of diet books, he is the president of the Nutritional Research Foundation, Joel Fuhrman turns 70… Account manager at the Los Angeles Business Journal, Lanna Solnit… Cleveland resident, Joseph Schlaiser… Emmy Award-winning actress, her father was a rabbi, Rena Sofer turns 55… Identical twin sisters, known as The AstroTwins, they are magazine columnists and authors of four books on astrology, Tali Edut and Ophira Edut turn 51… Professor of political science, Eleanor L. Schiff turns 47… Former member of the Knesset, now serving as Israel’s ambassador to the U.K., Tzipi Hotovely turns 45… Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation, Annie Fixler… Senior director with Alvarez & Marsal in Atlanta, she was a sabre fencer at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Emily Jacobson Edwards turns 38… Actor, best known for playing Trevor in the coming-of-age film “Eighth Grade,” Fred Hechinger turns 24…
SUNDAY: A close associate of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Chaim Yehuda (“Yudel”) Krinsky turns 90… Malibu resident, she is the founder of a successful wedding gown business and a lifestyle coach, Sandy Stackler… 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winner for his book on Arabs and Jews in Israel, he was a long-serving foreign correspondent and Washington bureau chief for The New York Times, David K. Shipler turns 81… Member of the New York State Assembly since 1994, Jeffrey Dinowitz turns 69… Painter and art teacher, Heidi Praff… Miami-based criminal defense attorney whose clients have included O.J. Simpson and Charlie Sheen, Yale Lance Galanter… Former editorial page editor at USA Today, William (Bill) Sternberg… Member of the House of Representatives (D-NC) since 2021, she was the founding chair of Prizmah and former chair of JFNA, Kathy Manning turns 67… British publicist, music manager and former tabloid journalist, Rob Goldstone turns 63… President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sally A. Kornbluth turns 63… Recent member of the Knesset for the Yisrael Beytenu party, Eli Avidar turns 59… Member of the California State Assembly from the 43rd district since 2016, she is running for Adam Schiff’s House seat, Laura Friedman turns 57… Malinda Wozniak Marcus… SVP of strategic initiatives at NBC News, Alison “Ali” Weisberg Zelenko… Associate professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University, Joshua M. Karlip, Ph.D. turns 52… French journalist, author, television and radio personality, Marie Drucker turns 49… Emmy and Grammy Award-winning comedian and actress, she discovered her Eritrean Jewish roots as an adult, Tiffany Haddish turns 44… CEO of Solar One, he was a member of the New York City Council through 2021, Stephen T. Levin turns 42… Founding partner and head of strategy at Triadic, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Edelman… Professional tennis player with a WTA doubles ranking that reached as high as 21, Sharon Fichman turns 33…