Good Friday morning.
Ed. note: The next Daily Kickoff will arrive on Tuesday, Jan. 16, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Enjoy the long weekend!
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we look at how legislators on Capitol Hill are responding to the U.S.-led strikes on Houthi facilities in Yemen, and do a deep dive into Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s emergence as a leading progressive voice critical of Israeli policy. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Deborah Lipstadt, Michèle Taylor and Doug Emhoff.
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: Amos Hochstein, Biden’s go-anywhere, get-things-done guy, faces his toughest deal yet; How the Israel-Hamas war upended online dating; U.S. ambassador to Lebanon acknowledged Israeli sovereignty over Golan. Print the latest edition here.
Social media isn’t real life.
That’s an important reminder to all of us on our screens 24/7, but is often easy to forget when reporting about politics, and watching the spasm of disruptive anti-Israel protests in several major cities, Jewish Insider Editor-in-Chief Josh Kraushaar writes.
One of the leading Democrats who understood that most Democratic voters aren’t representative of the online, progressive left is Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). He has emerged as one of the most stalwart supporters of the Jewish state, while also criticizing other excesses of his party’s left-wing activists.
A new Quinnipiac poll underscores that siding with the Democratic mainstream on Israel is a winning strategy — at least in Pennsylvania, one of the most important battleground states on the political map.
Since speaking out forcefully for Israel since its war against Hamas, Fetterman’s job approval has spiked in Quinnipiac’s polling. In October, before the Hamas terror attacks, Fetterman’s job approval stood at just 41%, with 48% disapproving. Since he’s taken on the hard left, his approval jumped to 45%, with 42% disapproving.
Among Democrats, his support is sky-high. Only 7% of Pennsylvania Democrats view him unfavorably, while 76% view him positively. The former staffers writing anonymous letters urging him to take a tougher line on Israel and protesting outside of his offices are well out of step with Democratic public opinion.
Indeed, by a 2-to-1 margin (26-12%), more Pennsylvania voters say they’re more likely to think favorably of Fetterman for his pro-Israel stance than they are to think less favorably. By a smaller margin (20-16%), more Democrats are drawn to Fetterman for his pro-Israel advocacy than are dissuaded.
Overall, a plurality of Pennsylvania voters both approve of the way Israel is conducting itself in responding to the Oct. 7 terror attack (42-38%), and support the U.S. sending additional military aid to Israel as it fights Hamas (48-42%). On the latter question, Democrats are evenly divided (45-45%).
President Joe Biden is also seeing a small rebound in his political standing, though he’s still facing underwater approval ratings (40% approval). The Quinnipiac poll finds him leading former President Donald Trump for the first time in months (49-46%), and has won back some of the skeptical younger voters in a potential head-to-head 2024 matchup. It’s a sign that, despite the progressive dissatisfaction with Biden, many are likely to vote for him in a race against Trump.
As we’ve noted previously, the softest support for Israel is among the youngest voters. That’s a challenge that Democrats — along with the pro-Israel community — are focused on. But loud factions don’t come close to a majority. And that’s a political reality that Biden, Fetterman and many Democrats on a 2024 ballot have come to appreciate.
And in New York,former Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), a pro-Israel stalwart who served in Congress for more than three decades, announced her endorsement of Westchester County Executive George Latimer, a veteran Democrat challenging Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) in New York’s 16th Congressional District. “I have known and admired George for 35 years,” Lowey, who previously represented Westchester County, said in an exclusive statement shared with JI on Thursday. “He has dedicated his life to public service. He has made life better for everyone from Yonkers to Rye, Mamaroneck to Mt. Vernon, and Greenburgh to New Rochelle.”
Lawmakers rally behind U.S., U.K. strikes on Houthis in Yemen
Top lawmakers on both sides of the aisle largely expressed agreement that the U.S. was right to launch strikes on Houthi targets inside Yemen on Thursday evening, in response to weeks of attacks by the Iran-backed militia group on ships in the Red Sea, despite some divides in lawmakers’ hopes for the path forward, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
From the left: “I salute the brave military members who carried out today’s strikes, and I support President Biden’s strong actions against the Houthi militants,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed (D-RI) said in a statement. “The Houthis are endangering innocent civilians and launching violent attacks at U.S. personnel.” Reed and other top Democrats, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Greg Meeks (D-NY), also highlighted the importance of continued diplomacy ahead of and in the wake of Thursday’s strikes.
On the right: Republicans described the strikes, which also included U.K. support and had the backing of Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands, as overdue and likely insufficient on their own. “I welcome the U.S. and coalition operations against the Iran-backed Houthi terrorists responsible for violently disrupting international commerce in the Red Sea and attacking American vessels,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement. “President Biden’s decision to use military force against these Iranian proxies is overdue.” McConnell said the strikes should “mark an enduring shift in the Biden Administration’s approach to Iran and its proxies” to show Iranian leaders “that they will pay a meaningful price unless they abandon their worldwide campaign of terror.”
The fringes: Meanwhile, Biden faced some pushback from progressive and hard-right lawmakers, who claimed that the strikes went beyond constitutional presidential war powers and were illegal without congressional authorization. Those allegations appear unlikely to hold water.
View from Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, which has reportedly been reluctant to support stronger action against the Houthis out of concern of disrupting its fragile truce with the group, distanced itself from the strikes in a statement, calling for “restraint and avoidance of escalation.”
The latest: The Houthis vowed retribution against the U.S.-led attack, with a spokesperson telling Al Jazeera, “It’s not possible for us not to respond to these operations.” Tehran blasted the strikes as an attack on Yemen’s sovereignty, while Iranian proxy Hezbollah said the strikes would strengthen the Houthis’ resolve.
Go deeper: Politicolooks at the lead-up to the Biden administration’s strikes on the Houthi facilities.
Van Hollen emerging as leader of progressive Senate bloc critical of Israeli policy
Maryland’s Senate delegation is set to jump to the left on Israel policy in 2025, with the retirement of Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the state’s longtime senator and a pro-Israel stalwart. That means Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), emerging as a leading critic of Israeli policy in the Senate, will soon be one of the most senior lawmakers in the state, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports. Since Oct. 7, Van Hollen — who originally entered the Senate as the preferred candidate of the pro-Israel community, with their support — has led lawmakers in raising concerns about Israel’s military operations in the West Bank and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which he has attributed in large part to Israeli policy decisions.
What he says: Van Hollen argued in a statement to Jewish Insider that it’s not him, or his positions, that have shifted, but Israel. “I am and always have been a strong believer in the U.S. partnership with Israel and remain a steadfast friend of the Israeli people,” he said. “My position on Israel has not changed – what has changed is the ever-rightward drift of the Israeli government culminating in the current Netanyahu coalition comprised of far-right extremists like [Finance Minister Bezalel] Smotrich and [National Security Minister Itamar] Ben-Gvir.”
Looking back: Campaigning against former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), who long had a rocky relationship with the Jewish community over her criticisms of Israel, Van Hollen was widely seen as the more pro-Israel candidate in the race with vocal backers among the Jewish community on Israel issues.
Over time: The Maryland senator’s more outspoken criticism of Israeli policy, and U.S. policy toward the region, began well before Oct. 7. His involvement appears to have intensified beginning in the late stages of the Trump administration in 2020, amid discussions of potential Israeli annexation of the West Bank, when he helped lead efforts to oppose such a move. In the years since, he’s become outspoken on Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, warning that they might endanger the viability of a two-state solution.
On the horizon: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said this week that he plans to attempt to force a Senate vote next week on legislation that would require the State Department to report on whether Israel is violating humanitarian law, potentially setting up a vote to cut off U.S. aid to Israel. The measure seems likely to fail, given that even some lawmakers more critical of Israel’s campaign have expressed skepticism — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told HuffPost he thinks that some of the language in Sanders’ measure “go[es]a little farther than I feel comfortable with.”
love is a battlefield
How the Israel-Hamas war upended online dating
Much as the Israel-Hamas war has had major ramifications on college campuses and in the workplace, the events in the Middle East have fundamentally changed the experience of dating for many American Jews, particularly those using dating apps. Eleven Jewish singles living in major U.S. cities spoke to Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch about their experience on the apps after Oct. 7, and they paint a picture of a dating landscape, always fraught, now filled with politically tinged minefields.
Rethinking the dating game: Many confessed to rethinking their own dating preferences; some are now only dating Jews, even when that had not been their practice before. All said they have seen a marked increase in people who talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on their profiles. “I’m mostly having trouble with how it’s infiltrating the space because I do not see differentiation between Israel and Judaism,” said Shayna, a woman in her 20s in New York. “I can’t tell if the statements are political or discriminatory and that makes me want to close out the apps all together.”
Conflict conditions: On some profiles, the issue is highlighted in a subtle way: A photo on a profile showing a person in Israel in front of the Western Wall, or a mention that they speak Hebrew. Others are more overt. Several people have come across profiles that say, “Zionists swipe left.” (Swiping left means turning the person down.) One man included a photo of him holding up a sign that said “Let’s have hummus, not Hamas” at the November pro-Israel rally in Washington. The lead photo on one woman’s profile showed her at a pro-Palestine rally in San Diego, holding a sign that called President Joe Biden Israel’s “puppet.”
Political turnoff: Some of the Jewish singles who talked to JI said that the strong political language on both sides can be off-putting, making it hard to connect in a genuine way. “I’d definitely be less inclined to swipe right on someone if I think they harbor a lot of anti-Zionist sentiment,” said Joseph, a 27-year-old gay man from Chicago. “If I think someone presents as too pro-Israel to the point of disregarding the Palestinian side of the story, that’s also a no.”
Lawmakers urge administration to resist calls for a unilateral Israeli cease-fire
Amid calls from the left for a unilateral cease-fire by Israel in Gaza, a group of nearly 30 lawmakers — most of them moderate pro-Israel Democrats — called on Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Thursday to resist calls for such a move, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Path ahead: The lawmakers, led by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), argued in a letter that the only path to peace is through an unconditional surrender by Hamas and its release of all of its hostages. They emphasized that any cease-fire with Hamas would only lead to further bloodshed in the future. While it doesn’t directly address rhetoric from other lawmakers, the letter is reflective of — and appears to be a response to — the ways in which the language of a cease-fire has become increasingly politicized on the left.
Hamas’ responsibility: “We write to you today to call on Hamas to immediately release all the hostages held in Gaza, cease all rocket fire on Israel, lay down its arms, and surrender control of Gaza to a legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” the lawmakers wrote. “There should be no mistaking that Hamas has within its control the ability to stop this conflict and bring relief to the Palestinians they were elected to govern.”
Stand firm: “We applaud your stand against calls for a one-sided ceasefire. Americans do not want an ephemeral ceasefire that will merely return the region to the status quo, with Hamas empowered to regroup and fulfill its promise to repeat the attacks of October 7,” the letter continues. “Ceasefires with an unrepentant Hamas have been tried time and again, and every time have led to stronger attacks by Hamas, culminating in the present tragedy. Another Hamas ceasefire will only lead to more death and destruction for everyone.”
under the radar
California Democrat with competitive reelection joins call for cease-fire, quietly
Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA), a California lawmaker potentially facing a potentially competitive reelection race in November, quietly joined calls for a bilateral cease-fire between Israel and Hamas last Friday, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Cease-fire: In a statement posted to his congressional website, Harder cited the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the reported deaths of thousands of civilians and conversations with constituents about the situation in the Middle East. “After many conversations with our community members, I am now calling on the Biden Administration and the entire U.S. Government to join me in supporting a bilateral ceasefire agreement. I am calling for an end to all current hostilities in order to save millions of innocent lives,” Harder said in the statement. “I have had the opportunity to hear directly from many of you about the ongoing bombardment of Gaza. I share your feelings of heartbreak, frustration, and outrage.”
Caveats: Harder said a cease-fire must include humanitarian assistance to Gaza, a “framework” for a two-state solution, the release of all hostages and the end of Hamas’ control in Gaza. He pledged to “continue to push the Biden administration on these points.”
Unnoticed: Harder’s call for a cease-fire has largely flown under the radar. Unlike most other cease-fire supporters on the Hill, Harder hasn’t publicized his call on social media, and it originally did not appear alongside other press releases on his congressional website. The statement was added on Monday to Harder’s press releases page after JI contacted his office, and a Harder spokesperson said it was a mistake that it did not initially appear there. Harder’s office originally published the statement with a shorter and more easily accessible URL, the spokesperson said.
Elsewhere in Washington: Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and John Fetterman (D-PA) introduced a bill that would require colleges to share easily accessible information with students on their websites on filing a Title VI discrimination complaint, including a link to the Department of Education’s complaint website. It would also require schools to report on the volume of civil rights complaints they receive, the Department of Education’s inspector general to audit schools receiving high ratios of complaints and the department to brief Congress monthly on the complaints it receives and how it is addressing them.
A Statesman’s Struggle: Time magazine’s Vera Bergengruen spotlights Secretary of State Tony Blinken as Washington’s top diplomat makes his fourth trip to the Mideast since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. “In four trips to the Middle East since October, the Secretary of State, 61, has held meetings in royal palaces, military headquarters, villas, airport lounges, and bomb shelters. Arab leaders have rebuffed his hug, given him history lectures, and kept him waiting overnight. The Israelis have contradicted him publicly. Even officials close to Blinken admit the U.S. position — calling on Israel to do more to protect Palestinian civilians while continuing to tout their support — is becoming untenable. But in interviews with more than a dozen current and former senior U.S. officials and diplomats, most argue the Secretary’s even-keeled approach is a reassuring projection of American leadership at a perilous moment. ‘He’s the right guy at the right time,’ says Tom Nides, who served as U.S. ambassador to Israel until July. ‘I’ve sat in those rooms with him and Bibi. Tony’s a nice guy — but don’t screw with him.’” [Time]
A Woman’s Worth: In The Guardian, Deborah Lipstadt and Michèle Taylor, respectively the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism and the U.S. permanent representative to the UN Human Rights Council, criticize the international response to the sexual violence committed by Hamas. “We feel compelled to ask: why is this situation any different to when other women have faced similar violence? What accounts for the clear reticence to speak out? The only difference is the perception that these were Jewish – and were perceived by some as somehow deserving – victims. (The victims included non-Jewish women, but the vast majority were Jews.) The silence that followed was more than just concerning; it suggests a deeper issue of antisemitism that must be acknowledged and addressed. This apparent reluctance to believe the accounts of Jewish women, a stark deviation from the global commitment to believing survivors and condemning such acts, mimics patterns of Holocaust denial, perpetuating a cycle of antisemitism by furthering the stereotype of Jews as untrustworthy. Such denial of Jewish women’s experiences is a significant anomaly and needs to be called out for what it is: a stark manifestation of deep-seated antisemitism.” [TheGuardian]
Taking on Tehran: The Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian considers how the U.S. should respond to acts of aggression by Iran’s proxies in the Middle East. “While some hawks in Washington are encouraging military escalation, the Biden administration has understood that doing so could help entrench Iran’s brittle leadership. While Iran could not easily weather a full assault from the United States and its allies, it stands a better chance of surviving a wider proxy war, even profiting from it. For the United States, to decisively win such a war would come at tremendous military, diplomatic and economic cost, and the Biden administration has no intention of getting the country involved in yet another conflict in the Middle East. Indeed, avoiding a wider war has been perhaps the most successful aspect of America’s initial response to the conflict in Gaza. Avoiding such a war does not mean endlessly suffering Iranian provocations. But it does mean staying focused. After a series of strikes against the Houthis, the Biden administration should think about ways to exploit Tehran’s obvious weaknesses and undermine its limited strengths.” [WashPost]
Lesson From History: In The Wall Street Journal, Warren Kozak calls for Hamas official and Oct. 7 mastermind Yahya Sinwar, once captured, to stand trial in Israel, as Adolf Eichmann did after his capture in South America. “A similar trial with Mr. Sinwar in the glass booth would give his victims of Oct. 7 an opportunity to confront this man and tell the world stories of the horrors he oversaw. It would also demonstrate Israel’s adherence to international law. One criticism of Israel in the Eichmann trial was that the defendant hadn’t technically committed any crime in Israel itself. This certainly isn’t the case with Mr. Sinwar, who was already tried in an Israeli court and convicted in 1989 for the abduction and killing of two Israeli soldiers and four Palestinians. … Protesters around the world and especially on college campuses have supported and even glorified the Oct. 7 attacks. They should also be forced to hear what happened that day from the survivors, especially the women who were raped by Hamas terrorists. The world should hear what happened to the old people and the babies. The world should be able to judge the small man in the glass booth who perpetrated these disgusting crimes. Then the world might finally understand what really happened.” [WSJ]
Moscow Moment: In Quillette, Izabella Tabarovsky looks at how Soviet-era anti-Zionist propaganda influences anti-Israel activism in the present day. “The anti-Zionist rhetoric that has swept through the West is directly responsible for the current rise of antisemitism. Whether modern progressives like it or not, their version of anti-Zionism is deeply and inextricably intertwined with Soviet antisemitism. They have every right to reproduce KGB propaganda and associate themselves with ghoulish figures such as [Soviet author Yuri] Ivanov, but they should not be surprised when the rest of us point out that they are doing so and tell them clearly that we do not accept it — in the same way that we would not accept the penetration of anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda into our political discourse.” [Quillette]
Around the Web
What Doha Knew: Western intelligence officials indicated to Politico that Qatar had advance knowledge of the Oct. 7 terror attacks.
Hogan’s Move: Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan stepped down from the board of No Labels, an indication that he may be preparing for a presidential run on the third-party movement’s line.
Surrogate Support: The Biden reelection campaign is dispatching Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Jeffrey Katzenberg, as well as Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) to Iowa ahead of Monday’s GOP caucuses.
Emhoff on the Trail: During a Biden for President campaign stop in South Carolina, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff stopped by Chabad of Charleston to talk with Jewish community members. It’s his first of two synagogue visits this week: Tonight, he’ll deliver remarks at an interfaith, interracial MLK Shabbat at Sixth & I in Washington.
Panama Paper: A bipartisan group of 22 senators, across a broad ideological range and led by Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), wrote to maritime authorities in Panama raising concerns about reports that nearly 200 ships in Iran’s smuggling “ghost fleet” — nearly half of the identified fleet — are registered in Panama. They urged Panama to investigate the ships and deregister them if appropriate.
Staff Shift: Jeremy Slevin, a senior advisor in the office of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), is joining Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) office as a senior advisor.
No Boycotts: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin called on legislators to pass a bill barring the commonwealth from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
Dem Dollars: Nearly all of the money being spent so far in New York’s congressional special election between former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi and Republican nominee Mazi Pilip is coming from Democratic groups.
Campus Beat: A group of Jewish Harvard students is suing the university, alleging that the situation on the Cambridge campus violated their civil rights and that the administration did not address issues of harassment, intimidation and assault on campus.
Map Mess: A public school classroom in Brooklyn, N.Y., is under scrutiny for displaying a world map that labels the State of Israel as “Palestine” in a classroom that is part of the school’s Qatari-funded “Arab Culture Arts” program.
School Daze: Several dozen families have transferred their children out of public schools in Oakland, Calif., citing concerns over safety in the wake of the Oct. 7 terror attacks and Israel-Hamas war.
De-Platformed: Tech journalist Casey Newton is moving his popular “Platformer” blog off of Substack, citing the platform’s inability to moderate hate speech and material that praised the Holocaust and Nazis.
Conference Circuit: Israeli tech founders are in Las Vegas for the Consumer Technology Association’s annual CES trade show; the group, which includes a number of reservists who have been called up since the beginning of the war, traveled on a chartered El Al plane to attend the conference.
Tunnel Vision: The Israeli Defense Forces said troops found evidence of hostages, including DNA, in tunnels running under Khan Younis in Gaza.
Southern Tour: Former White House Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt visited Kibbutz Kfar Aza with Samer Sinijlawi, the Palestinian head of the Jerusalem Development Fund.
Tehran and the Tanker: Iranian media confirmed Tehran was behind the seizure of an oil tanker on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman.
Transition: Former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) was named the new chair of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute.
Remembering: Author Edward Jay Epstein, whose writings challenged commonly held beliefs about world events, died at 88.
Pic of the Day
Members of Israel’s legal team at the International Court of Justice in The Hague sat for opening arguments on Thursday, where South Africa presented its case alleging Israel commited genocide.
Israel’s representatives responded to the claims during today’s proceedings.
In his opening statement, Israeli attorney Tal Becker, calling Pretoria’s accusations “grossly distorted,” said, “We live at a time when words are cheap in an age of social media and identity politics. The temptation to reach for the most outrageous term to vilify and demonize has become, for many, irresistible.”
Award-winning legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio since 1975, focusing primarily on the U.S. Supreme Court, Nina Totenberg turns 80 on Sunday…
FRIDAY: Real estate and casino magnate, he is a minority owner of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox, Neil Gary Bluhm turns 86… U.S.-born biochemist, he moved to Israel in 1973 after being granted an M.D. and Ph.D. from NYU, winner of the Israel Prize in 1999, Howard (“Chaim”) Cedar turns 81… Stephen Moses… Israel-born jewelry designer, editor and businesswoman, she was the first lady of Iceland from 2003 until 2016, Dorrit Moussaieff turns 74… Author of over 40 books, most widely recognized for his crime fiction, Walter Ellis Mosley turns 72… NYC-based psychiatrist and the medical director of the Child Mind Institute, Harold S. Koplewicz, MD turns 71… Radio personality on Sirius XM, Howard Stern turns 70… British novelist and grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien (one of the latter’s two Jewish grandchildren), Simon Mario Reuel Tolkien turns 65… Senior director of philanthropic engagement at the Jewish Funders Network, Tzivia Schwartz Getzug… Midday news anchor at Washington’s WTOP Radio, Debra Feinstein turns 62… Board member and former chair of Hillel International, she is also a vice-chair of Moishe House, Tina Price… Member of the Maryland House of Delegates, he is the nephew of Senator Ben Cardin, Jon S. Cardin turns 54… Identical twin comedians and actors, Randy Sklar and Jason Sklar, turn 52… Filmmaker known for parody films, Aaron Seltzer turns 50… First-ever woman to be an MLB coach, now coaching in Dubai, Justine Siegal Ph.D. turns 49… Recording artist and musical entertainer, Yaakov Shwekey turns 47… Professional golfer, Rob Oppenheim turns 44… Two-time Olympian in beach volleyball, now a chiropractor, Josh Binstock turns 43… National director of AIPAC’s Synagogue Initiative, Jonathan Schulman… Executive director of the Hillel at Virginia Tech, Amanda Herring… VP of finance and operations at NYC-based Hornig Capital Partners, Daniel Silvermintz… Israeli tennis player, Lina Glushko turns 24…
SATURDAY: Marriage and family therapist in Bakersfield, California, Kathleen Arnold-Chambers… Las Vegas resident, Cathy Nierenberg… Retired teacher, Lucia Meyerson… NYC pediatrician at Carnegie Hill Pediatrics, Barry B. Stein, MD… Lifelong resident of Greenwich Village, a two-time Emmy Award winner as a television producer, she worked for “NBC Nightly News,” Susanna Beth Aaron… President of the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, Cindy S. Moelis turns 63… Actress and producer, winner of 11 Emmy Awards, she is best known for “Saturday Night Live,” “Seinfeld” and “Veep,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus turns 63… Kaileh Lynn Pistol… Founder of the Freelancers Union, she was a MacArthur Fellow in 1999, Sara Horowitz turns 61… Retired member of the Senate of Canada, she is the past chair of the UJA of Greater Toronto, Linda Frum turns 61… Partner in King & Spalding, he served as deputy attorney general of the U.S. following 12 years as U.S. attorney for Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein turns 59… Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Baruch Lau turns 58… Executive assistant to the president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, Bruce Maclver… Senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Kenneth M. Pollack turns 58… President and CEO of Amazon, Andrew R. Jassy turns 56… Social media professional, Heidi Krizer Daroff… Statistician and writer who analyzes sports and elections, Nate Silver turns 46… Former VP of donor relations at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, now a marriage and family therapist, Shira Berenson Feinstein… Research fellow at the University of Denver, Carly Freedman Schlafer… Rebecca Seider… Sandra Shapiro…
SUNDAY: Chairman emeritus of the publicly traded Empire State Realty Trust, Peter L. Malkin turns 90… Retired travel counselor, Barbara Singer-Meis… Washington Nationals baseball fan known as Rubber Chicken Man, Hugh Kaufman turns 81… Screenwriter, director and producer, best known as co-writer of the films “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Return of the Jedi,” Lawrence Kasdan turns 75… Orthopedic surgeon, inventor and philanthropist, Gary K. Michelson, M.D. turns 75… Painter, editor, writer and book artist, Susan Bee turns 72… Co-founder and chairman of the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, which he manages with his wife Penny Pritzker, Bryan Traubert turns 69… Shaul Saulisbury… Former president of the Sprint Foundation and Sprint’s 1Million Project Foundation, Doug Michelman… Former member of the Knesset for the Likud party, she holds a Ph.D. in criminology, Anat Berko turns 64… Founding member of LA-based law firm, Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern, Michael L. Tuchin… Actress and film producer, Kerri Lee Green turns 57… Staff writer at The New Yorker, Susan B. Glasser turns 55… Venture capitalist and entrepreneur, Adam R. Dell turns 54… Movie and television producer and co-founder of Electric City Entertainment, Jamie Patricof turns 48… Sales associate in the Montclair, NJ office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, David Frey… Attorney at Toronto-based Sokoloff Lawyers, Aryeh Samuel…