Senior Adviser to the President Jared Kushner speaks outside the West Wing of the White House on July 24. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Daily Kickoff: Kushner’s thoughts on ME peace | Gillibrand withdraws support for anti-BDS bill | When Stripe’s founder visited Israel & Ramallah


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TOP QUOTE — Jeffrey Goldberg on why politics has become a form of religion: “Everybody needs religion, it just manifests itself in some way. People need to believe in something larger than themselves, they need to affiliate with something transcendent. I think for Bernie Sanders-type people, I think Bernie Sanders has become a religious figure… Religion came about because humans desired something transcendent, something that would explain mysteries that even science couldn’t explain, something that unifies them against darker, larger forces, and politics plays that role for a lot of people. That’s one of the reasons it gets so personal. That’s one of the reasons that political language becomes so hypermoralized. It’s not that your opponent is wrong, it’s that he’s evil. And that manifests itself on all sides of the political debate.” [RadioAtlantic]

ON THE HILL — Senate Updates the Taylor Force Act — by Aaron Magid: An updated version of the Taylor Force Act was released yesterday, signaling increased momentum towards passing the legislation. Based on the recommendation of Elliott Abrams, the new text contains an exemption for the East Jerusalem Hospital Network. The legislation would also allow continued payments towards Palestinian humanitarian programs as the bill only restricts funding to programs, which “directly benefit the Palestinian Authority.” While some pundits, including former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and former Obama administration official Ilan Goldenberg, proposed inserting a National Security Waiver allowing the president the ability to delay implementation, no such waiver exists in the updated version. The bill also obligates the U.S. Secretary of State to submit a report annually attesting to the Palestinians’ fulfillment of ending the terror payments. [JewishInsider]

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will meet on Thursday morning for a business meeting to discuss the Taylor Force Act [SFRC]

“The Smart Way to End ‘Pay to Slay’” by David Makovsky, Dennis Ross and Lia Weiner: “Rather than placing the bulk of U.S. aid on the chopping block, legislation must be crafted to incentivize the PA to reform its behavior — not further downgrade its ties with the United States and Israel. This seems to be the sentiment of senior members of Congress on both sides of the aisle… Being smart counts for more than being right. And, the smart approach is one that also recognizes that innocent Palestinians, who have not been able to vote in an election for more than a decade, should not be forced to pay for the mistakes of a government they cannot control.” [ForeignPolicy]

THE ULTIMATE DEAL — Kushner On Middle East Peace: “What Do We Offer That’s Unique? I Don’t Know” by Ashley Feinberg: “On Monday, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner spoke to a group of congressional interns… The speech… offered a rare insight into the man who President Trump has tasked with… creating peace in the Middle East, among other tasks. It’s the latter, though, that’s both the most deeply personal for Kushner (a staunch supporter of Israel) and that prompted him to embark on his longest, most rambling answer during yesterday’s question-and-answer session.”

Highlights — “What I’ve determined from looking at it is that not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years we’ve been doing this… We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books. Let’s focus on how do you come up with a conclusion to the situation… What do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know… We’re trying to work with the parties very quietly to see if there’s a solution. And there may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on.”

Kushner on the Temple Mount Crisis: “There were… two Israeli guards killed at the Temple Mount… so Israelis [unintelligible] putting up metal detectors on the Temple Mount, which is not an irrational thing to do…. So then what happens is they start inciting it. They say look, you know, this is a change to the status quo… And that really incited a lot of tension in the streets… So ultimately we were able to work with them, and we were able to get the Israelis to take down to the different forms of surveillance that the Jordanians were okay with, and we talked with the Palestinians the whole time to try to get their viewpoint on it.” [Wired]  Listen to the full audio here [Wired]

Kushner to interns: “I did a lot of dumb things, I bought a newspaper—which was … very interesting” [Twitter]

“What Kushner’s Leaked Speech Gets Wrong About Mideast Peace” by Aaron David Miller: “For a would-be peacemaker, if you ignore history it will bury you… You don’t need to be a historian to be a successful negotiator, but knowing which gripes matter and which ones don’t is crucial… I was stunned, too, by Kushner’s quip that “not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years we’ve been doing this.” Remember the Israeli-Egyptian and Israeli-Jordanian peace treaties? Those weren’t chopped liver…  The only three Americans to ever succeed in Arab-Israeli peacemaking—Kissinger, Carter and Baker—all operated off a pro-Israeli script. But they also were prepared to push the Israelis along with the Arabs. You can’t do Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking without applying ample amounts honey and vinegar. Nobody is going to plant a tree in Israel in honor of Jared Kushner should he succeed—at least not immediately.” [Politico]

“Trump’s plan for Mideast peace fades” by Ben Caspit: “A senior Israeli political figure admitted to Al-Monitor… that, “As of now, Trump’s peace initiative looks like it is completely bogged down.” He added, “The Palestinians have lost trust in the peace negotiations teams. Greenblatt is rapidly approaching the status of persona non grata, just like Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. The president is not involved, and it looks like he has distanced himself considerably from Middle East affairs, particularly given the serious problems he has inside the White House.” …A senior Israeli minister speaking on condition of anonymity added, “The Americans aren’t really a presence here. They let us do whatever we want. They don’t set the tone, and they don’t dictate the agenda.” [Al-Monitor]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) withdraws from the Israel Anti Boycott Act — by Jacob Kornbluh and Aaron Magid: Gillibrand asked Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) yesterday to remove her name from the anti-BDS legislation following pressure by the ACLU and other liberal advocacy groups. Glen Caplin, a senior advisor to the NY senator told us: Gillibrand “opposes BDS and has a different read of the bill. However, considering there are many people who have a different read of the bill, the bill is ambiguous. She believes it needs to be rewritten and she would support the bill if it were rewritten to specifically address those concerns.”

Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), a supporter of the bill, told JI’s Aaron Magid, “It’s been pretty much a settled law as far as this is a commercial activity that you can’t be listening to a boycott by Arab countries. So I don’t think it’s a legal issue or a constitutional issue at all. On this matter, I don’t agree with them (ACLU).”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said that while he remains a co-sponsor at this time, “there are some issues with the bill that need to be considered and addressed, which I am doing and talking to my colleagues. While we are in the process of negotiations, I am not going to comment further.”

NY Post editorial… “Kirsten Gillibrand’s profile in cowardice: Add New York’s once-moderate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to the ever-growing list of Democrats who live in mortal fear of alienating the party’s hard-left base. Or to the ranks of senators who apparently don’t even read the bills they co-sponsor.” [NYPost

Sen Ron Wyden (D-Ore) still supports the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, and he says the ACLU has misinterpreted the effect the bill would have on Americans and their ability to protest Israeli policies. “This bill continues to allow anyone to boycott Israeli products or to say they intend to boycott Israeli products,” says Henry Stern, a spokesman for Wyden’s office. “This bill wouldn’t prevent anybody or punish anybody for making those choices. It does nothing to restrict Americans’ speech. This bill doesn’t create any new penalties either—it uses the same language as a 40-year-old law that prevents American commercial activity from participating in concerted boycotts led by foreign governments.” [WWeek]

HILL SUMMER TRAVEL — House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD-D) is leading a delegation of 19 House Democrats on a weeklong trip to Israel. The delegation will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman and military officials. They will also travel to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. The trip is organized by AIPAC’s American Israel Education Foundation.

PROMOTIONS: “Trump’s Peace Envoy Expands His Team” by Amir Tibon: “Victoria Coates, a member of President Trump’s National Security Council, was recently promoted to the position of senior director for international negotiations, in which she will be working under Jason Greenblatt… In recent weeks, the NSC has been in discussions with the State Department over the possibility that a number of diplomats and policy experts from the department would begin working directly for Greenblatt… Greenblatt has relied on the State Department for information, advice and technical arrangements, but the NSC is looking to “staff up” his team.” [Haaretz]

“Military academic Mike Bell promoted to top Middle East adviser on NSC” by Connor O’Brien and Andrew Restuccia: “Retired Army Colonel Michael Bell has been promoted to the top Middle East adviser on the National Security Council, two White House officials said. Bell, who was most recently the NSC director of Persian Gulf affairs, is now the senior director for the Near East. He succeeds Derek Harvey, who was dismissed last week by national security adviser H.R. McMaster.” [Politico]

KELLY’S WHITE HOUSE: “A reset of her own: Ivanka Trump moves forward” by Betsy Klein: “The couple “have a lot of admiration and respect for (John Kelly) and his ability to professionalize the West Wing and are eager to follow his lead,” [a White House] official said. “They want this to work,” the official said… The West Wing shakeup — if it is successful in minimizing damaging leaks and other harmful distractions — presents Trump with the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and set a new narrative focused on her specific priorities and work.” [CNN

Politico publishes the transcript of Trump’s recent interview with the Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief Gerard Baker — by Josh Dawsey and Hadas Gold: “Ivanka Trump stopped by the Oval Office during the interview, telling Baker she heard he was there and wanted to say hello… “And I liked your editorial today, very nice. (Laughs.)” the transcript quotes Ivanka Trump as saying. “Oh, good, good. Well, you see, you know, my colleagues write those, so they’ll be – they’ll be –” Baker said, likely referring to the editorial section that is separate from the news section at the newspaper, before being cut off by the president. “You did a good job,” Trump said. “Yeah, you really did,” Ivanka Trump added. “Thank you very much. Thank you,” Baker replied. “You did a good job,” Trump continued before referring to Kushner: “He’s a good – he’s a good boy.” “They wrote a very nice editorial, so very good,” Ivanka Trump said.”

POTUS on Russian lawyer meeting: “Look at Jared, everybody – we do appreciate the editorial – but everybody said Jared Kushner. Jared’s a very private person. He doesn’t get out. I mean, maybe it’s good or maybe it’s bad what I do, but at least people know how I feel. Jared’s this really nice, smart guy, who’d love to see peace in the Middle East and in Israel, OK?” [Politico

”How will Trump handle the boredom?” by David Suissa: “It will be a battle to watch. On one side, you have a taskmaster who has been given authority to bring order to the castle, and on the other, you have an impulsive boss who loves drama and whose attention span is measured in tweets. The more Kelly succeeds, the more boredom he will bring to the White House. This will force our president to concentrate on things like… policy.” [JewishJournal]

TOP TALKER: “Behind Fox News’ Baseless Seth Rich Story: The Untold Tale” by David Folkenflik: “On April 20, a month before the story ran, [Ed] Butowsky and [Rod] Wheeler — the investor and the investigator — met at the White House with then-press secretary Sean Spicer to brief him on what they were uncovering. The first page of the lawsuit quotes a voicemail and text from Butowsky boasting that Trump himself had reviewed drafts of the Fox News story just before it went to air and was published… On May 14, about 36 hours before Fox News’ story appears, Butowsky leaves a voicemail for Wheeler, saying, “We have the full, uh, attention of the White House on this. And tomorrow, let’s close this deal, whatever we’ve got to do.” … Spicer says he is not aware of any contact, direct or not, between Butowsky and Trump. And Butowsky now tells NPR he has never shared drafts of the story with Trump or his aides — that he was joking with a friend.” [NPRWashPost]

HEARD YESTERDAY — White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “It doesn’t bother me that the Press Secretary would take a meeting with somebody involved in the media about a story. None of that was disclosed. They had a conversation and that was the end of it… The President didn’t have knowledge of this story. The White House didn’t have any involvement in the story.”

IRAN DEAL: “Iran Says New U.S. Sanctions Violate Nuclear Deal” by Rick Gladstone: “Iran said on Tuesday that it had lodged a complaint with the commission that polices possible violations of the Iranian nuclear agreement… The commission includes representatives from all seven countries in the accord… and is coordinated by Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top foreign policy official.” [NYTimes]

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained his position on the Iran deal during the State Department press briefing yesterday: “It is important in my view that we coordinate as much as we can with our European allies and with Russia and China, who are signatories as well, because the greatest pressure we can put to bear on Iran to change behavior is a collective pressure… It’s an agreement that should serve America’s interests first and foremost, and if it doesn’t serve that interest, then why would we maintain it? … I think there are a lot of alternative means with which we use the agreement to advance our policies and the relationship with Iran. And that’s what the conversation generally is around with the President as well, is what are all those options.”

“Averting a Third Lebanon War” by Mark Dubowitz and [Rep.] Mike Gallagher: “Sanctions lifted under the Iran nuclear agreement should be restored. Blacklist the Central Bank of Iran and expel Iranian banks from the Swift banking system. Some will worry this financial pressure could put the Iranian nuclear agreement at risk. So be it. This is the price Iran must pay for pushing the region into another bloody confrontation. And if sanctions don’t succeed, Israel should be given the wide berth it needs to address the threat using all means at its disposal.” [WSJ]

Ben Rhodes resurfaces: “If Trump tears up Iran Deal even though Iran is complying, why would China or DPRK think he’d stick to a nuclear deal on Korean Peninsula?” [Twitter]

2018 WATCH: “Want to know if Democrats can take back the House? Keep an eye on this Orange County race” by Amber Phillips: “The Orange County-area seat represented by Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.) is a typical, affluent suburban Republican district that went for Clinton over President Trump by nearly nine points. That made it one of the most pro-Clinton Republican-held districts in the nation… No surprise then, that Royce, who has been in office for more than two decades, has at least five potential Democratic challengers… Royce is the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and… has $3 million cash on hand.” [WashPost

BUZZ ON BALFOUR: “Netanyahu’s Former Chief of Staff Ari Harowin Talks to Become State Witness” by Revital Hovel: “Law enforcement authorities are getting close to reaching a state’s witness agreement with Ari Harow, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former chief of staff. Harow, who was very close to the prime minister, has been linked to two pending investigations against the prime minister.” [Haaretz; Telegraph] • Flashback: Who really is Ari Harow? [JPost]

KAFE KNESSET — Criminal Cucumber Season — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: It is the beginning of what is known in Israel as the “cucumber season,” that time of the summer in which most of the country slows down, as well as the news cycle. But this year, as various police probes involving the PM and his closest confidants advance, it appears the media will have quite enough headlines to keep busy. This afternoon, Sarah Netanyahu is set to arrive at the Lahav 433 (Israel’s version of the FBI) headquarters for another investigation in the “residence affair.” This is the case in which she is suspected of alleged fraud, breach of trust and misuse of public funds for private expenses at the PM’s residence. The police already recommended last year that Sarah Netanyahu be indicted the case. The investigation today is one of the final steps ahead of concluding the case and submitting an official recommendation by the State Prosecutor.

Meanwhile, Balfour’s residents might be concerned about other recent developments, as the state is now engaged in advanced negotiations to turn Ari Harrow, Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, into a state witness… If the law enforcement efforts come to fruition, Harrow will be the second state witness enlisted as part of the ongoing probes into Netanyahu and his associates, following Miki Ganor, the Israeli representative of the ThyssenKrupp ship company, who has signed a deal as part of the submarine affair investigation, aka file 3000, and his testimony is expected to incriminate Netanyahu’s personal lawyer, David Shimron… Netanyahu’s personal media advisor Nir Heffetz issued a response today in which he “reiterates to all of the concerned media outlets that there will be nothing because there was nothing.” However, as the list of former aides and confidants starring in criminal headlines continues to grow longer, Netanyahu sure would be happy to shift the cucumber season agenda far from where it is now. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

** Good Wednesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: LogMeIn buys Israeli AI startup for $45M [Bizjournals] • Kushner Companies caught in legal battle with New York restaurant owners [FoxNews] • Jared Kushner stepped down from 266 ‘corporate positions.’ What does that mean? [WashPost] • TPG to Invest in Israeli Cyber Security Firm GuardiCore [Reuters] • High-Profile Lawyers Targeted in Mexico Spyware Scandal Involving Israel-based NGO Group[NYT] • Activist Shareholder Doubles Down Against $7.4 Billion Sabra Merger [SeniorHousing] • Houston-area business leaders — including Fred Zeidman — submit letter in opposition to ‘bathroom bill’ [Chron• Arianespace, Avio launch 10th Vega rocket, orbit two Israeli-made satellites [SpaceNews] • Israeli taxman seeks $45 million from Coca Cola over royalties: report[Reuters] • Macron Should Call Billionaire Patrick Drahi’s Bluff [Bloomberg] • P&G hits back at Peltz, says investor not entitled to board seat [Reuters]

LongRead: “How Two Brothers Turned Seven Lines of Code Into a $9.2 Billion Startup” by Ashlee Vance: “In May, Patrick [Collison] went on a five-day tour of Israel to meet with investors and young entrepreneurs and tout these products. Much of the trip felt like he was still in Silicon Valley: At Google’s Tel Aviv office, he talked to startup founders amid “Tech It Easy” posters and potted plants with stickers reading “You are outstanding!” Midway through the trip, he went to Ramallah, in the West Bank. About 50 people were at the offices of Leaders, a Palestinian organization that runs the region’s only technology park… During his talk, Patrick explained to [Odeh] Quraan and the others that he could identify with feelings of isolation because of his upbringing in rural Ireland… Audience members told him they were set to deliver a petition with more than 100,000 signatures to PayPal chiding the company for allowing Israeli settlers to use the service but not Palestinians. Patrick countered that Stripe wants to expand its business in Palestine and anywhere else entrepreneurs need help.” [Businessweek

“Tales From Inside an Israeli ER” by Matthew Stein: “Dr. Ofer Merin, Shaare Zedek Hospital, Israel… “From a purely medical point of view, treating terror victims is no different than other patients, but there are differences. First, terror victims come to the hospital in a much more critical condition, which means treatment is more urgent…. To make things more complicated, in many of these incidents, we had to treat the terrorist alongside the victims. Sometimes, if their condition is more critical, we’ll operate on the terrorist first. We’re extremely strict with treating patients as patients without judging them, but explaining this to the victims and their families is not easy.”” [Ozy]

“Ex-Trump lawyer, Marvel superhero chairman in epic Palm Beach feud” by Alexandra Clough: “[Marc] Kasowitz is representing Canadian businessman Harold Peerenboom in a years long lawsuit against Isaac Perlmutter, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment and a Trump pal… If Kasowitz feels inclined to hold back against Perl­mutter because of his friendship with Trump, Kasowitz isn’t showing it.” [PalmBeachPost

“Booker Doesn’t Regret Fundraising With Jared And Ivanka In 2013, But “Wouldn’t Take A Dime From Them Now” by Katherine Miller: “No,” he told the hosts of BuzzFeed News podcast Another Round on Saturday. “Listen, I wouldn’t take a dime from them now, but this was a time when they were Democrats. I mean, they were supporting Hillary Clinton, uh, and the Kushner family were big New Jersey Democrats, and really helped to fight against Chris Christie and a lot of other folks.” … He said he had not had a conversation with Kushner or Trump “really since the — since well before the election.” “I literally have people saying, ‘I’m unfollowing you on Facebook ’cause you are in league with the Kushners, and the Trumps,’ and I’m like, ‘What planet are you from? Are you listening to the media here?’ I’m leading, in the Senate, criticism of those folks.” [BuzzFeed]  

“The ‘Rock Star’ Activist Leading the Resistance: The ACLU’s political director and possibly the most powerful Muslim in American politics” by Daniel Malloy: “In 2000 at Harvard, [Faiz] Shakir was co-chair of Islam Awareness Week. The week’s final event, which Shakir says he did not plan or attend, was in coalition with other local colleges and sent proceeds to the Holy Land Foundation, a charity supporting Palestinians. HLF was later shut down by the feds, and its leaders were found guilty of sending money to Hamas. Foes also labeled Shakir an anti-Semite, based mostly on personal tweets by people who worked under him at ThinkProgress. Shakir says the accusations have “no merit,” but they stung. “It cut pretty deeply,” Shakir says. “It’s the type of thing I’ve been working my life against. I was always deeply involved in forging relationships across ethnic and religious differences.” [Ozy

“When Progressives Embrace Hate” by Bari Weiss: “It turns out that this “homegirl in a hijab,” as one of many articles about her put it, has a history of disturbing views, as advertised by . . . Linda Sarsour… There’s no doubt that Ms. Sarsour is a regular target of far-right groups, but her experience of that onslaught is what makes her smear all the more troubling… What’s more distressing is that Ms. Sarsour is not the only leader of the women’s movement who harbors such alarming ideas. Largely overlooked have been the similarly outrageous statements of the march’s other organizers… Recall that only a few months ago, Keith Ellison, a man with a long history of defending and working with anti-Semites, was almost made leader of the Democratic National Committee.” [NYTimes

TALK OF THE TOWN: “In Borough Park, a Councilman Departs but the Feud Goes On” by Shane Goldmacher: “The battle of Borough Park between Mr. Hikind, a 67-year-old who has been in office since 1983, and Mr. Greenfield, 38, is a classic generational struggle for power in one of the densest concentrations of Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish voters in America… “Complicated,” Mr. Greenfield said. “That’s my word. Complicated.” What exactly set off the dispute during Mr. Greenfield’s brief tenure as Mr. Hikind’s top aide more than a decade ago remains a mystery. Neither man would discuss it. “I really don’t want to talk about that,” Mr. Hikind said. “That’s for the book.” [NYTimes] • Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s son, Yoni, jumps in race for City Councilman David Greenfield’s seat [NYDailyNews]

“Uneasy Welcome as Ultra-Orthodox Jews Extend Beyond New York” by Joseph Berger: “Skyrocketing real estate prices in Brooklyn and Queens are forcing out young ultra-Orthodox families, which are establishing outposts in unexpected places, like Toms River and Jackson Township in New Jersey, the Willowbrook neighborhood on Staten Island and in Bloomingburg, N.Y., in the foothills of the Catskills. The influx, however, has provoked tensions with long-established residents, as the ultra-Orthodox seek to establish a larger footprint for their surging population.” [NYTimes]

“My summer at Morgan State University” by Adam Neuman:“‘Morgan State University?’ My mother had now asked me on three separate occasions if this was officially where I had selected to enroll in coursework during the summer of 2012. I nodded and smiled. From grade school and beyond, the majority of my life experiences were solely centered around Jewish interaction and connection. My exposure to people of various faiths, backgrounds, races, and the other intricacies that made humans, well, human, had remained limited. The notion of veering off of a simpler course startled my mother. It also startled me. But, frankly, I was poorer because of it. My lack of exposure had hindered my mind and my soul. So, yes, yes, and yes were the three responses to my mother.” [BaltimoreSun]

JI reader Josh Hantman emails…
“My buddy Dave Kay, a 32 year old British Israeli tour guide, husband and father of an adorable 2 year old, has been fighting stage 4 cancer for the last year. He is a big mensch with a massive heart, and now he needs some help. We’re looking to raise a small amount to help him get the treatment he needs. #SaveDave” [YouCaring]

BIRTHDAYS: Jerusalem born actor, who moved to the US as a child, and has appeared in over 400 TV episodes, Nehemiah Persoff turns 98… Co-founder and chairman of NYC-based real estate development firm, Rockrose Development Corporation, Henry Elghanayan turns 77… Long-time member of Knesset, in the Likud party (1984-2006) and the Yisrael Beiteinu party (2009-2015), he  also held several ministerial posts, Uzi Landau turns 74… Retired colonel in the US Army and a recipient of the Medal of Honor and 7 other medals, he taught at West Point and serves as a military analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, Jack H. Jacobs turns 72… Long-time librarian, now residing in Houston, Irene Seff turns 71… Associate / Executive Director of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (1978-2006), then Director of HUC-JIR’s Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (2007-2015), Richard A. Siegel turns 70… Nationally-syndicated radio talk show host, columnist for the Jewish Journal, author and public speaker, Dennis Pragerturns 69… Op-Ed columnist for the International New York Times, he has worked as a foreign correspondent in fifteen different countries, Roger Cohenturns 62… Democratic member of the US House of Representatives for Nevada’s 3rd congressional district since 2017, she is planning to run  for the US Senate in the 2018 election, Jacklyn Sheryl Rosen turns 60…

Owner of Newton, Massachusetts-based MPG Promotions, Elliot Mael turns 52… ATP professional tennis player (1983 to 1996), who was once ranked sixth best in the world, Aaron Krickstein turns 50… VP of Sales for Hearst Television, Eric J. Meyrowitz turns 47… Former reporter for both the AP and Wall Street Journal, now the DC-based national security reporter for The New York Times, Matthew Rosenberg turns 43… Speechwriter and executive communications program manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Steve Rabin turns 39… CEO of a multi-national toy and gift company, Isaac William (“Zevy”) Wolman… Director of special projects at the DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Julia Nayfeld Schulman turns 33… Actress best known for her 1999 “Pepsi Girl” role as a 7 year old, and later for subsequent teen roles, Hallie Kate Eisenberg turns 25… VP and General Counsel of Yeshiva University, Andrew ”Avi” Lauer… Harriet Cohen

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