Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: July 17, 2017

JI Staff
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Liberal Jewish groups at the Western Wall, 2016.
Liberal Jewish groups at the Western Wall, 2016.Credit: Michal Fattal
JI Staff

 Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends 

TALK OF OUR NATION: ‘We’re Headed Toward One of the Greatest Divisions in the History of the Jewish People’ -- by Emma Green: "In late June, 19 rabbis gathered in New York City for an urgent meeting. It wasn’t secret, exactly, but it certainly wasn’t public. The Jewish leaders—all members of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, except for two—were there to decide what to do about intermarriage. The question of whether Jews should be able to marry non-Jews has been a barely contained crisis for roughly as long as there have been Jews in America. The issue picks at the religion’s most sensitive scabs: Fears of assimilation mix with anxiety that Judaism is becoming irrelevant. The American traditions of self-determination and acceptance clash with Judaism’s ancient legal code. And calls for fidelity to Jewish tradition can seem hollow in the face of a young couple hoping to stand together under the chuppah."

“To bless an intermarried union is to in some way betray the very thing that I’ve given my life to, which is to try to maintain the Jewish tradition,” said David Wolpe, the senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. “It may be beautiful, it may be loving, it may be worth celebrating on a human level. But on a Jewish level, it’s not fine, and it can’t be made fine.” Although rabbis would have to “have a heart of granite” not to feel sympathy toward young people who are in love and want to get married, “I don’t necessarily feel that someone else’s need is my obligation,” he said. “Someone else may need a rabbi to bless that union, or may want a rabbi to bless that union. It doesn’t mean that I have to do it.”

“Ultimately, we’re headed toward one of the greatest divisions in the history of the Jewish people,” said Shmuly Yanklowitz, an Orthodox rabbi who leads a Jewish study center in Phoenix. He himself grew up in an interfaith household, and still has one non-Jewish parent. “We’ve weathered the storm of many different hits, but the divide between ultra-Orthodoxy and liberal, pluralistic American Judaism is maybe irreparable,” he said. “Not only irreparable—it may actually mean that we’re no longer one people.” ... As Felicia Sol put it, “There is a midwifery happening in the American Jewish community.” It’s not clear that one, united Judaism will come out at the other end." [TheAtlantic

KAFE KNESSET -- Dispatch from Paris -- by Tal Shalev and JPost's Lahav Harkov: Providing the perfect summer break from ongoing scandals and affairs surrounding him and his closest confidants, Netanyahu is spending the week far away in Europe. From Paris, Netanyahu will be continuing to Hungary. Netanyahu will be the first Israeli PM to officially visit the country. However, the historic visit will be overshadowed by the growing concerns in the local Jewish community over anti-Semitic trends encouraged by the government and the ruling party. In sharp contrast to Macron, who gave a strong speech yesterday taking full responsibility for his country's misdeeds and collaboration with the Nazis during WWII, Hungarian PM Victor Orban has been embracing Miklos Horthy, the country's leader during that war. Orban regularly praises Horthy, who worked with the Nazis, as an exceptional statesman. And the tensions rose last week following an ad campaign by Orban's party against Geroge Soros, which exacerbated the Jewish fears of anti-Semitism even more. Netanyahu has been trying to minimize the anti-Semitism issue in order not to harm his visit, but he did tell reporters yesterday that he intends to raise it in his meeting with Orban. Read today's entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

TOP TALKER: "Israel’s War Against George Soros" by Mairav Zonszein: "As in this case with Hungary, Mr. Netanyahu is increasingly aligning Israel with illiberal, autocratic states... The ultimate cynicism of such alliances is visible in Mr. Netanyahu’s willingness to tolerate the anti-Semitism of the global right-wing nationalist camp if it will bolster the Greater Israel movement. This explains why, for instance, the Israeli government stayed silent when the Trump administration made no mention of Jews or anti-Semitism in its International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement this year. For Mr. Netanyahu, ideally there would be no daylight between Jewish identity and Israeli identity. Mr. Soros represents an obstacle to this project because he is such a high-profile figure among the communities of the Jewish diaspora that do not necessarily have a strong identification with Israel — or worse, that are critical of it. In pursuing his strategy, Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly alienated a majority of American Jews on both political and religious grounds." [NYTimes]

LongRead: "Inside the Secret, Strange Origins of Steve Bannons’s Nationalist Fantasia" by Joshua Green: "By 1938, Julius Evola, an Italian intellectual and the black sheep of the Traditionalist family (Bannon cited Evola in a widely circulated video of a 2014 conference at the Vatican), had struck an alliance with Benito Mussolini, and his ideas became the basis of Fascist racial theory; later, after he soured on Mussolini, Evola’s ideas gained currency in Nazi Germany. Bannon is here siding with Evola—he is going for political change as directly as possible.” The last time a Traditionalist got as close to power as Bannon, says Mark Sedgwick, “it was Evola with Mussolini—and that did not last long, as Mussolini seems to have decided that Evola lacked practical sense, and Evola decided that Mussolini lacked principle.”

"His citation of Evola has caused Bannon no end of grief. While Evola, in the end, had little effect on Mussolini or Hitler, he became an avatar of right-wing Italian terrorists in the ’70s and ’80s, and enjoys broad popularity among white supremacists such as Richard B. Spencer. It’s important to note that only a subset of Traditionalists share Evola’s views on race. Bannon explicitly rejects them, and also rejects any association with Spencer, whom he calls a self-promoting “freak” and a “goober.” [VanityFair]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION -- “Netanyahu: Israel Opposes Cease-fire Deal Reached by U.S. and Russia in Southern Syria” by Barak Ravid: “Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters after his meeting with French President Macron on Sunday that Israel opposes the cease-fire agreement in southern Syria that the United States and Russia reached because it perpetuates the Iranian presence in the country Netanyahu discussed the cease-fire deal with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by phone Sunday night Netanyahu made public a major disagreement between Israel and the two great powers that had until now been kept under wraps and expressed only through quiet diplomatic channels." 

"Senior Israeli officials told Haaretz that when Jerusalem obtained the text of the deal, it discovered that in defiance of its expectations, the Americans and Russians had ignored Israel’s positions almost completely. “The agreement as it is now is very bad” one senior Israeli official said. “It doesn't take almost any of Israel's security interests and it creates a disturbing reality in southern Syria. The agreement doesn’t include a single explicit word about Iran, Hezbollah or the Shi’ite militias in Syria.”" [Haaretz

“Why Trump’s Syrian Cease-fire Makes Israel Nervous” by David Makovsky: “One high-level Israeli Cabinet minister told me just before Netanyahu’s “red lines” statement that if the U.S. pulls out and enables Iran to fill the post-Raqqa vacuum, an Iranian-Israeli “collision is inevitable.”” [Politico]  'Israel may need to take out Iranian bases in Syria' [JPost

Dan Shapiro tweets: “It's surprising that US officials, who claim they are taking Israel's security concerns into account, would be caught so flat-footed Senior State Dept. officials have visited Israel for such discussions, but there remain huge gaps in US personnel. Many senior Israelis have no counterpart to call. US & Israeli NSAs sat outside Trump-Bibi meeting. Rex-Bibi calls limited in handling details. Can the deal be restructured to Israel's satisfaction? US-Russia dynamic makes that difficult & worrisome. But effort needs to be made.” [Twitter

CFR’s Richard Haass: Only ‘optimist on steroids’ believes Syrian ceasefire will hold -- by Aaron Magid: In an interview with Jewish Insider, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, noted, “You would have to be an optimist on steroids to think any ceasefire in Syria would hold given the number of parties involved and the stark differences in their agendas.” Haass noted the presence of Iranians, Turks, a multitude of Sunni militant organizations and the Assad regime. “There is nothing about the history in Syria to suggest that any ceasefire will hold,” he emphasized. [JewishInsider

--Haass on Trump's Mideast peace push: "The situation is far from being ripe for progress. Anytime that is the case there is a ceiling on what outside groups can accomplish no matter how many calories or hours they invest. I can’t think of anything that they could do that would make a meaningful difference given the state of Israeli-Palestinian politics. I would argue against any high profile mission designed to solve the conflict. I would emphasize economic development in the West Bank. I would work with the Israelis on placing some restraints on where they build settlements. I would focus a lot with Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians on crisis prevention in Jerusalem." 

“Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’” by Tim Arango: “Iran never lost sight of its mission: to dominate its neighbor so thoroughly that Iraq could never again endanger it militarily, and to use the country to effectively control a corridor from Tehran to the Mediterranean  Eventually, analysts say, Iran could use the corridor, established on the ground through militias under its control, to ship weapons and supplies to proxies in Syria and to Lebanon and its ally Hezbollah Partly in an effort to contain Iran, the United States has indicated that it will keep troops behind in Iraq after the battle against the Islamic State...” [NYTimes

HEARD YESTERDAY -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS: “The IAEA has verified, I believe, seven times now since the implementation date that Iran has implemented the deal faithfully, fully and completely. Unfortunately, we cannot make the same statement about the United States. The United States has failed to implement its part of the bargain... President Trump used his presence in Hamburg during the G-20 meeting, in order to dissuade leaders from other countries to engage in business with Iran. That is a violation of not the spirit but of the letter of the JCPOA, of the nuclear deal. I believe the United States needs to bring itself into compliance with its part of the obligation under the deal Let me point out here, that the deal does not prevent Iran from continuing with its peaceful nuclear program.” [YouTube

"Qatar Opens Its Doors to All, to the Dismay of Some" by Declan Walsh: “Officials from Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, work from a luxury villa near the British Embassy, and recently held a news conference in a ballroom at the pyramid-shape Sheraton hotel Although former Secretary of State John F. Kerry publicly criticized the Hamas presence, American officials privately say they would prefer Hamas was based in Doha rather than in a hostile capital like Tehran. In keeping with its open-door approach, Doha was home to an Israeli trade office from 1996 to 2008. Although relations have soured, Qatar promises that Israel will be allowed to participate in the 2022 World Cup.” [NYTimes UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials [WashPost]

HAPPENING TODAY -- "Prayer is where CUFI summit really begins, organizer says" by Benjamin Glatt: "Opening the summit on Monday will be CUFI founder and national chairman John Hagee, who will honor an IDF paratrooper who helped liberate the Eternal City in 1967... Netanyahu is also scheduled to give his thanks to Hagee... via a live satellite feed later in the day. Following a Middle East briefing with influential voices in Israeli and American foreign policy, including former US representative Col. Allen West and former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, CUFI will hold the summit’s annual Night to Honor Israel with US Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer speaking." [JPost

SHAKEUPS -- “Trump family shakes up legal team to confront growing Russia woes” by Mike Allen: “Jay Sekulow, the outside Trump lawyer who's doing all five Sunday shows today, will stay. Marc Kasowitz, an outside Trump lawyer whose bad press empowered his internal critics, will likely be diminished or leave the team, according to people close to POTUS.” [Axios

“One of Jared Kushner's lawyers in the Russia probe is 'dropping out'” by Allan Smith: “Jamie Gorelick, who served as Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration, will be "wrapping up" her representation of Kushner and turning over all responsibilities to Abbe Lowell, a high-profile Washington criminal defense lawyer whom Kushner brought on late last month.” [BI

"Fate of Kushner’s security clearance could ultimately lie with Trump" by Austin Wright and Josh Dawsey: "The security clearance process is ultimately rooted in executive authority, not law, meaning the president himself is the ultimate arbiter... Trump does have the power, if he wanted to, to demand that Kushner keep his clearance. “If the president wants someone to have a clearance and access to classified information, there's no one to tell him no,” said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert with the Federation of American Scientists. And this is a president who is fiercely loyal to his family." [Politico

PRESIDENT-IN-LAW: “Startup That Got a Seat at White House Roundtable Is Part-Owned by Kushner Family” by Jean Eaglesham and Lisa Schwartz: “Seated at the rectangular table alongside the corporate luminaries, university presidents and senior White House officials was a less-prominent figure: Zachary Bookman, the 37-year-old CEO of a small startup called OpenGov Mr. Kushner’s connection to OpenGov is through Thrive Capital, a venture-capital firm run by his brother Joshua Kushner. Thrive is one of four investors that OpenGov lists on its website Mr. Kushner didn’t suggest the invitation to OpenGov, according to Matt Lira, who works in his innovation office. “It was my idea to invite OpenGov to our technology leadership listening session,” Mr. Lira said in a statement.”

“Mr. Kushner recently filed an amended disclosure form, which is expected to be released publicly soon, according to people close to him. It will disclose assets that Mr. Kushner didn’t report in his original filing in March, including up to $250,000 of Israeli government bonds he sold earlier this year and an art collection he jointly owns with his wife, Ivanka Trump,  the people said.” [WSJ

IN THE SPOTLIGHT -- “Trump Campaign Paid Don Jr.’s Lawyer $50,000 Two Weeks Before Email Scandal” by Lachlan Markay: "A new filing with the Federal Election Commission shows that President Trump’s reelection campaign paid $50,000 to the law offices of Alan Futerfas on June 26. That was around the time, Yahoo News reports, that the president’s legal team learned of a June 2016 email exchange in which Trump Jr., through an associate, solicited damaging information about 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton.” [DailyBeast

“Soviet Veteran Who Met With Trump Jr. Is a Master of the Dark Arts” by Andrew Higgins and Andrew Kramer: “In a defamation lawsuit later brought by [Ashot] Egiazaryan in a New York federal court, [Rinat] Akhmetshin(the Russian-American lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016) testified that [Andrey] Vavilov invited him to his home in Moscow to discuss how to derail his enemy’s asylum application He said Mr. Vavilov handed him a total of $70,000 to $80,000 in cash. That was the start of a concerted campaign to portray Mr. Egiazaryan as an anti-Semite in the news media and to Jewish organizations that then opposed his asylum application.” [NYTimes

NYC 2017 WATCH: “Scott Stringer endorses de Blasio for reelection — despite being a frequent critic of the mayor” by Erin Durkin: “City Controller Scott Stringer — a frequent critic of Mayor de Blasio who considered running against him — endorsed the mayor for reelection Sunday. The rival pols buried the hatchet at a joint press conference at a Manhattan park, where de Blasio also endorsed Stringer for a second term “I’m the first to say that I don’t always make his life easy,” Stringer said. “But as Democrats we play on the same team. We agree on so much more than we would ever disagree on.”” [NYDailyNews

2020 WATCH: “Dems' rising star meets with Clinton inner circle in Hamptons” by Emily Smith: "The Democrats’ “Great Freshman Hope,” Sen. Kamala Harris... is being fted in Bridgehampton on Saturday at the home of MWWPR guru Michael Kempner, a staunch Clinton supporter who was one of her national-finance co-chairs and a led fund-raiser for her 2008 bid for the presidency. He was also listed as one of the top “bundlers” for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, having raised $3 million.” [PageSix

** Good Monday 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 **

SPOTLIGHT: "Two VIP Billionaires Teamed Up to Run Luxury Hotels. It’s Been a Slog" by Anupreeta Das and Craig Karmin: "Bill Gates and Prince al-Waleed bought Four Seasons for $3.8 billion near a market peak, feuded over matters large and small, then made up; inside a rare partnership of giants... The first Four Seasons was a motor lodge in a rundown part of Toronto, opened in 1961 by Isadore Sharp, a son of Polish immigrants to Canada. By the time he began looking to sell the publicly traded company in 2006, Four Seasons was a renowned name in lodging, known for personalized service and top-of-the-line amenities. Rather than owning its hotels, Four Seasons forms partnerships with investors and developers, then keeps tight control by managing the properties... The three men agreed to a deal in which Cascade and Kingdom would each own 47.5% of the company, while Mr. Sharp would have the other 5% and remain chief executive for five years." [WSJ]

WHAT'S JAKE SULLIVAN UP TO: "Lessons in disaster: A top Clinton adviser searches for meaning in a shocking loss" by Greg Jaffe: "If all had gone as planned, and as most in Washington had expected, Jake Sullivan would be hard at work just steps from the Oval Office The conventional wisdom held that Sullivan was a lock to be the national security adviser in a Clinton administration... He divides his time between an empty think-tank office in Washington and Yale, where he lectures one day a week on law and foreign policy On a recent evening, he was pushing open a battered orange door, climbing stairs covered with fraying carpet and striding into a dimly lit apartment where two dozen Yale Law School students were waiting to hear from him Clinton tapped him in 2012 to help start secret talks with Iran over its nuclear program The students peppered Sullivan with questions about the Iran negotiations.. Almost everything about his professional life is transitory, uncertain, unsettled. “I feel a keen sense of responsibility for the outcome,” he told friends in the immediate aftermath of Clinton's defeat. Months later, the feeling had not faded." [WashPost

TALK OF THE TOWN: "Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield Won’t Seek Re-Election" by Mara Gay: "New York City Councilman David Greenfield of Brooklyn says he won’t seek re-election this year... “I love being a councilman, it’s wonderful to be in the thick of things,” Mr. Greenfield said in a phone interview. “But part of the purpose of serving the public is to try to figure out where you can make the greatest impact.” Mr. Greenfield, 38 years old, said he had accepted a job as CEO and executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a New York City-based nonprofit, whose board officially voted on the position Sunday. “This is what I’m passionate about,” Mr. Greenfield said of the group’s work." [WSJ

--Greenfield tweets: "Met Council is premier Jewish charity in NYC. Humbled that they want me to lead it after current CEO's retirement" [Twitter]

"Pressure From Chicago Dyke March Organizers Led to Demotion of Journalist, Claims Friend" by Noga Tarnopolsky: "Some two-and-a-half weeks after her scoop, Gretchen Rachel Hammond was relieved of her journalistic duties at the paper and moved to a full-time job on its sales desk... Miriam Churchill – a friend who accompanied Hammond to the Chicago Dyke March – recounted to Haaretz that as they prepared to leave the Piotrowski Park event at 4:30 P.M. on June 24, Hammond received a call from her boss, Windy City Times publisher Tracy Baim. Three women waving Jewish Gay Pride flags – rainbow flags emblazoned with the Star of David – had apparently been kicked out of the march, Baim told Hammond. The reporter then located the women, interviewed them and published her article. It was Baim who later demoted Hammond to another position on the LGBT weekly newspaper." [Haaretz

“For Jews and Muslims of Morocco, a Supportive Relationship Built on a Complex History” by Yardena Schwartz: “To an outsider, nothing seemed normal about this night, as Muslims were welcomed by the Jewish community to celebrate Ramadan at their synagogue But to the Muslims and Jews gathered here, it was a reminder of the 2,000-year-old ties that bind their communities together André Azoulay is a Jewish senior adviser to the king of Morocco, Mohammed VI. He also served his father, King Hassan II. Explaining how Morocco has remained protective of its Jewish community despite the anti-Jewish sentiments that overtook other Muslim countries in the wake of Israel’s establishment, Azoulay said, “We are fighting for that. But it’s not just top down,” he said, referring to the king’s protection of the community. “It’s also bottom up. Judaism in Morocco is in the roots, the identity, the mindset of the Moroccan people.”” [NBCNews

BOOK REVIEW: “A Novel Brings Israel’s Conflicts to New York” by James Wood: “Moving Kings” is a strange, superbly unsuccessful novel. There’s not a page without some vital charge—a flash of metaphor, an idiomatic originality, a bastard neologism born of nothing. You could say that it is patchworked with successes: David King in the Hamptons, Yoav and Uri in the Israeli Army, the King’s Moving crew at work in New York, Avery Luter flailing in his mother’s house. Yet these stories are more convincing than the connections, thematic and formal, offered to bind them. [Joshua] Cohen never finds that deep novelistic form, that tensile coherence, which Woolf idealized. This is a book of brilliant sentences, brilliant paragraphs, brilliant chapters. Here things flare singly, a succession of lighted matches, and do not cast a more general illumination.” [NewYorker]

HOLLYWOOD: “Bill Maher and Fran Lebowitz: When Comedy Cuts Deep” by Philip Galanes:Bill Maher My first act was all about being half-Jewish and half-Catholic: “I brought my lawyer into confession with me.” Johnny Carson made me do that joke every time I went on. But that’s what you talk about when you’re a young comedian: your personal history. It hasn’t been covered yet." Fran Lebowitz: Stiller and Meara did that. It was their whole act. He was Jewish, and she was Irish-Catholic. And the borscht belt comics did jokes about being Jewish FL: My grandparents were immigrants, too. To me, the really American kids were the ones whose grandparents spoke perfect English. I always noticed that. I remember once in Sunday school, the teacher said to me, “If America had a war with Israel, what side would you be on?” I was shocked by this. I’m American. I’m always on our side. BM: My mother didn’t tell us she was Jewish, and it never came up, even though my sister, my father and I would go to church every week.” [NYTimes

“Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for 'Ed Wood,' Dies at 89” by Mike Barnes: “Landau was born in Brooklyn on June 20, 1928. At age 17, he landed a job as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, but he turned down a promotion and quit five years later to pursue acting. “It was an impulsive move on my part to do that,” Landau told The Jewish Journal in 2013. “To become an actor was a dream I must’ve had so deeply and so strongly because I left a lucrative, well-paying job that I could do well to become an unemployed actor. It’s crazy if you think about it. To this day, I can still hear my mother’s voice saying, ‘You did what?!’”” [THR

-- "In 2000, Landau, who is of Jewish descent, played Abraham, father of the Israelites, in “In the Beginning,” which chronicled the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus. Jacqueline Bisset played his wife, Sarah." [LATimes

DESSERT: "How a Jewish deli run by Muslims became the symbol of a changing neighborhood" by Sarah Jacobs: "These days, in the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant — or Bed-Stuy — in Brooklyn, you'll find David's Brisket House, a Jewish deli that has been owned by the same Muslim family for 50 years. The deli was originally kosher, owned by a Jewish family, but when its former owners put it on the market in the 1960s, it was bought by two business partners: one, a Yemenite Muslim, and the other a Yemenite Jew. The partners decided that instead of changing the menu, they would keep customers coming back for their beloved meats... The deli has stayed in the family and is now run by Riyadh Gazali, the nephew of one of the partners." [BI]

"Why Are These 25,000 Bottles of Wine Different From All Other Wines" by Linda Gradstein: "Opening a new winery in Israel is not a simple proposition. The market is saturated, and it’s not easy to compete with Israel’s large producers like Carmel and the Golan Heights winery. It is especially difficult to sell relatively high-priced wine in the ultra-Orthodox world. Wine is used every Friday evening for the Kiddush, a blessing said at the Friday night Shabbat table, and for celebrations like weddings and circumcisions, but it is usually sweet Manischewitz-type wine, bought at the supermarket for a few dollars a bottle. The ultra-Orthodox in Israel tend to have large families and money is tight." [VinePair]

BIRTHDAYS: CEO of her family business, Samson Resources, a Tulsa-based energy company (2000-2011) until its sale for $7.2 billion to KKR, co-chair of the Schusterman Family Foundation, Stacy Helen Schusterman turns 54... Member of the Texas House of Representatives (1955-1959) and Texas Senate (1960-1981), representing Galveston, A. R. "Babe" Schwartz turns 91... Travel writer, publisher, consumer advocate and the founder of the Frommer's series of travel guides, he is a graduate of Yale Law School, Arthur Frommer turns 88... Israeli politician and historian, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv U., he served as a member of Knesset (1996-2002), Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-2001) and as ambassador to Spain (1987-1991), Shlomo Ben-Ami turns 74... Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Charley Steiner turns 68... VP and Assistant General Counsel of The Hartford and chairman emeritus of the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Robert K. Yass turns 66... 

Baltimore-born, HUC-JIR educated, rabbi at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA, author, historian and college professor, Lance Jonathan Sussman, Ph.D. turns 63... Minister for the Environment and Energy in Australia, Joshua Anthony "Josh" Frydenberg turns 46... Founder and CEO of Zeta Interactive, David A. Steinberg turns 47... Stand-up comedian, he was a finalist on the NBC reality-talent show "Last Comic Standing" in two seasons, Gary Gulman turns 47... Senior adviser for strategic communications at Hillel International, Matthew E. Berger turns 39... Relationship manager at Morningstar, she is a Young Leadership Division board member at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago and an MBA candidate at Northwestern's Kellogg School, Melanie Beatus turns 27... Precocious daughter of Jared and Ivanka, Arabella Rose Kushner turns 6... Financial sector analyst at Institutional Shareholder Services since June 2017, previously at The Israel Project, Jared Sorhaindo... Steve Lebowitz...

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]