Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: June 23, 2017

Congressurges Trumpto appoint a WHJewish Liaison | When hackers attacked IDT, they timed it for the Sabbath | Bob Kraft on prayer

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President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump, step out of the Diplomatic Reception Room as they arrive at the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington.
President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump, step out of the Diplomatic Reception Room as they arrive at the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017Credit: Alex Brandon/AP
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FIRST LOOK: “A Cyberattack ‘the World Isn’t Ready For’” by Nicole Perlroth: “[Golan] Ben-Oni, 43, a Hasidic Jew, is a slight man with smiling eyes, a thick beard and a hacker’s penchant for mischief. He grew up in the hills of Berkeley, Calif., the son of Israeli immigrants. Even as a toddler, Mr. Ben-Oni’s mother said, he was not interested in toys As a teenager, he aspired to become a rabbi but spent most of his free time hacking computers at the University of California, Berkeley, where his exploits once accidentally took down Belgium’s entire phone system for 15 minutes At age 19, he crossed the country and took a job at IDT Mr. Ben-Oni found himself responsible for securing shale oil projects in Mongolia and the Golan Heights a yeshiva university that trains underprivileged students in cybersecurity, and a small mobile company that Verizon recently acquired for $3.1 billion.”

"Nothing compared to the attack that struck in April. The assault on IDT relied on cyberweapons developed by the N.S.A. that were leaked online in April by a mysterious group of hackers calling themselves the Shadow Brokers — alternately believed to be Russia-backed cybercriminals, an N.S.A. mole, or both Mr. Ben-Oni learned of the attack only when a contractor, working from home, switched on her computer to find that all her data had been encrypted and that attackers were demanding a ransom to unlock it. And he is determined to track down whoever did it. “I don’t pursue every attacker, just the ones that piss me off,” Mr. Ben-Oni told me recently over lentils in his office, which was strewn with empty Red Bull cans. “This pissed me off and, more importantly, it pissed my wife off, which is the real litmus test.”

“But the attack struck Mr. Ben-Oni as unique. For one thing, it was timed perfectly to the Sabbath. Attackers entered IDT’s network at 6 p.m. on Saturday on the dot, two and a half hours before the Sabbath would end and when most of IDT’s employees — 40 percent of whom identify as Orthodox Jews — would be off the clock The black box of sorts, a network recording device made by the Israeli security company Secdo, shows that the ransomware was installed after the attackers had made off with the contractor’s credentials. And they managed to bypass every major security detection mechanism along the way. Finally, before they left, they encrypted her computer with ransomware, demanding $130 to unlock it, to cover up the more invasive attack on her computer.” [NYTimes]

--Flashback to May: How IDT Founder and Telecom Speculator Howard Jonas Made Billions From Verizon, AT&T [WSJ]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION -- "Trump Indicates Tweet on Tapes Was Meant to Affect Comey Testimony" by Maggie Haberman: "President Trump appeared to acknowledge on Friday in an interview that his tweet hinting of taped conversations with James B. Comey was intended to influence the fired F.B.I. director’s testimony before Congress, and he emphasized that he committed “no obstruction” of the inquiries into whether his campaign colluded with Russia." [NYTimes]

"How Trump’s dubious claims make the entire government react" by Abby Phillip: “What happens with the president is he shoots himself in the foot, and soon the gangrene spreads to the entire body politic,” said Norm Eisen... “This is going to be the new normal: elements of the president’s own executive branch openly, or indirectly through leaks, responding to these false tweets.” ... “There’s nothing criminal or illegal about bluffing,” said Alan Dershowitz... “I don’t think he would have said he had tapes if he had them... I don’t know whether it was an unforced error or a tactic, but it could have been both: a tactic that turned out to be an unforced error,” Dershowitz said. “He should have thought through all of that. I very often keep contemporaneous memos, particularly when I’m dealing with people who have credibility issues.” [WashPost]

“The Lasting Damage of Trump's 'Tapes' Bluff” by David Frum: “And while the administration continues on a collision course with Iran, even they must wonder whether there is really very much to fear from a president who has alienated the big European countries—notably Germany “Never bluff.” Each outgoing president should write those words by hand in the letter of advice he leaves atop the Resolute desk for his incoming successor. Trump showed the whole world that when he sweats, he panics. That’s a lesson that will be remembered by the planet’s bad actors for however long this president holds office.” [TheAtlantic]

PRESIDENT-IN-LAW: “Jared and Ivanka, Despite Their Inexperience, Once Again Try to Take on the World” by Emily Jane Fox: “Both Ivanka and Kushner, millennial neophytes with no political experience or Washington know-how, are serving as the administration’s envoys to the highest levels on issues that no one has been able to solve for decades (Middle East peace and paid family leave, tax credits)... These two events were less about closing a deal—these deals are, as of now, essentially un-closable by anyone—and more akin to heirs apparent learning the ropes of a family business, which is the realm in which Trump, his daughter, and her husband are all much more familiar.” [VanityFair]

PALACE INTRIGUE: “Hosting congressional picnic, Trump calls for unity” by Jonathan Lemire: “Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s powerful son-in-law, were at one moment spotted in an animated conversation, though the two men quickly displayed over-the-top smiles and walked off together once they realized they had been spotted by photographers.” [AP] Why Reince Priebus Can’t Save His Job [PoliticoMag]

SPOTTED AT THE WH PICNIC -- Lee Zeldin posted a pic of his family with Sean Spicer: “Arianna totally called Press Sec Sean "Spicey". Sean said Arianna is watching too much late night TV. Haha. We love you Sean.” [Pic]

"White House-media relations at breaking point as Spicer searches for replacement" by Dylan Byers: "In the middle is an overstretched and understaffed communications team that has spent over a month unsuccessfully looking for new staff to help relieve some of the pressure. So far, all that search has revealed is that the people the White House wants aren't interested in the job and the people who are interested in the job aren't wanted by the White House. Amid this chaos, the White House press office has opted for an ad-hoc strategy intended to screw with the media -- the language used inside the White House is stronger -- and make them look ridiculous." [CNN]

TOP TALKER -- Congress urges Trump to appoint a White House Jewish Liaison -- by Jacob Kornbluh: Several members of Congress are urging President Donald Trump to continue a 40-year tradition by immediately appointing a White House liaison to the American Jewish community. "While it is still early in your term, increased anti-Semitism in the United States, the rise of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and persecution of religious minorities across the globe create an urgent need for a designated point of contact to work with and provide outreach to the American Jewish community," Reps. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Doug Lamborn (R-CO) wrote in the bipartisan letter addressed to the President. "On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, you declared in the Capitol Rotunda that you 'will always stand with the Jewish people.' We respectfully encourage you to follow through on this commitment and appoint the best person you believe would serve in this role." [JewishInsider]

LATEST ON TAYLOR FORCE ACT: “After Kushner-Abbas Meeting, Issue of Payments to Palestinian Terrorists' Families Remains Unresolved” by Jack Khoury, Barak Ravid and Amir Tibon: “Senior Palestinian officials stated after their meeting with [Jared] Kushner and [Jason] Greenblatt that the Palestinian leadership was greatly disappointed... "They sounded like Netanyahu's advisers and not like fair arbiters," a senior Palestinian official said. "They started presenting Netanyahu's issues and then we asked to hear from them clear stances regarding the core issues of the conflict." According to the senior Palestinian official... Abbas asked for clarifications regarding the White House's stance on settlement construction. "but received no answer." Senior American officials stated that the matter was in fact discussed during the meeting but that it didn't cast a shadow on the meeting, which they said was positive and helpful.” [Haaretz; AP]

"PA official: NGOs to bypass US pressure against paying terrorists" by Daniel Siryoti: "Senior Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom that Abbas has no intention of suspending the payments. Instead, said one senior PA official, Abbas has designed a bureaucratic ploy to continue the payments. According to the official, Abbas' ruse was to dismantle the Palestinian Prisoners Society... and have its mechanisms integrated into Ramallah's Interior Ministry, all while dozens of other nongovernmental organizations and associations will be established to replace the PPS. The new NGOs will receive hundreds of millions of dollars with which to pay imprisoned and released terrorists, and terrorists' families." [IsraelHayom]

“Abbas defends payments to convicted terrorists as ‘social responsibility’” by Dov Lieber: “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday defended the payments to Palestinian prisoners and convicted terrorists as a “social responsibility,” and said Israel was using the issue as a pretext to avoid peace talks. The comments were made in a speech that was read by Abbas’s foreign affairs adviser Nabil Shaath at the Herzliya Conference.” [ToI]

Commanders for Israel's Security warn about ramifications of the Taylor Force Act: “The government of Israel will do well to alert the Washington legislators to the potential adverse consequences of this bill. Their intentions are pure. Their friendship is beyond a doubt. But if enacted, this legislation might undermine PA stability; expand the circle of frustration and hostility; erode the security coordination; and thus hurt Israeli security.” [Doc]

Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya'alon (whose birthday is tomorrow) responds to the Commanders' statement: I absolutely disagree with this approach. It is like choosing to be blackmailed. It is like feeding the tiger with more victims (of terror) in order not to make him angry. It is a clear surrender to terror!"

GULF CRISIS: “Qatar's neighbors issue steep list of demands to end crisis” by Josh Lederman: “In a 13-point list -- presented to the Qataris by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the crisis -- the countries also demand that Qatar sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups including Hezbollah, al-Qaida and the Islamic State group The Iran provisions in the document say Qatar must shut down diplomatic posts in Iran, kick out from Qatar any members of the Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, and only conduct trade and commerce with Iran that complies with U.S. sanctions.” [AP]

HEARD YESTERDAY -- Ambassador Haley Blasts UN Forces in Lebanon -- by Aaron Magid: Speaking at a Capitol Hill National Security Forum yesterday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for not directing sufficient attention to Hezbollah. “The UN troops there are not looking at Hezbollah or bringing any attention to that. They need to talk about if they see missiles or tunnels, if they see something like that happening,” Haley told moderator Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Haley emphasized that Israel’s northern border with Lebanon remains the country’s most dangerous threat. “To have conflict break out between Lebanon and Israel, the destabilization that would do would be horrible,” she said. [JewishInsider]

The Capitol Hill National Security Forum also hosted a panel to discuss the latest Middle East developments including the war in Syria, Egypt, and human rights across the region. The speakers included Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Elliott Abrams, former Deputy National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Tamara Cofman Wittes, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Commenting on the difficulties of autocratic governments fighting extremism, Abrams cited the case of Egypt before the 2011 revolution. “If you look at Mubarak, he didn’t crush the Muslim Brotherhood. He didn’t want to crush the Muslim Brotherhood because then he couldn’t come to the Americans and say, ‘It’s me or the Muslim Brotherhood.” Referring to the Qatar-Saudi spat, Crocker emphasized that if the US were to take a more aggressive line against Doha, Washington would be required to remove the large US military base currently residing in Qatar, a significant logistical hurdle.

BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT: “Disgraced Lobbyist Abramoff Reveals Failed Bid for Trump Meeting” by Bill Allison and Ben Brody: “[Jack] Abramoff disclosed his unsuccessful effort to arrange a December meeting between then-President-elect Donald Trump and an African leader in a [Justice Department] filing. Abramoff was unable to arrange the meeting or a phone call between the two leaders despite the assistance of Representative Dana Rohrabacher The disclosures say that Abramoff... was not paid for his efforts on behalf of his client, Iancu Costel an Italian national Abramoff filed the disclosure after the Justice Department asked him to register as a foreign agent, according to a letter his attorneys sent the department. In the letter, the attorneys dispute that Abramoff needed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act because he wasn’t paid and because he didn’t have an actual agreement to act on behalf of a foreign government.” [Bloomberg; PublicIntegrity] Abramoff Ties Could Mean Trouble for Trump DOL Nominee [BNA]

VETTING FAIL: Trump Energy Department agency head apologizes for disparaging tweets -- by Dino Grandoni:
“Before William C. Bradford was appointed by the Trump administration to run the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy, he tweeted a slew of disparaging remarks about the real and imagined ethnic, religious and gender identities of former president Barack Obama, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg... In an email on Thursday, Bradford acknowledged the (now-deleted) Twitter account and apologized for his comments. “As a minority and member of the Jewish faith, I sincerely apologize for my disrespectful and offensive comments,” he wrote to The Washington Post. “These comments are inexcusable and I do not stand by them. Now, as a public servant, I hold myself to a higher standard, and I will work every day to better the lives of all Americans.” The Trump official’s tweets came before he joined the administration and include a response to a story about Zuckerberg urging Iowans to vote against Trump ahead of a 2016 presidential caucus there, in which Bradford said: “Who is this little arrogant self-hating Jew to tell anyone for whom to vote?”” [WashPost]

Trump wants Jets owner, former Dodgers co-owner as US envoys: "President Donald Trump says he’ll nominate New York Jets owner Woody Johnson to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom... Trump also announced his choice of Jamie McCourt, an attorney and former co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, to be the U.S. ambassador to Belgium." [AP]

** Good Friday 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 **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft at Cannes says NFL’s future is through live-streaming [NYPost] Carlyle's David Rubenstein Says More Focused on China, India [Bloomberg] Thomas Friedman Says China Is the 'Meta Story', Not Hong Kong [Bloomberg] Buyers Wrangle Discounts Off Asking Prices for Yitzchak Tessler's 172 Madison Condos [RealDeal; WSJ] Israel Doubles Down on High-Tech Air Power [PopularMechanics]

“Jump Man: How Sky Zone Went From Failed Extreme Sport To A $300 Million Business” by Noah Kirsch: “At the turn of the millennium, Rick Platt, Jeff’s father, had closed his scrap metal company in L.A. and was looking for a new venture. Opportunity came at one of his son’s high school volleyball games, where he heard an idea for a sport played on trampolines in which athletes would attempt to jump through a suspended hoop while holding a ball. He scouted a location in Las Vegas, then spent a year building a facility and another recruiting athletes. He used funds invested by family friends The “sport,” called Sky Zone, was a massive flop. Platt quickly abandoned the concept and opened his trampolines to the public." [Forbes]

“Trump's Travel Ban Inspired Two Best Friends to Start a Law Firm” by Helena Okolicsanyi:
“[Michelle] Stilwell’s background is in litigation, and she worked at nonprofits focused on human rights after working in Israel working at a human rights law firm, which used civil litigation to sue groups and organizations considered to be terrorists. It was Stilwell who mentioned to [Victoria] Slatton that they should start their own firm, then Slatton ran with it.” [TeenVogue]

MEDIA WATCH -- “Billionaires want to enlist you in their secret plans to take down the press” by Alyssa Rosenberg: “The core of “Nobody Speak” (which premieres on Netflix today) is [Brian] Knappenberger’s juxtaposition between the feverishly covered Gawker case and the takeover of the Las Vegas Review-Journal Of course, among the things that unites Thiel and Adelson is their support for Trump. And since Trump was sworn in as president, he appears to have spent more mental energy on his feuds with the press than on any other subject Because the Adelsons and the Thiels of the world act in secret, they avoid scrutiny. And by doing so, they also have the power to enlist accidental allies who would never be on board with their true intentions.” [WashPost]

“Wall Street Journal Scrutinizes Hundreds of Articles by Fired Reporter” by Sydney Ember and Gardiner Harris:
“The Wall Street Journal is conducting a review of hundreds of articles by Jay Solomon, who was the paper’s chief foreign affairs correspondent... The son of a prominent diplomat, Mr. Solomon, who worked at The Journal for 23 years, commanded respect in Washington because of his foreign-affairs scoops about North Korea, Iran and other Middle East countries. But his closeness with some of his sources made some colleagues uncomfortable. During United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York, Mr. Azima often invited journalists to join him for drinks and dinner. Mr. Azima also appeared in Vienna in 2015 during negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal. In each setting, Mr. Solomon was a fixture at the bar and restaurant table with Mr. Azima.” [NYTimes]

KAFE KNESSET -- Coalition crisis over Western Wall and conversion -- by Tal Shalev and JPost's Lahav Harkov: Religious issues are on everyone’s lips today, with Haredi parties threatening the coalition’s stability over the Western Wall and conversions. United Torah Judaism and Shas plan to present a Kotel-related resolution at Sunday’s cabinet meeting. The resolution would cancel the cabinet decision to expand the egalitarian section at the southern end of the Western Wall. The Haredi parties want to avoid a court order requiring the government to start constructing the expanded prayer platform. Well-placed sources with knowledge of the efforts to implement the original plan acknowledged on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is opposed to repealing the agreement, but is nonetheless trying to appease his Haredi coalition partners. It is possible that the Netanyahu will agree to a resolution formally suspending implementation of the agreement, although leaders of the progressive Jewish denominations say they will oppose any formulation that permanently scuttles the agreement.

Meanwhile, conversions are back on center stage. A proposed bill giving the Chief Rabbinate the sole authority over conversions led Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky to ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take action, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post. The bill states that only conversions recognized by the Chief Rabbinate will make someone qualified under the Law of Return. Sharansky’s criticism comes ahead of next week’s Jewish Agency board meeting, with Jewish communal leaders arriving in Israel. Read today's entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

TALK OF THE TOWN: "Why a Palm Beach synagogue celebrated ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ star Ben Platt" by Jan Sjostrom: "Platt’s nabbing the best actor award didn’t surprise his proud grandfather Robert Beren. “Ben was favored to win that Tony,” Beren said. “For a change, the favorite won.” Palm Beach Synagogue’s Rabbi Moshe Scheiner asked Beren to talk about his grandson Saturday during the refreshments that follow services. Beren told the congregation that Ben might never have pursued that path had his mother not declined to follow her older sisters’ example to enroll in Wellesley College. Instead, she chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her husband and Broadway producer Marc Platt. “Life is always a surprise,” Beren said. “You don’t know what action you take will lead to some other course.”" [PalmBeachDailyNews]

MAZEL TOV -- The Israel Project's Josh Block emails... “Kim and I are thrilled to welcome Henry Victor Block to our family. He was born Tuesday afternoon, weighing-in at 8lbs 14.5oz. Mom and baby are doing great! Thanks for all your warm wishes!”

"A Weekend Wedding for Steven Mnuchin" by Katie Rogers: "Steven T. Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and his fiancée, the Scottish actress Louise Linton, are a match made in Hollywood, and one that tends to cut a conspicuous presence through this strait-laced capital. But they managed to keep their wedding plans secret until a fellow cabinet secretary spoiled the surprise. The couple’s plans to marry in Washington on Saturday were made public by Wilbur L. Ross, the Commerce secretary, who let the news slip during a conference in the capital this week." [NYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK -- Robert Kraft in an interview with Israel Hayom: "Q: Do you still pray regularly? Before games? "I no longer use petitionary prayer, I mean I go [to synagogue] on the holidays. I used to put on tefillin on every morning. Except for yahrzeits or the High Holidays or going once in a while on Shabbat, I don't [go to synagogue]. But do I pray before games? I still say the Shema, I try to say it every night before going to bed, giving thanks to the Lord, and when I am looking for special help and power."" [IsraelHayom]

“What does kosher mean at the ballpark? Quite a lot” by Marc Bona: “In his third year at the ballpark, Cheron estimates that 95 percent of his customers are not Jewish. But he is willing to explain to anyone what they are getting in the all-beef hot dog that costs almost twice as much ($8) as a regular hot dog in the park. Kosher means fit. "It doesn't mean the rabbi blesses the meat," he said. But what exactly are you getting with a Kosher dog? Rules governing the entire process - from preparation to cooking - are set in the Torah, he said.” [Cleveland]

DESSERT: "The L.A. Culinary Scene Is Having A Major Israeli Moment" by Oren Peleg: "Since the beginning of this year, Israeli cuisine and Middle Eastern flavors seem to have taken over the city's culinary scene. In January, Kramer and Hymanson opened Kismet in Los Feliz. The California-Israeli restaurant launched the pair into the national foodie elite (including a spot on Food & Wine's Best New Chefs of 2017 list), and announced the arrival of high-brow Israeli fare to the L.A. crowd. Since then, Botanica and Mh Zh have opened in Silver Lake,The Exchange has opened downtown, Bestia's Ori Menashe is working on his new Israeli restaurant in the Arts District, and Publiqué is set to open this summer in Santa Monica. Look deeper and you'll see za'atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend composed primarily of sumac) on menus across the city, along with dishes like malabi (a Middle Eastern custard dessert), lamb, and cucumber salad." [LAist]

** FRIDAY NIGHT IN ASPEN: For the second year in a row, Jewish Insider is partnering with OneTable and The Paul E. Singer Foundation to host a Friday night dinner on the sidelines of the Aspen Ideas Festival. The dinner, a week from today on June 30th, will also feature an upscale Israeli and California wine tasting from our own Yitz Applbaum. The dinner is open to all - whether you're 25 or 65, we've got a seat at the table for you. RSVP Here [OneTable] **

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS -- FRIDAY: Deputy Director of the National Economic Council and former Bush 43 Jewish liaison Jeremy Katz (h/t JLOTUS club)... Professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard, previously president of Brandeis University (1991-1994) and president of Massachusetts General Hospital (1994-1996), Samuel O. Thier, M.D. turns 80... Real estate developer and co-founder of Tishman Speyer, Jerry Speyer turns 77... Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, for 40 years, the grandson of a synagogue cantor, James Levine turns 74... Author of 17 books on foreign affairs, global politics and travel, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in DC, and senior adviser at Eurasia Group, Robert D. Kaplan turns 65... Born in Mobile, Alabama, author Roy Hoffman turns 64... Los Angeles-based activist, socialite, restaurateur and breast cancer fundraiser, a 2008 Lifetime Television movie starring Renée Zellweger portrayed her cancer fighting efforts, Lilly Tartikoff Karatz turns 64... Klezmer expert, violinist, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer and playwright, he is the artist-in-residence in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University, Yale Strom turns 60... President and CEO of Amplify Public Affairs, also the founder of the Disruptive Women in Health Care blog, she serves on multiple non-profit health related boards, Robin Strongin turns 58... Award-winning actress and producer, Kyra Sedgwick turns 52... Member of the front office of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles since 2000, General Manager (2010-2014) and then EVP of football operations of the Eagles, Howie Roseman turns 42... Born in Israel and raised in France, founder of Innovation Africa to bring more reliable electricity to developing communities throughout Africa, Sivan Borowich-Ya'ari turns 39... Actress and comedienne, best known for playing Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on Seasons 4 and 5 of CBS's sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," Melissa Rauch turns 37... Actress, singer and model, Marielle Jaffe turns 28... Ethiopian-born Israeli model who won the title of Miss Israel in 2013, Yityish Aynaw turns 26... Mr. Josh Lauder turns 22... Communications Assistant at West End Strategy Team, Jessica Johnson...

SATURDAY: Chief Rabbi of Denmark from 1969 to 1996, Rabbi Bent Melchior turns 88... South African businessman and philanthropist, now living in London, his holdings include many large shopping centers, Sir Donald Gordon turns 87... Member of Congress (D-NJ-8) from 1993-1995, prominent civil litigator, real estate fund executive and member of multiple non-profit boards, Herb Klein turns 87... Billionaire activist investor Nelson Peltz turns 75... Former Chairman and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company, Seymour "Sy" Sternberg turns 74... Professor of Jewish theology at the American Jewish University and chairman of the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff turns 74... Founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Rabbi Avraham Haim Yosef Avi Weiss turns 73... Former Secretary of Labor (1993-97), author and professor at UC Berkeley, Robert Reich turns 71... Former Chief of Staff of the IDF and then Israeli Defense Minister, Lt. General (reserve) Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon turns 67... Member of the Canadian House of Commons from Hamilton, Ontario since 2006, he is a former CEO of Promise Keepers Canada, David Sweet turns 60... Principal of Mount Scopus Memorial College, a co-educational Jewish day school with over 1,500 students from K to 12, located in Melbourne, Australia, Rabbi James Kennard turns 53... The first on-air talent of the NFL Network when it debuted in 2003, he has become the face of the network ever since, Rich Eisen turns 48... Israeli businesswoman and owner of the soccer team, Hapoel Beer Sheva, her brother-in-law is the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, Alona Barkat turns 48... Author and columnist, Shulem Deen turns 43... Singer and songwriter Ariel Pink, born Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, turns 39... Conservative journalist and editor-in-chief of The Washington Free Beacon, he is the son-in-law of political analyst and commentator Bill Kristol, Matthew Continetti turns 36... VP of Houston-based RIDA Development, a multi-national real estate development company started by his Holocaust-surviving grandfather, David Mitzner, Steven C. Mitzner turns 31... A 2015 contestant on Jeopardy! who earned $413,612 by winning 13 consecutive episodes, Matthew Barnett "Matt" Jackson turns 25... Chief Creative Officer at WildBrow MediaWorks, Peter Grossman... Sam Gill... Lois Charles... Ruth Weinstein... Mo Gruber...

SUNDAY: New Jersey-based criminal defense attorney, his clients include many homicide defendants, organized crime figures and celebrities, Miles Feinstein turns 76... Music publicist in the 1970s and 1980s for Prince, Billy Joel and Styx, later an author on human behavior, Howard Bloom turns 74... Real estate developer and founder of The Continuum Company, Ian Bruce Eichner turns 72... Woodland Hills, California-based mentor, coach, and consultant for business executives through Vistage International, Gary Brennglass turns 65... President of his family's Chicago-based investment firm, Henry Crown and Company, a director of JPMorgan Chase and General Dynamics, he is also the managing partner of the Aspen Skiing Company, James Crown turns 64... Chef, author and CNN host, Anthony Bourdain turns 61... Member of the Knesset since 2013, she is a leader of the Meretz party, Michal Rozin turns 48... CEO of the Boston-based Achievement Network, Mora Segal turns 44... Born in Manchester, England, he is the founder and director of The Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh, popularly known as the "Zoo Rabbi," Natan Slifkin turns 42... Fashion model and television presenter, Michele Merkin turns 42... Marketing communications coordinator for Leidos, Isaac Snyder turns 30... CNN reporter since 2014, covering the first family, politics, and pop culture, she was previously at the Washington bureau of ABC News, Betsy Klein... Sheldon Sandler... Helen Chernikoff...

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