TOP TALKER -- The Genesis Prize, dubbed "the Jewish Nobel Prize," which honors notable individuals for their “commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and the State of Israel” has canceled their upcoming ceremony. The event, scheduled for June 28 in Jerusalem, fell apart after Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman informed Genesis that “recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”
The Genesis Foundation said in a press release that it was “saddened that she has decided not to attend the Genesis Prize Ceremony in Jerusalem for political reasons. We fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.”
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev accused the Hollywood star of succumbing to the pressures of the BDS Movement. "Natalie, a Jewish actress who was born in Israel, joins those who see the story of the wondrous success of the rebirth of Israel as a "story of darkness and darkness," Regev said.
The prize was initially offered to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but the Prime Minister’s Office reportedly intervened fearing political blowback over her sharp criticism of Trump during the election. Instead, RBG was awarded the Prize Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. The $1 million award was granted to Portman in recognition of her commitment to social causes and deep connection to her Jewish and Israeli roots.
Flashback to 2015 -- Portman after Netanyahu won re-election for a fourth term: "I'm very much against Netanyahu. Against. I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected. I find his racist comments horrific. However I don't want to use my platform [the wrong way]. I feel like there's some people who become prominent, and then it's out in the foreign press. You know, shit on Israel. I do not. I don't want to do that." [HollywoodReporter]
Danielle Berrin, who has previously interviewed Portman for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, tells us: "Public support for Israel is always a tricky choice for a Hollywood celebrity. Celebrity careers depend on broad public admiration and affection and Israel is a subject that divides. A show of support for the Jewish State can trigger vicious BDS protest, while criticism or distancing of Israel offends many in the Jewish community. It's typically a lose-lose for a movie star to take a stand."
"Portman, however, has been consistent in her criticism of the Netanyahu government. But never before has she impugned Israel as a whole or chosen to isolate it culturally. A year and a half ago when she needed to sell tickets to her movie "A Tale of Love and Darkness," based on the Amos Oz memoir, she was eager to tout her love and connection to the Jewish homeland. So it's worth asking: How serious is her protest? Portman's choice to refuse the Genesis Prize will earn her praise in some circles and condemnation in others. But it should concern all of us: When an internationally famous Jerusalem-born Jew prefers to make a political statement than receive a prize, we should all reflect on the question "why" -- and what the answer tells us about the Israel we believe in and the Israel we have."
HOW IT PLAYED: Natalie Portman pulls out of Israel award due to 'distressing recent events' there [TheGuardian] The Genesis Prize Foundation has yet to indicate whether Portman will still receive the prize money despite pulling out of the ceremony [Variety] Natalie Portman Denounced By Israeli Government Over Decision Not to Attend Awards [HollywoodReporter]
WHAT PORTMAN ALLIES ARE READING -- "The Insanity at the Gaza Fence" by Roger Cohen: "I have passed several times through the fence separating the first world of Israel from the rubble-strewn open-air prison of Gaza. It’s a violent transition in a place of unreason. As usual Israel overreaches, an eye for an eyelash, as the Oxford professor and former Israeli soldier Avi Shlaim once observed. Israel has the right to defend its borders, but not to use lethal force against mainly unarmed protesters in the way that has already left 35 Palestinians dead and nearly 1,000 injured. Overreaction is inherent to the existential threat Israel claims, but that is ever less persuasive... The script is familiar: international investigations will follow, inconclusive outcomes, redoubled hatred. Israel wins but loses. Israel haters, and Jew haters, have a field day." [NYTimes]
AP on today's protests: "Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protest on Gaza’s border with Israel on Friday, some burning tires or flying kites with flaming rags dangling from their tails. Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops firing from across the border fence, health officials said. The protests are part of what organizers, led by Gaza’s ruling Hamas group, have billed as a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel... to culminate in a mass march on May 15. Earlier Friday, Israeli military aircraft had dropped leaflets urging Palestinians to stay away from the fence and warning that they endanger their lives if they follow Hamas directives." [AP]
CAMPUS BEAT -- "NYU's Hamilton Denounces BDS, Acknowledges Racism in Stern at Town Hall" by Mack DeGeurin, Sakshi Venkatraman and Alex Domb: "Dozens of student activists, student government leaders and NYU administrators gathered in room 802 of the Kimmel Center for Student Life on Thursday evening for a public town hall with President Andrew Hamilton... Near the end of the town hall meeting, Hamilton was met with hisses as he vocalized his disagreement with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement... The formal denouncement from Hamilton comes just one week after 51 students groups, led by the Jewish Voice for Peace and NYU Students for Justice in Palestine, joined together in support for the pro-Palestinian cause... Hamilton also announced that he sent a letter to the Israeli government condemning their decision to ban groups that support BDS." [NYUNews]
“Dennis Ross talks Middle East politics, two-state solution” by Adesuwa Agbonile: “Diplomat Dennis Ross discussed the complexities of peacemaking in the Middle East on Wednesday evening at Hillel Ross was invited to campus as part of programming for Israel Week, where Stanford students can engage in a full week of activities related to Israel and Jewish faith “When I go to my synagogue on Saturday mornings, people come up to me and they say: Can you tell us something good?” Ross said. “And I say, well, if you’re asking about the Middle East, it’s going to be hard to do.” [StandfordDaily]
"U of I invites Dershowitz to free speech forum" by Mark Maxwell: "Included in the list of supercharged issues still simmering at the University of Illinois are the lingering tensions over... the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. The BDS debate regained steam on campus this spring... the university hopes to confront the topic next Thursday night during a free speech forum in an open discussion with outspoken lawyer and constitutional expert Alan Dershowitz." [IllinoisHomepage]
TALK OF THE TOWN -- “D.C. lawmaker who said Jews control the weather visits Holocaust Museum but leaves early” by Peter Jamison: "D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8)... on Wednesday made a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. With him was Rabbi Batya Glazer of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington The group paused before grainy photos of German troops executing Catholic clergy in Poland by firing squad. “Were they actually manufacturing these weapons?” White asked. Moments later, White was nowhere to be seen. Glazer, the rabbi, texted him to ask his whereabouts. He wrote back that... he had to leave soon for an event in Ward 8. The tour, scheduled to last 90 minutes, was halfway done.”
"White, it turned out, was standing alone on the sidewalk outside the museum Asked why he left the tour halfway and where he went, he said nothing and held his cellphone to his ear. Asked whether he had reassessed his comments about the Rothschilds in light of what he had just seen, White walked east on Independence Avenue. “This opportunity has given me the chance to meet a lot of great Jews, a lot of people. A lot of good Jews that I’ve never had the chance to meet before,” he said after a long silence.” [WashPost]
ISRAEL AT 70 -- “Netanyahu says at least six states considering moving embassies to Jerusalem” by Ori Lewis: “In order to promote peace ... move your embassies here,” Netanyahu told foreign diplomats at a reception in Jerusalem... “I am pleased to say that there are at least half a dozen countries that are currently talking seriously to us about moving their embassies to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. The first ten embassies to relocate to Jerusalem would receive “preferential treatment.” [Reuters] Street signs directing drivers toward the new U.S. Embassy are ready to go up in Jerusalem [Pic]
REPORT -- Romania to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem: “The Romanian government will follow the United States and transfer its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) leader said Thursday." [YahooNews]
"Romanian President Condemns Cabinet Plan to Move Israel Embassy" by Andra Timu: "Romanian President Klaus Iohannis slammed the government for not consulting him before announcing a plan to move the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Iohannis, who according to the Romanian Constitution leads foreign policy and represents the country abroad, urged the cabinet to refrain from any decision before a thorough assessment." [Bloomberg]
DAYLIGHT? -- "On its 70th Independence Day, Israel frets about whether allies are doing enough to counter Iran" by Noga Tarnopolsky: "Jonathan Schanzer, a senior vice president for research at Washington's Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the Trump administration appreciates the threat Iran poses to Israel and to U.S. interests. "But there is still real reticence to make a strategic commitment," he said. "This is the friction between [Netanyahu] and Trump, despite their genuinely warm ties." [LATimes]
IRAN DEAL -- “Macron, Merkel Set to Visit Trump With Iran Deal Hanging in the Balance” by Felicia Schwartz and Laurence Norman: "Mr. Trump’s meetings with [Emmanuel] Macron on Tuesday and [Angela] Merkel on Friday are among a series of pivotal events in the weeks before May 12 “We hope this state visit will advance things in the right direction,” an aide to Mr. Macron said... Officials involved in the discussions... said they have mostly completed talks at the staff level “Good progress and almost there,” one senior European diplomat said... “Now, nobody knows what POTUS will decide in the end.”
“European officials say Mr. Macron had hoped to go to Washington with the first set of new European sanctions on Tehran since the nuclear deal was struck However, talks on the sanctions package have moved slowly. While the measures could advance before May 12, the chances of them being ready for Mr. Macron’s Washington trip next week are slim." [WSJ]
-- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is expected to deliver remarks and discuss the nuclear deal at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday, April 23.
VIEW FROM TEHRAN -- “Iran’s Biggest Threat Has Nothing to Do With Trump” by Golnar Motevalli: “With the deal on its nuclear program failing to deliver promised gains, experts in Tehran say a banking crisis poses a bigger economic threat to the country than any decision by Donald Trump to rip up the agreement “Solving the banking crisis is the priority for us now, our No. 1 problem, and we have to resolve it,” says Teymur Rahmani, professor of economics at the University of Tehran.” [Bloomberg]
MUELLER WATCH -- “Rosenstein Tells Trump He’s Not a Target in Mueller, Cohen Probes” by Jennifer Jacobs, Chris Strohm and Jennifer Epstein: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump last week that he isn’t a target of any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation or the probe into his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen Rosenstein offered the assurance during a meeting with Trump at the White House last Thursday, a development that helped tamp down the president’s desire to remove Rosenstein or Mueller.” [Bloomberg]
-- "Trump “hasn’t cooled off on” Rod Rosenstein" by Jonathan Swan: "President Trump "hasn't cooled off on" Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein... and could still fire him, according to a source close to Trump... "Trump doesn't know exactly what to do with [Rosenstein]. They don't have a clean way to get rid of him. That's the problem." But Rosenstein may be "about to be spit-roasted." [Axios]
“Giuliani to Join Trump’s Legal Team” by Maggie Haberman and Michael Schmidt: “Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and longtime friend of President Trump, will join the president’s legal team in an effort to “quickly” resolve the special counsel investigation Mr. Trump will also bring on Jane Serene Raskin and Martin R. Raskin, former federal prosecutors based in Florida, according to Mr. Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow.” [NYTimes; WashPost]
David Graham writes “Rudy Giuliani Isn't the Big Trump Legal Story: The Raskins are not famous partners at a big firm, but litigators who spend a great deal of time in a courtroom Giuliani’s brash promise of a negotiated settlement telegraph a president feeling increasingly confident about the Russia investigation. Hiring Raskin and Raskin sends a different message: that Trump is moving toward getting serious about a very serious investigation.” [TheAtlantic]
-- “David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami where the Raskins also worked, said the Raskins are very well respected lawyers with a “ton of experience in federal court.” Weinstein found it curious that Trump would pick lawyers from South Florida as opposed to New York or Washington, D.C. “It raises the question that he might be looking at vulnerabilities in South Florida,” Weinstein said.” [McClatchy]
IN THE SPOTLIGHT “Seeking Foreign Money, G.O.P. Donor Pushed for Trump to Golf With Malaysian Premier” by David Kirkpatrick and Mark Mazzetti: “White House aides were worried enough about a visit last year by Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, under investigation by American prosecutors that he was denied the customary photo in the Oval Office But that did not stop a top Republican fund-raiser, Elliott Broidy, from seeking to use his White House ties to press for Mr. Trump to play a golf game with Mr. Najib, who had the authority over negotiations for a lucrative Malaysian contract with Mr. Broidy’s private defense company Mr. Broidy also explored separate plans to force the exit from the United States of a Chinese billionaire and dissident, Guo Wengui, evidently to please Chinese allies in Malaysia while reaping payoffs from both the Chinese and, improbably, the United Arab Emirates.” [NYTimes]
2018 WATCH: "Democrats eye Jewish votes in bid to win House of Representatives" by Michael Wilner: "A survey by the Post found that, among 43 House districts considered toss-ups or leaning Republican, 21 have 10,000 Jewish voters or more – enough to justify the investment of critical campaign dollars, say the operatives, who have preliminarily discussed the plan with leadership of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Governors Association." [JPost]
BUZZ ON BALFOUR -- "Under Pressure and Embarrassed, Milchan Refused Requests for Luxury Gifts From Netanyahu and His Wife" by Josh Breiner: “You’re humiliating her by making her ask you. Listen, Hadas, it’s not an apartment. Explain to Arnon that if it’s not an apartment, it’s OK to give it. You’re joining the forces against us,” Netanyahu told Hadas Klein, [Arnon] Milchan’s personal assistant, at the beginning of 2016, after Milchan declined a request for gifts by the Netanyahus..." [Haaretz]
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: CBS Investors Can Proceed With Suit Over Sumner Redstone's Bonuses [Bloomberg] Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg on Competing with CNBC, Joining YouTube TV and Launching Cheddar Big News [Decider] Kushner Cos. Subpoenaed for Information Related to Housing Filings [WSJ] Karlie Kloss Is Announced as Estee Lauder’s Newest Global Spokesmodel [USMagazine] Hedge Fund Titans Pull Money From Funds for Huge Tax Bills [Bloomberg]
“Welcome to L.A.'s luxury hotel boom, featuring $20,000 suites and James Bond exotic cars” by Hugo Martin: "L.A. is becoming the place to be again," said hotelier Beny Alagem, who built the 12-story Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and owns the neighboring five-star Beverly Hilton Hotel. "People like the atmosphere that we created. They like the weather." [LATimes]
“Miami art showdown: How two major new museums stack up” by Mark Ellwood: “The upstart ICA squatted in the historic Moore Building while it awaited completion of its custom-built home, which debuted in December in the nearby Design District. Underwritten by auto magnate Norman Braman and his wife, the 37,500-square-foot complex was master-planned by Spanish firm Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos and features a notable sculpture garden.” [NYPost]
“Soros foundations to quit Hungary amid political hostility” by Marton Dunai: “George Soros’ Open Society Foundations will close their office in Budapest and move their eastern European operations to Berlin.” [Reuters]
"Hungary Chief Rabbi resigns as Jews consider reaction to Orbán victory" by Liam Hoare: "Hungary’s chief rabbi, Robert Frölich, has resigned over disagreements within the Neolog movement (the dominant religious tendency among Hungarian Jews) and with Mazsihisz, the federation of Hungarian Jewish communities... Rabbi Frölich’s resignation was a result of internal politics over the future direction of Neolog Judaism, which is positioned theologically between Masorti and Orthodoxy." [TheJC]
"Poland marks 75th anniversary of uprising in Warsaw Ghetto" by Monika Scislowska and Vanessa Gera: "We bow our heads low to their heroism, their bravery, their determination and courage," [Polish President Andrzej]Duda told the hundreds of officials, Holocaust survivors and Warsaw residents who gathered Thursday at the city's Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes. "Most of them died ... as they fought for dignity, freedom and also for Poland, because they were Polish citizens," Duda said." [ABCNews]
-- Abe Foxman emails us... "How sad and disgusting that President Duda would use the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising to insult the memory of the heroes. Polish Jews were selected, segregated, starved, and fought and were murdered as Jews, not as Poles. No Polish legislation will change that. Yes, the Polish people were victims but they were also victimizers. I was saved by a Polish woman, but some of my relatives were killed because they were sold out by their Polish neighbors. Both are truths to be told. President Duda knows better and we expect better from him."
HOLLYWOOD -- “Scooter Braun on the Importance of Paying It Forward, His Upcoming Midem Keynote & Award" by Leila Cobo: "When Scooter Braun organized the One Love Manchester concert in June 2017, he was already fully aware of the “universal change” music had the power to effect. But, on a personal level, he tells Billboard no show he had done before “was as important as what we did in Manchester.” ... "I have a 3-and-a-half-year-old and a 1-and-a-half-year-old and I said to my son the other day, “Do you know what daddy does for work?” And he said, “No!” And he looked at me and said, “Daddy, what do you do?” Part of being a parent is trying to instill in your kid things you hope they'll take on. So I thought about the question my 3-and-a-half-year-old asked me and I was unsure what to say. And I responded with, “Daddy helps people and someday you need to help people too.” [Billboard]
Interview with Michael Lynton, Chairman of Snapchat -- by Jordan Taylor and Pippa Lamb: How did you end up investing in Snapchat and ultimately becoming their Chairman in just few years? What was that journey like? Lynton: "Well, we were living at the time in the west side in LA which is where Snap started, and my kids started using it very early when there were very few people using it, and then I started using it, and my wife started noticing how much I started using it even when the kids weren’t around. She wrote Evan Speigel one day over customer support email just saying how much she liked it. And she said [in the email], “If you ever want to talk about it, I’m a big admirer”. She loved the idea that it brought conversation back to the internet with a lack of permanence."
"What happened then was that Evan responded instantly and was actually over to our house for dinner that night. And at the end of the conversation (the two of them were having a long conversation, I was a fly on the wall) she said “Gee I’d love to be able to be helpful or invest.” He said “Well, it would be helpful, for complicated reasons, but let’s talk more.” Post that, Evan would come and see me twice a month because his offices were right down the street from the studio. He was in Venice and we were in Culver City. And we would walk around the studio lot. And one point he had to raise more money from venture firms, which meant he had to form a board and I joined his board. And subsequently when he decided to take the company public, he needed a chairman, and there I was." [HarBus]
PROFILE -- “CNN’s Jake Tapper Has Emerged as a Staunch Defender of Facts in the Trump Era. So Why Is He Writing Fiction?” by Alexandra Alter: “On Tuesday, Tapper is publishing his first novel, “The Hellfire Club,” a political thriller set in 1954 Mr. Tapper has been toying with the idea of writing a novel since college, and wrote one in his 20s that was never published. About a decade ago, he came up with the idea for a political thriller Mr. Tapper sold the novel, based on sample chapters and an outline, to Little, Brown shortly after the 2016 election, and spent the next year or so writing and revising it. He mostly wrote at night, sneaking into his study after his kids, who are 8 and 10, went to bed As he researched the overheated political climate in 1954 — when the country was convulsing over the Cold War, the Red Scare, racial divisions and the McCarthy hearings — Mr. Tapper began to notice parallels to our current hyper partisan era.” [NYTimes]
SPORTS BLINK -- Dan Senor tweets: “Whoa! New York Jets opener is on 2nd night of Rosh Hashana.” [Twitter]
DESSERT -- "Israel Is the World’s New Dining Hotspot" by Richard Vines: "Eyal Shani, the TV chef who owns some of the most respected and popular restaurants in Tel Aviv, says the revolution in Israeli food started about 30 years ago, when immigrants started to discover their roots and to explore Arab cooking. “People came to Israel from all around the world but the policy of the government in the beginning was to cut all the memories from Europe and from the Arab countries and to create a new Israel,” he says. “So they created a new Israel but they forgot to create a kitchen for the new Israel, nothing to eat. Now, the Israelis are mixing between the (culinary) fashions that are happening all around the world and cooking their own small memories from their grandmothers.” [Bloomberg]
WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS -- FRIDAY: Swiss physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, Karl Alexander Müller turns 91... Motivational speaker and co-founder of Harris and Schutz, previously president and CEO of Porsche (1981-1986), Peter Schutz turns 88... Chairman of the media networks division of Activision Blizzard, he previously held high-ranking roles at NFL Network, ESPN and ABC, Steve Bornstein turns 66... Immigrants’ rights activist and professor at Salem State University, she is the eldest daughter of Noam Chomsky, Aviva Chomsky turns 61... Host of The Steve Malzberg Show, a news and opinion show on Newsmax TV, Steve Malzberg turns 59... President and executive director of the DC-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, Marc Rotenberg turns 58... Entrepreneur, philanthropist, semi-professional race car driver and restaurateur, previously president and chairman of the Trust Company of New Jersey, Alan Wilzig turns 53... Television personality and game show host, J.D. Roth (born as James David Weinroth) turns 50... Israeli jazz bassist, composer, singer and arranger, Avishai Cohen turns 48... British film director Sarah Gavron turns 48... Atlanta-based Southeast Regional Director of AIPAC, Elliott G. Mendes turns 37... News reporter for the Washington Examiner, Kyle Feldscher turns 30... Facilitator, coach and workshop organizer, Daniela Kate Plattner turns 29... Political polling analyst at the DC-based Feldman Group, David Mariutto turns 28... R&B, soul, pop singer and teen actress, at 13 years old she was the runner-up on the second season of "The X Factor," Carly Rose Sonenclar turns 19... Mr. REALITY Yaniv Rivlin... Associate at Tishman Realty Corporation, Alex Berman... Diane Kahan... Kelly McCormish... Joseph Gettinger...
SATURDAY: Comedienne, screenwriter, film director and actress, Elaine May (born Elaine Iva Berlin) turns 86... British chemist and professor at the University of Cambridge, Sir Alan Roy Fersht turns 75... Former White House Chief of Staff, now serving on several corporate, cultural, educational and volunteer boards, commissions and task forces, Kenneth Duberstein turns 74... Award winning folklorist, author, poet and editor of dozens of books, Howard Schwartz turns 73... Emergency physician for Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City, California, Joseph Edward Beezy turns 70... UCSB mathematician, an early winner of a MacArthur genius fellowship, Michael Hartley Freedman turns 67... Russian billionaire, now also an Israeli citizen, he co-founded the Russian Jewish Congress, the Genesis Prize and the Genesis Philanthropy Group, Mikhail Fridman turns 54... Attorney Scott D. Yonover turns 54... Art collector and dealer, who together with his father and brother are reputed to own $1 billion of art including over 1,000 pieces by Andy Warhol, Alberto "Tico" Mugrabi turns 48... Voice actress, whose career included the voice of Regina "Reggie" Rocket on Nickelodeon's Rocket Power, Shayna Bracha Fox turns 34... Once the top ranked collegiate female tennis player in the US and currently the head women's tennis coach at the University of North Florida, Audra Marie Cohen turns 32... Writer, magazine editor and actress, she is the founder and editor-in-chief of the online Rookie Magazine, aimed primarily at teenage girls, Tavi Gevinson turns 22... VP of operations at HEED, an event platform of WME-IMG and AGT, after 4 years as executive director of Israel Birthright Excel, Ifat Bechor... Engagement associate and Ezra Fellow at the University of Chicago Hillel, Joshua Gibbs... Marketing and recruitment associate at Birthright Israel, Alexandra Cohen... Irv Silberberg... Robert Kaufman... Howard Rosenblum...
SUNDAY: Real estate developer and principal owner of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, Zygmunt "Zygi" Wilf turns 68... Calgary-based businessman and philanthropist, CEO of of Balmon Investments, Alvin Libin turns 87... Actor and later one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers, Mark Damon (born Alan Harris) turns 85... Co-founder of Human Rights Watch, formerly national director of the ACLU (1970-1978), president of George Soros's Open Society Institute (1993-2012), Aryeh Neier turns 81... English journalist and former anchor of of BBC Television's Newsnight, Adam Eliot Geoffrey Raphael turns 80... Former US Poet Laureate and winner of a Pulitzer Prize, Louise Elisabeth Glück turns 75... Conductor and professor of music at Boston University, Joshua Rifkin turns 74... Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin since 2011, he has served as mayor twice before (1973-1979 and again 1989-1997), Paul R. Soglin turns 73... British economist and former Chief Economist at the World Bank, Sir Nicholas Herbert Stern turns 72... Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (1995-1999), Jon D. Fox turns 71... New Zealand native, managing director and CEO of the Commonwealth Bank Group, an 1,100 branch bank based in Australia, Ian Narev turns 51... NYC-based attorney, member of Kriss & Feuerstein LLP, Jerold C. Feuerstein turns 50... Chicago-based reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Shayndi Raice turns 36... Intern at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice and teaching fellow at Masa Israel Journey, Zachary Krooks turns 23... Competitive ice dancer, Elliana Pogrebinsky turns 20... Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The Washington Post, Sari Horwitz... Israeli columnist, contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and Jewish Journal blogger, Shmuel Rosner... Edward Lifshitz...