Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: April 9, 2018

Post-Passover catch up | Israel strikes Syria amid report Bibi struck out convincing Trump to stay | Casspi cut | BDay: Jeff Zucker

Omri Casspi after scoring for the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2016-17 season.
AP / Gerald Herbert

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Ed note: Hope you all had a wonderful Passover holiday! 

WHILE WE WERE AWAY: The New Yorker revealed that new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has a cat named 'Moshe' ... Fast Company's April cover story highlighted Yair Rosenberg's anti-hate Imposter Bot and how Twitter sided with the trolls... Philanthropist and feared corporate raider Samuel Belzberg passed away at 89... Bernie Sanders called the killing of Palestinian demonstrators ‘tragic’ ... Hungarian populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a new term. Israeli PM Netanyahu called to congratulate and invited Orban to visit Israel... Former President Bill Clinton admitted he tried to help Peres beat Netanyahu in 1996... Robert Mueller is investigating the work of Israeli start-up Wikistrat that has undertaken projects for the United Arab Emirates The US Supreme Court rejected a bid to make the PLO pay $655 million in damages to six terror victims in Israel... Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy suffered a setback in suit against Qatar over emails... The New York Times profiled Charles Rivkin, former U.S. Ambassador to France and now the chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America... 

The Kushner family flew a Trump 757 to Saratoga, Wyoming for Passover... Charlie Kushner gave an interview to the NYT where he challenged investigators to "go knock yourselves out for the next 10 years. We didn’t do anything wrong.” ... The Times also reported "there are tensions between Jared and Josh over Mr. Trump." ... Maureen Dowd wrote a piece titled 'Javanka vs. the Klossy Posse' and quoted friends of Josh's girlfriend Karlie Kloss who "are upset, claiming that Ivanka has not been as supportive to Karlie as she could have been during her trial by fire imposed by the Kushner parents over the conversion issue" ... According to a source, Josh and Karlie celebrated Passover in NYC and not Saratoga [Pic] 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman concluded his U.S. trip this past weekend visiting with  both former Presidents Bush 41 & 43 in Houston, Texas. The MBS road trip included meetings with Jewish leaders, interfaith leaders, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein. Last week, the Saudi Crown Prince -- at the suggestion of Jared Kushner -- dined with media mogul Haim Saban, political strategist Dan Senor, and Jonathan Nelson at Saban's home in Beverly Park to help MBS identify “potential areas of quiet cooperation” between Saudi Arabia and Israel. 

The following day, MBS attended another Hollywood dinner hosted by Brian Grazer and Ari Emanuel. Guests included Disney CEO Bob Iger, Patriots owner Bob Kraft, filmmaker Ron Howard, Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel, Kobe Bryant, Goldman Sachs executive Dina Powell and Bridgewater Associates Co-CEO David McCormick. 

In an interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, the Saudi Crown Prince recognized the Jewish people’s right to “their own land” and predicted "good and normal relations" with Israel if an Israeli-Palestinians peace deal is reached. 

THE MOST INTERESTING READ FROM LAST WEEK -- "A Saudi Prince’s Quest to Remake the Middle East" by Dexter Filkins in the April 9th issue of The New Yorker: "In his work with the White House, is Mohammed bin Salman driving out extremism, or merely seizing power for himself? M.B.S., like his ally Jared Kushner, is young, ambitious, and determined to change the balance of power in the region. “They want to break it up,” a former official said. Read the full piece here [NewYorker]

Notable Paragraphs -- How the Saudis and Emirates helped kick out Morsi from Egypt: “When Morsi got elected, the Saudis and the Emiratis went into overdrive,” a former senior American diplomat told me. According to several former American officials, M.B.Z. and Bandar bin Sultan, the director of Saudi intelligence, began plotting with others in their governments to remove Morsi from power. Egypt’s generals were already organizing against him. Bandar and M.B.Z. reached out to the Egyptian defense minister, General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and promised twenty billion dollars in economic aid if Morsi were deposed... As the coup took shape, Bandar and Sisi used Mohammed Dahlan, a Palestinian confidant, to carry messages and money to collaborators in the Egyptian military." 

-- Speculation on Kushner Co's role in Qatar blockade: "Some Qataris speculate that Kushner endorsed the blockade partly out of frustration over a failed deal with his family’s real-estate firm. In April, a month before the summit, Qatar’s finance minister, Ali Sharif al-Emadi, flew to New York to examine new investment opportunities. According to a financial analyst with knowledge of the meeting, among the hopefuls were Kushner’s father, Charles, and his sister Nicole. They came seeking money to rescue the family’s signature property, 666 Fifth Avenue. “He asked for just under a billion dollars,” the financial analyst told me. The Qataris declined, citing dubious business logic. “They could have bought the building—believe me, they have the money,” the analyst said. “They just didn’t think it would ever pay off.” The analyst worried that refusing the deal had a political cost. “Here’s a question for you: If they had given Kushner the money, would there have been a blockade? I don’t think so.”

-- When MBS summoned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Riyadh: "According to two former American officials active in the region, he was held for eleven hours. “The Saudis put him in a chair, and they slapped him repeatedly,” one of the officials told me. (Hariri’s spokesman denied this.) At the end, in a surreal video that was played on Saudi television, Hariri, looking exhausted and drawn, read a resignation speech, claiming that he had fled Lebanon to evade an Iranian plot to kill him... Ultimately, the plan collapsed when most of the Lebanese political establishment protested Hariri’s captivity. “The whole country is unified around him,” a senior Hezbollah leader told me." 

-- Hariri's synagoge connection: "Several days after his return, I went to see Hariri in Beirut. He lives in the Beit al-Wasat neighborhood, inside a high-walled compound of exquisitely restored villas with views of the Mediterranean; a few doors down sits the Maghen Abraham synagogue, destroyed during the civil war and rebuilt with the help of Hariri’s family. Despite the grand surroundings, he seemed less a returning hero than an exhausted former prisoner. “I don’t want to talk about what just happened,” he said, slumped behind his desk. “M.B.S. was right, O.K.? What he is trying to do is right.” 

-- Inside the Ritz-Carlton 'prison' in Riyadh: "Some of those who had been inside the Ritz-Carlton reported that the captors spoke English to one another, which raised the possibility that M.B.S. had recruited foreigners to help him." [NewYorker]

DRIVING THE WEEK: "Trying to end the Gulf dispute" by Jonathan Swan: "Trump has a consequential meeting on Tuesday with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. The President badly wants to end the feud between the Gulf nations... A senior administration official told me: "The overarching goal is to end this dispute, which the president believes is only helping the Iranians. POTUS takes seriously the message he received from many Gulf leaders that Qatar was a major terrorist financing problem but he also believes the pressure put on them from the U.S. and allies has led to real change." [Axios]

ULTIMATE DEAL: Senior administration officials are insisting that despite the setbacks, Trump's Middle East peace plan is still on the agenda as a "realistic and sellable" proposal.  

-- “Abbas sets conditions for hearing out Trump’s forthcoming peace plan” by Adam Rasgon: “We will not listen to anything that comes [from the Trump administration], regardless of what it is, unless if the two-state solution [is endorsed] and east Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine is recognized,” Abbas said at a meeting of the Fatah Central Committee. “If that happens, we can talk about rest of the issues remaining on the table.” [JPost]

Trump’s dinner guests: Trump has made a habit of quietly hosting dinners in the White House for friends and political allies, Politico reported. Among the guests, Patriots owner Bob Kraft, Rupert Murdoch and real-estate developer Richard LeFrak. In the weeks after former NEC director Gary Cohn criticized Trump’s response to the Charlottesville march, Cohn managed to redeem himself and impress the President during a dinner in the White House residence. Last Tuesday, Trump dined with Oracle's Safra Catz and venture capitalist Peter Thiel.

Bibi's Flip-Flop: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caved under pressure from his base and canceled a historic agreement reached with the UN refugee agency that would have seen thousands of African migrants given temporary status in Israel, while the rest resettled in Western countries. U.S. Jewish groups, who initially praised Bibi, urged him to reconsider the deal. The reversal suggested Bibi hasn't yet given up on the idea of early elections. 

TOP TALKER: "U.S. officials confirm Israel hit Syria after suspected Ghouta chemical attack" by Ken Dilanian and Courtney Kube: "Israel carried out air strikes against a Syrian air base early Monday morning and informed the U.S. in advance, two U.S. officials told NBC News. Russia's Defense Ministry said two Israeli aircraft targeted the T4 air base in Homs province, firing eight missiles." [NBCNews]

-- "The strikes came a day after President Trump warned that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and his Russian and Iranian backers would have a “big price to pay” after dozens of people were killed near Damascus in what rescue workers said was a chemical attack. [NYT]

REPORT -- “Netanyahu couldn't convince Trump to rethink Syria policy” by Barak Ravid: “The phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump — which took place last Tuesday — failed The Israeli source said Netanyahu was the one who initiated the call. The prime minister's aides asked the White House to organize the call as soon as possible last Tuesday while knowing Trump was going to have a national security council meeting on Syria the same day. The Israeli source added that eventually "Netanyahu's call was too late"  and the President made clear he has made up his mind and that the pullout from Syria was a matter of time.” [Axios]  Liberman signals Trump didn’t consult with Israel on Syria withdrawal [ToI]

TRANSITION -- Two new appointees are expected to be thrust into the limelight and define America's foreign policy ahead with John Bolton starting his first day as National Security Advisor today, and Mike Pompeo's Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State on Thursday.

"Trump's top national security spokesman to leave White House" by Eliana Johnson: "National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said Sunday that he plans to leave the White House — a move that will leave President Donald Trump without one of the earliest and sharpest defenders of his “America First" foreign policy... The announcement of Anton’s departure coincides with that of McMaster, whose last day was Friday, and with the arrival of John Bolton." [Politico

SUNDAY SHOWS -- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) on the U.S. possibly withdrawing from Iran deal on Face the Nation: “If the United States violates the agreement, we are isolating America, not Iran, from the international community. By all indications, Iran has not violated the agreement. Yes, I disagreed with the agreement from the beginning, but this is an agreement. Iran is complying with it and the United States would be marginalized by withdrawing from the agreement. So I hope that the President will recognize that we need to work with our European allies to make sure we're in lockstep against Iran.” [Video]

TALK OF THE MIDDLE EAST -- "Though Deadly, Gaza Protests Draw Attention and Enthusiasm" by David Halbfinger: "Palestinians seem energized and enthusiastic about sustaining a generally nonviolent form of protest — even if it is Israel’s harsh response to it and the mounting Palestinian death toll that has put their conflict with Israel back on the international agenda... The Israelis, for a variety of reasons, have long been worried about such a shift. And they now find the world paying attention as they use disproportionate force to prevent what they believe could be a catastrophic breach in the Gaza fence..." [NYTimesPalestinian Journalist Killed In Gaza Protest [NPR]

Jason Greenblatt tweets"When the leadership of Gaza renounces violence & ceases to threaten its neighbors, it will find an outstretched hand from the US, ready to help improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. Such a step forward can yield tremendous opportunity."

HEARD YESTERDAY -- Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer shared his personal connection to Israel during an interview at the Israel Summit at Harvard: "I remember one of my first experiences when I went to Israel: there were Jewish garbagemen -- in America, we have never seen Jewish garbagemen -- I mean, in Israel, every Jew did everything, and that was an amazing experience. I like the Israelis because they are a little bit like we Brooklynites -- very direct, maybe sometimes too direct... I don't go back as often as I'd like, but every time I go I feel strengthened and revitalized, not just as a Jew but as a human being because it's an amazing human endeavor." -- 19:45 minute mark [Video]  

-- Amar'e Stoudemire discussed Judaism and life in Israel during a conversation with Jon Frankel, correspondent for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO: "My family is from the ancient Tribes of Israel. So we're considered to be Israelites... We read the Old and New Testament, but we only follow the laws and the holidays of the Old Testament. " Frankel: You enjoyed your matza over the last eight days? Stoudemire: "I did. I had to make sure I had a glass of wine after every bite man, it just drys out your mouth." JF: Should I push my luck, and ask you whether you enjoyed the gefilte fish? AS: "Man, I'm not a big fan of the gefilte fish." 

Amar'e on applying for Israeli citizenship -- JF: Shimon Peres... had asked you at one point to play for the national team, is that right? AS: "Yeah, he did, he asked me that. I wasn't sure at the time because at the time I was in the middle of my NBA career... But then after I started playing for Jerusalem, I started thinking about maybe applying for citizenship and making Aliyah. And so if that was the case, then there would be a chance that I can play for the national team... I'm in the process of converting now, simply to get acclimated to the culture in Israel and also to apply for citizenship. But even if I don't get citizenship, I'm still going to be an advocate, spokesperson for Israel. I'm going to always go back to visit." -- 01:15:00 [Video]

** 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 Editor@JewishInsider.com **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Larry Summers Compares Trump's Amazon Attack to Italy Under Mussolini [Bloomberg]  Larry Silverstein is buying ABC’s Upper West Side campus for $1B: report [TheRealDeal]  Michael Novogratz is searching for redemption in cryptocurrencies [NewYorker]  George Soros Prepares to Trade Cryptocurrencies [BloombergSumner Redstone Wouldn’t Have Last Word on a CBS-Viacom Merger [WSJ]  Vornado Says It Has ‘Handshake’ for Kushners to Buy It Out of 666 Fifth [BloombergNYTimes Kushner, CIM to Get $600 Million JPMorgan Loan for Brooklyn Site [BloombergSports car maker Porsche invests in Israeli startup Anagog [ToI]  How Tech Grows In 5,000-Year-Old Jerusalem [Forbes]

COMING SOON “Zuckerberg Gets a Crash Course in Charm. Will Congress Care?” by Kevin Roose, Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel: “In preparation for [Mark] Zuckerberg’s testimony, his first such appearance, Facebook has spent the last couple of weeks trying to transform its public image from a defiant, secretive behemoth into a contrite paragon of openness, announcing a string of new privacy and anti-abuse measures and making company executives available for numerous interviews. It has also hired a team of experts, including a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, to put Mr. Zuckerberg, 33, a cerebral coder who is uncomfortable speaking in public, through a crash course in humility and charm. The plan is that when he sits down before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees on Tuesday, Mr. Zuckerberg will have concrete changes to talk about, and no questions he can’t handle.” [NYTimes Zuckerberg Says He’s Not Resigning [TheAtlantic]

Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain offers a suggestion: "Zuckerberg controls 60 percent of Facebook's shareholder votes. So he doesn’t have to worry about next month’s subscriber count or how to deflect a hardball question from a committee chairman. He can contemplate posterity with big ideas geared to a public interest... To get a sense of the new approaches he should take, consider why Congress is calling hearings. The core offenses begin with classic and now pervasive online privacy violations... On the policy front, we should look to how the law treats professionals with specialized skills who get to know clients’ troubles and secrets intimately... The legal scholar Jack Balkin has convincingly argued that companies like Facebook and Twitter are in a similar relationship of knowledge about, and power over, their users — and thus should be considered “information fiduciaries.” [NYTimes]

SPOTLIGHT: “Lauder gave $1.1m to group producing anti-Muslim ads in 2016” by Eric Cortellessa: “The Center for Responsive Politics revealed that [Ron] Lauder was among the largest contributors to an ad campaign waged by Secure America Now Throughout the election, the right-wing neoconservative group released three mock advertisements that stoked fears of Muslim influence in the United States.“ [ToI]  Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, called for Lauder to resign as president of World Jewish Congress 

A Lauder spokesperson emails us “Mr. Lauder donated to Secure America Now to support their work in opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. He had nothing to do with any of the group's other activities. Mr. Lauder has consistently supported interfaith respect and dialogue. He would never be involved with insulting people of faith.”

LongRead: “This Is What It Was Like Learning To Report Before Fake News Was The Biggest Problem In The World” by Ben Smith: “You learn how to be a reporter in large part by making mistakes, and I made most of my worst ones in Belarus. I’ve been thinking about them lately because so much of what we were wrestling with then feels relevant: questions about American and post-Soviet power, about the allegiances and responsibilities of reporters, and about the power of narratives. I’ve been thinking, in particular, about what I did to a young Belarusian activist named Alexei Shydlovski back in 2001, and when I returned to the subject recently I found I’d been wrong about more than I realized"

"The main lesson I should have learned was about making predictions, about trusting the confidence of my American culture and of official sources on both sides, of imagining I knew more than I did. Even in the era of Steven Spielberg’s The Post and of a kind of glorification of the work of journalists, good reporting doesn’t offer easy lessons. It’s an uncertain business, and a necessarily anarchic one.” [BuzzFeed]

TALK OF OUR NATION: "In Bukhara, 10,000 Jewish Graves but Just 150 Jews" by Andrew Higgins: "Home to one of the world’s oldest and, in centuries past, biggest Jewish communities, Bukhara — a fabled city of ancient ruins and Islamic architectural treasures in central Uzbekistan — has a Muslim population of more than 270,000 people but, according to most estimates, only 100 to 150 Jews... [Lyuba] Kimatova said there were only four or five families left who kept kosher and followed Jewish traditions. The rest, she said, “do not really live like Jews anymore.” ... Until last month, the city had two dueling rabbis who knew the rituals of slaughter, but each was old and very sick, and too feeble to wield a butcher’s knife. The older rabbi has now died, delivering yet another blow to a community with a storied history stretching back millenniums but steadily running out of living members." [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE TOWN -- "Close friend of man killed in Trump Tower fire says President once called victim 'crazy Jew'" by Esha Ray: "Todd Brassner, a 67-year-old art dealer who lost his life Saturday in the Trump Tower fire, despised building owner Donald Trump, a friend of the victim told the Daily News. The feeling was evidently mutual, with now-President Trump allegedly calling Brassner a “crazy Jew” soon after the art dealer moved into the Fifth Ave. high-rise more than two decades ago." [NYDailyNews]  Art Collector and Bon Vivant Dies in Trump Tower Home He Couldn’t Sell [NYTimes]

HOLLYWOOD -- "Fox adapting Israeli show 'Nevsu'" by Amy Spiro: "Nevsu, a Reshet comedy that began airing in Israel last year, tells the story of an Israeli man of Ethiopian descent married to an Ashkenazi woman and raising a daughter together along with their extended families... And now, Fox is creating its own version of the show - this time set in Minnesota. The new series, titled Culture Clash, is set to feature an African refugee family, a traditional Midwestern clan and a marriage that joins the two together." [JPost]

PROFILE: "The Unorthodox Matchmaker" by Marisa Meltzer: "Yocheved Lerner-Miller is a matchmaker for Orthodox Jews who come from unorthodox backgrounds... Even though Ms. Lerner-Miller, 55, lives in Kensington, she jokingly referred to the section of Crown Heights south of Eastern Parkway around Kingston Avenue as her shtetl. Ms. Lerner-Miller has earned a reputation in the community for pairing up oddballs and outliers — words she uses affectionately and with which she identifies." [NYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK -- Warriors waive Omri Casspi to clear playoff roster spot for Quinn Cook: "The Golden State Warriors waived forward Omri Casspi after their loss to New Orleans on Saturday... Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Casspi has inflammation as well as a bone bruise on the side of his right foot that is preventing him from running or jumping... Casspi appeared in 53 games this season, starting seven, averaging 14 minutes of playing time, 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds." [ESPN

DESSERT: “Baseball Rules Are Complicated Enough, Now Add Passover” by Gabriel Rubin: “Nearly half of Major League stadiums have special concession stands that serve kosher offerings for most of the season, but the items don’t pass muster during Passover Before a Mets game that Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov of Munster, Ind., attended with relatives in 2016, he poured kosher for Passover wine into seltzer bottles, wrapped them in towels and stashed them at the bottom of a backpack. The ploy got the goods past security guards” [WSJ

"There’s No Seder Like a Showbiz Seder: On the fourth night of Passover, Tony winners and their friends gathered for an a cappella version of “Go Down Moses” and many other surprises" by Katherine Rosman: “Unleavened,” as this night was billed, was organized by Adam Kantor, an actor appearing in “The Band’s Visit”; Benj Pasek, the lyricist of “La La Land,” “Dear Evan Hansen” and “The Greatest Showman”; and four other friends... “The idea is to look at the Passover story about the passage from slavery to freedom and to contextualize it for 2018,” Mr. Kantor said... As guests (of many ethnicities and faiths) arrived, they found small round tables, like tree stumps in a pillow forest, on which small dishes of olives, horseradish and parsley were set by stacks of matzo..."

“I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do here,” said Katie Couric, when she walked into the room, red wine imported from the Galilee region of Israel in a plastic cup in her hand... The guests settled onto their pillows, and Cécile McLorin Salvant... soon brought chatter to a halt with her rendition of “Go Down Moses,” sung a cappella. Then Amichai Lau-Lavie, the founding rabbi of Lab/Shul... welcomed everyone to the Jewish Passover Seder, which he called, “the most complicated dinner party in history.” [NYTimes

SPOTTED at a Passover seder hosted by Michael Greenwald at his family's Brookline, Massachusetts home: Barbara and Michael Greenwald, Marisa Greenwald Kenney, Kerry Healey, Beth, Curt and Mark Myers, Cofer and Suzzane Black, Stephen and Francine Trachtenberg, Meghan O’Sullivan, Daniel Lippman and Alice Lloyd, Michelle Kosinski, Sheika Najla Al-Thani, Sheika Amna Al-Thani, Al-Daana Al-Mulla, Ali Abdullatif AlYahya, Hamad Al-Hajri, Saba Al-Fuhaid, Anna Morris, Robert and Lo Marie Obrien, Jonathan and Jerry Weinberger, Lisa Randall, Paul and Tracy Palandjian, Stefan and Heidi Selig, Farah Pandith. [Pic]

BIRTHDAYS: President of CNN Worldwide since 2013, Jeff Zucker turns 53... Retired singer-songwriter, satirist, and mathematician, Thomas Andrew "Tom" Lehrer turns 90... Board certified internist in Studio City, California, Lester Garfinkel, MD turns 83... President emeritus of the Duberstein Group, a government relations and lobbying firm in Washington, and a prominent Democratic party activist, Michael S. Berman turns 79... Retired fighter pilot and brigadier general in the Israeli Air Force, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest-ever and longest serving combat pilot, Uri Gil turns 75... EVP of real estate and business development at nationwide homebuilder KB Home, vice-chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, previously a partner at Sidley & Austin, Albert Zane Praw turns 70... Rhode Island resident Gail T. Kritz turns 66... Fashion designer for his own world-wide chain of eponymous stores, previously creative director for Louis Vuitton (1997-2014), Marc Jacobs turns 55... 

Visual artist, performance artist and co-founder of the arts ensemble Processional Arts Workshop, known for his creation of the large-scale puppet performance works, Alex Kahn turns 51... Attorney, author, political commentator, movie critic and blogger, Debbie Schlussel turns 49... VP at the Marino Organization, a NYC-based strategic communications firm, previously an advisor to New York governors Spitzer and Paterson, Ross M. Wallenstein turns 40... Actress and writer best known as the model for the RGX body spray commercials, Rachel Sarah Specter turns 38... Israeli actress who has appeared in Israeli films, Italian films and US television programs, Moran Atias turns 37... San Francisco-based associate at Bertram Capital, Soraya Hoberman... Figure skater, she competed for Israel at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in pairs skating and a team event, Paige Conners turns 18... Jonathan Bollag... Herbert Levine...

BIRTHWEEK: Television journalist, political director for NBC News and moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, Charles David "Chuck" Todd turned 46... Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and political writer, longtime contributor to The New Yorker magazine on national security matters, Seymour Myron "Sy" Hersh turned 81... Russian-born businessman, emigrated to Israel in 1972, appointed in 2005 as President of the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities of Russia, Arcadi Aleksandrovich Gaydamak turned 66... New York Associate at UN Watch, Dan Smith... Co-author of Politico's Playbook and our frequent birthday collaborator, Daniel Lippman turned 28 (on Saturday)...