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The relationship between Jeffrey Epstein and Jewish philanthropist Leslie Wexner, explained

"The relationship between Jeffrey Epstein and Jewish philanthropist Leslie Wexner, explained" by Ben Sales in J.T.A. Aug 13, 2019 
Leslie Wexner/ Jeffrey Epstein (Laura Adkins/Getty Images)

One of the most befuddling questions surrounding the Jeffrey Epstein saga is why Leslie Wexner, a billionaire entrepreneur, entrusted all of his money to Epstein, a secretive financier with no college degree. 

Since the Epstein sex scandal resurfaced this year, these questions have dogged Wexner, the owner of Victoria’s Secret who at one point was Epstein’s only known financial client. Wexner was very close with Epstein and trusted him as a money manager and legal representative. 

Epstein was found hanged in his jail cell on Saturday in what officials are calling a suicide. 

As the scandal has unfolded, Wexner and his associates have put out a series of statements on Epstein and their relationship. His connection with Epstein has also led to stormy discussions among the recipients of his largesse about the ethical dilemmas they face.

How much has Leslie Wexner given to Jewish causes? Plenty. The Wexner Foundation is among the most prominent private Jewish charities in the world. In 2017, according to tax documents, it gave $3.6 million in charity, much (but not all) of it to Jewish educational causes, as well as more money for educational programs. The foundation is best known in the Jewish world for its graduate fellowship, which awards scholarships to 20 promising graduate students in Jewish fields, including rabbinical school, cantorial school, Jewish educational school or another degree program. More than 1,800 people have participated in its program aimed at providing volunteer board leadership with lessons in Jewish history, thought, texts and contemporary issues. The foundation runs a variety of other programs, including training for Israeli public officials. 

Here’s a primer on how the two became so close, and why their relationship poses a dilemma for many in the Jewish community. 

4th anniv of "Stop Iran Rally" - a teaching moment for Democrat politicians & voters

Protesters oppose Obama's nuclear Iran plan in Times Square
July 22, 2019 (photo: Kena Betancur/AFP/GettyImages)
While Iran featured less prominently on the second night of Democratic presidential candidates' debates, moderators asked candidates in the first round (June 26th) whether they would reenter the Iran nuclear deal "as it was originally negotiated." Every candidate on stage, except for Sen Cory Booker (D-NJ) responded yes, even as they continued to criticize parts of Pres. Barack Obama's accord.  (source: Bryant Harris in al-Monitor, "Intel: Where candidates came down on Iran in Democrat debates" 6/28/19)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "I think that any objective look at the consequences of doing that (resuming the JCPOA) would come to the conclusion that it would actually hurt the interests of the United States and the region and so on.  . . 

 “To go back to the JCPOA means letting Iran get nuclear weapons.”  Quoted 27 June at the Israel Hayom conference in Jerusalem in conversation with editor-in-chief Boz Bismuth. (source: Jacob Kornbluh in Jewish Insider)

Not only are the Democratic candidates opposing Pres. Trump's strategy to renegotiate the arrangement, but the anti-Trump media has turned a public majority against it - without understanding (other than Iran threatens military conflict) the logic in Pres. Trump's strategy to elicit a stronger deal.

This week four years ago, more than 10,000 people gathered for a "Stop Iran Rally" in New York's Times Square. They watched experts explain the folly in Obama / Kerry's JCPOA (Iran nuclear weapons agreement) to the legislators who would be voting on it.

Experts and luminaries delivered rational, impassioned arguments why Congress should reject approving this flawed plan - which has since been revealed by Israel's Mossad that Tehran still sought to obtain nuclear weapons, despite its pact with world powers to curb its nuclear program in return for a loosening of sanctions

Benjamin Netanyahu shows U.N. General evidence of Iran's untrustworthiness and violations under the JCPOA

Speeches on this playlist (advance through list via button in upper right):

  1. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, Stop Iran Rally emcee, Jewish Rapid-Response Coalition;
  2. Helen Freedman - Chair, Americans for a Safe Israel;
  3. Alan Dershowitz - Harvard Law School professor (ret.)
  4. Col. Allen West - ret. US Army Iraq War, gives impassioned challenge to Obama;
  5. Clare Lopez - former CIA analyst;
  6. Caroline Glick - political columnist Jerusalem Post;
  7. Rabbi Abraham Cooper - Simon Wiesenthal Center;
  8. Col. Richard Kemp - led British Forces in Afghanistan;
  9. Mort Zuckerman - formerly Newsweek; publisher N.Y. Daily News;
  10. Navy Admiral James "Ace" Lyons - US Military leader (died 12/12/18);
  11. Major Gen. Paul Vallely - senior military analyst, Fox News;
  12. Frank Gaffney, Exec. Dir, Center for Security Policy;
  13. Steven Emerson - Exec. Director, The Investigative Project;
  14. Monica Crowley- radio broadcast journalist, Fox News;
  15. James Woolsey - former C.I.A. director;
  16. Robert Morganthau - retired NY District Attorney (d. 7/21/19);
  17. Kasim Hafeez - reformed Muslim-extremist from Britain;
  18. US Rep. Trent Franks;
  19. NY former Gov. George Pataki;
  20. Richard Allen - rally co-organizer;
  21. Kevin McCullough - talk radio host, NYC;
  22. Concerned NYC man on the street about Obama's plan;
  23. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld;
  24. Col. Richard Kemp - led British Forces in Afghanistan;
  25. Herbert London - founder, The London Center for Policy Research (died Nov. 10, 2018);
  26. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R- MI) WMD-expert;
  27. Genevieve Wood- The Heritage Foundation;
  28. Lauri Regan - Stop Iran Rally co-organizer;
  29. Sarri Singer - Survivor of Iran-funded terror;
  30. Tony Lo Bianco - actor, "The French Connection," "Police Story";
  31. Vered - an Israeli-New York designer/ fashionista;
  32. Scott Jacobs - video-journalist, JewTube.Info;

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu shows UN Gen. Assembly Iran nuclear red-line, 27 Sept 2012

Bostonian, Larry Saloman, expresses pride at witnessing Israel Prime Minister telling US Congress-people about the flaws of the Iran JCPOA nuclear weaponizing terms which Obama was pushing them to ratify.

Libertarian, FreedomFest conference session on Israel's economics jumps the rails

Steve Forbes chats with John Stossel as Mark Skousen gathers FreedomFest '17 speakers for a group photo
The panel at the libertarian, FreedomFest '17 Conference, "Capitalism vs Socialism: Which Way, Israel?" got a bit testy when former president of the Arab Bankers Association of North America, Ziad Abdelnour, changed the direction from the examining of Israel's maturation from Socialism to Capitalism - into chiding Israel for not resolving the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Panel moderator Gene Epstein (Barron's magazine columnist) called on Ziad less after this- giving more time to co-panelists George Gilder, co-founder of Discovery Institute, author/radio commentator Michael Medved, and author Rabbi Daniel Lapin. 

The following video is a compilation of Mr. Abdelnour's speaking opportunities.

Michael Medved reacts to Mr. Abdelnour's conduct on the panel. 

Rabbi Daniel Lapin shares his views on the donnybrook and the group of anti-Zionists who support Mr. Abdelnour's critical views.

George Gilder (author "The Israel Test") explains the Lebanese financier's performance and defends Israel against anti-Israelism from Christians and Muslims. 

Watch the annual Herzliya Policy Conference in Israel presenters and panels

The Herzliya Conference is Israel's foremost global policy annual gathering, drawing together the most senior Israeli and international participants from government, business, and academia to address pressing national, regional, and global issues. 

Video of Herzliya Conference Opening Day, Sunday, June 30 

Program Schedule / Agenda 

Video of Herzliya Conference 2nd Day, Monday, July 1 

 Video of Concluding, Third Day, Tues, July 2

Jewish musicians' contributions to pop and jazz - musicologist, Gary Alexander, at FreedomFest '17

Jewish contributions to Jazz - musicologist, Gary Alexander, a Gentile, at FreedomFest '17

Gary Alexander, the gentile author of planned book, "Beauty and the Beat:  How the sons of Tevye and the grandchildren of slaves joined to create the greatest, 20th century American music: The Great American Songbook and Jazz."

Mr. Alexander, who plays clarinet, explains how Jewish composers (e.g., George Gershwin) and songwriters (e.g., Irving Berlin) contributed music which became pop "standards" - elaborated upon by improvisational jazz musicians (e.g., Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman). 


Recorded at FreedomFest in Las Vegas following panel discussion he moderated with Patty Farmer, Alexander Green, and Hyperion Knight on July 21, 2017.

Anti-Israelism remains a barrier in LGBTQ Pride marches

Jill Raney, a  DC Dyke March organizer and member of IfNotNow, and
Blake Flayton, a Jewish activist, debate the overarching symbolism of the
Israeli flag and Pride flag with the Star of David. (photo: Moment)

The D.C. Dyke March barred the Jewish pride flag. This LGBTQ space no longer feels safe.

 NBC News.com on Monday, 
10 June published an op/ed by Mr. Khen Massig, who self-identifies as a queer Mizrahi Jew: 

"Just as I did not choose to be gay, I did not choose my ethnicity. But now, the organizers of a queer march held in Washington on Friday are telling me that I should be ashamed of where I was born, my nationality and that I am Jewish. In solidarity with the Palestinians and to create a safe space for them, the D.C. Dyke March banned “nationalist symbols” from countries with “oppressive tendencies,” in particular Israeli flags. This included the Star of David superimposed on a rainbow pride flag, which the organizers considered evocative of the Israeli flag, though Palestinian flags were allowed. 
.  .  .

Delegitimizing the state’s entire existence due to its embodiment of Jewish self-determination makes no sense. I too am very critical of my country’s government, as are many of my compatriots in this vibrant democracy. However, despite its imperfections, Israel is still the most free country in the Mideast. 

The idea that we should boycott an entire country’s people due to the objectionable policies of their government is unacceptable, misguided and harmful to both myself and LGBTQ+ Israelis, a community in need of and deserving of support. 

I implore progressives and LGBTQ+ activists who have joined this campaign to think twice. It’s a vile effort designed by a coalition of anti-Zionist organizations to manipulate others into fighting their own political war against Israel. 

Ultimately, their agenda runs counter to everything LGBTQ+ activism stands for — ostracizing an LGBTQ+ community that has made progress in its pursuit of its own equality, defending a society that truly oppresses LGBTQ+ individuals and hijacking people’s good-faith efforts to expand the rights of the LGBTQ+ community worldwide. This is the true definition of pinkwashing." 

On Sunday, Mr. Aryeh Mavazy, led "Jewish Queers Int'l" marching in the L.A. Gay Pride Parade. He discussed the hypocrisy of banning of Israeli flag derivatives, such as the rainbow Jewish star flags by the Dyke Marches.

Rob the Realtor mans the Pulse Foundation signature wall at the LA Pride Parade in the wake of L.A. Pride's anti-Trump, Resist March. While LGBT activism professes pursuit of tolerance for all, for some people, it seemed to end at the Log Cabin Republicans booth.

Synagogue's Memorial Day ceremony attracts diverse vets, raises questions

Jewish soldiers buried at the
Cemetery in
How many Jews gave their lives defending our diaspora nations? Should America's Memorial Day apply to volunteers for Israel? To civilian casualties of terror?

In Simon Wolf's 1895, "The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Citizen," out of a Revolutionary War era population of 3,000 Jews in the colonies, 46 fought in George Washington's army.  The first Jew ever elected to public office in the colonies, Francis Salvador, became the first Jew killed fighting for America's independence from the British.

Since then, Jewish-North Americans (including Canadians) numbering approximately 1.5 million Jews fought in the regular Allied armies,  according to Yad Vashem 

In many cases, the percentage of Jews fighting was greater than the percentage of Jews in the population.

About 500,000 Jewish soldiers fought in the Red Army during World War II. Some 120,000 were killed in combat and in the line of duty (4.6% of the Jewish population); the Germans murdered 80,000 as prisoners of war. More than 160,000, at all levels of command, earned citations, with over 150 designated “Heroes of the Soviet Union”— the highest honor awarded to soldiers in the Red Army.

Approximately 550,000 Jewish soldiers fought in the US Armed Forces during World War II. They served on all fronts in Europe and in the Pacific. Some 10,000 were killed in combat, and more than 36,000 received citations. Many Jewish soldiers took part in liberating the camps.

Approximately 100,000 Jews fought in the Polish army against the German invasion. They made up 10% of the Polish army, commensurate with the percentage of Jews within the general population. Approximately 30,000 Jews fell in battle, were taken captive by the Germans, or declared missing during the battles defending Poland, 11,000 in the defense of Warsaw. Thousands of Jews later served in various Polish armies fighting against the Germans in the Allied Forces.

During World War II, more than 17,000 Jewish Canadians enlisted. They served in every branch of the armed forces and in the merchant marine. 577 Canadian Jewish casualties in the Canadian Armed Forces include servicemen who died while serving in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. 

About 30,000 Jews served in the British army in 1939-1946, some in special units of Jews from Palestine, such as the Jewish Brigade.

Rabbi Ed Feinstein of
Valley Beth Shalom
On May 25, 2019, L.A. synagogue Valley Beth Shalom commemorated Memorial Day during the Musaf service and afterwards - in a special ceremony which attracted both Jewish veterans and members of the air-veterans fraternity, Wings over Wendy's.
Harvey Keenan organizes
egalitarian ceremonies for

Memorial and Veterans Days

After officiating at the Los Angeles National Cemetery ceremony on Memorial Day, Chaplain Dov Cohen explains annual ceremonies at Valley Beth Shalom, organized by Rabbi Ed Feinstein and Harvey Keenan.

How is African-American, Honor Guard Roscoe Frazier, Jr. an esteemed participant in Jewish-Americans' veterans' activities?
Following the Memorial Day Service at Valley Beth Shalom, Harvey Keenan introduces Roscoe Frazier, Jr. - a 20-year, Army veteran who is also a valued member of the Wings over Wendy's veterans' fraternal association.

Should American Memorial Day include the Anglo volunteers killed in defending the Holy Land? 

Sgt. Bob Stiles, a Christian-raised, former USAF air-traffic controller at Castle A.F.B, discusses his service during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Mr. Stiles, a self-identified, "latter-day Jew" contends that the wars which Americans recognize on Memorial Day - ought to include the wars in which Anglo-Americans (Jewish, Christian, and otherwise) volunteered from around the world to defend the independence of Israel, the Judeo-Christian, Middle-East outpost, against Arab onslaught, beginning in 1947. 

WWII and Korean War veteran, Hy Arnesty, 96,
a former Jewish War Veterans post commander,
attended both Memorial Day veterans' events 
Approximately 1,400 North American volunteers, mostly World War II veterans, participated in the War of Independence, and played particularly crucial roles in the nascent Israeli air force and navy, said Dean Ralph Lowenstein, director of the Machal Archives and Museum at the University of Florida. 

123 Machalniks were killed or went missing-in-action during the War. Many were wounded, and some were taken prisoners-of-war. A Memorial was erected at the entrance to the Burma Road in the Sha’ar Hagai Forest, to commemorate the Fallen Machalniks. A memorial plaque lists the names of the Fallen in Hebrew and English, and the countries from which they came. Most Machalniks returned to their home countries after the War. About 550 Machalniks (16%) stayed on in Israel, or returned later to make their homes here. 

Briton Dr. Jason Fenton enlisted in the fledgling IDF in 1948- now active in Machal, Zionist veterans association (recorded 2012 at Celebrate Israel Festival).

Today, there is an annual constant stream of 150—180 young Jewish volunteers from all over the world who continue to come to Israel to serve in all branches of the IDF, many in combat units, and a number have died in action. (Source: http://www.machal.org.il/)

The National Museum of American Jewish Military History has compiled a list of American Jewish Casualties of Operations Iraqi Freedom (2003), Enduring Freedom (2001), and New Dawn (2003-2011).

"Golda's Balcony" movie illuminates the complexity of navigating existential threats against the Jewish state

Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir ,1974
(Photo: AFP / Getty Images)
Feature-length movie, Golda’s Balcony (2019) recreates Tovah Feldshuh's award-winning, theatrical performance as Israeli Prime Minister Golda (Meyerson) Meir in the final masterpiece by William Gibson, who also authored  The Miracle Worker. The movie, edited from a rare, multi-camera shoot from the play’s original off-Broadway run, was recently unearthed and assembled into a new, riveting motion picture.

Golda’s Balcony
charts the rise of Golda Meir from Russian schoolgirl to Prime Minister of Israel, and is one of the most thrilling and amazing stories of the 20th Century. In this new film, Meir’s life has been transformed into a cinematic event of overwhelming power and inspirational triumph. As a play on Broadway, the work sold out over 500 performances, becoming not only the longest-running, one-woman show in Broadway history, but earning accolades far and wide.

Actress, Tovah Feldshuh poses with L.A. Jewish Film Festival director, Hilary Helstein (left)

Actress Tovah Feldshuh and producer David Fishelson brought "Golda's Balcony" from off-Broadway to Broadway and ultimately, now to the big-screen - one decade later. Interviewed by JooTube at the closing night of the L.A. Jewish Film Festival in May 2019,  recounts the dilemma of the journey of how she got involved in portraying Israel's late Prime Minister, Golda Meir.

After screening their "Golda's Balcony" as the finale of the L.A. Film Festival, Tovah Feldshuh's producer, David Fishelson discusses how he produced the play - which they turned into the motion picture touring Film Festivals, eventually heading for O.T.T. (e.g., Netflix) distribution.

Actress, Tovah Feldshuh, actress; producer David Fishelson; interviewer Kelly Hartog (accompanied by Kelly Hartog, managing editor of the Jewish Journal of L.A.) address audience in a post-screening panel about "Golda's Balcony" at L.A. Jewish Film Fest, May 9, 2019.

In this post-screening panel actress, Tovah Feldshuh and producer David Fishelson entertain audience questions.

Audience interacts with Tovah Feldshuh, star "Golda's Balcony" post-premiere at L.A. Jewish Film Fest.

L.A. Jewish Film Festival showing "Skin" - a white-supremacist son's struggle to leave his family's gang

Reformed skinhead, Byron Widner's progressive, facial tattoos' removal 
"Skin" - The story of a father struggling to leave his skin-head parents' gang. From writer/director Guy Nattiv and producer Jaime Ray Newman. Skin is an American biographical drama film following the life of former, skinhead group member, Bryon Widner, and stars Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel Henshall, Bill Camp, Louisa Krause, Zoe Colletti, Kylie Rogers, Colbi Gannett, Mike Colter and Vera Farmiga.

Skin had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2018. It is scheduled to be released on June 27, 2019 through DirecTV Cinema before being released on July 26, 2019, by A24. Nattiv's Oscar-winning short film Skin, also released in 2018, is not related to this film.

L.A. Jewish Film Festival post-screening panel includes audience questions and panelists answers of producer, Jaime Ray Newman, director, Guy Nattiv, of Israel, and moderator, Ariella Lowenstein, Deputy Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League. 

L.A. Times music critic is Nazi-exiled composer, Walter Arlen, 98, whom Austrians honored with concert, documentary

"Walter Arlen's First Century" US Premiere at - Presented by LA Jewish Film Festival May 2019. Documentary/Austria/2018/94 minutes, English and German with English subtitles. Directed by Stephanus Domanig. 

Exile music is not written by those who life left unchallenged. Walter "Arlen" Aptowitzer is almost 100 years old, and the entire century comes to life in his stories and in his music; from the blue light of the last streetcar of his youth in Vienna to the golden sunsets in Los Angeles. Arlen was forced to flee Vienna in 1938 and immigrated to the United States, a journey that began as one of loneliness and depression. What kept him afloat was his musical talent. He took a job as the music critic for the Los Angeles Times, and stopped composing his own music. He only returned to it years later his works were first recorded and released when Arlen was 92. This sensitive film captures the complex story of a musician exiled, but who finally got to see his works performed late in life.

Watch trailer:

Woman in Gold"-storied attorney, Randy Schoenberg, describes the emigration of Jewish-Austrian creatives' in this interview, post-screening of "Walter Arlen's First Century" at the L.A. Jewish Film Festival:

 Walter Arlen interviewed at same screening: 

Question and Answers with Walter Arlen, director Stephanus Domanig, Randy Schoenberg, and Andreas Launer, the Consulate General of Austria

Mordechai Kedar continues up-ending Palestinian-state advocates in academic lecture at Florida university

Israeli, Dr. Mordechai Kedar stuns a scoffing, liberal academic audience with his expertise in genuine peace for Arabs (and possibly even Jews).

On May 2nd, as the Florida Atlantic University community was pre-occupied with graduation ceremonies, the Florida-Israel Institute (directed by Prof. Daniel Raviv) presented "Why is the Middle East so Problematic?" - by Arabist scholar, Dr. Mordechai Kedar.

To a full lecture hall audience of faculty, students and Zionistic community, Dr. Kedar answered questions regarding his Palestinian Emirates proposal. 

Dr. Kedar believes that as the natural organization of Muslim, Middle East societies is tribal (e.g., Iraq, Syria, Libya, Kurdistan), that peace with Jews (and other Muslim tribes) can best be guaranteed for all when autonomous governance is organized by tribes, instead of politicians-sought, artificial "national" boundaries.

Dr. Kedar responded to JooTube's query, how much faith do you place in Trump's Deal of the Century?

Dr. Kedar's  North American speaking tour will bring him to Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday this week, then onto the East Coast and Toronto.

Educators minimize teaching the Holocaust in history curriculum, bemoan Jewish students, families

Millenials are being kept intentionally ignorant about the Holocaust and Jewish suffering, claim Israeli-American, Barashi family in Las Vegas. Why are state educators minimizing the Holocaust in public-school curricula?

British schools are eliminating Holocaust history from curriculum - due to pressure from Muslims and their anti-Zionist, left-wing sympathizers. Statistics show shocking ignorance about Holocaust among young people in the United States.

  • Nearly one-third of all Americans (31 percent) and more than 4-in-10 Millennials (41 percent) believe that substantially less than 6 million Jews were killed (two million or fewer) during the Holocaust
  • While there were over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos in Europe during the Holocaust, almost half of Americans (45 percentcannot name a single one – and this percentage is even higher amongst Millennials. 
  • Source: Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany
Members of the Vegas-chapter of the Israeli Scouts returned from touring the Auschwitz Museum last Yom ha Shoah, but report that Christian educators are downplaying Holocaust in teaching World War II history.

Israeli-American Girl Scout, Sivan Barashi, returned from a Scouts' trip to the Auschwitz Museum in Poland with a sense of the scope of the institutionalized genocide which she feels is not being adequately addressed in American schools' history curricula. Why might the subject be de-emphasized by Christians and/or liberals in public (and private) middle and secondary school education, they wonder?

Holocaust survivor & descendant Nonagenarian, Daniel Szafran, survived the Nazi genocide of European Jewry as a slave laborer. Living in Las Vegas nowadays, he met with a small group of Israeli Scouts who took an educational trip to the Auschwitz camp - where he was incarcerated.

Mr. Barashy bemoans leftist influence in minimizing history resulting in the Holocaust in educational curricula. He also condemns Democratic Socialists throughout the world buying-into the libel which reverses Israel's defense against Islamist-Imperialist, Iranian-armed, Palestinian as "aggressive." Yet they support the anti-Semitic, Muslim world, mandated religiously to annihilate the surviving Jews of the world in a new Holocaust against Israel.