Forward Thinking

Did Genesis Founder Carry Gun to Meetings?

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Mayor Bloomberg, the recipient of the first Genesis Prize / Getty Images

You know that Jewish charity that gave a $1 million prize to Michael Bloomberg, who can hardly count his billions? A feature in last week’s New Yorker sheds some light on the Russian oligarchs behind the award.

For instance: In the early 2000s, BP executives thought that German Khan was carrying a gun to business meetings.

It wasn’t clear to the executives why he needed the gun. “[H]e had other people with guns,” one told Connie Bruck, as reported in this amazing New Yorker profile.

German Khan and Mikhail Fridman are partners with the subject of the profile, Leonard Blavatnik, in an investment consortium called AAR. They are also among the founders of the Genesis Philanthropy Group, a huge Jewish foundation funding Jewish charities around the world. The new $1 million Genesis Prize, bewilderingly bestowed on Bloomberg in 2013, is funded by the Genesis Philanthropy Group.

Khan and Fridman aren’t actually named on Genesis’s website. The face of the operation is Stan Polovets, AAR’s CEO. But the New York Times, among other outlets, has identified them as two among the five founders of the charity.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: philanthropy, charity, New Yorker, Michael Bloomberg, Jewish, Genesis

Jonah Lehrer's $20K Mea Culpa

By Anne Cohen

Knight Foundation
Jonah Lehrer

‘I’m sorry’ never felt so good — nor paid so handsomely.

Jonah Lehrer, the disgraced New Yorker writer who quit his job in July after it was discovered he was recycling his own work, for blog posts, acknowledged his plagiarism and fabrications at a February 12 talk in Miami.

It wasn’t just any talk. It came during the Knight Foundation’s prestigious annual Media Learning Seminar, and was accompanied by all the trappings of a big-name performance on the lecture circuit.

And it paid a cool $20,000, Poynter reported.

Lehrer opened his speech by candidly describing himself.

“For those who do not know who I am, let me give you a brief summary: I’m the author of a book on creativity that contained several fabricated Bob Dylan quotes. I committed plagiarism on my blog, taking without credit or citation an entire paragraph from the blog of Christian Jarrett. I plagiarized from myself. I lied to a journalist named Michael Moynihan to cover up the Dylan fabrications,” he said.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: plagiarism, new yorker, bob dylan, michael moynihan, knight, jonah lehrer, poynter

A New Yorker Cartoon Says It All Too Well

By Gal Beckerman

I think I just found an image for the Passover cards I was planning to send to Bill Kristol and Noah Pollak over at the Emergency Committee for Israel.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Bill Kristol, Emergency Committee for Israel, New Yorker, Noah Pollak




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.