As Modern Orthodox Jews, Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump Share Deep Connection To Israel & Chabad

Even though Israel has seen a decline in women's rights that correlates with the rise of the ultra-Orthodox right-wing, Melanie and Ivanka Trump didn't live up to the worst fears of Israel's right wingers by choosing to avoid the women's prayer section of the Western Wall and praying with the men.  

Israel's Supreme Court ruled earlier in 2017 that women should be allowed to read from the Torah at the men-only, primary section of the wall. It also ruled that a separate egalitarian prayer area known as Robinson’s Arch did not represent access to the Western Wall.

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz joined US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who put prayer notes into one of the crevices in the wall, while Melania and Ivanka Trump did the same in the women’s section with the rabbi’s wife, Yael Rabinowitz and Dvora Berkin, director of public relations for the Western Wall.

“The Western Wall today is the spiritual center of the Jewish people and the heart of Judaism,” said Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites in Israel.

It was Rabbi Rabinowitz who ruled in 2010 that women visiting the holy site should not use a Torah in the designated female area of the wall.

“This visit showed respect for the Jewish people and for tradition,” said the rabbi. “Jews don’t need international approval to recognize the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, but we also cannot hide from what happens around the world where people try to deny the Jewish connection to the wall, the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.”

Ivanka Trump & Judaism

Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism ahead of her 2009 marriage to Jared Kushner, a devout Orthodox Jew. The couple visited Israel in 2010. Trump has spoken little about her faith but told Vogue in February 2015: 

We're pretty observant, more than some, less than others. I just feel like it's such an intimate thing for us, It's been such a great life decision for me. I am very modern, but I'm also a very traditional person, and I think that's an interesting juxtaposition in how I was raised as well. I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity.

The Trump-Kushner family have said they practice Modern Orthodox Judaism and Jared Kushner graduated from The Frisch School, the prestigious New Jersey yeshiva. In Washington the family has joined the Chabad synagogue attached to Washington's Kalorama neighborhood.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, heads the small membership synagogue, which is a seven-minute walk from their home. Throughout the years, many Jewish politicians have attended TheSHUL, including former senator Joe Lieberman and current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, several Jewish ambassadors posted in Washington, and Israeli Cabinet ministers from the Orthodox parties. If Trump and Kushner attend the synagogue on a regular basis, it is likely to gain a lot of public attention, writes The Forward.

In a separate article The Forward poses the very question that captured my attention, writing "It might seem odd for a Modern Orthodox Jewish family to join a Chabad synagogue.  The relationship of Jared and Ivanka to the Chabad movement, also known as Lubavitch and Chabad-Lubavitch, was explored in one of the two Zembla videos exploring Donald Trump's relationship with the Russians. Chabad is the largest Hasidic movement in the world. 

This evening, Thursday May 25, all US media confirms that Jared Kushner is under scrutiny by the FBI for his involvement with the Trump campaign and the Trump White House. Trump's lawyer, Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, Jamie Gorelick, has said that Jared Kushner will be fully cooperative with investigators. 

Related: The Media Goes Deeper and Deeper Into Ivanka Trump: Zembla Looks At Jared, Ivanka & Lev Leviev.  (Zembla videos embedded). AOC Redtracker Daily

Dem Lawyer Jamie Gorelick Navigates Ethics Waters For Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner  AOC In-Depth

“I would say Ivanka is definitely the CEO of our household,” says her husband, Jared Kushner. Trump, in an Erdem embroidered tweed dress, with their son, Joseph. De Beers diamond earrings.Photographed by Norman Jean Roy,  Vogue,  March 2015

“I would say Ivanka is definitely the CEO of our household,” says her husband, Jared Kushner. Trump, in an Erdem embroidered tweed dress, with their son, Joseph. De Beers diamond earrings.Photographed by Norman Jean Roy, Vogue, March 2015

The Media Goes Deeper And Deeper Into Ivanka Trump; Zembla Looks At Jared, Ivanka & Lev Leviev

The People's Princess

By Caitlin Flanagan

Writing for New York Magazine's current cover storyCaitlin Flanagan shares an insightful view with analysis of Ivanka's childhood, her extraordinary attachment to her father -- and he to her, and the utter loathing that Progressive, Democratic and even Independent women are feeling for Ivanka these days.

Ivanka is now in Saudi Arabia, where she met with women leaders this afternoon. Surely the Trump daughter is shaking over the announcement that the FBI and now Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump Administration involves a person of interest in Trump's inner circle. Most pundits point to Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner and his previously unreported meetings with sanctioned Russian bank Vnesheconombank. 

Equally interesting -- and an association that involves Ivanka and Jared both -- are the couple's ties to the King of Diamonds -- notably of blood diamonds -- Russian billionaire Lev Leviev.

Part 1 of the Zembla investigation is explosive in its allegations about Trump. Part 2 is clearly still in development. 

Previously accepted in New York by Democratic progressives, the pummeling she's getting in New York -- where Manhattan voters voted against daddy nine to one; and DC where voters rejected Trump by 23 to one -- has caught the First Daughter off guard, much as her father is truly shocked from all reports, that Dems have a big problem with daddy firing the FBI Director James Comey.

Flanagan draws comparisons between Ivanka and Diana as "the people's princess".

"Diana, it was decided, in a brilliant phrase coined almost on the spot by Tony Blair, the morning after she was killed, was “the people’s princess.” Ivanka is a different kind of people’s princess. She wears couture gowns of staggering cost, but she sells shoes that a bank teller can afford on a splurge. Like many of her fans — and like Diana — she is the daughter of a messy divorce, but she has found a way to rewrite that unlovely story into one of unbroken father-daughter devotion. She admits occasionally to the reality of skillful nannies, but she sends out pictures and videos of herself with her adorable kids so you know that she’s a mom, one of us. She advances the kind of Spanx feminism that crosses the political divide and that can unite even the pro-choice and the pro-life: feminism as a fashion to be worn, as a consumer need that should be met by a canny entrepreneur, as the belief that a woman really can do anything because all that is required is the right attitude and the right giant handbag. She has probably never in her life had to visit a Planned Parenthood or sit on a phone for hours fighting with a health-insurance company, never lived in the income bracket that won’t be much helped by her proposed child-care tax credit — nor would her fans want her to have experienced any of these things. They haven’t fallen in love with a nobody, after all.

Like a princess, Ivanka devotes herself to the needs of a waning king. He is Lear — “All the power of his wits have given way to his impatience” — but Lear with only one relevant daughter, and to her has fallen the task of keeping his terrifying impatience from destroying not just their shared empire but the world itself. He is strangely dependent on her now. And so are we."