New York – Behind Donald Trump, An Orthodox Jewish Son-In-Law Who Is Also An Adviser


    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as (L-R) his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner listen, at a campaign rally on caucus day in Waterloo, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Rick WilkingNew York – Before introducing Donald Trump to roughly a dozen Republican lawmakers at the Washington law offices of Jones Day, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions paused to acknowledge the man he said had facilitated the closed-door talks.

    He said it was Jared Kushner, a 35-year-old real estate investor and newspaper owner, who had suggested the get-together last month, arguing that it would enable Trump to win more allies on Capitol Hill, according to a person in the room.

    Kushner is also Trump’s son-in-law, having married the Republican presidential front-runner’s daughter Ivanka in 2009.

    A real-estate tycoon like his father-in-law, Kushner has emerged as one of a very few advisers as Trump seeks the Republican nomination to the Nov. 8 election, according to five people close to Trump.

    It is especially rare given that Trump styles himself as his own best adviser and has said he consults only a few people despite a promise to hire the country’s top minds once he becomes president.

    While “well respected,” Kushner has no official campaign role, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. She confirmed however that Kushner had helped with the Sessions meeting and had informally advised the candidate on Israel and in other areas.

    In an interview Kushner’s friend David Schulhof, founder of a music publishing company, cited a level-headedness and listening skill that would make Kushner a calming influence.

    This could be helpful to Trump, 69, who entered the race 10 months ago hailing his having never held public office as an asset, but whose campaign has been rocked by turbulence over remarks offensive to women, Muslims, immigrants, party loyalists and others.

    At times Kushner has urged Trump to behave like a more traditional candidate, stressing the importance of building relationships with politicians and traditionally active donors, say the sources close to Trump, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    They also say Kushner can use friendships like the ones he has with media mogul Rupert Murdoch and real estate billionaire Ronald Perelman as a bridge to influential people with whom his father-in-law is not close. Neither Murdoch nor Perelman would comment for this story.


    An Orthodox Jew, whose wife Ivanka converted to Judaism before they married, Kushner and his family have connections to Israel. Along with his father, also a prominent real-estate developer, Kushner was listed in a 2015 report by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a benefactor for its real estate committee, which required a donation of at least $36,000 to the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group.

    Kushner’s parents donated $20 million two years ago to a medical school campus in Jerusalem now named after them.

    Using his family and business ties, Kushner arranged a series of meetings for Trump during a trip the candidate planned to make to Israel last year, the sources say.

    The trip never happened. Trump scrapped it after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Trump later suggested that if elected he would not take sides in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, a stance he said would help him negotiate a peace deal but which was unusually neutral for an American politician looking to court voters on Israel.

    Ahead of AIPAC’s annual conference last month in Washington, Kushner advised his father-in-law to lay out concrete policies that would help smooth over relations with the Jewish community, according to two sources. He further advised him to use a teleprompter for the speech, ditching his usual conversational style, the people close to Trump said.

    It was also Kushner who fielded a call from Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, who wanted to offer Trump the Israeli government’s perspective ahead of the AIPAC speech, according to the sources.

    Dermer’s office declined to comment.

    In the end, Trump delivered an uncharacteristically detailed speech to the 18,000 people who attended the conference, outlining a series of policy positions broadly aligned with AIPAC’s. An AIPAC spokesman declined to comment.

    Trump told attendees that Palestinians must scrub hatred of Israel from their educational system and stop naming public places after people who attacked Israel. He said the United States must stand with Israel in rejecting attempts by the United Nations to impose restrictions on Israel or parameters for a peace deal. He criticized the U.S. deal with Iran as bad for Israel.

    While helping Trump craft the speech, Kushner sought advice from the politically connected editor of his newspaper, the New York Observer. The editor, Ken Kurson, a former speech writer for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, wrote in an email to Reuters that he reviewed the speech before Trump delivered it.


    Trump has loomed large in Kushner’s life since day one of his marriage. The New York Post reported that invitations to Kushner’s wedding, held at a Trump golf club in New Jersey, included a flier advertising Trump’s other golf properties.

    Kushner, who with his wife has taken family vacations with News Corp (NWSA.O) owner Murdoch and his ex-wife Wendi Deng, has worked to calm Murdoch’s ire with Trump over the candidate’s criticism of the company’s Fox News Channel and star anchor Megyn Kelly, two people familiar with his activities say.

    During regular phone calls and lunches Kushner tries both to soothe Murdoch and stump for his father-in-law, these people said.

    Despite his influence behind the scenes, Kushner keeps a largely low profile on the campaign trail. During a Trump rally in South Carolina last November, he hung back while other family members took the stage until his father-in-law called him out.

    “Where’s Jared? Jared get up here,” Trump shouted. Kushner, clad in charcoal-colored pants and a black quilted down vest, shuffled up, hands jammed in his pockets.

    “Jared’s a very successful developer and he just loves politics now,” Trump said, adding with a bit of gleeful teasing: “Look at him. See the way he dresses?”

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    1. The only thing that Jarred has in common with Orthodox Judiasm is a Brit.

      It appears that every Frum news outlet is falling over the fact that Trump has an orthodox daughter.

      If it were not for her privilege, her conversion would be revoked due to insincere intent.

      Trump is a fake, phony, and a fraud, as the late, great Bob Grant would say.

      And those who support him think that they are going to be part of his inner circle to run the country.

      Enjoy the ride, but come the Tuesday night primary in Wisconsin it’s all going to stop for Trump.

      And on another point, Trump would have earned tremendous national positive attention if he had attended his grandson’s Brit.

      Because, ultimately the US is a Judei-Christian country and people respect conviction to religion more than they do conviction to politics.

      • Very easy for you to talk from far. I respect you living in Israel (as your name….) But don’t sit there and lecture us while we are here suffering from the establishment from both sides.

        • “we are here suffering from the establishment from both sides” Are you joking. This is the best time ever to live in the USA. Free entertainment in the past 6 month ( 7 more for sure coming) Low Unemployment, $2.00 Gasoline, No inflation, No wars etc. If Trump wins 8 more years of FREE entertainment. If Hillary wins 8 more years of FREE everything and both have Jewish Einicklach. Next Purim Spihel is in the WH.

          • “Make Aliyah” Are you joking? You have a Prime Minister and a President in Jail right now. 2 Members of the Cabinet and the wife of the PM are under Criminal Investigation. Hillary looks like Mother Theresa next to them and Trump sounds like Chamberlain next to Liberman.

            • This is a joke. Things that Israeli politicians go to jail or simply investigated on, are a pittance compared to what American politicians get away with. Hillary and Bill should both be in jail, among others.

              Olmert may be a scoundrel for a lot of things, but what he is in jail for is a crime like Harry Reid did, to become wealthy and got away with it.

              Netanyahu’s wife was investigated to returning soda bottles for the deposits. The claim was she kept the money. She claims she put it in petty cash. Netanyahu was investigated to purchasing excessive ice cream. That sure on par with Obama’s often multi-million dollar vacations, parties and $100/ lb kobe beef.

              Give us a break on that nonsense.

              Also, Jared Kushner went to a post High School Yeshiva in Beit Shemesh. I’ve also seen women dressed less tznius than Ivanka in Boro Park.

              BTW, I’m not a Trump supporter, but unlike a few of you, I believe in truth irrespective of my position on anything.

      • I agree with everything you say but for the fact that he didn’t attend his grandson’s bris. This was simply because Trump understood that if a so-called “Jewish” state doesn’t find it necessary to release an innocent person from prison for his own son’s bris, obviously a bris is nothing more than a little party.

        • In reply to #7.

          You are reading too deeply into Trump’s mindset. I don’t think he made that calculation.

          He just doesn’t believe in religious doctrine.

      • Moshe in Israel who sits in judgment of every American Jew because he thinks he knows better, meanwhile he only knows what the news tells him. You know nothing of American politics or culture. Trump is still likely to win Wisconsin but even if he didn’t, it’s less than 50 delegates. Cruz needs a miracle to even see a second ballot, but you don’t know what that is because you’re Israeli. So stay in your warzone.

        • “Trump is still likely to win Wisconsin” I will let you know tomorrow. If he loses Wisc. he is not likely to get the 1237 delegates on the first ballot. In a normal election the leading candidate makes peace with the rest and he gets their delegates. 4 years ago they all lined up with Romney. The. way Trump treated them; Little Rubio, Lying Cruz etc he has no friends left

      • I’m not so sure that Ivana is a fraud. I used to think that and used to think that she definitely bought her conversion, but reading about her I think it’s possible that she is really left wing modern orthodox.

      • “Revoked?” There is no such thing as revocation of Geirus in Torah observant Judaism: either the conversion is valid or it is not. The fact that al pi halakha once we stop turning away the potential ger, we must educate them as to belief in one G-d and shemiras haMitzvos is very telling as to where a strict, unyielding demand for complete shemiras hamitzvos lies in the scheme of validating one’s conversion. It doesn’t.

      • look at all of the mavinim that we have.This one says she doesn’t’ dress properly, that one says they don’t observe the mitzvos properly, but loshon horah, it’s a mitzvah gadol min hatorah .Boruch ha shem we have more that ten batlonim ,spending their time in bitul torah.

    2. You people live in a cave. Kushner is fully orthodox. Because he doesn’t wear a shtrimel doesn’t make him less religious. You guys gotto wake up. Go hang out in the upper east side and see for yourself. There is a whole sector of frum moder orthodox yidden.
      Moshe, in MO circles its normal to convert for marriage. i had a cousin whom married a convert for marriage too. He was converted by a frum black but modern orthodox rabbi. It may not be lachtchla but once the geruis is done its fully valid and irrevokable.

      On and stop getting so excited from one silly Wisconsin election with 43 delegates. Trump has this wrapped up

      Make America great again!

    3. Big deal hes Orthodox that doesn’t diminish Trumps lunatic antics.
      In order to make America again we must dump Trump,period. Even Hillary is a better choice than Trump.

    4. In order to become a true convert, one must accept on themselves ALL mitzvos. Even if a born Jew does not behave properly, they are still Jewish. But one cannot convert to Judaism without accepting them all. It’s all or nothing.

      From the way Trump’s daughter dresses in public, it would seem from that alone that her conversion is invalid.

      • Kabalas ol mitzvos does not mean doing all the mitzvos per se. If it did, then the minute a ger did an aveira he would be retroactively not a ger. Be dan lekaf zechus and recognize that our standards of tzniyus are a major nisayon for a woman with her background, and she is trying the best she can.

        • Exactly. For example, she may well have fully committed herself to hair covering at the time of geirus. Once she was married she may have found it much more difficult than she expected–just like many an FFB.

          One thing we won’t see her wearing is a pair of handcuffs.

        • That is the most sensible thing I have read today on VIN. Obviously you are from “out of town” and have wandered out of your dalet amos once in a while.

    5. I do understand the desire to say they are not really frum. The only problem is that everything I hear from friends and neighbors indicates that Jared and Ivanka are fully frum. Kol haKavod.

    6. Thank G-d the Ribbono Shel Olam has the input of all the Commentators on Vosizneis to help him decide if Jared Kushner is frum or not. It is also nice to see that people are being machmir on making a Cheshbon Hanefesh not only for themselves, but also for someone they do not know, and never met. Even the Sanhedrin Hagadol was unable to render such incisive judgement.

    7. Before you judge, my close friend knows them very well. They spend shabbosim together and they even host people who need Kiruv. Ivanka is fully shiner shabbos, taharas hamishpocha, and kashrus. Sad to say I don’t know how many of you commenting can say that much… Loshen hora may be much worse! Please know your facts before you judge others and say blatant lies about them!

    8. Questioning the yichus of a giyores violates a mitzvah repeated no less than 36 times in the Torah. There isn’t anything much worse a Jew can do with his mouth or keyboard.

      Anyone whining about the way Mrs. Kushner dresses should look at some pictures of Agudah conventions from summers in the 1950s. More important are the comments posted on every news story about the family, which marvel at the quality of her middos. Nobody is worried about seeing her one day in handcuffs.

    9. I’m thrilled to read of all the experts who have decided who is a Jew, who is an Orthodox Jew and who was converted properly etc etc etc.
      Being of a 100% Jewish mother and father and a lineage of all the same, I was once told that since I’m not totally Torah observant that I’m not Jewish. My answer was that it will be G-D alone to make that final judgement. It just astounds me how so many of my own have become our own worst enemies. For a people subject to so much hate from the outside world, why continue to peck at each other from the inside?

    10. this whole stream is really below disgusting. None of you know either person, and I don’t profess to know them either. I did know her husband when he went to High School and I do know his parents. The definition of Shomer Mitzvos is Hashem’s only, and none of us can judge that. Give them a break. They do their best to observe what they think is correct. Let Hashem judge them. All of you should just mind your business.


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