Jason Greenblatt Says He Left Trump Administration Due To Israeli Political Turbulence — And Yeshiva Tuitions

FILE - Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt seen during a visits in the Gaza Strip - Israel border in on August 30, 2017. Photo by David Azagury/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

NEW YORK (JTA) – Jason Greenblatt said he left his position as special representative for international negotiations in the Trump administration because of political turbulence in Israel — and the financial cost of raising an Orthodox family in America.

In an interview with Mishpacha Magazine, one of the most widely read haredi Orthodox weeklies, Greenblatt said he decided to leave when it seemed clear that a third round of Israeli elections in less than a year was likely.

“Once I did the math and realized that there’s an impasse and it might mean long months in which we couldn’t move forward, I felt like it was appropriate to step down,” he said. “I had already stayed longer than I’d committed to.”

Greenblatt was part of the team led by Jason Kushner, a top presidential adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, that was drafting a Middle East peace plan. That plan has never been revealed in its entirety.

Greenblatt does not plan on returning to the Trump administration, though he “hope[s] he wins again.”

Despite feeling that his service was important, it wasn’t necessarily financially or personally sustainable.

“We have six children with yeshiva tuitions and the relevant expenses, and for the last three years, we were cutting into savings significantly,” he told Mishpacha. “Naomi and the children were packing up and driving up to D.C. almost every Shabbos. I couldn’t often get away. It was a crazy lifestyle. They were amazing years, but it wasn’t family life.”

Greenblatt also is not planning on returning to his plush job as a top lawyer in the Trump Organization anytime soon.

“If the president isn’t there, the big deals aren’t happening and I’m not needed,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean he’s going to be writing a tell-all.

“I have no bombshell revelations,” Greenblatt said. “I have tremendous respect for President Trump and his family, and I try hard not to speak lashon hara [evil speech] and to avoid rechilus [gossip]. I try to be a mensch.”

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  1. Wow. I totally agree with him on the tuition robbery. These schools are breaking our backs. This is how the Yidden in Mitzraim must of felt, being under the heavy boot of Paroh. “Vayeianchu”. Just like the jews cried out to Hashem that their servitude was unbearable, so to I cry out that the tuition costs are killing us and recking our shalom bayis. The threats of them expelling our children because we’re behind in our tuition payments, holding back our children’s report cards, even though we’ve been paying for over 20 years (all our children) is unbearable. These yeshivos/administrators, like Paroh, will have to answer to a higher authority after 120.

    • On the one hand I agree with you, but put yourself in the administration position, we don’t know what kind of pressure they have to put up with,
      FYI, I’m no school administrator, I too work my guts out to pay school fees

    • Yes, there are poor Jews who struggle to come up with tuition money, and they need a mouthpiece to publicize their plight.

      However consider a yeshiva administrator, who receives a modest salary, and somehow has to cover his school’s budget, sometimes out of thin air. Then research the struggles of meeting a yeshiva budget, and how yeshivas somehow manage to survive. Finally, devise a plan how to fairly distribute the burden of maintaining a Jewish school, among all parents, rich and poor.

      I’m looking forward to seeing such an article.

  2. sending our kids to elementary and hight school is a must, and the costs of paying salaries, overhead, etc. running the schools may justify the salaries. but the seminaries, and the pressure to send our girls to them, is completely unjustifiable. to me it seems like a complete racket and a get rich scheme for american rabbi types in israel.

    • Or perhaps you didn’t bother reading carefully, and didn’t notice that the article is about Jason Greenblatt, not about Jared Kushner. One wonders how you fared in school with such a lack of elementary reading comprehension.

  3. A constant increasememt of demeanor and dehumanization in our schools seems to be by design.
    We have beautiful buildings. New buildings. Building additions. All premium materials and construction methods.
    But we have unqualified secular teachers. The only reason we hear is that the budget does not provide for degreed/professional teachers. We have young women fresh from seminary – some are actually good – who leave when about to deliver their 1st child.
    Our girls school recently lost a great science teacher to a school that pays normal wages. That class is now a free-for-all period.
    Thank you egotistic “administration leaders” and GT.


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