NYT: American Jews Opine on Jared and Ivanka

The New York Times examines whether Jared and Ivanka are "good for Jews." Shorter version: It depends which Jews you ask. The Orthodox Jews love them and Reform Jews hate Trump and criticize them.

The deep schism that exists between the two groups is expanding, and the Chabad-Lubavitch, the Orthodox Hasidic group that Jared and Ivanka are members of, is experiencing rapid growth, while membership in liberal Reform synagogues has dropped substantially. The Times reports:

One in five American Jews now describes themselves as having no religion and identifying as Jews based only on ancestry, ethnicity or culture, according to Pew. By contrast, in the 1950s, 93 percent of American Jews identified as Jews based on religion.


As Jews retreat from membership to reform synagogues, historically made up of political liberals who were at the forefront of the fight for Civil Rights and other progressive issues, Chabad-Lubavitch, the Orthodox Hasidic group with which Mr. Kushner is affiliated, has become a rapidly-growing Jewish movement. The growth of Chabad correlates with fierce divisions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a small but growing contingent of American Jews who prioritize Israel above any other political or social issue.

As to the divide over Trump:

According to a 2018 survey by the American Jewish Committee, 41 percent of Jews said they strongly disagree with Mr. Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israeli relations and 71 percent had an overall unfavorable opinion of Mr. Trump. (In response to questions for this story, a White House press aide referred reporters to an Ami magazine poll of 263 Orthodox Jews in the tristate area published in August. Eighty-two percent said they would vote for President Trump in 2020.)(My emphasis).

Who else is big in the Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch movement? Felix Sater, one of the characters in the Trump-Russia-Trump SoHo debacle.

[A]s Trump looked for business and investors in the former Soviet Union during the first years of this century, he struck up an enduring relationship with a firm called Bayrock-Sapir.
Bayrock was co-led by Felix Sater, a convicted mob associate.

Sater and another Bayrock employee, Daniel Ridloff, who like Sater later went on to work directly for the Trump Organization, belong to the Port Washington Chabad house. Sater told POLITICO Magazine that in addition to serving on the board of the Port Washington Chabad house, he sits on the boards of numerous Chabad entities in the U.S. and abroad, though none in Russia....In 2014, the Port Washington Chabad house named Sater its “man of the year.”

...Working out of Trump Tower, Sater partnered with the celebrity developer on numerous Trump-branded developments and scouted deals for him in the former Soviet Union. In 2006, Sater escorted Trump’s children Ivanka and Don Jr. around Moscow to scour the city for potential projects, and he worked especially closely with Ivanka on the development of Trump SoHo

Back to the Times article: I learned a new phrase from the article: "Chillul Hashem". In Hebrew, it means "when a Jew behaves immorally while in the presence of others." Someone who went to high school with Jared (and didn't like him then or now) says "Jared is participating in acts of Chillul Hashem”.

A Brandeis Professor, Dr. Sarna, says:

“There is a great deal of anxiety around the coming of the Orthodox...Jared in every way — his Orthodoxy, his Chabad ties, his views on Israel — symbolizes those changes.”

Donald Trump is a cultural disgrace. Also, putting his son-in-law and daughter in high level advisory positions (paid or not)for which neither has the slightest qualifications is like the Saudi King making his two inexperienced children the kingdom's Crown Prince and U.S. Ambassador.

There is one saving grace. By now, the entire world knows that whatever comes out of the mouth of Donald Trump (or Saudi leadership) is "bubbe-meis"(Yiddish for a grandmother's fairy tale). It's getting easier to ignore them -- at least for short spurts, to maintain our sanity.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Why should Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch Jews (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Nov 19, 2018 at 09:01:44 AM EST
    be any less a bunch hypocrites than evangelical christians?

    Religion is a hoax. A way for people to refuse responsibility for their own lives. People are "faithful" when it is convenient, or when they need a hammer to hit someone with. Otherwise is just manmade mythology.

    Have a happy family holiday, all. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 22, 2018 at 11:11:32 AM EST
    Hope you enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner that can't be beat. Just remember not to dump your garbage in a prohibited location ... or if you do, don't leave an envelope with your address on it at the bottom of the pile.

    Please, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#1)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 17, 2018 at 06:10:03 PM EST
    Don't insult Jewish grandmothers like that! Bubbemeise are harmless if invented tales, like "family legends."

    make believe is not (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Nov 18, 2018 at 03:05:20 AM EST
    always harmless. It's made up. I've used the phrase in a court brief (with a link to the definition in a footnote), to describe the Government's case against a client.

    Hey, J (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 18, 2018 at 12:10:42 PM EST
    just teasing

    There is a Whole Book About This Stuff (none / 0) (#2)
    by RickyJim on Sat Nov 17, 2018 at 07:49:00 PM EST
    Craig Unger's, "House of Trump, House of Putin".  I managed to get through it by listening to an audiobook version while working out at the gym.  "Putin's rabbi" is in Chabad and is helping the Russian president's goal of undermining traditional Jewish associations in that country.

    The one section in the book that interested me most was a quote by Eric Trump, who allegedly told sportswriter James Dobson, who was playing golf with Eric and Donald Sr. at a Trump golf course in 2014, "Well, we don't rely on American banks, we have all the funding we need out of Russia."  Apparently Trump had been buying estates, golf courses and a winery (for cash!) during the 2000s and Dobson had inquired where they were getting the money.  Why the Russians were doing that is TBD.

    What would the Baal Shem Tov (none / 0) (#3)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 17, 2018 at 08:14:06 PM EST
    think of all the Haredi who manage to make it onto the Village Voice's worst slumlords list every year?

    I was interested in the stuff about (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Nov 18, 2018 at 12:02:16 PM EST
    liberal Reform synagogues.

    One of my oldest friends recently (about three years ago) converted.

    This was almost unbelievable to me and the rest of the "losers club" from my college years.  Donna (that was her name, it's not anymore as conversion gets a new name) was, without hyperbole, the smartest person I had ever met.  I have lots of amazing Donna stories.

    But she decided she wanted to convert.  Her new Jewish husband actually advised against it.   Saying she could participate without converting.

    She chose to convert.   New name.  New life.

    She seems entirely happy

    They are most definitely liberal Jews.