While I usually try to stay above the fray of partisan criticism, I was personally dismayed and appalled at the New York Times piece (published November 17, titled “Are Jared and Ivanka Good for the Jews?”) that used partisan Jews to criticize Ivanka and Jared Kushner as being bad for the Jewish community because of their participation in the Trump Administration.
As Jews, we have an obligation to support each other both locally and abroad, either financially or by making the case for Israel in the country in which we are citizens. We learn that one of the primary reasons for the demise of the second temple was needless words of hatred.
I am immensely proud to live in America where presidential candidates are proud to have Jews wearing kippot join them on the campaign trail in predominantly Christian town halls and other venues. I am proud that President and First Lady Clinton were willing to have their only daughter marry into a Jewish family.
I am grateful that the president of the United States of America is proud to have as his son-in-law an Orthodox Jew and willingly accepts his daughter’s sincere conversion to Judaism. Although the Times found a couple of partisan Jews to claim the work of Ivanka and Jared are an offense to God, it is obvious that the opposite is true.
The Kushner family involvement in the White House required a huge sacrifice of their personal lives and is perceived broadly by devoted Jews worldwide as both a blessing and an honor. Both Ivanka and Jared are valued counselors to the president who have advocated for more security aid to Israel, curtailing Iran’s terror ambitions and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
As children of Holocaust survivors, the need to be proactive to protect and guard against the dangers posed to Jews worldwide is very visceral to my wife, Esther, and me. Most of our generation try to ingrain this into our children with mixed success. I expect that Jared’s Grandparents, z”l, who were survivors of the Shoah, would be immensely proud of his work and accomplishments.
In any shul I have attended, there would be a long line of members grateful to pay for a kiddish to honor the Kushners. It is improper that the New York Times would be willing to write such a mean and dishonest column about them. The strong record of Ivanka and Jared regarding the Jewish community and U.S.-Israel relations is undeniable and deserves an unbiased treatment, which was unfortunately denied by the New York Times in this article.
By Ben Chouake, MD
Ben Chouake, MD, (Dr. Ben) is the national president of NORPAC and a member of the boards of multiple Jewish organizations.