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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are Shul Shopping in D.C.


Both Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are set to hold senior positions in the Donald Trump White House. As such, they are making the move from New York to Washington D.C. and are now looking for the right synagogue — shul in Yiddish — to join.

Jared Kushner describes himself as Modern Orthodox and Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism when they married. The two are affiliated with a Modern Orthodox community in Manhattan and are now looking for the right one for them in D.C.

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They have three young children and as is the case with all young Jewish families, finding the right synagogue and local community to join is a quandry when moving to a new city.

According to The New York Post, Ivanka and Jared looked into possibly joining Ohev Sholom, Washington’s oldest modern Orthodox synagogue. The problem with this shul is its Rabbi, Shmuel Herzfeld, who was a vocal critic of Donald Trump during the elections. Rabbi Herzfield once interrupted a Donald Trump speech shouting, “Do not listen to this man. He is wicked. He inspires racists and bigots.” This could lead to some awkward moments at the kiddush table.

Another possibility for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump is the Georgetown synagogue Kesher Israel. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and former Senator Joe Lieberman have both davened there.

Norman Eisen, the former Obama ethics czar who really hates Donald Trump, is a member at Kesher Israel. Eisen was quoted in Politico saying, “We have a concept in traditional Judaism of muktseh. Money is muktseh, something forbidden on the Sabbath. Before Shabbat, you take your money, your cell phone, you put it aside. Politics is muktseh. I would welcome them exactly the same as I would any other family that wanted to join our community.” Ouch! Not exactly warm.


As Sabbath observers, Trump and Kushner would need to live within walking distance of their synagogue, wherever it may be. So they may choose in the end to live somewhere in neighboring Maryland where there are a number of Orthodox communities.

And being the President’s daughter means that Ivanka Trump will have a Secret Service detail protecting her wherever she goes. This could cause further complications for an Orthodox shul where the use of electricity is prohibited on the Sabbath.

Wherever they end up, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump will be the center of all the juicy gossip in their new community. This will bring further ethical issues to the community as gossip is strictly forbidden by the Tora.



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