David Friedman, sworn in last week as the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, has made his first staff pick, an assistant who also has an unorthodox background for a diplomatic job.
Michael Wilner reports in the Jerusalem Post that Friedman’s pick for his chief of staff is Aryeh Lightstone, an Orthodox educator, who is also close to Ivanka Trump.
Lightstone, according to the report, has won awards for his Jewish educational initiatives in the New York area and most recently served as chief creative officer of Mekorot Education, an online Jewish education resource.
It is not unusual for U.S. ambassadors to appoint top assistants from outside the State Department. Neither Friedman nor Lightstone will come to the post with any previous experience in government or in foreign policy.