Rabbis from one of one of the most prominent synagogues in Manhattan — including the rabbi who oversaw Ivanka Trump’s conversion to Judaism — condemned President Trump’s remarks in response to last week’s white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Va. and the ensuing death of a counter-protestor.
“While we always avoid politics, we are deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered in his response to this act of violence,” rabbis Chaim Steinmetz, Elie Weinstock, and Haskel Lookstein wrote in a letter on Wednesday to members of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and its affiliated Ramaz School. Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner were members of Kehilath Jeshurun, and Lookstein oversaw Trump’s conversion.
“We pray that our country heeds the voices of tolerance, and stays true to its vision of human rights and civil rights,” the letter continued. It also contained condemnations of the anti-Semitism and racism expressed by the Charlottesville marchers and referred congregants to a similar letter issued earlier that day by the Rabbinical Council of America, the nation’s largest body of Orthodox rabbis.
Lookstein had been invited by Ivanka Trump to deliver a prayer at the Republican National Convention last year, but dropped out after being criticized by Ramaz students and alumni.
(h/t New York magazine)