A highly anticipated pre-High Holiday call with President Trump lasted less than 8 minutes and consisted mostly of platitudes, participants said.
The call opened with Trump’s Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner who introduced the president, promising representatives of the Jewish community on the line that Trump “takes great pride in having a Jewish daughter and Jewish grandchildren.”
According to notes taken by a participant on the call, which was closed to the press, and confirmed by another participant, the call was brief and, breaking with the standard set by Barack Obama, the president didn’t take questions from participants on the line.
Trump devoted much of his talk to his administration’s relations with Israel, telling the Jewish rabbis and organizational leaders about his trip to Israel in May. “I can tell you that I love Israel,” Trump said, promising that his support for the Jewish state does not stem only from security reasons, but also of shared values.
Trump vowed to fight against Israel’s isolation in the United Nations and sounded an optimistic tone regarding the prospects of achieving an Israeli - Arab peace accord. “This new year gives us hope for significant progress on peace,” Trump said.
The president also touched briefly on the rise of anti-Semitism in America, stressing that his administration “forcefully condemns those who seek to promote anti-Semitism.” Trump promised to “make sure we protect Jewish communities, and all communities, to make sure they are safe.”
Participants on the call included rabbis from Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish denominations and several representatives of national organizations. The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements boycotted the call.