While her father spent last weekend interviewing Cabinet hopefuls at his golf club in New Jersey, Ivanka Trump headed downtown with her kids to volunteer for a Jewish charity.
In posts on Instagram and Twitter, the first daughter thanked the UJA-Federation of New York and Project ORE for allowing her to volunteer at a pre-Thanksgiving meal for the homeless with her two children.
Thank you Project Ore / UJA for allowing me and the kids to volunteer with you today and serve those in need pre-Thanksgiving meals. pic.twitter.com/PDrwk2PUVS— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 21, 2016
Project ORE is a homeless services program run by the Educational Alliance, a downtown Jewish social services group. The volunteer event was organized by UJA-Federation, the citywide umbrella group for New York Jewish charities, and by Kehilath Jeshurun, the Modern Orthodox synagogue where Trump converted to Judaism.
Jewish groups have struggled to balance concerns over Trump, his policies, and the anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric of his campaign, with a perceived need to build ties with the incoming Trump administration.
Ivanka Trump’s role in her father’s transition is unclear: while she has no official role, and would be barred by anti-nepotism laws from having an official administration job, she was photographed last week sitting in on a meeting with her father and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe.
When asked whether Ivanka Trump had been specifically invited to the Project ORE event, a spokesman for Educational Alliance said that the organization could not comment on individual volunteers. In a statement, UJA-Federation said it could not comment on whether the organization knew in advance that Trump would participate.
“It’s not appropriate to discuss the personal decisions volunteers make about when they sign-up for service projects,” UJA said. “We are grateful for the outpouring of community support for this incredible program.”
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.