Russian Gave Jared A Bag Of Soil From Grandparents’ Hometown by the Forward

Russian Gave Jared A Bag Of Soil From Grandparents’ Hometown

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Everyone now knows Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Less known is that Kushner received a bag full of real dirt from another Russian he had met with. This dirt came from the the village of Nvgorod in Belarus, the hometown of Kushner’s grandparents.

In his written statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee questioning Trump’s son-in-law on his ties with Russia, Kushner detailed his meeting with Russian banker Sergey Gorkov and the unusual gifts he had received from him. These included a a piece of art from Nvgorod and the bag of dirt. “Any notion that I tried to conceal this meeting or that I took it thinking it was in my capacity as a businessman is false,” Kushner stated, “In fact, I gave my assistant these gifts to formally register them with the transition office.”

Rae and Joseph Kushner, Jared’s paternal grandparents, were Holocaust survivors who moved to America after the war and later settled in New Jersey. Rae Kushner escaped the ghetto in her hometown and joined the partisans fighting the Nazis in the woods. She lost her mother, sister and brother in the Holocaust.

In a tweet, journalist Julia Ioffe of the Atlantic onserved that “Gorkov’s gift to Kushner of bag of dirt from Kushner’s ancestors’ Belarussian village is a shrewd read of American Jewry fascination w/roots.”

Contact Nathan Guttman at or on Twitter @nathanguttman


Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Russian Gives Jared Bag Of Dirt From Grandparents’ Town

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