Donald Trump intends to hold on Friday the annual pre-High Holiday presidential conference call with Jewish leaders. The New York Times reported that invitations already went out to a call in which Trump “will send well wishes for the upcoming holidays and discuss his administration’s progress on issues of interest to the Jewish community.”
The tradition of speaking to Jewish leaders on the eve of Rosh Hashanah was started by Barack Obama, but last month several liberal denominations, including Reform, Conservative and Reconstractionist, announced they will not organize the call as they’ve done in previous years because of Trump’s comments after the Charlottesville events. The White House, in response, said it had no plans to hold a call and therefore the boycott was useless.
But on Wednesday the White House informed Jewish leaders it would like to hold a call with the president Friday morning. The call was organized by the White House, not by Jewish activists.
It is still not clear which Jewish groups will take part. The Orthodox Union said it intends to participate, while the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism made clear its stance has not changed and they will not take part.
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.
Trump Holding Holiday Call With Jewish Leaders Anyway