Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Jewish Democrats Flee Mar-a-Lago Amid Trump Tsuris

When President Trump arrived in Palm Beach, Florida in the 1980s, he wasn’t accepted into any of the city’s prestigious private clubs — he was “arrogant and pushy and he didn’t care that locals thought he was loud and vulgar,” The Washington Post recounted.

So Trump opened Mar-a-Lago, the estate he scored for $10 million, as a private club in 1995. Mar-a-Lago was open to anyone, which was new in that time — several clubs did not admit Jewish members, and another only admitted wealthy Jews.

Now, many of the club’s original members, most notably Jewish Democrats, have left, the Post noted.

Although Palm Beach is known for providing residents with privacy, with most people keeping their political affiliations to themselves, some members said they are just not comfortable affiliating with a Trump-owned property. And the president’s presence has become an inconvenience, between security measures and closed-off golf courses.

“It’s a better energy when he’s not here,” said one business owner, one of two dozen locals interviewed by the Post. “It’s like the clouds lifted and everybody goes about their business.”

The original members have been replaced by business executives, socialites and groupies, the Post reported.

Laurence Leamer, author of the forthcoming book “Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace,” said while the new members are “very different,” this may not necessarily be a bad thing.

“It’s the most fun of any of the clubs because there’s this range of humanity,” he said. “There are people who are unspeakably vulgar and loud and fairly disgusting, and elegant people. It’s lively.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.