When it comes to rabbis scheduled to speak, it’s DNC 2, RNC 0 by the Forward

When it comes to rabbis scheduled to speak, it’s DNC 2, RNC 0

The Democratic National Convention last week prominently featured not just one, but two rabbis.

But so far, no rabbinic representation has been announced in the publicly-available schedule for the Republican National Convention, which began Monday morning.

The absence this year is conspicuous as Republican leaders hope to lean on the Trump administration’s pro-Israel policies in an attempt to make a dent in the Jewish vote, which has been solidly Democratic for generations. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will speak to the party convention via satellite from Israel on Tuesday, breaking a longstanding norm that the nation’s top diplomat stays out of domestic politics.

During the last Republican National Convention in 2016, a rabbi asked to give a benediction quickly became the center of controversy. Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, a Modern Orthodox rabbi who presided over the conversion of Ivanka Trump, was invited to give a prayer before backing out after receiving criticism from his New York City congregation.

While no rabbis appear to be scheduled for this year’s Republican convention, Rabbi Joshua Stanton, a Reform rabbi from New York City, will be delivering an invocation at a breakaway conference for anti-Trump Republicans on Monday night, JTA reported.

President Trump received nearly a quarter of the Jewish vote in 2016, and still enjoys strong and enthusiastic support from segments of the Orthodox and secular Jewish communities. Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, a Haredi Orthodox leader, issued a rare endorsement of Trump last month.


David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein covers breaking news and international Jewish communities for the Forward. You can reach him at Klein@forward.com and on Twitter @davidianklein .

No rabbis scheduled to speak at Republican convention

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When it comes to rabbis scheduled to speak, it’s DNC 2, RNC 0

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