Despite Misgivings, Jewish Donors Open Wallets for Donald Trump — and Sign Up To Raise Big Bucks by the Forward

Despite Misgivings, Jewish Donors Open Wallets for Donald Trump — and Sign Up To Raise Big Bucks

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Sheldon Adelson was the first, to commit to Donald Trump’s campaign, and now other Jewish donors seem to be flocking to the presumptive Republican nominee’s camp, offering their support and prying open their pocketbooks.

Several Republican Jewish Coalition leaders are on board or on their way to join Trump’s finance committees, in charge of providing the massive funding needed to run a national presidential campaign, according a Jewish Republican source and a published report.

“Jewish donors want to know that Donald Trump, as the Republican standard bearer, represents their values,” said Daniel Retter, a New York lawyer who supports Trump and who has provided advice to the campaign on outreach to Jewish Republican donors. “These are self-thinking, very sophisticated people who want assurances from the candidate that he will lead America in the right way.”

An agreement struck Tuesday between Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee set up two parallel fundraising operations. The Trump Victory fund, which will raise money for the presidential candidate, the RNC and for 11 local parties in battleground states. Lew Eisenberg, RNC finance chairman and a Republican Jewish Coalition board member, will head the fund. The other body, Trump Make America Great Again Committee, will raise money only for Trump’s presidential campaign and for the RNC. Trump’s campaign and the RNC announced the formation of the committees Tuesday night. Setting up joint fundraising operations will allow individual donors to give significantly larger contributions than they’d be permitted under law when giving only to the presidential campaign.

Eisenberg, a Wall Street financier and investor who has raised millions for Republican local and national races, served as chairman of the Port Authority during the September 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.

The fund will coordinate its work with Trump’s finance committee; it’s chaired by Steven Mnuchin, a hedge fund manager and son of a prominent Jewish philanthropist and art collector.

Other Jewish Republican major donors may also be on their way in to the Trump Victory fund. They include, according to a [recent report] ( Elliott Broidy, Ron Weiser, and Wayne Berman, as well as Mel Sembler, all RJC board members and all well-known Jewish Republican activists.

Berman, who told NBC reporter Hallie Jackson he was “supportive” but will not fill an official role in Trump’s finance committee, is a prominent Republican lobbyist and former George H. W. Bush administration official. Broidy, a Los Angeles venture capitalist, backed Ted Cruz in the primary race.

Weiser, who chaired the Michigan Republican party, served as ambassador to Slovakia under president George W. Bush. And Sembler, a Florida businessman, was appointed to two ambassadorships by George W. Bush and by his father. Ambassador positions are considered the highest honor rewarded by presidents to their top and most loyal campaign donors.

A Jewish Republican source, who asked not to be identified in order to avoid hurting his ties with top donors, told the Forward that all mentioned RJC board members are indeed in contact with the Trump campaign and that others could soon be named to the finance committee as well.

Neither the Trump campaign nor the individuals mentioned have confirmed this these details, but they indicate that early reports overstated Jewish Republicans resistance to Trump.

Contact Nathan Guttman at or on Twitter @nathanguttman

Despite Misgivings, Jewish Donors Open Wallets for Donald Trump — and Sign Up To Raise Big Bucks


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.

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Despite Misgivings, Jewish Donors Open Wallets for Donald Trump — and Sign Up To Raise Big Bucks

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