G-d fearing Jews – devout Jews. “We were surprised to see how many have given before to Democrats, but never a Republican.”
Orthodox Jews opening up their wallets for Trump in 2020
Hanukkah came a month early for Donald Trump this year.
Though he polls as generally unpopular with Jews and has even been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks in office, New York’s Orthodox enclaves are kvelling over the president — and even raised $4 million for him at a Midtown banquet last week.
“[He’s] the first Hasidic president,” gushed Yossi Garelik, an Orthodox rabbi in Crown Heights who voted against Trump in 2016.
“Literally right before he went into office when Obama abstained at the U.N. in December 2016 [jeopardizing Israeli settlements in the West Bank], Trump said, ‘January 20th everything will change.’ I said,’ This guy means business.’ I completely converted.”
He is not alone. In 2018, 91% of Orthodox Jews rated President Trump’s job performance as “satisfactory” or “very satisfactory” — with 82% saying they would support him again in 2020, Ami Magazine, a Jewish weekly, reported.
This is in opposition to less-religious Jews, 71% of whom voted for Hillary Clinton, according to the Pew Research Center.
And the Orthodox are not just opening their hearts to the Republican president, they’re opening their wallets.
Trump attended a $25,000-per-couple luncheon last week at a Midtown hotel, where 400 moneyed Orthodox machers raised at least $4 million for the America First SuperPAC.
One guest, Brooklyn real estate mogul Rubin Schron, is a longtime Dem donor — and benefactor to Joe Biden’s failed presidential campaign in 1987.
“Many of the people who attended were Chuck Schumer donors,” Kelly Sadler, an America First spokeswoman told The Post, noting the political converts at the event. “We screened all of the people in attendance, and we were surprised to see how many have given before to Democrats, but never a Republican.
“People were standing up on their chairs chanting … eight more years,” she added.
“Over the years I haven’t seen any galvanized, concentrated effort for a political candidate like this,” Rabbi YY Jacobson, who introduced the president at the lunch told The Post. “They are very moved by the leadership he’s shown in security and defense against terror and the support of Israel.”
Orthodox leaders say they’ve embraced Trump because of his pro-Israel policies, including voiding the Iran nuclear deal. Some pointed to Trump’s commuting of Hasidic meatpacking boss Sholom Rubashkin‘s 27-year-sentence for bank fraud and money laundering in 2017.
“Everyone has been talking about moving the embassy to Jerusalem. He didn’t talk, he just did it and you know what — the world didn’t implode,” said Yossi Gestetner, a marketing executive and co-founder of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council. “Every other administration likes to squeeze and press Israel right, left and center and he doesn’t do it.”
The Trump lunch was the first event of its kind, according to Sheya Landa. “You never had an event like this. The closest thing was a lunch for George W. Bush with maybe 30 people.”
Trump eagerly returned the love.
“I worked with my father in Brooklyn, on Ocean Parkway, and 97% of the people I knew growing up were Jewish,” he told the crowd.
To laughter, he claimed to have a “98% approval rating” in Israel (69% Israelis expressed confidence in Trump, a Pew poll found). He continued: “If anything happens here, I’ll take a trip over to Israel and be prime minister there.”
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