Trump picks 11 Jews to serve in his administration
US President Donald Trump has given crucial roles to pro-Israel American Jews by appointing at least eleven influential members in his administration, reports say.
The president’s Jewish advisers, who are expected to play key roles in shaping the US policy during Trump’s four years in office, include his son-in law, Jared Kushner, who is serving as a senior adviser in his administration.
Jared Kushner: Senior adviser
Kushner, 36, who is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, will work on the Middle East and Israel as well as partnerships with the private sector and free trade, without receiving a salary, according to The New York Times.
Kushner also played an influential role in Trump’s presidential campaign, especially on Israel. He also worked on Trump’s speech to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in March 2016.
David Friedman: US ambassador to Israel
Trump has appointed Friedman to serve as ambassador to Israel. Friedman has previously expressed support for Israeli’s illegal settlements, and funded construction in the occupied territories. He has even expressed doubt about the future of the two-state solution.
Friedman, who speaks Hebrew, has decided to live in his own personal apartment in al-Quds (Jerusalem) rather than residing in the Ambassador’s Residence in Herzliya.
Stephen Miller: Senior adviser
Miller, who has described himself as “a practicing Jew,” has played a key role in Trump’s campaign by writing his speeches for rallies. The thirty-one-year-old joined the Trump campaign in early 2016.
Jason Greenblatt: Special representative
Trump has appointed Greenblatt to work as special representative for international negotiations focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as US-Cuba ties and American trade agreements with other countries.
Greenblatt has long been chief legal officer for the Trump Organization. He studied at West Bank Yeshiva University in the mid-1980s and did armed guard duty in the occupied territories.
Gary Cohn: Top Economic adviser
Cohn is walking away from a career at Goldman Sachs to head the White House National Economic Council with a salary of $285 million.
Steven Mnuchin: Treasury secretary
Mnuchin, who worked as Trump’s national finance chairman during the campaign, serves as Treasury Secretary. Trump and Mnuchin have been friends for 15 years.
Boris Epshteyn: Special assistant
Epshteyn, a Republican political strategist, works as special assistant to the president. He is in his early 30s and has appeared as a surrogate for Trump on TV during his presidential campaign.
Shulkin, 57, will lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), if confirmed by the Senate. He is the current undersecretary for health, and would be the first holdover appointment from the administration of former President Barack Obama.
Carl Icahn: Special adviser
Icahn, 80, a businessman and investor, is Trump’s special adviser on regulatory reform issues. He is working as a private citizen rather than a federal employee or special government employee.
Cordish, a longtime friend of Trump’s family, serves as assistant to the president for intra-governmental and technology initiatives.
Avrahm Berkowitz: Special assistant
Twenty-seven-year-old Berkowitz is serving as special assistant to Trump and assistant to Jared Kushner. Berkowitz, who was finishing up his last semester at Harvard Law School last year, directed a Facebook Live talk show for the Trump campaign. He also worked for Kushner Companies.