There are 14 declared Republican presidential candidates as of this writing — with two more about to announce — but only one can boast of a Sabbath-observing family.
That would be Donald Trump, whose daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism to marry Livingston native Jared Kushner.
“I have great respect for [the Shabbat traditions], and I see Ivanka during Saturday, and from Friday evening on through Saturday night, she won’t take phone calls and they live a very interesting life,” Trump told an interviewer from the JNS news service. “And it’s actually a beautiful thing to watch, with Jared and Ivanka. In a very hectic life, it really becomes a very peaceful time. So there’s something very nice about it.”
Most of the other candidates have expressed loud support for Israel — not least New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. On Tuesday night, Former New York Governor George Pataki held a campaign event in Teaneck’s kosher Doghouse sports bar. But Trump insists that his history with the Jewish people and the Jewish state can set him apart from the rest of the crowded GOP field.
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Mr. Trump. “The rest of them are all talk, no action. They’re politicians. I’ve been loyal to Israel from the day I was born. My father, Fred Trump, was loyal to Israel before me. The only one that’s going to give Israel the kind of support it needs is Donald Trump.”
If nothing else, he has plaques on his walls from Jewish organizations attesting to his support — which he read to his interviewer. He spoke with pride of a video endorsement he gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Israel’s December 2013 election.
And he noted his role as grand marshal of New York City’s annual Salute to Israel Parade (now the Celebrate Israel Parade) in 2004, “at a time when it was quite dangerous to do that,” and “a pretty tough time for Israel.”