By Tim Nerozzi
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump sent warm wishes to mark the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. The President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump who is also Jewish took to Twitter, to celebrate the holiday.
“Melania and I wish all Jewish people Shana Tova and send our warmest greetings to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah and the start of the High Holy Days…”
Melania and I wish all Jewish people Shana Tova and send our warmest greetings to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah and the start of the High Holy Days… pic.twitter.com/uMrHHX5il0
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
What It Means:
The Jewish holiday message from Trump accompanied an official press release on the topic of Shana Tova, explaining the occasion and expressing well-wishes for Jewish families worldwide.
“Today, we reflect on the importance of religious liberty and ask that the Almighty bless Jewish families, both in the United States and around the world.”
Trump’s press release went on to mention past persecutions of Jewish populations and admiration for their “perseverance.”
“The Jewish people have endured and overcome unthinkable persecution and suffering. Yet, despite the challenges they have faced, their strength and perseverance continue to inspire us all.”
Why It Matters:
Trump has found notable popularity among Israeli citizens, both Jewish and secular. As Trump was leaving the Iran Deal in May of this year, a Politico poll found that 59% of Jewish Israelis had a favorable opinion of the Trump presidency, with only 19% holding unfavorable opinions. Even among non-religious Israelis, 45% had favorable views, with 30% having unfavorable opinions.
The decision to officially recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was a controversial policy domestically and invited criticism from fellow member countries of the United Nations. However, it only further served to swell favor among Israelis, inspiring celebratory demonstrations.
Nationally, Trump has had a far more difficult time winning over Jewish voters, though some trends suggest that more Jews are voting Republican (in particular within the Orthodox Jewish community).
A survey conducted by the American Jewish Committee found that opinion amongst American Jews regarding Trump’s Jerusalem was roughly even. Some 46% of American Jews agreed with Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem while 47% disagreed with the move.
What People Are Saying:
“Grateful to @POTUS Trump and his administration for the year that was-,” said Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, on Twitter, “withdrawing from Iran deal, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, rock solid support at UN, and so much more.”
Dermer added that he was “hopeful for an even better year ahead.”
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, is a convert Judaism and also tweeted out a holiday message.
“Happy New Year to Jewish people all over the world!” Ivanka said. “Shana tova u’metuka!”