By Mica Soffer, Publisher of COLlive
A Jewish man in his late 40s, sporting a shy smile and a black yarmulka, has been one of the people frequenting Chabad of Downtown Cleveland’s temporary space at 55 Public Square.
His name is Jason Greenblatt, a resident of Teaneck, NJ, who holds the title Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at the Trump Organization.
He is in town to watch his boss, Donald J. Trump, accept the nomination of the Republican Party for President of the United States. Greenblatt also serves as his adviser on Israel.
Throughout the convention this week, Greenblatt was seen mingling and holding friendly conversations with party members and activists from the Jewish community.
Following davening Shachris and enjoying a quiet breakfast at Chabad (under the watchful eyes of a bodyguard) on Thursday morning, Greenblatt took the time to field a few questions from COLlive.com:
1. How’s the Republican National Convention going, in your opinion?
I would describe the RNC as an incredible success.
2. There’s talk about divide (as evidenced by Ted Cruz’s speech last night)…
First of all, the overwhelming majority of the speakers, including Mr. Trump’s children, have spoken passionately and brilliantly about Mr. Trump, the type of man he is and the type of leadership that he can provide; leadership our country so desperately needs.
I think the RNC has also been a galvanizing event for the Republican Party.
Some individuals may choose to focus on the fact that Ted Cruz failed to endorse Mr. Trump, and I was extremely disappointed in Senator Cruz’s failure to honor his pledge to support the candidate nominated by the Republican Party, but I think the response to Mr. Cruz’s remarks has actually served to show beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is tremendous unity in the Republican Party and tremendous support for Mr. Trump.
And the best is yet to come with Ivanka Trump and Mr. Trump speaking this evening.
3. How was your experience at Chabad near the RNC?
It has been a humbling and rewarding experience. Throughout this campaign, I have met so many people and witnessed incredible achdut (unity) from the community at large, and that achdut is definitely present at the Chabad.
Of course, achdut does not mean that we agree on everything, but it does mean that our goals and priorities can be shared and discussed in responsible, open and thoughtful conversations so that people with different views can come to learn more about one another and support one another.
My time at the Chabad, before and after davening Mincha and Maariv in the lobby of the arena, has been spent meeting new people, engaging in those types of conversations and answering questions about Mr. Trump’s views and positions on the issues that people care about.
5. Mr. Trump’s running mate Mike Pence expressed support for Israel last night. What can we expect from Mr. Trump tonight in that regard and in his presidency?
Mr. Trump has made no secret of his support for Israel and his commitment to keeping Israel strong, safe and secure. As to what Mr. Trump will say this evening, your readers will have to tune in to find out, but there can be no question that a Trump administration will be a true friend to Israel.
6. Will Mr. Trump be visiting Israel before the general elections?
Mr. Trump has an incredibly packed schedule facing him over the next several months. While he would very much like the chance to visit Israel before the election, it is uncertain whether it will be possible considering his existing commitments.
Tune in tonight to COLlive.com for a live broadcast of Donald Trump officially accepting the nomination of the Republican party
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