By COLlive reporter
Charlottesville, Virginia is usually a quiet and low profile place. But this past Thursday saw some movers and shakers come from all over the country in hopes of snapping up the Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyards for a good price.
American billionaire and TV personality Donald Trump sent his entourage to the foreclosure auction. When the sale took longer than expected, his representative and lawyer Jason Greenblatt inquired about a place for Shabbat.
Greenblatt, who has worked for “The Donald” for more than 15 years, is a Shabbos-observing Jew.
The Trump team secured the winery (for $6.21 million) but had run into several setbacks with paperwork, which ran late into Friday. The seller, Mrs. Patricia Kluge inquired and understood.
Upon hearing his dilemma, she quickly remembered meeting the local Chabad Shliach Rabbi Shlomo Mayer at a dinner in November 2010.
A phone call from her led to last minute arrangements for Greenblatt at a hotel and a spot at a Shabbos table set for 65 people at the Chabad House at the University of Virginia.
Students were in for a special treat when Greenblatt enthralled them with tales of the lengths he goes to to honor the Shabbos.
“I’ve worked for 48 hours straight on big deals, I’m talking about 800 million dollar deals, when I’ve just gone to Mr. Trump and said as apologetically as possible, ‘I’ve done all I can and the holiday starts in 2 hours.’ Donald would say to me, ‘Go home and pray. Go be with your family.'”
Students were shocked to hear that Trump had called on Friday just to make sure Greenblatt was set up for the Shabbos. Deeply impressed, one student announced it was time for him to finally make the commitment to keep Shabbos.
It seems like even before he announces his presidential run, Trump has made a positive impact on many.