By COLlive reporter
President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday announced the nomination of his long-time business counselor and election-time advisor David Friedman to serve as the United States Ambassador to Israel.
“He has been a long-time friend and trusted advisor to me,” Trump said in a statement. “His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East.”
The nomination was practically received with an applause by the frum Jewish community in the Five Towns of New York’s Long Island, where Friedman lives and to which he has donated charitable funds over the years.
“It’s wonderful and great news,” said Dudi Farkash, an associate at the Brooklyn Financial Group who has taught Friedman’s children at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR).
“David is a warm Jew,” Farkash told COLlive.com on Friday. “His door is always open and he has helped many people and institutions. I know him as a very kind and charitable person who loves Israel with all his heart.”
Friedman is a founding partner of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, a national law firm with approximately 350 attorneys and was one of Trump’s principal advisors on the US-Israel relationship during the campaign.
He has been a generous philanthropist to Jewish causes, including various Chabad centers, United Hatzalah of Israel, and Aleh Negev in Israel, one of the world’s most advanced facilities for the care of severely disabled children.
For close to 17 years, Friedman has been learning on a regular basis with Rabbi Zalman Wolowik, Director of Chabad of the Five Towns in Cedarhurst, NY. Friedman has been regularly attending the gala banquet of the International Kinus Hashluchim in New York.
“He’s at the Kinus with us every year and he would not miss it for anything,” said Sholom Jacobs, a real estate owner and an active member of Chabad of the Five Towns. “He’s a big supporter to many organizations in the Five Towns.”
Friedman, an observant Jew who maintains a part-time residence in Israel in addition to Woodmere, had his bar mitzvah celebrated at the Kotel in Jerusalem 45 years ago. He is a fluent speaker of Hebrew and a lifelong student of Israel’s history.
On Thursday, Friedman expressed his resolve to be a rock-solid partner with the Israeli leadership as our two countries seek to advance our mutual interests and keep our people safe, Trump’s transition team said.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by the confidence placed in me by President-elect Trump to represent the United States as its Ambassador to Israel,” said Mr. Friedman.
“I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
With Mr. Friedman’s nomination, President-elect Trump expressed his commitment to further enhancing the US-Israel relationship and ensuring there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries.