By COLlive reporter
Just days before Pesach, dozens of Jewish community leaders from across the United States converged upon the White House for a special meeting with senior administration officials.
On Tuesday evening, the leaders – who are affiliated with a spectrum of organizations and institutions – gathered at the reception in the ornate Indian Treaty Room in the White House’s Eisenhower Executive Office Building, to discuss various pertinent issues on the minds of members of their respective communities.
The Pesach atmosphere was palpable, with guests given Matzah and other Yom Tov related gifts, one attendee said.
Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who directs American Friends of Lubavitch – Chabad in Washington, DC, spoke about the upcoming Passover holiday. He also mentioned the Rebbe‘s birthday, to significant applause, reading from a Proclamation signed by the President just a few hours prior to the event.
Video: Remarks by Rabbi Levi Shemtov
Elan Carr, Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combatting Anti-Semitism and other senior officials addressed the gathering and listened intently to the community’s concerns. They vowed to do everything within their ability to continue to combat the scourge.
Following the event, several media outlets reported that the majority of Jewish leaders invited to this meeting were Orthodox – something unprecedented in the annals of the US government.
But the White House did not exclude any denomination; there were guests belonging to non-Orthodox denominations as well, according to Duvi Honig, Founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce.
Of particular note are many Orthodox Jews who hold senior positions in the administration, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Special Advisor Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador David Friedman, among others.