By COLlive reporter
This past Yom Kippur, an elderly woman entered The Shul of the Nation’s Capital, the Chabad center in Washington, DC, and slowly made her way through the women’s section, reports Gershon Burstyn in Mishpacha Magazine.
The woman walked with difficulty, and all seats were already filled. The women present didn’t notice her — aside from Ivanka Trump, Senior Advisor to the President, her father Donald Trump, who was sitting in the front row.
“As soon as she noticed the elderly woman, she stood and gave up her own seat,” recalls Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Head Shliach of Washington, DC. “[Ivanka] remained standing for the rest of the tefillah, even though it was a fast day. Others offered her their seats, but she declined.”
The Shul is attended by members of Congress and staff at the White House, including two key members, including Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, Assistant Treasury Secretary Moishe Silk, Assistant Treasury Secretary David Eisner, and Assistant to the President Avi Berkowitz.
“I was very moved by that episode,” Rabbi Levi Shemtov told Mishpacha Magazine. “It’s easy to conduct yourself properly when you’re under the glare of cameras and lights and media. But to do so on Yom Kippur, when no one is photographing or following you shows something about your internal qualities. Later, I was told that it also made a deep impression on many other young women praying there.”
Rabbi Shemtov, who directs American Friends of Lubavitch, says the Kushners first came to his shul shortly after President Trump’s inauguration. He says he was immediately impressed by their humility.
“They tend to avoid honors and just blend into the shul with the other mispallelim,” he said. “They come in like everyone else [their significant security detail maintains a respectful distance], and make time to speak to everyone, and their children play with the other kids. They really don’t play up their status. And people appreciate that.”