Students at the elite private high school that Jared Kushner attended were encouraged to send letters thanking President Donald Trump for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Parents aren’t happy about it, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Though the Frisch School describes itself as an Orthodox Jewish and Zionist high school, some of the students’ parents aren’t thrilled about President Trump. Several parents see the letter-writing campaign as “sycophancy” — a word used more than once in forums and complaints, Haaretz reports — and think the school should have asked them for their approval before encouraging their kids to get involved in political activity.
On Tuesday, students at the New Jersey school received an email from Rabbi David Sher, the school’s Israel education and advocacy director, encouraging kids who “believe that the president made the right decision" on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month to sign a pre-written letter and send it off to the White House. Sher’s email noted that the campaign was sponsored by NORPAC, a right-wing pro-Israel political action committee.
Parents protested that students hadn’t been asked to write letters commenting on the president’s recent racist remarks, only letters of support for Trump’s pro-Israel stance.
"As a religious Zionist school, we encourage our students, as civic-minded American citizens, to write to the administration when they agree or disagree with the government's policies regarding the State of Israel,” Frisch principal Rabbi Eli Ciner told Haaretz in an email. “In this particular case, many of our students strongly supported the president's decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and our AISAC club (the American Israel Student Action Committee) has facilitated their ability to express this support through the NORPAC campaign."
Kushner, a senior adviser to the president and husband of first daughter Ivanka, isn’t the only Trump link to the school. Trump’s former lawyer, now envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, is also a parent at the school. Parents were not pleased that he was asked to speak to the students last month, according to Haaretz.