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The question of whether Ms. Ivanka Trump represents promise for the Jewish community in America is the focus of this essay. When attempting to comprehend what the Jewish people think of Ivanka Trump, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of the past and experiences of Jews in America. Clearly, the 20th century was a significant time for the Jewish people's global appearance in the American Jewry landscape. (Rosman 115). In comparison to Russia and Australia, the United States of America had more than 1.2 million Jews at the beginning of the 20th century, making it the largest concentration of Jews in the globe. At the moment, New York City is home to the biggest and most well-known Jewish population. As Rosman (123) observes, America has been home to barley 60,000 Jews and out of this, New York accounts for an estimated 40% of the proportion. The main reason behind the unique boom of the American Jewish population was immigration. For instance, more than 40% of the Jewish population in America between 1900 and 1924 were newcomers mainly from Europe. The massive immigration radically reshaped and transformed the reputation of the Jewish community in America resulting in heavy settlement of Jews in East Coast cities (Rosman 127). Additionally, the Jewish immigration led to the realignment of American Jewry's priorities and politics thereby injecting new elements of nationalism, tradition and socialism into the communal life of the Jewish people.
In spite of Jewish immigration into America, antisemitism in institutions and among respected individuals affected the Jewish community during the interwar years (Rosman 134). The latter became a serious issue especially when camps, privates schools, workplace and resorts began imposing quotas and restrictions against the Jews. For example, spectacular people like father Charles Coughlin who was a widely listened priest and Henry Ford, contributed in public attacks against Jews tarnishing their patriotism and character. Furthermore, the young Jewish community experienced attacks and physical danger which later became a commonplace for the Jews. Currently, the Jewish community remains focused at burying their differences and stressing their interdependence as result of the great depression and economic hardship they have experienced in the past (Rosman 139). Nonetheless, the Jewish community in America have made a great attempt to unite in self-defense against some key issues such as religious division among the Conservative, Orthodox and Reform Jews which resulted in intercommunal conflicts over beliefs, rituals for a long time (Feld 122). Furthermore, Communism and Zionism were the main divisive issues that raised significant questions concerning the obligations of the Jews and the role their life had in America.
The relative impact that the new world pattern has on American Jews is the central argument concerning the history of the American Jews (Weissbach 133). This argument has over since echoed a prolonged controversy as to whether United States has remained historically unique in terms of the Judaism reform movement. Towards that end, some scholars view the experience of American Jews a period of unique emancipation where the Jews are assumed to have put up a good fight in order to obtain full civic rights in America and the nations beyond within the 20th century. In this regard, Green (n.p) expresses the concerns of the American Jews in the current century and how they are still prone to antisemitism within America. In comparison to the biblical story of Esther, a Jewish woman who concealed her identity in order to be married to a powerful king, Green (n.p) suggests that Ivanka Trump is a perfect epitome of Esther's character. Even though this example is not a perfect allegory, she believes that the identity of Ivanka Trump as a Jew will save the American Jews against social injustices and destruction of their temples and centers of worship.
Green (n.p) asserts that Ivanka, President Trump's daughter, has a strong gentile political figure coupled with an accidental and familial position of influence, thereby proving that she is the savviest Jewish in America at the moment. Markedly, Ivanka converted to an Orthodox Jew which seems to be a significant identity to the American Jewish community. Henceforth, Ivanka is basically caught up in a dilemma as she makes great strides into her public obligation as the world's most powerful president's daughter. In this regard, she has to figure out the role she has to play towards being a champion of her own Jewish community, especially when she does not understand their needs and expectations clearly. Ideally, the greatest threat to American Jews is terrorism especially when their temples and centers of worship are targeted by terror groups as well as the intolerance for minority groups which typically pops out during the presidential campaign trial. In addition, the Jewish community is more concerned about Israel's future. Therefore, Trump's presidency and the marriage between his converted daughter Ivanka and the Orthodox Jew Jared Kushner is a source of hope and determination among the Jews who consider Ivanka and her father's presidency as their villains.
Evidently, the majority of the Orthodox Jewish voters from Florida voted overwhelmingly for Trump as a result of Ivanka and Kushner's affair, which they believe would mark an end to antisemitism among the American Jewish community (Harberman and Niraj n.p). Ivanka is considered as an astute ambivalence for all the American Jew community, especially those from the Orthodox community. In other words, Ivanka will be in a position to look into the interest of the Jew community, such as their civic rights and social freedom among other things. Furthermore, the Jews also believe that they have an individual who holds their heart's interests close to the center of power with the Trump's presidency. Tacitly, American Jews have high expectations from Ivanka Trump. As Green (n.p) observes, they expect her to advocate for the interests and identity of the Jewish community publicly. Therefore, it is worth mentioning that American Jews yearn for Ivanka to be a deeply embedded representative who will rise up and save them from their ruin in the end. Arguably, maintaining members from the Jewish community in key positions of governance is considered an act of salvation among the Jews because it helps them gain their identity in private schools, obtain wealth by securing connections in the government and turn out as respectable members in society.
The recent bomb scares that were called into all community centers used by American Jews in the country, such as centers in Chicago, Buffalo, Okla. and Birmingham, show how much the Jewish community suffers from insecurity and antisemitism (Harberman and Niraj n.p). President Donald Trump has remained strongly committed to rebuking anti-Semitic statements following the conversion of his daughter Ivanka into Judaism. On numerous occasions during his presidential campaigns, Trump promised to do away with hate-motivated violence and hatred (Harberman and Niraj n.p). This implies that American Jews suffer from violence and hatred that has deprived them of the right of association and personal freedom. However, with Trump's presidency and the union between his daughter and Kushner, it is crystal clear that actions and statements that are likely to signify antisemitism are no longer acceptable whatsoever. Similarly, Ivanka Trump is considered as an ideal savior of the American Jews' collective anxiety, especially with the election of her father Donald Trump as the President of the United States.
In retrospect, the extent to which American Jews crave an American president who holds their interest at heart is possibly explained in the way they voted overwhelmingly for Trump's presidency, even though Hillary Clinton would have been their best candidate. This implies that American Jews, especially the Conservative and Orthodox Christians, made a calculation with Trump's presidency, hoping that Trump would be able to create a pro-life justice system on America's supreme court. Notably, the calculations made by both Orthodox and conservative Christians simply signify the level of injustices and deprivation that American Jews have to contend with while staying in the United States. Ivanka is torn between authenticity, moral responsibility, and the assimilation of the American Jews. Therefore, she is meant to stand firm as a true champion of her people as well as a key reform to the Jewish history regardless of what happens to the history of American politics. Henceforth, the whole term of Trump's presidency and the union between her daughter and Kushner will provide a great moment of rest and sigh of relief from all actions and activities related to antisemitism within America. This will signify maturity and development of the anti-Semitic politics on the American platform.
Feld, Marjorie N. Nations Divided: American Jews and the Struggle Over Apartheid. Routledge, 2014.
Green, Emma. "Ivanka Trump's Orthodox Judaism and Anti-Semitism in the Presidential Campaign." The Atlantic, 4 Sept. 2016, www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/what-should-american-jews-make-of-ivanka-trump/498476/. Accessed 3 June 2017.
Harberman, Maggie, and Niraj Chokshi. "Ivanka Trump Calls for Tolerance After Threats on Jewish Centers - The New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia, 20 Feb. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/02/20/us/politics/ivanka-trump-jewish-community-centers.html?_r=0. Accessed 3 June 2017.
Rosman, Murray J. How Jewish Is Jewish History? The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2009.
Weissbach, Lee S. Jewish Life in Small-Town America: A History. Yale UP, 2008.
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