Official of US Orthodox groups to advise Trump’s Israel envoy


(JTA) — Aryeh Lightstone, a longtime official in U.S. Orthodox Jewish organizations, will advise David Friedman, the just installed U.S. ambassador to Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday that the State Department confirmed that Lightstone, at one time the New York regional director of the National Council of Synagogue Youth, an Orthodox Union affiliate, would have an advisory role at the embassy. It did not say in what capacity.

Lightstone also is a co-founder of Mekorot, an online Jewish education portal, and has served in rabbinic roles on Long Island. According to his biography on the Orthodox Union website, he has ties to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s Jewish daughter who is advising her father in an unpaid position.

The Senate last month confirmed Friedman, a longtime lawyer to Trump, in a mostly party line vote. Friedman was controversial in part because of his deep philanthropic investment in the settlement movement and for his insulting broadsides targeting liberal Jews, for which he has offered regrets.

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