(JTA) — Trayon White Sr., the Washington, D.C., councilman who suggested on Facebook that rich Jews control the weather, will attend a Passover seder.
White will attend the first-night seder of another Council of the District of Columbia member, Elissa Silverman, The Washington Post reported. He had received invitations from numerous Jewish leaders to attend their seders in the wake of his statements about “the Rothschilds,” and also has been invited to have a dialogue by many Jewish leaders in the city, according to the report.
A public breakfast meeting between the D.C. Council and about 20 Jewish community leaders is scheduled for Tuesday. It was organized by Phil Mendelson, the Council chairman, and Rabbi Batya Glazer, government liaison for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.
White, a Democrat representing the district’s 8th Ward, posted a video early on March 16 in which he accused “the Rothschilds” of controlling the climate to make money — an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that has gained traction on the web. He later removed the video and issued an apology.
The Rothschilds are a well-known European Jewish dynasty descended from a Jewish banker originally from Germany.
Several days later, a video went public in which White at a government gathering last month said that the Rothschilds control the World Bank and the federal government.
Internet conspiracy theorists claim that the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities initiative, which provides grants to cities, including Washington, to address environmental and economic problems, is part of a plot to control and reduce the population of North America. And some conspiracy theorists also think the Rothschilds, working together with the Rockefellers, have technology to control the weather.
The council members’ initial “clear lack of reaction” to White’s comments is “disturbing,” Glazer told the Post.
Silverman, who will host White for the seder, issued a statement describing his Rothschild comments as “hateful and dangerous.” She told the Post that his ignorance about Judaism and anti-Semitism is a call for engagement.
“I want to be very clear that anti-Semitism has no place in civic discussion, but this has shown that there is a lack of exposure to Judaism and anti-Semitism … there are strains of this, especially in Trayon’s community,” she said. “The way to combat intolerance is to engage.”