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Jared Kushner

(1981 - )

Jared Kushner, born on January 10, 1981 in Livingston, New Jersey, is the son of real estate developer Charles Kushner. When his father was imprisoned amid financial and political scandal, Kushner took over the family business and also went into publishing with his purchase of The New York Observer. In 2009, he wed Ivanka Trump, daughter of another real estate mogul, Donald Trump. Kushner served as a close political advisor to Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and his transition to the White House. His grandparents were Holocaust survivors that moved to the United States in 1949. He was named a senior adviser to the president in January 2016.

Jared Kushner and the Kushner family have had a long, friendly relationship with Israel and Israeli officials.  When Jared was a child, a family friend named Benjamin Netanyahu stayed in his room while visiting his parents.  Young Jared slept in the basement.  Over the years Kushner's family has donated millions of dollars to Jewish hospitals in the Unites States and Israel.  The Kushner family donated $58,500 to West Bank settlements from 2011-2013, according to IRS filings.  These donations were used to fund schools and hospitals.  

As a young boy Kushner attended elementary school at the Hebrew Youth Academy in Livingston, New Jersey.  When he was in eigth grade, one of his classmate's older sisters was killed in a bus bombing in the Gaza Strip.  Years after attending, the school was re-named the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, in honor of Jared's father.  While attending the Frisch School in northern New Jersey for high school, Kushner participated in daily prayers, and studied Hebrew.  Kushner stopped regularly wearing a Yamurkle after he began his undergraduate studies at Harvard University in 1999, but often spent time at the University's Chabad house.  

After dating for almost two years, Kushner wed Ivanka Trump, daughter of Ivana and Donald Trump, in October 2009 in Bedminster, New Jersey. The couple have three children — Arabella, Joseph and Theodore. Ivanka converted to Orthodox Judaism, which is Kushner’s faith.

In 2008, he took over his family's company after his father was jailed for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions, and witness tampering.

Despite coming from a Democratic family, Kushner became a key advisor to Trump as he campaigned to become the Republican nominee for president in 2016. Kushner reportedly worked with Trump on various campaign activities, including merchandising, crafting speeches, social media outreach, and the selection of Indiana governor Mike Pence as the vice presidential candidate.

In one election controversy, Kushner along with Trump’s eldest children successfully called for the dismissal of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Kushner found himself involved in another political storm during summer 2016 when Trump tweeted an anti-Semitic image originally posted on an alt-right message board, labeling Hillary Clinton as corrupt with an image evocative of the Star of David and money in the background. An uproar ensued over the anti-Semitic implications of the post. Kushner defended Trump via the Observer and said his father-in-law was not an anti-Semite, stating that the presidential candidate should not be blamed for messaging from supporters, many of whom harbor hate-filled, destructive views.

After Trump won the presidential election on November 8, 2016, Kushner became a central part of his transition team. Despite speculation that Kushner would return to his personal business ventures post-election, in January 2017, Donald Trump's transition team announced that Kushner would be named as a senior adviser to the president.  In April 2017, Kushner, as Trump's surrogate, visited Iraq after he was invited by Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Kushner's real estate company currently holds loans that contain millions from both foreign and domestic entities. In 2016, the Kushner family net worth is estimated to be $1.8 billion, the majority of which is in real-estate property holdings, according to Forbes.  Kushner and his family are Modern Orthodox Jews, keep a kosher home, and observe the Jewish Sabbath. In 2017, federal disclosures suggested Kushner and his wife had assets worth at least $740 million.

Source:  Morello, Carol.  Jared Kushner’s family foundation donated to West Bank settlements, Washington Post, (December 5, 2016);
Kantor, Jodi.  For Kushner, Israel Policy May Be Shaped by the Personal, New York Times, (February 11, 2017);
Haberman, Maggie.  Jared Kishner Visits Iraq on Invitation from Joint Chiefs of Staff, The New York Times, (April 2, 2017);
Jared Kushner: The son-in-law with Donald Trump's ear, BBC, (April 13, 2017); 
Jared Kushner,, (May 16, 2017);