Ivanka Trump’s Rabbi Backs Out of Delivering Prayer at GOP Convention
WASHINGTON ― Rabbi Haskel Lookstein on Friday reversed an earlier decision to deliver the opening prayer at the Republican National Convention next week after facing a deluge of criticism from his former students who questioned how he could lend tacit support to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“In the interest of bringing our community together, I have asked to be relieved of my commitment to deliver the invocation. My request has been honored with the same love and respect in which it was first offered and intended,” Lookstein wrote in an email. It was sent Friday and addressed to the “Ramaz Family,” those affiliated with an Orthodox Jewish Day School that Lookstein, until recently, headed.
According to Lookstein, he was invited to the convention by Ivanka Trump, who is a member of the Kehilath Jeshurun synagogue, where Lookstein is the Rabbi Emeritus, to appear at the convention in Cleveland on Monday. He accepted, apparently unaware of the political firestorm the decision would ignite.