It's a new genre – Open Letters from Kike-Breeders to The Kike Trump

An Open Letter to Ivanka Trump from One Jewish Mom to Another

By Jordana Horn, Kveller, July 25, 2016

Dear Ivanka,

Last week, you stood up and spoke in front of the world. But what concerns me most is your silence.

Ivanka, you may be a beautiful, smart, and successful daughter of the man who would be King—but you are also a Jew. And I am calling on you as a Jew—especially as a Jewish mother—to stand up for a better world for your children.

I know you know the story of Purim, because I saw your pictures of your mishloach manot on your Instagram feed. For those who don’t, though, Queen Esther was the once-upon-a-time Jewish queen of Persia, and is the heroine of the Purim story. When the king was about to unleash an unjust massacre on the Jews, she could not remain silent—even though technically, she could, because no one but her uncle Mordechai knew that she herself was Jewish. But she couldn’t remain silent because she felt an imperative—the undeniable tug of having to do what was right. She told the king that he could not massacre all the Jews, because she herself was Jewish.

When you stood on that stage at the Republican National Convention last week, the eyes of the world were on you. You gave a great and compelling speech that showed that actually, you’re a Democrat, but that’s neither here nor there. But, sadly, you were not our Esther.

As a fellow Jewish mother, I desperately wanted you to say something like this: “I need to take a stand here and now against the groundswell of hate that has burst up from our country like a horrible tidal wave. We stand at a fork in the road, where we have the choice of who we will be. And this party needs to step toward making America great, not making America hate. This party needs to realize that America is a place where no one should be persecuted for the color of their skin or for what they believe. Anti-Semitic death threats to journalists are unacceptable in an open democratic society. I say that as a member of this party, and I say that as a Jew.”

Instead, you smiled and waved. You let your golden hair be fanned out behind you by a windblowing machine, as you smiled beatifically at millions. You said nothing.

Your silence was complicit, and damning.

Many pieces have been written as to whether your father is an anti-Semite. “He can’t be—he has a Jewish daughter!” many say.

I don’t know if your father is an anti-Semite. Actually, I don’t think your father holds any deep beliefs of that sort, simply because I don’t think your father holds any deep beliefs other than his passionate belief in himself and his greatness. What matters to me is that your father has gleefully ridden this wave of horrible anti-Semitic hate and vitriol, along with the other waves of various racist stripes. He surfs it, without caring what is in the wave or what happens when it hits the shore.

“Kol yisrael areivim ze ba zeh.” All of Israel is responsible for one another. We cannot sit idly by when our fellow Jews are being tormented. Your obligation, as a Jew and as a Jewish mother, was—and is—to stand up and speak out against hatred, not to be its beautiful figurehead.

I write as a mother to another mother: Surely neither of us wants our Jewish children to grow up in a world where random people feel comfortable sending them emailed pictures of Jews getting shot in the head, or being herded into ovens. I don’t know you personally, but I know, in my gut, that it is impossible that a mother would want that kind of world for her children.

It won’t be easy to take a stand against this hate. Maybe you worry that, in the climate your father and your father’s party have created thus far, it will put you and your family at risk. Maybe you don’t believe my feeling that you are already in danger, whether you know it or not—we all are. But please do what is right, for your family and for your people.

You and I went to the same university, once upon a time. There is a gate on campus I always found inspirational. In wrought iron, it bears the saying, “We will find a way, or we will make one.”

Please help make a way for this country to go from darkness to light—if not for our sakes, then for our children’s.

Letter to Ivanka Trump, from One Jewish Mother to Another

Alissa Hirshfeld-Flores, The Times of Israel, November 22, 2016

Dear Ivanka Trump:

Now is your Queen Esther moment.

You have probably studied the Book of Esther as part of your conversion process to Judaism, and perhaps even attended Purim celebrations and carnivals with your kids.

As a reminder, Esther, a Jewish girl, was chosen as the new queen of the King of Persia. When she took her position, the king had a minister, Haman, who felt threatened by the Jews in the kingdom, and vowed to commit genocide against them. He even picked the date for the slaughter. Esther, a new timid queen, was encouraged by her relative Mordechai to speak truth to power. While initially afraid to approach her king, lest she be punished herself, Mordechai encouraged her, telling her that it was perhaps for the very purpose of saving her tribe that she was chosen for her position. She ultimately found her voice and spared the lives of all of her people.

Ms. Trump, as you are an astute woman, I’m sure you know that many minorities–legal American citizens–feel threatened right now in this post-election climate, whether they are Hispanic, peaceful Muslims, African Americans, LGBT people, Jews, or women. They feel that the country they call home is no longer safe for them. Their fear has escalated in proportion to the rising number of hate crimes perpetrated during the campaign and since the election. Now the fears have risen further, since your father, the President-elect, chose Stephen Bannon, promoter of the alt right, with their white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideology, as his chief counsel and strategist. Your father has also proposed Jeff Sessions, who has a long history of bigotry, as his choice for Attorney General. Imagine what kind of message this sends to people of color and to Jews. Certainly not one of unity or that anything is going to become great again.

As you know, Judaism espouses the belief that ALL people–even people who don’t look, think, speak, or believe as we do–are created in the image of God. And according to Jewish law, to save even one life–by preventing violence, for example–is to save an entire world. What beautiful teachings!

I beseech you, as one Jewish mother to another, one concerned for the lives of our children and future generations, and for the beautiful planet that they live on, to seize your Queen Esther moment, to implore your father to denounce hatred and those who perpetuate it.

Thank you.

(Alissa Hirshfeld-Flores is a licensed marriage and family therapist, Jewish Spiritual Director, and published author, who resides in Northern California.)

An Open Letter to Ivanka, from One Jewish Mother to Another

By Hadley Davis Pierson, The Sisterhood

Jewish Daily Forward, February 1, 2017

Dear Ivanka-Yael,

I’ve been wanting to write. It’s been almost two weeks since you became our first Jewish First Daughter, but as a fellow Jewish mother I thought I’d wait until the kids and nanny were settled into your lovely, new DC home and Arabella was adjusted at Jewish Primary Day School. JPDS sounds like a no-brainer! What more could we want for our children — or the kids of America for that matter — than a school, which, according to its website, is intent on “fostering a deep sense of mutual respect and pluralism” in “compassionate” students?

I have to say, you remind me of one of my closest friends – another East Coast prep school blonde who converted to Judaism (after she fell in love with a fellow med student at Yale). I remember how intensely she studied the laws and traditions of the Torah – all of those stories and holidays and prayers — for her conversion. The only way in was to be all-in. By all accounts you were, too, picking the Hebrew name Yael (“God’s strength”) and impressing the tough, three rabbi panel known as a Beit Din, along with your devout Kushner in-laws.

I, on the other hand, have non-practicing Presbyterian in-laws. Shabbat at my house is better known as “pizza night” and pepperoni is permitted. We don’t shut off our phones or refrain from using transportation like you and Jared do – unless you’ve got a special rabbinical pass for inaugural balls. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the Pikuach Nefesh supposed to be invoked when one’s life is in danger? For example, if you had to jump in a car von Trapp-style to escape the Nazis and it happened to be after sundown on a Friday?

There I go. Observant or not, it never takes long for us Jews to reference the Shoah does it? As a kid I sometimes pretended to be Anne Frank in our attic crawl space. I’d bring a composition notebook into a dim corner and scribble away as quietly as possible. I guess this kind of imaginative play is expected when your parents take you to visit gas chambers while you’re still in elementary school. “The world stood by and let this happen,” my father told me outside of a crematorium in France.

Somehow, even my 10-year-old mind connected that afternoon at Struthof to Bounn Hong, a refugee who escaped through the jungles of Laos and cleaned our house while she learned English and saved up for cosmetology school. Hers was the shared story of my ancestors who fled pogroms in Poland and your husband’s survivor grandparents. I haven’t committed many biblical quotes to my mostly secular memory, but I do know this one: We were all strangers in Egypt.

I’m guessing you’re pretty aware that the fact your dad’s Muslim Ban was decreed on Holocaust Remembrance Day struck a ton of American Jews as egregious. Some said the timing was purposeful – kind of like the weird omission of the word “Jew” and the number “six million” from the Remembrance Day statement.

I’ve heard you’re well aware the Internet scoffed when, after the sun fell last Saturday, you powered up Instagram and shared yourself in that shiny silver dress en route to the Alfalfa Club (an organization so frivolous it was named after a plant that “can’t get enough to drink”). The problem was, what with the detentions and protests unfolding, your image bore the image of indifference; the kind of indifference Elie Wiesel meant when he wrote: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”

Ivanka, mom to mom, citizen to citizen, me (reform Jew) to you (modern-orthodox Jew), I am writing today to ask for a sign. Send me a sign that you are not, in fact, indifferent. That when you see a photo of a dead Syrian toddler washed up on a Greek beach you share my visceral understanding: he could be my child. That you subscribe to the Talmud’s teaching “(S)he who saves one life, saves the world” along with Hillel’s question you tweeted in September, “if not me, who? If not now, when?”

Because I do want to believe – to paraphrase JPDS Head of School and Argentinian immigrant Naomi Reem’s message – you’ve moved to Washington intending to harness the creativity you’ve shown in business, your Ivy League education and Jewish moral values for tikkun olam. Because, Ivanka-Yael-first-Jewish-First-Daughter, no Jewish American woman-who-works has ever been more powerfully positioned to help repair the present moment than you.

Best wishes,


(Hadley Davis Rierson’s television and feature film screenwriting credits include Dawson’s Creek, Spin City, Scrubs and Disney’s Ice Princess. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Teen Vogue and the Los Angeles Review of Books.)

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