Rabbi who helped Ivanka convert shreds Trump’s Charlottesville statements

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The New York City rabbi who assisted Ivanka Trump during her 2010 conversion to Judaism released a scathing denouncement of President Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville, Va., in a letter to his congregation Wednesday.

Rabbi Emeritus Haskel Lookstein said in the letter, obtained by New York magazine, that the president should have more forcefully denounced neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups involved in Charlottesville clashes with counterprotesters, resulting in the death of one counterprotester and the injury of at least a dozen others. 

“We are appalled by this resurgence of bigotry and antisemitism, and the renewed vigor of the neo-Nazis, KKK, and alt-right,” the letter reads. “While we avoid politics, we are deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered in his response to this act of violence.”

{mosads}The letter comes as the president continues to face backlash for his response to the racially charged violence in Charlottesville that was spurred by a white supremacist rally. 

The president continued to voice his belief that “both sides” were responsible for the violence during a bombastic Trump Tower press conference on Tuesday. 

“You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest,” the president said, referencing those who said they protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

“Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch,” he continued. 

The first daughter condemned the violence in Charlottesville on Twitter last Sunday, but she has made no public remarks on the matter since. 

Lookstein penned the letter along with Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz and Rabbi Elie Weinstock to the members of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, which is located in Manhattan.

Lookstein was slated to give the invocation at last year’s Republican National Convention but stepped down due to backlash from various members of the Jewish community. 

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