There are many reasons to participate in a presidential inauguration, from free publicity to civic duty, but Marvin Hier, the rabbi who agreed to speak at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration later this month, has a special reason all his own: his foundation has received $35,000 in funding from Trump’s extended family.
Hier is a founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, “a global human rights organization researching the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context” according to their website. They also operate the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and are building another in Jerusalem.
Donations to the Wiesenthal Center came not from Trump himself but from a foundation run by the parents of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, called the Charles and Seryl Kushner Family Foundation.
Trump has had troubling finding rabbis to work with him in the past. For instance, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein dropped out of the Republican national convention, where he was scheduled to appear, after facing a backlash from anti-Trump Jews.