How Did Avi Berkowitz Begin Working For Jared Kushner?

Jared Kushner (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik), Avi Berkowitz (Twitter)

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Avi Berkowitz, adviser to US President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner and Special Representative for International Negotiations, participated last week at a virtual symposium on the Abraham Accords hosted by Yisrael Hayom, the Kohelet Policy Forum, and the Shiloh Forum.

Berkowitz, 31, who learned at Yeshivas Kol Torah in Jerusalem after high school, was interviewed by Kohelet Policy Forum Chairman Moshe Kopel and among other things, told him how he began working for Jared Kusher.

After learning at Kol Torah, Berkowitz moved back to the States and enrolled at Ner Yisrael in Baltimore. He eventually transferred to Queens College, earned a bachelor’s degree, and then attended Harvard Law School.

“I met Jared Kushner on Pesach in 2011 in Arizona during a basketball game,” Berkowitz said during the interview. “At the time I didn’t know who he was but we began talking and we won several games together.”

“Later he suggested that I come work for him at Kushner Companies and the rest is history.”

“Regarding the Middle East staff, I joined them after I worked for the [2016 Trump] presidential campaign. I joined the White House as an adviser to Kushner and later replaced Jason Greenblatt as the US envoy to the Middle East when he left.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. @Derekh_Eretz_Kadmah- what a horrible comment. He has been nothing short of a kiddush hashem and has accomplished so much for E”Y and for us here in the US.

  2. Anybody in such a high flying position who has a mezuzo on his door in the White House is someone to be proud of.
    Sure, i eat Shmura and dont carry in the Eiruv, am makpid on Chazon Ish shiur etc. and he (in all probabilty) does not, but if I was in HIS position, i’d probably be Machelel Shabos and married to a goy etc. etc.. He is doing remarkably well for someone in that spot.
    Yes, he may have what to improve, but hey, so do we all, it’s not about how high you are, it’s about how many rungs you climb, and about how much effort you put in.

  3. Speaking loshon hora is acceptable only about chiloni politicians who consciously disregard the Torah.
    Speaking about a person who publicly accepts the Torah, but is unaware of certain halochos or falls prey to his Yetzer Hora is OSSUR. Even if he is a politician.
    Have you never been Oiver on Issurim Min HaTorah, (Chilul Shabbos, Bitul Torah, Loshon Hora, Ribbis etc.?)

  4. this looks like the front cover of some jewish paper publication “how did a berkowitz begin to work for jared” when people all know how they met at a passover program maybe you guys at ywn should also run an article “how eichman was captured” when we all know the story already like the heimishe publications all like to do

  5. My basis for asserting (as I did in my first comment) that we should not be proud of Jared Kushner is emphatically not a matter of merely his personal religious standards, and certainly nothing to do with the type of khumros and hiddurim that “GotAGoodPoint” mentioned.

    To hold that the public behavior, record and image of one or more individuals or groups who are conspicuously identified as Jewish, especially if Orthodox specifically, creates problems for all of us who so are so identified, is not the same as presuming to stand in personal judgment of any individual. Likewise for acknowledging that, at a minimum, we should take care not to publicly celebrate or praise such problematic entities, at least not without careful qualification.

    I would elaborate but I have already made at least two previous attempts at doing so, at the expense of considerable time, both of which have apparently been rejected by the moderators.