Battle of the Jewish sons-in-law: Clinton vs. Trump

Somebody had better put a mezuzah on the doorframe of the Lincoln Bedroom.

Whoever ends up winning the election in November, one thing seems certain: For the first time in history, Jews will be in the president’s inner family circle.

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have Jewish sons-in-law, and of course Bernie Sanders is Jewish himself (though his daughter-in-law is not).

With the head-to-head contest between the two likely nominees heating up, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the sons-in-law.


Marc Mezvinsky and Chelsea Clinton on July 31, 2010 photo/jta-genevieve de manio

Who’s married to whom

Jared Kushner: Age 35. Wife is Ivanka Trump, 34. Married in a Jewish ceremony on Oct. 25, 2009.

Marc Mezvinsky: Age 38.  Wife is Chelsea Clinton, 36. Married in an interfaith ceremony on July 31, 2010.



Kushner: CEO of family real estate firm Kushner Properties and owner-publisher of the New York Observer.

Mezvinsky: Investment banker and co-founder of hedge fund Eaglevale Partners.



Kushner: High school at Frisch, a Modern Orthodox yeshiva in Paramus, New Jersey; B.A. from Harvard (sociology); J.D. and MBA from New York University.

Mezvinsky: High school at Friends Central in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania; B.A. from Stanford (religious studies and philosophy); M.A. in international relations from the University of Oxford, England.


Kushner: Grew up in Livingston, New Jersey. His father, Charles, ran a real estate empire until his imprisonment and is involved in various Jewish philanthropic endeavors. His mother, Seryl, is involved in the family’s business and philanthropy. He has three siblings.

Mezvinsky: Grew up in Philadelphia area. Both parents served stints in Congress as Democrats. His father, Edward, served two terms from Iowa in the 1970s (and decades later went to prison). His mother, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, a former TV journalist, served a single term from Pennsylvania in the mid-1990s. His parents are now divorced, and he has one full brother, four half-siblings and five adopted siblings.


Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in September 2015 photo/jta-wireimage-getty images-bobby bank

Professional track record

Kushner: Often described as a wunderkind, Kushner has doubled the assets of his family’s real estate empire since taking over as CEO in 2008. In 2014, Kushner Properties did $2 billion in transactions.

Mezvinsky: Worked at Goldman Sachs for eight years before launching Eaglevale in 2011, which now has $326 million under management. But the hedge fund is down about 1 percent in 2016, largely because of a bad bet on Greek bank stocks and government debt.

Campaign involvement

Kushner: Helped draft Donald Trump’s AIPAC speech, advises him on Israel issues and would be involved in assembling Trump’s White House transition team. Kushner’s newspaper endorsed Trump for president.

Mezvinsky: Appears at non-political events with the Clintons, but has no known involvement with his mother-in-law’s campaign.

Jewish practice

Kushner: Belongs to a Modern Orthodox synagogue, Manhattan’s Kehilath Jeshurun, observes Shabbat and kosher restrictions, and is raising children as Jews.

Mezvinsky: Grew up in a Conservative synagogue, has been seen in shul on occasion with Chelsea and is raising daughter with both Jewish and Methodist traditions.

Wife’s relationship to Judaism

Kushner: Ivanka underwent an Orthodox conversion after studying with an Orthodox rabbi. She now observes Shabbat and keeps a kosher home. “We’re pretty observant, more than some, less than others. I just feel like it’s such an intimate thing for us,” she told Vogue magazine. “It’s been such a great life decision for me. I am very modern, but I’m also a very traditional person, and I think that’s an interesting juxtaposition in how I was raised as well. I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity.”

Mezvinsky: Chelsea is still a practicing Methodist. The couple married in an interfaith ceremony featuring a chuppah and co-officiated by Rabbi James Ponet of Yale University and Methodist Rev. William Shillady.

Why father went to prison

Kushner: Charles Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, secretly recorded the encounter and sent the tape to his sister as part of a blackmail scheme. He served 16 months after guilty pleas to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations.

Mezvinsky: Edward Mezvinsky bilked friends, family and strangers out of some $10 million in bogus schemes disguised as investments in Africa and oil development. He served five years after pleading guilty to 31 counts of felony fraud, including bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud.


Kushner: Stylish 10-room apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side at Trump Park Avenue.

Mezvinsky: A sleek apartment in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, on 26th Street, that the couple bought in 2013 for $10.5 million.


Jared and Ivanka: Daughter Arabella Rose, 4; son Joseph Frederick, 2; son Theodore James, 2 months.

Marc and Chelsea: Daughter Charlotte, 1, and one on the way (due this summer).


Kushner: “Baby-faced,” “sandy-haired” and “handsome.”

Mezvinsky: Bespectacled with a perennial 5 o’clock shadow.