Yael Ivanka Marie Trump (b. 1981) was born in New York City and is the daughter of famous billionaire Donald Trump. After earning an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and working for a couple of firms, she started her first big venture, a jewellery line and Madison Avenue store (called ‘Ivanka Trump’). She then joined the family business and is now an Executive Vice President at the Trump Organization, one of the world’s largest real estate development companies (with over 22,000 employees). In 2012, she was voted ‘Businesswoman of the Year’. Meanwhile, Trump was also a model for over a decade, both on fashion runways and magazine covers, and has appeared on a number of TV shows. In 2009 she published her first book. Shortly before this, Trump formally converted to Judaism (taking on the name ‘Yael’) through the Modern Orthodox Yeshivat Ramaz in New York, after a long and difficult period of studies with Rabbi Elie Weinstock. Soon after, she married businessman Jared Kushner, with whom she has two children. Trump has said she learned to cook just for Shabbat, and compares each Friday night dinner to Thanksgiving. She’s described it as a day to spend with family, “No email, no TV, no Internet from Friday night to Saturday night. It’s incredibly restorative… It’s an amazing thing when you’re so connected to really sign off.”
Words of the Week
A man must always observe the honour due to his wife, because blessings rest on a man’s home only on account of his wife.
– Rabbi Helbo, Talmud (Bava Metzia 59a)
Scarlett Ingrid Johansson (b. 1984) The daughter of a Danish architect father and a Jewish producer mother from the Bronx, she was named ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ in 2006. Actor, model, singer, a Global Ambassador for Oxfam and a critic of the media’s obsession with body image. Her most notable film role was alongside fellow Jewish actress Natalie Portman in The Other Boleyn Girl, and most recently in Iron Man 2, alongside fellow (half) Jewish actor Robert Downey Jr.
UPDATE : Since first writing about Scarlett Johansson nearly a decade ago (she was one of the very first Jews of the Week!), her fame and success has grown tremendously. She has become one of Hollywood’s highest-paid stars, and in 2017 officially became the highest-grossing actress of all time, with her movies having earned over $3.6 billion. Some of that is owed to her popular role as the Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Johansson is also an active and generous philanthropist, and a proud supporter of Israel. Among the many organizations she supports are Stand Up to Cancer, Too Many Women, Oxfam, and USA Harvest. In 2012, she was honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Words of the Week
Life and death are in the hands of the tongue. – King Solomon (Proverbs 18:21)
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.