Security forces respond with tear gas after supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol security in Washington D.C., United States on January 06, 2021. Pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers were set to sign off Wednesday on President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory in what was supposed to be a routine process headed to Inauguration Day. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

By Shira Hanau

On Wednesday, some Orthodox Jews took their support for Trump to the next level, traveling to Washington to participate in the Trump rally that turned into a mob.

Michal Weinstein, a pro-Trump Instagram influencer who organized a pro-Trump rally in the Five Towns in October, declined to comment on the violence. “I don’t want to be part of something that’s going to paint Trump supporters as evil and bad,” she said.

But her co-organizer of the October rally, Cedarhurst Dentist Gila Jedwab, went to Washington for the rally, posting a photo of herself in front of the Capitol to Facebook. That photo was also given to the 5TJT and featured on the front page of the paper.

Gila Jedwab at the Capitol building before rioters broke in.

Jedwab posted on Facebook: “You know how the media paints Israel as a war zone, then when you go you see it’s life as normal. That was my experience on the streets of DC today. The small pockets of violence, which I saw none of, were magnified and distorted to fit the left anti Trump agenda.”

Jedwab, a regular columnist for the Five Towns Jewish Times, counseled disappointed fans that the fight is not over. “Nothing is confirmed,” she said in the comments section of her post. “But lots of ppl [are] talking about military intervention.”

Some of the Orthodox Jewish Trump supporters who attended traveled to the rally on specially chartered buses from Orthodox Jewish communities, some of which were organized in special WhatsApp groups. One person who attended the rally said there were at least eight buses to Washington organized by Orthodox Jews.

A tweet by President Trump that has since been deleted. The president is banned from Twitter and Facebook for at least two weeks.

Orthodox Jews were present at the rally where President Trump spoke Wednesday, telling the crowd to “walk down to the Capitol” and that “you will never take back our country with weakness.” But many Orthodox Trump supporters condemned the violence that followed when protesters stormed the capitol.

For some, it appeared to be a moment of reckoning that made them reconsider their support for the president. But many claimed that the mob was the result of meddling by Antifa or of people who were not really “conservative” co-opting the movement. Others compared the mob to the Black Lives Matter protests last year.

It was a shameful day, they said, but it did not make them regret their support for Donald Trump.

“Had John Roberts heard that case and legitimately heard that case and Trump would have lost, I probably wouldn’t have gone today,” Nachman Mostofsky said, referring to a petition to the Supreme Court to hear a case over alleged election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The court rejected the petition.

Mostofsky, who serves as executive director of Chovevei Zion, a politically conservative Orthodox Jewish advocacy organization, was in Washington for the opening of the new session of Congress and extended his stay to attend the protests. He said he left before the storming of the Capitol, and condemned the violence that took place there.

He was also one of many Orthodox Jews who took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to  compare Wednesday’s events to the racial justice protests that spread across the country last year.

“No conservative will condone what happened today, the actual storming of the Capitol … it was unpatriotic,” he said. “But we heard for months during the summer when people don’t feel heard, this is what happens.”

Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew who represented the heavily Orthodox neighborhood of Borough Park for decades in the New York State Assembly, said he was horrified by the violence and, although he himself questioned the results of the election back in November, called the president’s claims about election fraud “malarky.”

“Biden won by 7 million votes,” he said, noting that virtually all claims of voter fraud brought by the Trump campaign were found to be without evidence. “Every single case was almost, without exception, the courts ruled against Trump.”

While Hikind said there was no point in continuing to claim that Trump won the election, he defended the rights of Trump supporters to protest in support of the president. He said Wednesday’s events went far beyond that.

“What happened today was very different, the violation of laws, taking over the Capitol. I mean my god, the irony of this is that the Republicans are the ones who talk about law and order,” he said. “What a contradiction, what hypocrisy.”

But he also said it was hypocritical to speak out about violence at the Capitol after racial justice protests during the summer sometimes turned violent.

“As much as what we saw today was an absolute horror especially because it happened at the Capitol, but it was only a short while ago that you had violence all over this country,” Hikind said. “My party, the Democratic party, was not so vociferous and so outspoken in terms of that violence.”

Eli Steinberg, an Orthodox writer who lives in Lakewood, New Jersey and who voted for Trump, called the violence “an awful moment.”

“It’s sad and scary and I’m kind of grappling with what does it mean that we’ve gotten to this point, and what does it mean for what comes next,” Steinberg said.

But he also didn’t see the episode as reason to regret his support for Trump.

“It bothers me that this moment has to be seen that way,” he said. “Seventy-four million people voted for him. 74 million people were not involved in this moment and did not agree to this moment.”

Agudath Israel, an advocacy organization for haredi Orthodox Jews, did not issue a statement. The Orthodox Union, an organization representing Modern Orthodox synagogues, joined the Conference of Presidents of Jewish Organizations, of which it is a member, in issuing a statement condemning the violence Wednesday. On Thursday, the Orthodox Union issued its own statement condemning the violence. “We call upon President Trump to do all that is in his power – and it is indeed in his power – to restore that peace,” the organization said.

The National Council of Young Israel, an Orthodox synagogue association that has been outspokenly pro-Trump in the past, also “strongly condemned” Wednesday’s events, saying in a statement that “the violent protests and wanton attacks that we witnessed today are deplorable and a dangerous assault on the very foundation upon which this nation is built.”

The Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, which are generally more liberal than Orthodox organizations, both condemned the mob’s actions.

On social media, some Orthodox leaders denounced the violence. Chaskel Bennett, a leader of Agudath Israel, called the violence “reprehensible and frightening.”

Others seemed to downplay it.

Yossi Gestetner, who runs the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Committee, told his followers to “relax” and called the rioters’ actions as entering “a building unauthorized.”

He tweeted again later, seeming to question whether there were any alternative to violence as a remedy to a “stolen” election.


The WhatsApp groups created to organize travel and meetups for Orthodox Trump supporters at the rally were divided. Some members condemned the mob, but others thought the violence was worth it. After one person wondered what the rest of the world must be thinking, another responded: “You gotta fight for freedom.”

Some alleged that the violent protesters belonged to Antifa, a loose network of anti-fascist activists who sometimes dress in all black and engage in street fights with right-wing extremists. Trump and his supporters have sought to portray Antifa, often without much evidence, as a threat to public safety.

One member sent a screenshot supposedly showing an announcement to Antifa members to show up for “election day” wearing Trump gear. One claimed in a voice message, “I bet you right now that people who started the rioting part was Antifa.”

Mostofsky said that even if he didn’t support the violence, the grievances that caused the protest — over what Republicans have baselessly claimed is widespread election fraud — couldn’t be ignored and wouldn’t go away.

“The country is being gaslit by the media and by the courts and by the Democratic Party and by some in the Republican Party,” he said. “What you saw today was frustration, I don’t condone it … but I understand where it came from.”

He added: “This is going to get worse, it’s not going to get better.”

Source: JTA and local reporting


  1. What a great example of a chilul hashem. Nice going 5TJT. Our democracy came under attack yesterday by crazy people who can’t accept the will of the people – led by the president. And you choose to spotlight them on your cover. What’s wrong with you?

  2. I think the posting the picture of Dr. Jedwab is representative of the fantasy many Trump supporters have been living.

    You say in the caption that “She returned to New York before the violence broke out.”

    Really? Look behind her, the Capitol has already been breached and people are illegally occupying the outer parts. Possibly, they are already inside and rampaging, as so many photos have shown. Who knows, maybe by now people have already died. As I write this, five people are known to have died.

    In any case, it was foolish to publish this photo, knowing what was happening behind Dr. Jedwab while she seems to be so proud of herself for being part of this national tragedy.

  3. Seriously? Dr. Jedwab actually wants to minimize what was an outright invasion of the US Capitol, the seat of our government, and then blame Antifa and the left for the behavior of these Trump supporting thugs? Sure, she is entitled to her opinion. Tell her opinion to the numerous uniformed Capitol police who were injured by these delirious rioters hell-bent on overturning an election by force, because they just did not like the results. Furthermore, pushing the ludicrous claims that our entire election this year was “stolen”, when no credible evidence has been put forward that was acceptable to any court in the entire country, was just a Trump tactic to make President Trump into King Trump. I am angry, insulted and feel violated. Mr. Larry Gordon, you can continue to pump out columns in your paper, as is your right, about how probable it is the election was “stolen” from Trump, but that just makes you a toady, a tool, to him. Honestly, if this election had been truly “stolen”, there would be an overwhelming majority of Democrats elected to both the Senate and the House, and that is not something we saw. The Democrats have a razor thin majority in the Senate, and we all know that given the divisions in that party it is not likely they will always vote as a single bloc. This fantasy of a stolen election is the fantasy of a stole kingdom for Trump, nothing else. The man is even mulling granting himself a presidential pardon (and all of the members of his family), in anticipation of being convicted of Federal crimes. The majority of his pardons have been to associates and supporters, get out of jail free cards, for those who have broken the law on his behalf.

    • This is on the money. But you’re yelling into the void of a whole bunch of Q’Anond and brainwashed crazies.

      Good luck getting through to them. This community is headed in the wrong direction and is probably too far gone.

      Right-wing extremists ruining this country. May God bless us all.

  4. “Camp Auschwitz” shirts on members of the mob. Confederate flags in the Capitol, and one tied to the door of the Heritage Museum.

    You are the company you keep, Trumpkins.

  5. President Trump has been the best friend of the Jewish Community. Most Jews realize that, the haters and liberals that commented here speak for no one. Thank you Larry Gordon for reflecting reality.

  6. Thank you 5TJT for once again speaking the truth. This paper means more to us than Rabbi Hain. Its his fault that Beth Sholom is a dying shul. Yasher Koach!

  7. Yasher Koach! Great article, this is why the 5TJT is the heart of the five towns! Ignore Rabbi Hain, everyone in his shul does, his liberalism is what is killing Beth Sholom. Keep up the good fight!

  8. Larry thanks for posting this. As usual, you are spot on! I will be bringing lots of copies of the 5TJT to my soon to be former shul, Beth Sholom.

  9. Gila, you are my hero! Keep it up, never give into the haters or cancelers. Larry, that goes for you too! Love the 5TJT so much! And President Trump too!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. As a member of Beth Shalom, I want to say that majority of the shul does not agree with Rabbi Hain. Rabbi Hain has been out of touch with his community and his consultants for over 5 years. His gaslighting and libertarian views are an insult to his members and the entire community. It is time he stepped down and found a new community to push his liberal views. He spoke this past Shabbos about this topic and how we should more or less join the Biden train, over half of the members were disgusted with his speech. Please do not judge Beth Shalom on the merits of a renegade Rabbi.

    It is also not shocking that YIW came out against it. When it comes to supporting the left wing agenda they are at the front of the line in condemnation. The hypocracyy is that you don’t hear a word from them when child molesters, dead beat fathers or cheating husbands are allowed to come to shul without a word being said from thesee “RABBIS”

    LARRY keep up the good work

    • agree fed up jew, I just called the beth sholom office to cancel my membership. no way does hain speak for me, how dare he give the impression that he speaks for the community. it is looong over due for him to go!

  11. It is an outrage that a FREE paper in a FREE country needs to defend publishing a simple article highlighting a national event. Gila is a wonderful person who holds views shred by thousands in our community. No one said you can’t have a different opinion and 5TJT is open to any comments on the matter. Unfortunately, some “rabbis” and “leaders” believe that they own ppl and can ignore their rights, free speech, and human decency. Trying to destroy someone publicly for political differences is shameful.

    I didn’t see YI stand up against BLM when they burned down buildings screaming antisemitic slogans. These self-righteous jewish liberals marched with BLM on Central as political prostitutes that they are, but no one condemned a single person featured in 5TJT articles then.

    Larry, don’t give them a hand, they’ll bite off an arm!

  12. Actual quotes from Politicians over past few years:
    “They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman {Trump}, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,’” said Joe Biden.

    “Everyone beware. They’re not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after election day … They’re not gonna let up, and they should not.” ~ Kamala Harris

    “people need to start taking to the streets” “There needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there’s unrest in our lives,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.,

    Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., was shown urging supporters to harass members of the Trump administration.
    “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

    “This is as much about public outcry, organizing and mobilizing and applying pressure,” “Make the phone calls, send the emails, show up. You know, there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there’s unrest in our lives.” ~ Ayanna Pressley

    I do not think Trump said any thing as close to promoting violence like this.
    All violence that occurs must be condemned, but this does not come close to the damage done by Democrats.
    It’s been said for years that Democrats are always comfortable with a certain level of violence, yet when there is a minor uprising from the Republican supporters they scream from the rooftops.

  13. History reveals that there have been Jews on both sides of controversy and there were Jews around Hitler in the 1930s (friends). Trump Trump Trump certainly has Jews around him. But what is going on today is that Trump aligned his base with a horrible group of people which I call Repugnicans instead of Republicans. Hitler in Trump? Not only Hitler but some of the worst qualities that have existed in other leaders including Democrats. Please take time to share this link to learn that the overthrow of the United States was being attempted before Pearl Harbor and see for yourself just how the events were predictable although the trouble was probably expected in the streets. Trump has been the best president for some Jews. I will actually include two links to share. I know the “huge” mistakes made by Trump well.


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