Jewish community center Chabad of Port Washington on long island in Manhasset Bay located in a squat brick building opposite the Shell petrol station and shopping complex. This unremarkable house on an unremarkable street, if not to take into account one feature. Through it run the shortest path linking Donald trump and Vladimir Putin.
20 years ago, when the Russian President began to consolidate his power in the country, he launched a project to eradicate the existence in the country of the Jewish structures of the civil society and replace them with his loyal parallel structure. And on the other side of the earth sassy Manhattan developer trying to get some part of the huge flow of capital, utekesheva from the former Soviet Union in search of a stable Western assets (especially real estate) and partners in new York, with access to the entire region.
Such aspirations made two of these people, as well as the future son-in-law trump Jared Kushner (Jared Kushner) to form the close and overlapping relationships in a small world, the center of which is an international Hasidic movement Chabad, absolutely unknown to most people.
In 1999, Putin has enlisted the support of his two trusted individuals and oligarchs Lev Leviev and Roman Abramovich, which then became the main patrons of Chabad around the world, and created the Federation of Jewish communities of Russia under the leadership of the Chabad Rabbi Berl Lazar, which is today called “Putin’s Rabbi”.
A few years later, trump began a search for Russian projects and Russian capital, joined forces with the company Bayrock-Sapir, which was headed by emigrants from the Soviet Union Tevfik Arif, Felix Sutter and Tamir Sapir, maintained close ties with Chabad. The company’s projects have become the subject of numerous trials on charges of fraud, and in the case of a residential complex in Manhattan had been subjected to criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, the relationship between trump and Chabad gradually strengthened and expanded. In 2007, trump has arranged the marriage of his daughter Sapir and the nearest assistant Leviev, which took place in his posh estate Mar-a-Lago in palm beach. A few months after this ceremony Leviev met with trump to discuss a potential transaction in Moscow, and then organized the circumcision of the first son of the new couple in the most sacred place of Judaism Chabad. Trump attended the ceremony along with Kouchner, who later Leviev bought the building for $ 300 million and is married to Ivanka trump. That, in turn, became close friends with the wife of Abramovich Daria Zhukova. Zhukov took this influential couple in Russia in 2014, and as their guest attended the inauguration of the trump.
This transatlantic Diaspora and some of the largest real-estate developers on a global scale, the trump Tower and Moscow’s Red square sometimes seem to be part of a friendly quarter. Now when the trump of the Oval office announced his desire to refocus the international order in the direction of improved relations with Putin, and the FBI is investigating, trying to find the improper connection between the aides of trump and the Kremlin, the little world of Chabad suddenly acquired disproportionate significance.
Chabad-Lubavitch was founded in 1775 in Lithuania, and today he has dozens, and possibly hundreds of thousands of followers. Its scarcity Chabad compensates with enthusiasm. This movement is known as the most cheerful form of Judaism.
The President of the Zionist organization of America mort Klein (Mort Klein) recalls the impression made on him by the Chabad. It was at a wedding. Two tables occupied cousins of the groom, the rabbis of Chabad. They outdid all of the other guests. “These guys danced like fire. I thought that they were black. But no, black they only had hats,” said Klein, referring to the traditional hats of the Hasidim.
Despite the small numbers, Chabad has become the largest Jewish movement in the world. It is present in more than a thousand cities, including such places as Kathmandu and Hanoi, where he lives, very few Jews. The movement is known for its “Chabad houses” (Beit Chabad), which operate as community centers and are open to all Jews. “Take any God-forsaken city in the world, and there’s sure to be a McDonald’s restaurant and a Chabad house,” says living in new York, the Jewish specialist of public relations Torossian Ronn (Ronn Torossian).
The adherents of Chabad is different from other Hasidic numerous peculiarities in customs and traditions. Men from Chabad wear hats instead of fur hats. Many members of this movement believe their Messiah who died in 1994, the leader of the movement, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and some believe he is still alive. According to Klein, the followers of Chabad are very well able to organize the collection of donations.
Paying serious attention to the preaching work, and attracting to Judaism, an increasing number of Jews throughout the world, Chabad provides services to those Jews who do not fully believe.
According to well-known Rabbi from new Jersey and longtime friend of the democratic Senator Cory Booker (Cory Booker) Shmuel, Boteach (Schmuley Boteach), Chabad offers Jewish third path to religious consciousness. “Jews have three choices, he explains. — A Jew can assimilate without maintaining close ties with religion. It can be religious and Orthodox. And there’s a third possibility that Chabad gives people who do not wish to follow the path of Orthodoxy, but seek to remain within the religious field.”
The third way explains that intimacy which arose at the trump with many enthusiasts and supporters of Chabad, that is, those Jews who shunned the liberal and reformed Judaism, preferring to traditionalism, but are not too religious.
“There is nothing surprising in the fact that supporters of the trump associated with the Chabad, said Torossian. — Chabad is a place where strong and resistant Jews feel comfortable. Chabad is a place where no one is judged, where people are non-traditional, not accustomed to live by the rules and you feel comfortable”.
Speaking about the approaches of Chabad, which is less strict than Orthodox, he makes the conclusion: “If you can’t fulfill all the commandments, do, those who can”.
Torossian, reported, among other things, that he is a friend of Suter and his representative of public relations, explained that such a balance was particularly attracted Jews from the former Soviet Union, who appreciate the combination of traditional attributes and condescending attitude to the observance of customs and rituals. “All the Russian Jews go to Chabad, he said. — Russian Jews uncomfortable in a reformed synagogue.”
The Jews Putin
As is often the case in Putin’s Russia, the state began to support the Chabad result of factional struggle for power.
Becoming in 1999, Prime Minister Putin has enlisted the support of Leviev and Roman Abramovich in the creation of the Federation of Jewish communities of Russia. Its aim was to weaken the Jewish civil society in Russia and its umbrella organization, the Russian Jewish Congress under the leadership of oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky, which posed a potential threat to Putin and President Boris Yeltsin. A year later, Gusinsky was arrested, and he was forced to go into exile.
At that time, Russia already was the chief Rabbi Adolf Shaevich, who found the Russian Jewish Congress. But Abramovich and Leviev put in charge of competing with the Congress of the organization of Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazar. The Kremlin brought Shaevich from the composition of its Council for religious Affairs, and since then recognized as the chief Rabbi of Russia Lazar. As a result, in the country there were two contenders for the post.
The Alliance between Putin and the Chabad benefit both sides. Under Putin, anti-Semitism is not welcome, and this is an important departure from the old tradition of discrimination and pogroms. In addition, the state supports them by the authorized version of Jewish identity, calling Jews an integral part of the nation.
When Putin began to consolidate his power in Russia, Lazar became derisively called “Putin’s Rabbi”. He was accompanied by the Russian leader during a visit to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, was present at the opening ceremony for a pet project of Putin’s Sochi Olympics, which took place on Saturday, when the Jewish Sabbath. Putin as a sign of gratitude he ordered security not to expose the Rabbi’s inspection, as it is against the rules of the Sabbath.
In 2013, under the auspices of Chabad and with the money of Abramovich in Moscow opened Jewish Museum and tolerance center. Putin gave this project their monthly salary, and the successor of the KGB, the Federal security service has offered the Museum the relevant documents from its archives.
In 2014, Lazar was the only Jewish leader who attended the meeting, at which Putin made triumfatora statement about the annexation of Crimea.
But for loyalty to Putin the Rabbi had to pay. After annexation he continued to support the Russian dictator, and that he had a rift with the leaders of Chabad in Ukraine. In addition, the Russian government for years has refused the ruling of the American court on the transfer of the Chabad texts, known as the “Schneerson collection”, the headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch, which is located in Brooklyn. Shortly after the opening of the center of tolerance Putin ordered to transfer the collection to its funds. Thus, Lazar became the guardian of a valuable library, which his Brooklyn comrades believe belongs to them by right.
If Lazar is some kind of remorse for participating in this internal dispute of Chabad, he is pretending not to be. “Challenge of authority is not in the Hebrew,” said Rabbi in 2015.
Trump, Bayrock, Sapir
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world trump in the first years of the 21st century have been looking for projects and investors from the former Soviet Union, and as a result has established strong relationships with the firm Bayrock-Sapir.
One of its leaders was Felix Sutter, who was convicted at the time of connection with the mafia.
Sather and another employee Bayrock Daniel Radloff (Daniel Ridloff), and later began working directly for the Trump Organization, are members of the Jewish community Chabad of Port Washington. Sather told Politico magazine that he is a Board member of Beit Chabad of Port Washington, and is also part of the leadership of many organizations of Chabad in the U.S. and abroad, but not in Russia.
The extent of the ties Suter and trump’s controversial. Working in trump Tower, Sather worked with the famous developer in many projects and was looking for a deal for him in the former Soviet Union. In 2006, Sather was accompanied by trump’s children Ivanka and Donald Jr. in the trip to Moscow in search of potential projects. He especially worked closely with Ivanka during work on the project Trump SoHo, which includes a hotel and residential complex in Manhattan. About this project in 2006 was presented in the TV program “the Apprentice.”
In 2007 it became known that Satero were indicted in stock Scam. That didn’t stop trump, and he in 2010 made Suter “a senior Advisor to the Trump Organization”. In 2011, several buyers of apartments in Trump SoHo has filed a lawsuit against trump and his partners, accusing them of fraud, and the new York district attorney launched a criminal investigation related to sales. But the buyers have settled the matter with the company and agreed not to cooperate with the investigation, which was later discontinued, as the New York Times. Two former Manager filed a suit against the Bayrock, accusing the firm of tax evasion, money laundering, racketeering, bribery, extortion and fraud.
Sather under oath, told about close relations with the Tramp, and the tramp also under oath stated that she knows of the legend and will not be able to distinguish his face in the crowd. Some people who worked in this period with trump and agreed to talk under condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals from both ridiculed the testimony of trump, saying that he often met with Sterom and almost constantly called up to him. One person remembered that trump and Sather had dinner together often, including in the now running the restaurant, Kiss & Fly in Manhattan.
“Trump in about a day called Felix in the office. So his words that he does not know it, this is complete nonsense, — said a former colleague Suter. They were constantly in contact, that’s for sure. They kept talking on the phone.”
In 2014, the Jewish community center Chabad of Port Washington called Suter “man of the year”. At the ceremony in his honor the founder of Chabad, Paltiel Shalom (Shalom Paltiel) remembered how Sather spill the beans, saying that he is an informant for the secret matters of national security.
“I recently told Felix that almost nothing believed his words. It seemed to me that he had seen movies about James bond, I have been reading novels by Tom Clancy, said, Paltiel at the ceremony. — All Felix’s friends know that he is a master of writing stories. I just don’t really believe them”.
But then, Paltiel said that a few years later received special permission to accompany Suter to the ceremony in the Federal building in Manhattan. According to Parties, there are representatives of all U.S. intelligence agencies praised Suter for his secret work and was told “more fantastic, more unbelievable things than what he told me.” A video of the event in honor of the legend is removed from the web site of Beit Chabad of Port Washington, but you can watch it on YouTube.
While preparing this article for publication, I called Paltiel, but he hung up as soon as I introduced myself. I had to ask him about some connections, about which I learned in the process. Paltiel not only maintains relationships with Saerom, it is also on the short leg with the “Putin’s Rabbi” by Lazar. In a short note about meeting him at the grave of Schneerson in Queens, Paltiel Lazar calls his “dear friend and mentor”.
According to Boteach, it is not surprising, because the hBD such a community where everyone knows everyone else. “In the world of Chabad, we all went together in the yeshiva, all of us were ordained, — said Boteach. I knew Berel Lazar study in the yeshiva”.
At the Chabad house in Port Washington is another supporter of Bayrock. Among the 13 major benefactors of this community is to partner Suter and founder of this company Tevfik Arif.
Arif, a former Soviet official who became a wealthy developer. He owns a mansion in Port Washington, located in an affluent suburb. But this is a very interesting patron of the local Chabad. From Arif Muslim name, he was born in Kazakhstan, and is a citizen of Turkey. Arif was not a Jew, talking about working together with people. In 2010, he was arrested during a police search in Turkey on a yacht that once belonged to the founder of the modern Turkish state Mustafa Kamal Ataturk. Arif was accused in the fact that he runs an international crime network, which employs underage prostitutes. Later all charges were dropped.
Before the scandal on the yacht of Ataturk Arif has actively cooperated with the trump, Ivanka trump and Saerom the project Trump SoHo. He was also partner of the family of Shapirov. It dynasty new York estate developers and the second half of the company Bayrock-Sapir.
Its Patriarch, the late billionaire Tamir Sapir, born in Soviet Georgia, and in 1976 moved to new York, where he opened an electronics store in the Flatiron district. As writes the New York Times, this store mainly served the KGB.
Trump Sapir called his “great friend”. In December 2007, he staged a wedding of the daughter of Zina Sapir in Mar-a-Lago. There were Lionel Richie and the Pussycat Dolls. The groom Rotem Rosen (Rotem Rosen) worked as General Director of the American branch of the holding company, Putin’s oligarch Leviev of Africa Israel.
Five months later, in early June 2008 Zina Sapir and Rosen performed the ceremony of circumcision of his newborn son. The invitations to this ceremony Rosen was named “right hand” Leviev. By that time, Levaev became the largest sponsor of Chabad worldwide and personally sought to have the circumcision conducted at the grave of Schneerson that the followers of Chabad is considered the most sacred place.
The ceremony was attended by trump. A month earlier, in may 2008, he together with Mr Levayev discussed possible projects for the construction of real estate in Moscow, as at that time wrote to the Russian media. On taken during the meeting, the picture shows how trump and Leviev shake hands and smile.
In the same year, Sapir, actively participating in the financing of the Chabad, along with by Levayev visited Berlin, where they visited centers of Chabad.
Jared, Ivanka, Roman, Dasha
The ceremony of circumcision of the newborn also was present, Kouchner, who along with his wife, Ivanka trump has developed its own ties with Putin’s allies from Chabad. Family Kouchner, who consider themselves modern Orthodox, has been actively involved in charitable activities around the Jewish world, including in the institutions of Chabad. While studying at Harvard, Kushner took an active part in the work of the University Chabad house. Three days before the presidential election, the couple Kushner, trump visited the grave of Schneerson where he prayed for trump. In January, they bought a house in the Washington area of Kalorama and began to visit the nearby synagogue of Chabad, which became for them a house of worship.
In may 2015, that is, a month before the official joining trump in the presidential race on the Republican primaries Kushner bought from Leviev for 295 million dollars a controlling stake in the old building, the New York Times on West 43rd street.
Kushner and Ivanka trump also have a close relationship with Abramovich’s wife Dasha Zhukova. Big businessman Abramovich, whose fortune is estimated at more than seven billion dollars, owns the British football club “Chelsea”, and before that was Governor of the Russian province of Chukotka, where he is still revered as a hero. His fortune he amassed thanks to the victory in the post-Soviet “aluminum wars”, during which killed more than 100 people who were trying to seize control over the aluminium enterprises. In 2008, Abramovich admitted that he amassed his business Empire, distributing bribes worth billions of dollars. His former business partner, now deceased oligarch Boris Berezovsky, after a quarrel with Putin, left for new York, where he settled in the building of the trump Trump International near Central Park. In 2011, he accused Abramovich in death threats, blackmail and intimidation, filing a claim in a British court. The process won Abramovich.
According to reports, Abramovich was the first to recommend Putin to Yeltsin as his successor. Published in 2004, the biography Abramovich British journalists Dominic Migli (Dominic Midgley) and Chris Hutchins (Chris Hutchins) writes: “When Putin was need secret power to attack his enemies from behind the scenes, he could always rely on Abramovich, who became his voluntary partner”. Biographers write that between these two people developed the relationship between father and son, and reported that Abramovich personally interviewed candidates for positions in Putin’s first Cabinet. According to available information, he gave Putin a yacht for 30 million dollars, while Putin himself denies it.
The business interests of Abramovich and his personal life many times and in different directions intersect with the world of trump.
Researchers from Cornell University in 2012 produced a report, which stated that the company, Evraz, partly owned by Abramovich, has signed a series of contracts under which it will supply 40% of the steel required for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that after many years of procrastination in March approved the trump. And in 2006, Abramovich bought a large stake in Russian oil company Rosneft, which is now carefully checked for possible collusion between trump and Russia. Trump and the Kremlin disparagingly referred to as “fake news” dossier, which claimed that the recent sale of shares of “Rosneft” is part of the scheme, the purpose of which is to ease sanctions against Russia.
Meanwhile, the wife of Abramovich, Zhukova has long been spinning in the same social circles that Kushner and Ivanka trump. She became a friend and business partner ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch, Wendy Deng (Wendi Deng), which has long been friendly with Ivanka. And Zhukov became friends with longtime girlfriend brother Josh Kushner Karlie Kloss (Karlie Kloss).
Zhukov gradually moved closer to Jared and Ivanka. In February 2014, a month before the illegal taking of Crimea from Ukraine, Ivanka trump has posted in Instagram a photo where she’s sitting over a bottle of wine with Zhukova and Wendi Deng. Under the photo caption: “Thank you [Zhukova] for a memorable four days in Russia!” About Deng recently there were rumors that she meets with Putin, though the Wendy denies this. From other photos it becomes clear that Kushner at that time was in Russia.
Thank you @mamasinthebuilding for an unforgettable four days in Russia! ???
Last summer, Kushner, Ivanka trump, Zhukov and Deng was in bed at the Open championship of the USA on tennis. In January, Zhukov visited the inauguration of trump as a guest Ivanka.
On March 14, the journalist of The Daily Mail noticed Josh Kushner, and beetles that had dinner in new York restaurant. As he wrote this edition, Josh Kushner, “hid his face, and quickly left the establishment with Dasha”.
A week later, when Jared Kushner and Ivanka trump vacationing in aspen with her two brothers and their families, the plane Abramovich, according to dispatching service, flew from Moscow to Denver. Abramovich owns in aspen two properties.
Representative of Abramovich refused to comment on this coincidence in Colorado. The white house directed questions about the rest of these couples personal press Secretary Ivanka trump. Spokeswoman Risa Heller (Risa Heller) gave to understand that will answer questions about the rest of these people in Colorado and their recent contacts, but didn’t.
According to available information, President trump is seeking to Kushner and Ivanka have received access to state secrets, as they play an increasingly important role in the White house. According to senior representatives of the intelligence services, any other person who maintains a close personal relationship with the family is important confidant of Putin, it would be very difficult to obtain such a permit, but the political pressures are likely to prevail over security considerations.
“Yes, such ties with Russia should be relevant to the security agencies who carry out the checks, said the former head of the CIA in Moscow, Steve Hall (Steve Hall). — The question is whether they will pay attention to it”.
“I don’t think that family trump there are any problems with the access to state secrets, unless he used a polygraph, — said milt Bearden (Milt Bearden), a former head of Eastern European division of the CIA. Is absolute madness, but the problems here will not.”
While Washington is abuzz over rumors about the investigation of contacts of the environment trump with Putin’s Kremlin, which the FBI conducts, connecting them with groups and organizations remain the subject of careful study and close attention.
In March, the New York Times reported that Lazar last summer met with the special representative of the trump international negotiations Grinblatt Jason (Jason Greenblatt), who at the time worked as a lawyer for the Trump Organization. Both described the meeting as a completely normal action Greenblatt to establish contacts with Jewish leaders and said that they discussed the problems of Russian society and of anti-Semitism. The meeting was organized by new York-based specialist in public relations Joshua NASS (Joshua Nass), and according to Lazar, he’s not discussed it with the Russian authorities.
In late January, Sather met with the personal trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen (Michael Cohen) to discuss a proposal for concluding a peace agreement in Ukraine, which would put an end to us sanctions against Russia. Then Cohen reported on the meeting former Advisor to trump on national security, Michael Flynn (as Michael Flynn). The priest made different comments about this episode.
According to one Jewish Republican, Cohen often comes into a community center Chabad on Fifth Avenue, which is ten blocks from trump Tower and six blocks from the office of Cohen, located at Rockefeller Plaza, 30.
Cohen denied this statement, saying: “I’ve never been in the homes of Chabad, and I’ve never been to the house of Chabad in new York.” He then said that the last time I was in the Chabad house 15 years ago, when he was present at the ceremony of circumcision. According to him, on March 16, he was at an event related to Chabad, which was arranged by the hotel Newark in honor of the Minister of veterans Affairs USA David Shulkin (David Shulkin). The dinner gave the organisation the Chabad Rabbinical College of America.
Those who are not familiar with the Russian policy, the world trump and Judaism of the Hasidim, all these connections with Chabad seem utterly incomprehensible. And someone just shrugs indifferently.
“The interconnectedness of the Jewish world via Chabad is not a surprise, since Chabad is one of the key Jewish players, — said Boteach. — I would add that the world of new York real estate is also quite close.”