Elijah Aaron

Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter and Secretary Pompeo Meet

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting with Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter, founder and leader of Dirshu
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting with Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter, founder and leader of Dirshu. Photo Credit: Sruly Saftlas

There has not been a time in American history where the level of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence against members of the Jewish community has been this overt, since the 1930s in Nazi Germany. For this reason among others, it is critical that leaders of the Jewish community not only speak out against the horrors taking place around us, but also embrace those in positions of power and influence who have proven to be great friends to the Jewish community. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is certainly chief among those friends and allies to the community. 

Last week in New York City, the Orthodox Jewish community’s leading figure Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter, the founder of Dirshu, the largest Torah organization in the world, met one-on-one with the Secretary of State to express the community’s concerns about the uptick in violence against its members. As Rabbi Hofstedter stated explicitly, there has been a consistent finding of a disproportionate amount of the hate-crimes against the broader Jewish community targeting the ultra-Orthodox. In a report released by Americans Against Antisemitism, Orthodox Jews were identified as having been the victims of a jaw-dropping 94% of all of the hate-crimes against Jews between 2018 and 2022. 

During his speech to the guests at the event, Rabbi Hofstedter drew on his own life-story, being the son and son-in-law of Holocaust survivors and the need for all Jews to stand united and proud as anti-Semitism sadly persists rearing its ugly head. Concerning the disproportionate targeting of ultra-orthodox Jews, Rabbi Hofstedter stated in unambiguous terms that while some might argue that Orthodox Jews ought to hide their garb in the face of these anti-Semitic attacks, it’s critical that to the contrary, we as Jews double down on our pride and wear our Judaism on our sleeve. 

In his remarks, Rabbi Hofstedter went on to acknowledge and recognize Secretary Pompeo for his unambiguous condemnation of anti-Semitism in all of its manifestations during his tenure leading the State Department. When there’s a sea of anti-Semitism engulfing us, it’s imperative that our political leaders identify anti-semitic groups and activities for exactly what they are. During his time as Secretary of State, Secretary Pompeo made history by formally recognizing the BDS movement as the anti-Semitic force it is. This sort of moral clarity that Secretary Pompeo exhibited throughout his tenure during the Trump administration is exactly the refreshing leadership that we in the Jewish community need during these challenging times. There is to be no room for waffling or equivocation when it comes to calling out anti-semitism in any of its forms. 

Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter’s continued work leading Dirshu, the largest Torah organization in the world is the greatest representation of precisely the attitude members of the Orthodox Jews ought to be exhibiting at this very moment, while  under attack. Embracing our holy texts; and comporting ourselves in the sort of dignified manner to which a Jew is expected to adhere. Rabbi Hofstedter ought to be recognized and thanked for his justified embrace of one of the Jewish people’s greatest politics friends and allies in recent memory. Someone who not only made inroads while at the State Department by defining BDS as the anti-Semitism it is; but also someone who marshaled through the groundbreaking Abraham Accords, which has dramatically redefined the way Israel is viewed in the Middle East. As Rabbi Hofstedter said in his remarks, we as a people believe in the concept of “Hakarat Hatov;” and that’s exactly what the Rabbi’s meeting and speech were all about.

About the Author
Elijah Aaron has always had a passion for writing, and he thoroughly enjoys interviewing people who inspire him through their many successes.
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