Orthodox rabbi, education pioneer appointed advisor to Friedman

Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, an Orthodox rabbi from New York who works in Jewish education, is to advise US Amb. David Friedman.

Hillel Fendel ,

David Friedman in Senate confirmation hearing
David Friedman in Senate confirmation hearing

Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, an Orthodox rabbi from New York who works in various capacities in Jewish education, has been appointed to serve in an advisory role in the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

He will work alongside newly-appointed Ambassador David Friedman, a State Department official confirmed this week.

Rabbi Lightstone is currently the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Mekorot Education – creator and publisher of online Judaic studies courses. The organization's website says its courses are "specifically designed for 21st century learning… anchored in the eternal relevance and critical importance of Judaic studies… Mekorot is making Jewish day school affordability, excellence, and sustainability, a reality of today."

The new Embassy advisor served as regional NCSY director in New York for seven years while also serving in a variety of rabbinic roles on Long Island. A graduate of Yeshiva University, he also founded Aleph Beta Academy, the JUMP Leadership initiative, Jerusalem Ambassadors as well as Friday Night Lights – all international ongoing successful programs.

Lightstone is said to have connections to both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump’s daughter. “Rabbi Lightstone infuses his entrepreneurial spirit in all of his programs,” according to the website of the Orthodox Union, which features some of his audio Torah classes.

Friedman is reportedly scheduled to arrive in Israel and assume his duties, apparently in Jerusalem, after the Passover holiday, which ends two weeks from now.