Biden Nominates Religious Jew as US Ambassador to Israel

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Joe Biden nominated Jake Lew as America’s next Ambassador to Israel. Lew served as Treasury Secretary and Chief of Staff in the Obama administration and was one of the chief architects of the Iran nuclear deal.


The White House announced Tuesday that US President Joe Biden intends to nominate Jacob J. Lew as America’s next Ambassador to Israel.

Lew, who practices Orthodox Judaism, has observed Shabbat throughout his governmental career and has deep relationships with the Jewish community throughout the US.

Lew previously served as Secretary of the Treasury and Chief of Staff under the Obama Administration.

Lew would replace Thomas Nides, who resigned as US Ambassador to Israel in May. He would assume his post amidst tensions between the left-wing Biden Administration in the US and the right-wing Netanyahu government in Israel. The Biden Administration has opposed the Israeli government’s efforts to reform Israel’s judicial system and opposes Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. The governments also disagree on the Iranian threat, with the US pursuing a new nuclear deal with the ayatollahs.

He would be the third Orthodox Jew to serve as US Ambassador to Israel, and the first to do so under a Democratic President. Daniel Kurtzer served as the Bush Administration’s envoy to Israel from 2001-2005, and David Friedman served as ambassador under the Trump Administration from 2017-2021.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen welcomed Lew’s nomination. “Jacob Lew is a true friend of the State of Israel. We look forward to working with him in the spirit of cooperation and our alliance based on shared values, and to continue to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the United States.”

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