WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump pulled their children out of a Jewish day school in Washington, D.C., two weeks before Election Day and three weeks after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in and around the White House.
The couple’s children had attended the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital since moving to Washington in 2017 after Donald Trump, Ivanka’s father, became president. Their three kids started a different school, the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in suburban Maryland, on Oct. 19.
“They withdrew from the school,” a spokesperson for Milton, as the school calls itself, said Wednesday in a statement.
A source close to the family said they withdrew because Berman offered more in-person classes during the pandemic. Jared Kushner said in August, amid national debate about whether schools should reopen, that he would send his children to school in person if he could. Berman switched to mostly in-person during September and October after opening virtually, according to its website.
But three parents of children attending Milton, which is switching to fully indoor, in-person classes next week, said the withdrawal came after parents raised concerns that Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and top aide, and Ivanka Trump, his daughter and also a top aide, were seen at events not complying with the coronavirus protocols that Milton demanded of its parents.
The protocols, which the Jewish Telegraphic Agency obtained, are based on Centers for Disease Control guidelines and ask families to avoid gatherings off campus where social distancing is not practiced or masks are not used.
“Students and families are expected to adhere to any and all social distancing guidelines and mask requirements while not on campus to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as reducing the risk of exposing employees and/or MILTON’s students to COVID-19,” one passage relevant to parental compliance says. “To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure at the School, the School asks all families to limit their attendance at large public or private gatherings, events, and other activities to those where social distancing can be maintained and guidance regarding masks is followed. Families and students should avoid hosting or attending large gatherings where proper social distancing measures are not feasible.”
The protocols were in place in late September when the lack of masking and distancing at White House and Trump campaign events became a major public health issue.