How Avi Berkowitz Landed in the West Wing

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From a simple game of pickup basketball to a top West Wing position in the Trump White House: For Avraham (Avi) Berkowitz, an encounter on the court with Jared Kushner at a Pesach hotel program in Arizona several years ago has led to a number of unique opportunities, Jewish Insider reports. The latest manifestation of this journey was announced Thursday in a Trump press release listing Berkowitz’s new title: Special Assistant to the President and assistant to Senior Advisor Jared Kushner.

When Kushner and Berkowitz first met during a Passover program at the historic Arizona Biltmore Hotel, Berkowitz was attending classes at Queens College. The two kept in touch and when Avi graduated, Kushner hired him to join his family’s real estate company where Berkowitz helped manage the firm’s apartment portfolio.

Leaving Kushner Companies for Harvard Law School, Berkowitz continued his ties to the family by contributing articles to the New York Observer, a Kushner-owned publication. In his writings, Berkowitz railed against “liberal” intolerance, anti-Semitism at Harvard, while also analyzing the state of the private jet industry.

As a member the 2016 Harvard Law School graduating class, Berkowitz intended to join a prestigious New York firm. Berkowitz later accepted an offer to join the law firm Bingham McCutchen in the fall of 2016. In the meantime, he agreed to help out his friend on the Trump campaign. As the election heated up, Berkowitz’s position within Trump World grew. He assumed an additional title as Assistant Director of Data Analytics, working closely with the campaign’s Data Director Brad Parscale, a fellow Kushner recruit. Understanding their soon-to-be associate’s role, Bingham McCutchen allowed Berkowitz to postpone the start of his new job until after the election.

On November 8th, along with many other ramifications, the 27-year-old’s career trajectory changed. Quickly forgetting the thought of becoming a first year associate, Berkowitz was instead headed to DC and, more specifically, to the West Wing of the White House to serve as Kushner’s deputy.

Read more from Jewish Insider.

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