Exclusive 'Our entire family is bursting with pride,' envoy says

Daughter of US Ambassador David Friedman makes aliyah

Talia Friedman, a nurse in her 20s, arrives in Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning; will also keep her American citizenship

Raphael Ahren is a former diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

From left to right: Tammy, David and Talia Friedman (screen shot Twitter)
From left to right: Tammy, David and Talia Friedman (screen shot Twitter)

The daughter of US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is immigrating to Israel this week, The Times of Israel has learned.

Talia Friedman, a nurse in her 20s, boarded an aliyah flight in New York on Monday and is expected to land in Tel Aviv early on Tuesday, the ambassador said.

“As a father, I celebrate my daughter Talia’s realization of a life long dream to become part of the State of Israel,” Ambassador Friedman told The Times of Israel on Monday evening. “Our entire family is bursting with pride at Talia’s vision and determination to help strengthen Medinat Yisrael [the State of Israel] — one of America’s strongest and most important allies.

She will be one of 233 new immigrants from North America arriving on a plane chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh, a group promoting immigration to Israel. The newcomers will be welcomed with a ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport attended by senior officials from the Jewish Agency and the Immigration Ministry, as well as MP Yair Lapid.

“Talia will retain her US citizenship and become part a vibrant group of American Israelis who do much to support both countries. We wish her, and her fellow olim (immigrants), tremendous success and inspiration in their respective journey,” the envoy said.

On March 15, Talia was the only of Friedman’s five children to accompany him when arrived in Israel and immediately headed to the Western Wall, and when he handed his letter of credence to President Reuven Rivlin a day later.

It was not immediately clear what Talia’s plans were.

Friedman is not the only member of US President Donald Trump’s team to have children moving to Israel this month. Jason Greenblatt, his special representative for international negotiations on Sunday tweeted that his triplets are headed to the Jewish state for a gap year program of Jewish studies.

Friedman, a former Trump lawyer, already had deep ties to Israel. He was a donor, actively involved in supporting the West Bank Settlement of Beit El, and a homeowner in Jerusalem.

He was also considered a contentious pick for the job due to comments he had made in the past — and for which he later apologized — comparing supporters of a left-wing Jewish group to “Jewish kapos” in the Holocaust, and for his active involvement in promoting settlements in the West Bank.

His confirmation in the Senate by a 52-46 margin was the most closely contested vote ever on an envoy to Israel.

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