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Lawrence native Avi Berkowitz moves up in White House


A chance meeting with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, on a basketball court at an Arizona hotel during Passover set Lawrence native Avrahm “Avi” Berkowitz on a path to postpone his law career and go to work in the White House.

After that meeting while Berkowitz was attending Queens College, Berkowitz was hired by Kushner to manage his family’s real estate company’s apartment portfolio. Berkowitz then headed to Harvard Law School, where he maintained a relationship with Kushner as he was a regular contributor to the New York Observer, a weekly newspaper owned by Kushner’s Observer Media group. The hard copy paper ceased printing in 2016 and is now the online-only Observer.

Berkowitz was ready to begin his legal career with the well-established law firm of Gibson Dunn, when he joined the Trump presidential campaign as an assistant director of data analytics in 2016. The Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island graduate then became Kushner’s White House deputy. He was named a special assistant to the president and senior adviser to Kushner last month, and was chosen to replace Jason Greenblatt, one of the people who helped Kushner create the administration’s Middle East peace initiative.