Ivanka Trump And Jared Kushner: 12 Facts About Their Marriage

Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't avoid hearing about Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. This was true even before Ivanka's dad, Donald, got involved in politics. Before the Trump presidency, Ivanka and Jared were one of New York City's most recognizable power couples and part of the city's privileged social scene. They later became the talk of the town in Washington D.C., where they were both heavily — and controversially — involved in the Trump administration.


The couple has been together through thick and thin, weathering religious differences, two presidential campaigns, and a lot of scandal along the way. As some of the more visible members of the extended Trump family, Ivanka and Jared have proven to be especially polarizing, but one thing that their critics and supporters have in common is wanting to know more about the couple. 

From their early days as a couple to their political escapades as part of the Trump admin, there are plenty of juicy facts about their marriage that you might have missed over the years.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were set up by friends ... maybe

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner met when they were set up by friends. It was a bit of a surprise when the two developed romantic feelings for each other, though, as they weren't set up on a blind date so much as a blind business meeting — one of the people involved in the setup was a commercial real estate broker. "They very innocently set us up thinking that our only interest in one another would be transactional," Ivanka told Vogue in 2015. "Whenever we see them we're like, 'the best deal we ever made!'"


At least, that's the story that she tells. A 2022 memoir from her husband claims that the main person pushing the two to meet to talk business was actually his future father-in-law. According to Kushner, Donald Trump encouraged the two to meet after Kushner made a huge real estate investment, and the 25-year-olds met up for lunch. They ended up connecting while talking about "NASCAR, New Jersey diners, and other unlikely interests we had in common," Kushner wrote in "Breaking History: A White House Memoir" (via Vanity Fair).

While they found more in common than real estate, it's clear that Ivanka admires her husband's business acumen — and it also got him in her dad's good graces. "Jared and my father initially bonded over a combination of me and real estate," she told Forbes.


Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner hit it off right away

That first business meeting quickly turned into more. As Jared Kushner revealed in "Breaking History: A White House Memoir" (via Vanity Fair), he and Ivanka set up a second lunch and found themselves completely wrapped up in each other. "Soon, I was taking Ivanka to parts of the city she had never seen before, using our dates to check out neighborhoods where I was looking to purchase property," he wrote. "On Sunday mornings, we would take our backgammon board to a new restaurant and sit there for hours as we played games, read the papers, and sipped coffee."


At first, the couple tried to keep things out of the public eye. In April 2007, New York Mag's Intelligencer reported that the two were claiming to be "just friends." 

Ivanka did confirm the relationship in an interview with The New York Times that December, but refused to spill any details about the blossoming romance — and who could blame her? Growing up as the daughter of a celebrity had made her apprehensive. "Nothing good can come of that," she explained about her reluctance to divulge too much info about Kushner. "There are enough stories about my family. We have all been in the public eye. And we understand the process."

They once broke up over religious differences

While things got pretty serious between Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner quickly, there was one big thing coming between them: religion. Ivanka was raised Presbyterian while Kushner is Jewish, and the difference between their faiths concerned Kushner. "As hard and painful as it was, I broke up with her," he wrote in "Breaking History: A White House Memoir" (via The Times of Israel). "Ivanka told me it was the worst decision of my life. She was right."


The decision may not have been entirely in Kushner's hands, though. In a 2009 interview with New York Magazine, Ivanka discussed the couple's breakup; it came out that Kushner's mother told her son to end things with his girlfriend in the summer of 2008. The breakup lasted a few months, but the couple reconnected when they were both invited on a cruise by a mutual friend, Wendi Murdoch. They rekindled their romance on the voyage and have been together ever since.

Ivanka converted to Judaism

After getting back together with Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump decided to convert to Judaism. "I am studying and it's been an amazing and fulfilling experience for me," she told New York Magazine of the conversion process in 2009. "One of the jokes I first started making when Jared and I first started dating is, I'm a New Yorker, I'm in real estate. I'm as close to Jewish, with an 'i-s-h' naturally as anyone can start off."


Kushner revealed in "Breaking History: A White House Memoir" (via The Jewish Chronicle) that Donald Trump asked why Kushner wasn't the one converting, but that he supported his daughter's decision, saying, "Most people think I'm Jewish anyway."

Since her conversion, Judaism has been a big part of Ivanka's life. In 2017, the first year of her father's presidency, CNN called her "America's most powerful Jewish woman." She told Vogue that she keeps kosher, but added that she doesn't like talking about her faith too much, as it is a deeply personal thing. "We're pretty observant, more than some, less than others," she said, adding, "It's been such a great life decision for me. I am very modern, but I'm also a very traditional person, and I think that's an interesting juxtaposition in how I was raised as well. I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity."


The couple tied the knot in 2009

After a couple of years of dating, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner tied the knot in a huge wedding in 2009 after a botched surprise proposal (Kushner asked his future bride's dad for permission, only for The Donald to immediately spill the beans to Ivanka). Things clearly worked out, though, and the event was held at the Trump National Golf Club, as noted by the New York Post


The couple didn't hold back on the 500-person guest list; some of the high-profile people who attended their nuptials included Barbara Walters, Anna Wintour, Emmy Rossum, Rudy Giuliani, and Andrew Cuomo. 

They did hold back when it came to registering for gifts, though. According to The New York Times, their registry held just 75 items with a total value of just under $9,000. Asked-for items included $10 spatulas and $4.95 placemats. It sounds shockingly modest, especially considering the large scale of the wedding, but then again, how much could such wealthy people really need? As reported by People, the earrings Ivanka wore on her big day — which came from her own jewelry line — were worth a whopping $130,000.


Ivanka and Jared have three kids together

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner became parents for the first time in 2011. "This morning [Jared] and I welcomed a beautiful and healthy little baby girl into the world," Trump tweeted (via People). "We feel incredibly grateful and blessed. Thank you all for your support and well wishes!"


Their first baby, Arabella Rose, was followed by a boy, Joseph Frederick, two years later. Joseph was named after the couple's paternal grandfathers, as Ivanka revealed in a Tumblr post (via the Los Angeles Times). "Both men set the standards that have been passed down through the generations and which we hope to impart upon Joseph and Arabella," she wrote. "They created a legacy for our family that inspires our careers as well as our love and respect for one another. We are honored to name our son after these two distinguished men."

Their youngest child, Theodore James, was born in 2016, as Ivanka tweeted. "My life is chaotic right now," she told People after welcoming Theodore. "I'm exhausted 90% of the time. Being a mother is the most rewarding experience, but also the most wild and stressful."


Jared calls Ivanka the CEO of their family

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are both successful and driven, and their careers keep them pretty busy. "Jared and I both work long hours," Ivanka told People a couple of weeks before their wedding. "He is successful in his own right and very active in his work. Like my father, he encourages me to follow my passion for real estate."


Things got even busier in the years that followed their nuptials, but the couple is sure to make time for each other and for their kids, no matter how hectic things get. Kushner praised his wife in an interview with Vogue in 2015, saying, "I would say she is definitely the CEO of our household, whereas I'm more on the board of directors. We both pick up slack for each other where it's needed, but she doesn't want to outsource mothering, so she's very involved."

In 2020, Ivanka told People that her husband is also dedicated to parenting. "Jared is really incredibly hands-on as a dad," she said, adding that they dedicate weekends to family bonding, no matter how busy they get during the week. "It's very seldom that we'll have a commitment on a Saturday or a Sunday. It's really about us being together," she said.


They both worked for the Trump administration

Much to the consternation of many, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner both became very involved with the Trump administration. Both of them worked as advisors to former President Donald Trump, forgoing salaries for their roles — not that this did anything to quiet grumbles of nepotism, noted The Boston Globe


"In her role, she focuses on the education and economic empowerment of women and their families as well as job creation and economic growth through workforce development, skills training, and entrepreneurship," reads Ivanka's bio in the White House Archives.

Yet it was Kushner, in his role as senior advisor to his father-in-law, who was considered by some to be the politician's right hand. "I don't think people understand how powerful he is. I really don't," Andrea Bernstein, author of "American Oligarchs," told Vox. "People underestimate his proximity to power and his willingness to use it." According to Bernstein, Kushner was the second-most powerful person in the Trump admin, outstripped only by Trump himself.


Donald Trump allegedly almost fired them

Even though Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were valued members of the Trump family and the Trump administration, they were allegedly very nearly fired by the one-time POTUS. Maggie Haberman revealed the details of the reported near-dismissal in her book, "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America" (via CNN). Haberman wrote that Trump spoke to John Kelly, his chief of staff at the time, and former White House counsel Don McGahn, and brought up the idea of firing the couple in a very public — not to mention cold — way. Trump's plan was to fire them by tweet. Kelly reportedly convinced Trump to speak to them instead, but he is said to have backed down and the conversation never took place. 


Haberman said she interviewed 250 people connected to the Trump administration for the book, but Trump has slammed the book and said it is inaccurate. He also addressed the alleged near-firing, writing, "In one case she lies about me wanting to fire my daughter, Ivanka, and Jared. WRONG, pure fiction. Never even crossed my mind. Just have to fight trouble-making creeps like Maggie, and all the rest!"

Ivanka and Jared used to be Democrats

Before Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were pulled into Donald Trump's political orbit, they were registered Democrats. That's right, the daughter of one of the most contentious Republican presidents in recent memory was a Democrat and remained so until 2018 — halfway through the Trump presidency. That year, she changed her voter registration from Democrat to Republican, telling The New York Times, "I am a proud Trump Republican. I believe he's broadened the reach of the Republican party, which is really important to me."


Kushner updated his party affiliation around the same time, reported Vice. "I was not a Republican," he said in a 2019 press briefing (via The New York Times). "Now I'm a Republican. I think the Republican party is growing now that people like me feel comfortable being part of it."

Turning Republican may have made things a bit awkward with the rest of the Kushners. Trump's 2016 campaign manager-turned-senior counselor Kellyanne Conway wrote about being married to Trump critic George Conway in her book "Here's the Deal" (via People). She said that Ivanka sympathized and once told her, "I am in a family of Democrats. I get it."

Could Jared Kushner be the first gentleman some day?

While Ivanka Trump herself hasn't said anything about running for president one day, there are people who think she might end up following in her dad's footsteps. Amid speculation that Donald Trump could name his daughter as his running mate if he runs for president in 2024, he told NDTV, "Ivanka? My daughter? Never thought of that one. I've never even heard but that's an interesting idea. ... but she's a very capable person, that I can tell you."


While Trump said he wouldn't have his daughter as his VP, there is the possibility that she could one day run on her own. Her late mother, Ivana Trump, once touted her daughter's political potential on "Loose Women" (via People), saying, "I tell you, I think, she's in the White House every day, you know? She's next to her father every day. She knows all what is going around. I think she could be one day the first woman president, definitely. She's smart as hell, she's beautiful, she's au courant. How much more you can have?"

In 2021, Politico reported that a source claimed Jared Kushner is believed to be "working single-mindedly to protect and promote his wife's 'political career.'" Could we see Jared Kushner on the arm of another President Trump as the first gentleman of the United States? Only time will tell.


The couple appeared on Gossip Girl

Before they were involved in politics, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were known for being a prominent part of the New York City social scene and were invited to appear on "Gossip Girl" in 2010. If you need a refresher, "Gossip Girl" was about the (mostly) fictional "scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite," so who better to pop on for a cameo? 


As the show's executive producer Joshua Schwartz told Vulture, "They are socialites in New York and they do fit the world of 'Gossip Girl.' I'm sure Lily van der Woodsen knows Trump and would have been on the board of charities with him or Melania. That's the world of 'Gossip Girl,' so to deny it would be wrong." 

The Season 4 appearance was a brief one, and Kushner didn't even speak. Ivanka did, though, and likely enjoyed her stint on the hit show. She had been name-dropped by "Gossip Girl" character Chuck Bass in Season 3 and told People at the time, "'Gossip Girl' is my guilty pleasure. I'm addicted to it! I have to confess I have a 'thing' for Chuck Bass myself."

There's no chance of them ever being on "Gossip Girl" these days, though. The HBO reboot debuted in 2021, and Safran told the Daily Beast he wouldn't have the couple back. "[A]t the time, they were just sorta-celebrities," he said. "Trump was a bad real estate mogul, but I don't think any of us saw what was coming."