Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris, has publicly initiated a fundraising effort in support of urgent relief for children in Gaza. The 24-year-old, whose father is First Gentleman Doug Emhoff and who is of Jewish heritage, promoted the fundraising campaign on her personal Instagram account. The effort seeks to aid children in Gaza, a region marked by ongoing conflict.
Notably, Emhoff’s fundraiser does not explicitly mention the Israeli children who lost their lives in the recent violence. On October 7, 2023, scores of Israeli children were among the 1,400 innocent Israelis killed by Hamas terrorists. Ella Emhoff’s Instagram account has a following of approximately 315,000 users, making her campaign visible to a broad audience.
The fundraiser, organized by the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, a nonprofit based in Kent, Ohio, has so far collected over $7.8 million in contributions. In 2021, the same nonprofit raised more than $21 million, according to ProPublica.
Ella Emhoff’s personal donation to the cause remains undisclosed, raising questions about her level of financial involvement.
The fundraising initiative has triggered varying reactions. Representative Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, expressed deep concern, deeming the fundraiser “abhorrent” and “disturbing to the maximum degree.” Van Drew voiced apprehension that humanitarian funds could potentially be misappropriated by Hamas in Gaza.
Ella Emhoff has previously clarified to reporters that she does not consider herself Jewish. In 2021, her representative told The Forward, “Ella is not Jewish. It’s not something she grew up with. Ella truly has no qualms with the faith, but she does not want to speak on behalf of Judaism, as she does not celebrate herself.”
Emhoff, who is a model and has made appearances at New York Fashion Week, shares a close relationship with her stepmother, Vice President Kamala Harris.
The fundraiser’s timing coincides with President Joe Biden’s announcement of a $100 million allocation for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians, a move that has drawn criticism from several prominent Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. They have voiced their opposition to the allocation, aligning it with concerns about the use of such funds in the conflict-stricken region.
NEW: Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter Ella Emhoff is helping raise money for a Gaza fundraiser that could end up in the hands of Hamas.
Not surprising considering her step-mom is one of the most incompetent people in Washington DC.
Emhoff has helped raise a whopping… pic.twitter.com/st26YIvePa
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 4, 2023