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Friday, 27 September 2013

WHY I WILL NEVER EVER PATRONIZE HOBBY LOBBY

Ken Berwitz

In the past few days two different friends told my wife they had gone into the new hobby lobby store in Marlboro, New Jersey and noticed that, although there already was a lot of Christmas merchandise available, there was none for the Jewish holiday of Chanukah (some people drop the "C" and spell it Hannukah.  Same holiday).

One of our friends entered the store, asked where the Chanukah goods were, was told there wouldn't be any, and asked why.  According to her, the answer was:

"We don't cater to you people"

Understandably irate, she called the home office, and was told, indifferently, that hobby lobby doesn't have Chanukah on its list of holidays. 

Since I did not hear this ugly exchange with my own ears, I was not personally certain it was the case.  And that's not good enough for this blog.  So I just called the Marlboro hobby lobby and asked whether it would be stocking any Chanukah merchandise.  I was told it would not.  When I asked why, the answer - verbatim - was:

"Because Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian, and those are his values"

FYI, I would guess that, in a five mile radius around the Marlboro store, a solid one-third of all residents are Jewish.  But, then again, what is the difference?  The reason hobby lobby won't sell Chanukah goods is unrelated to how many Jews are in the area,

The reason is that Mr. green's "Christian values" preclude him from selling anything related to a Jewish holiday.  And not just just Chanukah, but Passover too, as I learned by calling corporate headquarters and speaking to the company's customer relations department.

And now a word about "Christian values".  As someone with a great many Christian friends and acquaintances, I can honestly say I don't know even one who would ever see the intentional exclusion of Jews as having anything to do with their religious beliefs.  

So let's be clear:  these are not Christian values.  They are david green values.

Well, here are MY values.  I will never set foot in a hobby lobby.  Ever.  I will be sure to tell everyone I know and, obviously, everyone who reads this blog, the reason why.  And I strongly request that what I have learned be passed along to as many others as possible.

I have no problem at all with Christianity.  But I have a major problem with anti-Semitic idiots. 

"Mr. green" can go to hell.

==========================================

UPDATE:  Having spoken with the person who related the "we don't cater to you people" quote, I have been advised that the comment was made not about the fact that hobby lobby does not carry Chanukah items (which it very definitely does not), but after an inquiry as to why the store does not sell bar-mitzvah cards. 

That said, everything about hobby lobby in this blog remains correct, based on my first-hand discussions with store personnel and corporate customer relations.  The lack of  bar-mitzvah cards (and, presumably, cards for other Jewish events) is an additional element. 

In other words, it is even worse than I thought.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 13:54 PM   Add Comment

bob w Thanks Ken I was going to check out this store this weekend but now- they can go to hell. (09/27/13)

Zeke .... .... ... Antisemitism of this type (and worse) was common before World War II, and for a generation after. . . . (09/27/13)

lori I am with you1 (09/28/13)

lori I am with you1 (09/28/13)

celia hecht I agree with you. Went into the store once, felt uncomfortable with all the crosses. I asked about Hanukkah items. I was just told they don't have any, with no reason why.(Must have been a smart sales person) I left and will never go back. (09/29/13)

Laraine Sadly both Mr. Green and Mr. Berkowitz seem to be succumbing to hate messages (i.e. "Mr. Green" can go to hell.) which neither spiritual Judaism or Christianity support. We could all benefit from finding the high road of a more tolerant & loving manner. (09/29/13)

Laraine PS: I won't ever be shopping at the Hobby Lobby either. (09/29/13)

ron I wont be going back to the store anytime soon (09/30/13)

ron I wont be going back to the store anytime soon (09/30/13)

AL Does this mean that Judaica treasures in manalapan should carry Christmas ornaments? They carry plenty of Hanukkah decorations and menorahs but I haven't seen any Christmas decorations. I don't think Christmas is on their list of holidays. (09/30/13)

Michelle Lisanti But I am sure he has no problem with Jewish customers spending their money in his store!! Ass!! (09/30/13)

Jess I don't think that mr. Green should be held accountable for what his employee says. Unless the words came directly from him he shouldn't be held accountable for what someone else says on his behalf. He may not have even known that his sales associate said that. Even still, not selling something for his own values doesn't make him an anti Semite. He may have values that may be skewed to some people but that doesn't make him an anti Semite. When the term "you people" was used it may have been a poor word choice but again doesn't make him an anti Semite. He didn't say I hate the Jews, the Jewish people and their holidays are evil so I won't sell stuff for them, he didn't say anything that could be considered anti semitic. In fact if the woman who made these accusations and started this mess has her facts wrong she could be sued by me. Green for slander. The term anti Semite is a term that shouldn't be used lightly. Also, just playing devils advocate, but if only 1/3 of us are Jewish in the area, would it make sense as a business move in a new business to carry something that there's only a 33% chance of something selling? It probably didn't make sense to carry items that dozens of stores in the area we already go to to purchase our decorations anyway. (09/30/13)

Ken Berwitz Al - No they should not, any more than I would expect a store which specializes in Christian items to be selling Jewish merchandise. The difference is that those stores are created to provide merchandise for a given group of people, while hobby lobby sells general-purpose merchandise. Here is how hobbylobby.com describes itself: "Retailer selling arts and crafts supplies, fabrics, baskets, silk flowers, needlework, picture framing, party supplies, furniture, and related items." If its name was "Christian Hobbies", and most items had crosses and depictions of Jesus, I (and, I assume, others) would understand that it was intended to "cater to" (couldn't resist using those words) the Christian population. But as a general purpose store, that is not the case - no matter how many times david green tells us that his business is faith-based. So when hobby lobby puts out items for Christians, but makes a point of not putting out items for Jews - in a heavily Jewish area, let's remember - it more than a poor business model. It is hobby lobby telling Jews "we can't stop you from shopping here, but never forget that you are not welcome". (09/30/13)

Mellow Mello Ken: Doesn't the fact that they're closed on Sunday tell you something? How many businesses in Borough Park are open on Saturday? One of the magnificent aspects of our lives is that we can shop, or not shop wherever we please. (09/30/13)

Ken Berwitz Jess - when I called the company's corporate headquarters I was told, by a customer service representative who was clearly uncomfortable with what he had to tell me - even if his boss has no problem with it - that hobby lobby won't sell Jewish oriented items on either Chanukah or Passover. No one is asking david green to become a Jew, or to in any way disrespect his Christian values. A store which specifically refuses to sell popular items for Jewish holidays - especially in a heavily Jewish area - is telling you something, whether you want to hear it or not.........................................Regarding the comment about selling to only one-third of the population, you would have a point if that were the case. But what green is doing in Marlboro is EXCLUDING one third of the population. Big, big difference. (09/30/13)

Debbi Silvestri As a person who dabbles a lot in many varied forms of art, I was so excited when I saw this hobby store going up so close to where I live. On my first visit, as I strolled around the store, my eye continued to notice all of the christian merchandise scattered throughout the store. I myself am a christian, and my immediate thought was, "If I belonged to another religious persuasion, I would be outright offended over this!" After all, is this supposed to be a hobby store, or a religious store? I've lived in this area for 30 years, and am well aware of the ratio of differing persuasions! In all fairness to everyone, Hobby Lobby, needs to either get with the program, or take a hike! Otherwise, I will take my business & keep it with Michael's Art & Craft Store! Sorry, Ken, some folks just don't get it! After all, what would Jesus do?!?! LOL (09/30/13)

Ken Berwitz Mellow - it tells me that, as a devoutly religious Christian, david green will not open his general purpose stores on a day when most devout Christians attend church. Fair enough. But if his general purpose stores specifically exclude all Jewish items for major events in the Jewish calendar, he is behaving exactly the way an anti-Semite would. And when someone behaves that way, my first impulse is to draw the single most logical conclusion. If I'm wrong, show me where, and I'll acknowledge as much. If not, the conclusion stands. (09/30/13)

angeliki Check out their website--the owner is a very conservative and "religious" individual. His view of religion is obviously exclusionary. I will never go into Hobby Lobby, ever. They are not a "religious" store, catering to the ritual and celebratory items for one religion. However, Hobby Lobby is a hobby and craft store, which should reflect the diversity of their customers. (09/30/13)

Gail In some areas of the country the desire to have Chanukah ornaments or recognize the Jewish holiday of Chanukah is irrelevant. Hobby Lobby has certainly elected to and perhaps made a big mistake opening up a store in a significantly Jewish area with their narrowed minded views. We all have our beliefs. By the way, I've stopped by the store and I don't like it anyway. (09/30/13)

Steve Being conservative has nothing to do with it. He is responsible for the acts of his employees, Just as much as he would be in a sexual harassment suit. (09/30/13)

steve @AL your statement is idiotic. If its a judica store then its judica. If it were a christian book store this would be a non issue. This is a "NON RELIGIOUS" Store insulting people in the community (09/30/13)

Dana Ahem, Mr. Green, I believe that Jesus Christ was Jewish. That being said, Hobby Lobby is a private enterprise; no government funds are used to run the store, so the man can make whatever decisions he wishes about the products which is on the shelves. Unless the Jewish community wants to see Muslim, Hindu, Buddist and Christian symbols sold in stores dedicated to Judica supplies, artwork and gifts, the protests should from a personal prospective only (i.e. boycott). Under the law, Mr. Green cannot keep the Jewish community from shopping in his store; charge them different prices, refuse to hire individuals of the Jewish faith or treat Jewish employees differently than Christian ones. Let's keep things in perspective people. (09/30/13)

Ian I think the point is that "Hobby Lobby" is not called "Christmas Store"....in which case selling only Christmas items would make a lot of sense. But this is a "hobby store" in a very jewish neighborhood and if they refuse to sell items that appeal to Jewish people they will have to suffer the consequences. No hate here, just business perspective. (09/30/13)

Steve I was unaware that HB was a Christian Hobby Store. I must have missed it in his advertising or on the sign. a Judica shop is just that a judica shop just as a christian book store not expected to sell non Christian related items. You need to keep it in perspective not skew things to make your pointness point. (09/30/13)

Cyndi @Ian, Funny you should say that, Actually, the Christmas Tree Shoppe DOES carry Channukah and Passover Decor and supplies regardless of their name. As an artist and a mother of children in Jewish Day school, I find it very disappointing and sad that what could be such a potentially successful business in our town is now a place I will no longer shop in. Mr. Green needs to do his research in the future before deciding where he wants to open his doors. Marlboro NJ certainly wasn't a good executive decision on his part. (09/30/13)

Linda I found this on FB and looked twice, then proceeded to read. I used to live in Marlboro and am Jewish and agree with all of your comments. I live in Plano, Texas ( in the heart of the Bible belt ) now which is only one state away from OK where Hobby Lobby corporate is located. Needlessly to say there are many Hobby Lobby stores in my area. They are also closed on Sundays for religous reasons. I do shop in this store as the mdse and prices are really good. As a Jew in Plano, I am a minority. What is a Hobby Lobby doing in Marlboro. This man did not do his homework/research. Kudos to all (09/30/13)

ah everyone should do further research on their own. if you google and search a little, you will find many more anti-semetic things about hobby lobby, this is much bigger than just not selling "jewish" themed cards or merchandise. the owner's son travelled to the mideast and made a documentary with a known terrorist giving him a platform and outlet to spew anti-semetism. please do your research and please boycott this store. i have no problem with someone who has strong religious beliefs as long as they don't want to squash mine (09/30/13)

Hanukkah Harriet An email I wrote a few days after the Marlboro Store opened in July. To Whom it May Concern, I was in your newly opened Marlboro Store and saw that you had Thanksgiving and Christmas items for sale already. There were may items of faith throughout the store and they were all Christian. I know you are a Christian faith based company but in this area there are a significant amount of Jewish people as well as other religions. Your Christmas and faith items were beautiful but they just did not apply to me. I just was wondering if you would ever considering carrying other items of faith to fairly represent the neighborhood in which you opened? This would include everyday items as well as items for the holidays. Hanukkah which most often falls in December this year is the same day as Thanksgiving. You already have Thanksgiving items in your store so I was wondering if you ever carried items for any of the Jewish holidays? Maybe this is something that needs to be considered on a store to store basis. I hope you can understand that it very sad to feel ignored in your own community. Thanks for your time. the reply: Thank you for your email. I apologize that you weren’t able to locate items you desire. Our buying department have sole discretion as to which products we stock. I will certainly forward your suggestion to them, as it is extremely important that we provide a wide array of products for our customers. Again, thank you for your suggestion. Still, no hope for menorah shopping in Hobby Lobby this year (or ever.) (09/30/13)

Michele Last year I was shopping in Hobby Lobby and asked where the Hanukkah decorations would be and was told "We don't support alternative religions". So I stopped supporting Hobby Lobby and told as many people as I could. I was thrilled when some of my Christian friends came right out and say "I won't shop there either". I am glad this is now getting national attention. (09/30/13)

Mike Do not bend or break. If the store does not want to sell certain items that the rest of chain do not carry, then DON'T ! (09/30/13)

Barb Obviously Mr. Green doesn't care what anyone thinks. If you don't like it don't shop there! It is his right to run his company the way he wants to. It's your choice to shop there or not. Stop whining!!! (09/30/13)

Hank So I will only go to Hobby Lobby ten fond. You people are so stupid. (10/01/13)

Hank So I will only go to Hobby Lobby ten fond. You people are so stupid. (10/01/13)

Darlene Mr. Green is known in the crafting community as an individual who touts the "Christian" ideal. His stores are closed on Sunday, and he sells only religious articles for Christian holidays. He has been all over the news regarding his lawsuit against the Health CAre Reform mandate that his company supply health insurance that covers birth control because it is against his beliefs. That he refuses to put decorative items for Chanukah on his shelves comes as no surprise. (10/01/13)

Hank Ken, Nice job, cowboy. Now everyone is reacting not to your article, but one line in it, "We don't cater to you people". Which is hearsay. People are fuming and boycotting based on this. This was not very responsible of you. It's time to pony up the name of your "friend" or retract. People may lose their jobs over this. (10/01/13)

Hank Ken, Nice job, cowboy. Now everyone is reacting not to your article, but one line in it, "We don't cater to you people". Which is hearsay. People are fuming and boycotting based on this. This was not very responsible of you. It's time to pony up the name of your "friend" or retract. People may lose their jobs over this. (10/01/13)

Hank Ken, when you say "One of our friends entered the store", who are you referring to with "our"? Your wife? Your readers? Who? This friend is interesting. Can they write a follow-up article? Because referring to "you people" is not so common today. Were there children present? That would be terrible. How about witnesses? Why didn't you use "my friend" instead of "our friend"? (10/01/13)

Hank Ken, I noticed your "UPDATE". So your "friend" was shopping for Jewish greeting cards at Hobby Lobby when she heard those offensive remarks? Yea, people go to Hobby Lobby for greeting cards. I hope will never need to bear witness in a court. Now you have a changed story sitting upon hearsay. great cover-up, cowboy. (10/01/13)

Ken Berwitz Hank - You apparently missed the part where I mentioned that I was not writing about the hearsay, but only what I personally experienced. So let me reiterate: I - not someone else - was told by a member of the store staff that the reason Chanukah goods would not be sold is that david green is a Christian and those are his values. I - not someone else - was told by the corporate offices' customer relations representative that hobby lobby does not sell either Chanukah or Passover goods. If hobby lobby billed itself as a Christian store selling Christian merchandise I would not have written the blog. But hobby lobby bills itself as a general-purpose store selling materials for hobbies, arts, crafts, parties, seasonal events, etc., which is owned by a devout Christian. Since no Christian I have ever been acquainted with has ever communicated to me, either overtly or tacitly, that his/her version of Christianity requires shutting Jewish-oriented items out of a general-purpose store, I conclude that the values espoused by david green are not Christian, they are his own personal values. And I reject them. Please read the blog carefully...and you will find that I do not in any way suggest that he has no right to sell what he wants in his stores. Nor am I calling for a boycott. What I did say was that I, personally, will never set foot in a hobby lobby because, by his actions - i.e. david green's apparent "values" - he is an anti-Semitic idiot. Until and unless I am shown a reason to feel otherwise, that opinion stands as written. (10/01/13)

Hank Ken, Mr. Green is a biblical Christian from what I have researched. There are over a billion like him in the world. Some Catholic, many of a protestant faith. As a biblical Christian, one believes and is convicted to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. One of the doctrines is to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). To do the opposite, i.e. promote a different faith would be a sin in the sense that he would be promoting death to those who do not celebrate Jesus Christ as Lord. That is his conviction, and it is a very common belief in a big part of this country and much of the world. You say that you have Christian friends. Have you ever thought that they are not the popes of all Christianity. In fact the may not be behaving in Christian ways. You accuse Mr. Green of not behaving as a Christian because he does not promote items outside of his faith and love of his Lord. I would say that he is the one who is behaving as a true Christian as prescribed by Christ and not your Christian friends. So in other words, if you truly believed something to be wrong, and your friend was asking for acceptance for that wrong act, would you advise your friend to take that road just to satiate that friendship? Or would you be a true friend and give him the advise that you knew to be true and lead that person to what you believe to be a better path? (10/01/13)

Ken Berwitz Hank - I did not say he wasn't behaving as a Christian. I said that if this is his idea of Christianity, it is offensive to me. As it would be offensive to just about every Christian I have ever met. Feel free to bask in his glow, but don't expect me to join you. (10/01/13)

Hank, Mr. Berwitz, So let me understand what you are saying. Please correct me if I get anything wrong. You are offended because Mr. Green operates a business and leads all other aspects of his life according to his faith and love in Christ (Christianity). He doesn't check his faith or convictions at the door when he goes to work. That offends you. You believe that he is intolerant and anti-Semitic because he does not offer products that would promote a faith that is contrary to his own faith which believes that only those that place their trust in Christ will go to Heaven. That even though Mr. Green's faith allows him to love you and not help you down a road that he believes to be eternally damning, you tell him to go to that specific place? All because you feel offended? Try this next time you are with one of your Christian friends; ask them To answer this one question with a simple "yes" or "no"--no other comment: "Do you believe I am damned to hell because I am Jewish?" You may be offended by their answer and need to boycott some of your friends. (10/01/13)

Hank One more thing. As a follow-up question to your Christian friends you may want to ask, "Do you love me as a fellow man?" Undoubtedly the answer would be "yes". And I am also sure if you asked the same question to Mr. Green who you told to "go to hell", he would also answer "yes". As would I. So you see, Ken, we Christians are all over the place. And those who live by our convictions have a very lovely attitude towards all. The problem seems to be that instead of seeking out why Mr. Green behaves the way he does, you become offended and thus shut down the opportunity to learn about the billions of your fellow men and women that roam this earth. (10/01/13)

Ken Berwitz Hank - my final post to you. I am not offended by david green having beliefs and not checking them at the door. I am offended that his beliefs seem to be that if you don't SHARE his beliefs you have no importance and can be shoved aside. But then again you know that already, because I've explained it several times. Have a nice day. (10/01/13)

Debbie Goldberg When Hobby Lobby moved to So. Plfd. and I found out why they are not open on Sunday, I decided I would never patronize them. There are several other craft stores that have Chanuka items, etc. and we definitely do not need a store that is anti-semitic (which I believe they are). Why would they open stores in areas where there are alot of Jewish people and have the nerve to expect Jewish money to be spent there. Hobby Lobby - go back to your Evangelist part of the country. All Jews should boycott their stores. (10/01/13)

Lisa Thompson FYI - HL's customer service number is 1-800-888-0321 (10/01/13)

(Anon) Mr. Berwiz, I too will end my comments here. Thank you for letting my comments stand and not deleting them. Also thank you for your frank discussion. I am troubled by the fact that you are still offended. You have created a national stir, however minor compared to the news of October 1, 2013, But it was picked up nationally. I cannot congratulate your blog on this because the main reason it was picked up nationally was because you wrote a hearsay quote that headlined much of the media that wrote on this, "We do not cater to you people". Also, you later changed the premise on that quote and the national and local media did not update their reports. I think you can see where I am going Ken. It was an unbelievable statement made by a hypothetical store agent to a "friend" of yours. Then you changed via an "UPDATE:" the move from Hanukkah decorations to a Bar Mitzvah card. That was strange considering at that point your story was starting to gain national attention. Because how many Jewish people are shopping for Hanukkah decorations in September? That seemed somewhat fishy and I am glad you clarified it and changed your mind. Because you exposed yourself there. Your mistake was to change the premise...or change anything. That is the admission of a liar. Now, as for Mr Green, it seems that he is not as devout as I had thought (which is perfectible with me). He may be offering Hanukkah merchandise. He is at the very least considering it. But I doubt it will happen. If it was my business I would not. But like Mr. Green I would welcome all into my store. I would hire like he does jewish workers. The main portion of the inventory is non-secular and you are not required to buy a cross with every purchase, right?. To attack the Marlboro Hobby Lobby like you did is hateful. May I remind you of your "Go to hell!" statement towards the owner for what ALLEGELY a low worker said? You are off-base on this and I would advise that you write a follow up article to save face and get back your credibility. You have been quite irresponsible in your actions and comments regarding this. It's time to man-up and admit that you are wrong, (10/01/13)

JudiOz @ Hank - You have been repetitively questioning Ken's knowledge and understanding of one aspect of his post - Mr. Green's christianity - and yet you seemed surprised (skeptical even) by his update that mentioned his friend asking about the availability of Bar Miztvah cards. You sarcastically said: "Yea, people go to Hobby Lobby for greeting cards." Seems that you don't have such comprehensive knowledge of your subject matter, sir. Have you been in a Hobby Lobby recently? People DO go there for greeting cards. As a matter of fact, there is an entire section of the store dedicated to greeting cards. Plenty to choose from ... if you're in the market for Christian greeting cards, that is. The entire department is christian-themed. And, nope, not a Bar Mitzvah card in sight. As Ken has told you (and the rest of us) numerous times, Mr. Green has the right to sell - or not sell - what he wishes in his stores. And like Ken, I will exercise my right to no longer patronize Mr. Green's stores. Furthermore, I plan to encourage everyone I know to do the same. (10/02/13)

Hank Judi, Do you live here? We have greeting cards in every supermarket (probably 5 in a 10 mile radius) and greeting cards in drug stores (probably 5+ in a 10 mile radius) and stores dedicated to just greeting cards! Now do you want to tell me why this woman was venturing into a hobby shop and bitching about them not having Jewish greeting cards? Oy! And, Judi, thank you for not patronizing the store. It will be another safe haven for me and my children. You really need to calm down and understand that I am not the problem, Ken and his imaginary friends are.. (10/02/13)

Reality And thus Hank clearly announces that he is an anti-Semite: "Now do you want to tell me why this woman was venturing into a hobby shop and bitching about them not having Jewish greeting cards? Oy! And, Judi, thank you for not patronizing the store. It will be another safe haven for me and my children." (10/02/13)

lisa Why on earth would you open a craft store in that area if you're not going to sell to everyone who might shop there? I can only imagine they got a sweetheart deal on the rent because the landlord needed to fill the space since the Pathmark closed. (10/02/13)

Really? @ celia hecht: So...you went into a Christian store...Felt uncomfortable about all the crosses that are in a Christian store...Then got offended that they didn't have items that were specific to your religion and then declared them intolerant to your beliefs while at the same time showing how intolerant you are of their religion? Tell me again how that makes any sense. (10/02/13)

Cactus Wren If you've ever shopped in Hobby Lobby, as I have in the past but don't any more, you probably noticed how long it takes to check out. Not one Hobby Lobby store has bar-code scanners at the registers, because David Green believes bar codes to be in some way connected with the "Mark of the Beast". But the interminable wait at the register gives shoppers more time to examine the display of "Testa-Mints" next to the chewing gum and Altoids. (10/02/13)

Marvin You are so out of control. A Christian would never condemn a man on hearsay. AN Jews do not believe in Hell, because by definition, Hell is the place for the ETERNAL punishment of the soul, in the next life, for the sins committed in this life. Although Judaism certainly believes in a punishment in the next life for the sins committed in this life, Jews do not believe in Hell because we believe G-d to be forgiving, compassionate, and merciful. So, the idea of an ETERNAL punishment makes G-d look Cruel, and prevents us from believing in a hell. You haven't indicated you called the corporate office to inquire. I did two days ago. Your information is so wrong. I have never bought anything at Hobby Lobby. They have nothing I need or want. By the way Chanukah is a minor holiday. In my family and community we don't send greeting cards or exchange gifts. So, why would a Jew need wrapping paper or any other chotsky for the holiday. We have a traditional ceremony each evening to light candles and pray. Man you are so out of it. (10/02/13)

Marvin You are so out of control. A Christian would never condemn a man on hearsay. AN Jews do not believe in Hell, because by definition, Hell is the place for the ETERNAL punishment of the soul, in the next life, for the sins committed in this life. Although Judaism certainly believes in a punishment in the next life for the sins committed in this life, Jews do not believe in Hell because we believe G-d to be forgiving, compassionate, and merciful. So, the idea of an ETERNAL punishment makes G-d look Cruel, and prevents us from believing in a hell. You haven't indicated you called the corporate office to inquire. I did two days ago. Your information is so wrong. I have never bought anything at Hobby Lobby. They have nothing I need or want. By the way Chanukah is a minor holiday. In my family and community we don't send greeting cards or exchange gifts. So, why would a Jew need wrapping paper or any other chotsky for the holiday. We have a traditional ceremony each evening to light candles and pray. Man you are so out of it. (10/02/13)

Joe Bloggs Well, thank goodness being offended doesn't lead to waking up in the morning with like, Leprosy or something. Sheesh. Fine, be offended. Don't shop there. You won't die from being offended. This whole "old trick" needs to stop, you're losing your audience (10/02/13)

shanna harrington I have spent my hard earned money buying my kids lots of arts and crafts from hobby lobby over the years. I have prob spent hundreds of dollars I will never shop in that store and will now make sure I drive the extra 10 minutes to Michaels (10/02/13)

Shlomo Bergsteinowitz OYVEY WE NEED TO CALL THE ADL, AIPAC, AND JIDF! THESE FILTHY GOY NEED TO LEARN YOU CANNOT DO BUSINESS IN OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT DOING BUSINESS WITH OUR PEOPLE. THIS IS HOW THINGS STARTED IN THE 1930'S PEOPLE! (10/02/13)

Ken Berwitz shmucko - If you're going to troll, can you at least try to be clever?  This doesn't even rise to potty-training level. (10/02/13)

ctrl Why are you all so angry about this? It's his business, and it's his prerogative to choose what he sells and what he doesn't. If he doesn't support a religion, why should he have to sell things related to that religion? And how is it anti-Semitism if he is a Christian himself? Would you complain if a Satanist got angry because he didn't sell items relating to Satanist holidays? (10/02/13)

Tom Albert Because Mr Green chooses not to sell items connected to Jewish holidays at his stores, one can not automatically jump to the conclusion he is anti-Semetic. It simply means he chooses not to sell those items. That is his right. But if we follow the logic of many on this blog, then Mr. Green must of necessity be anti-Muslim, anti-Communist and anti-Goth because it is likely individuals espousing those beliefs will not find merchandise supporting their beliefs either. I also looked at the Hobby Lobby website. It is abundantly clear from statements in the Our Company section what the company is all about and what their guiding principles are. (10/02/13)

Jordon R. I have been appalled of late by the number of Jewish Americans who have sided with Christian extremists to harass and discriminate against Muslims in this country. When you allow that kind of hate to breed and get involved in it as well, then it's only a matter of time before the same bigots you back and you utilised to attack others begin to turn on you. Just saying. (10/03/13)

Jillian Oh for crying out loud. What a bunch of whiners and crybabies. (10/03/13)

Diamond Eldorado So is a Jewish grocer who only sells Kosher items discriminating against Christians, because they are not catering to them??? Get over yourself. You don't have the right to buy everything you want at every single store you go into. They have every right to stock- or not stock- any items they want. They are not required to cater to you or anyone else. If you don't want to shop there, don't. But shut up about it. (10/03/13)

Mark Sider Hobby Lobby is permitted to stock and sell whatever it wants to and is not required to explain its choices. Neither is anyone required to shop there. I think they probably don't supply Ramadan lights either but I will just find them elsewhere. I have no desire to shop at Hobby Lobby but it is not because they do not cater to my personal religious needs. The "you people" comment is certainly bigoted and ugly but if they don't want to sell Jewish or Muslim items that is their business. (10/03/13)

Giovanni Its his company he can do as he pleases. Personally I didn't know this and already spent $800 this past week....I will definitely go back and spend even more now. Thank you for bringing this to my intention. Merry Christmas!! (10/03/13)

John Doe You sir are A REAL NITWIT AND ONE OF THE PEOPLE CAUSING ALL THE TROUBLE IN THE WORLD.! if they dont have what you want , cant you go somewhere else to buy? But no! You make it a discrimination case.Rubbish! Anyone who doesnt agree with you is instantly hated on. And its all based on hearsay! no wonder america is sinking! The moment Jesus and prayer was removed from schools is when the gays and lesbians and other nonsense took over! This is really the end! (10/03/13)

vegas vegan It's not just HL. In Las Vegas not ONE Kmart, WalMart, 99c store or Michaels sell Jewish holiday decorations. Greeting cards yes, decorations &/or wrapping paper no. The grocery stores seem to be the only general retailer selling items. (10/03/13)

sheryl If you don't like the store then don't go! Why do religious people have to take everything so personally? (10/03/13)

Esther Crouch Shame Hobby Lobby! Shame on you mr.green!! I know this store is based in Oklahoma. jejejeje SURE! Need to be from OKLAHOMA! Darkness=Ignorance. (10/03/13)

Eshal Really? This is getting out of hand. Hobby Lobby does not discriminate against Jewish customers. Customers are not asked to identify themselves prior to entering the store. Anyone can shop there. No one is being discriminated against. By your logic then every store/business that is affiliated with a certain religious belief discriminates against ALL the other religions out there. There is a butcher two blocks from my house; its name does not have the word "Kosher" or "Jewish" added to it but the owners are Jewish. Upon learning that they only offer kosher meats, I did not bother them to bring halal items. Why would I? They're Jewish! Are they discriminating against all the other groups who don't consume Kosher meats? They're not. It would be discrimination if they REFUSED to sell me the items they already have in stock because I do not belong to their group. I am able and welcomed to buy those items, but I choose not to because they don't have what I want. And it would be completely DISRESPECTFUL to ask them to start offering halal items even though they advertise themselves as a "meat market". We need to start using the intelligence we all have and put some critical thinking to work. I have been discriminated against before for speaking a different language and dressing a different way - not at HL but at the university I attended. The Hobby Lobby case here is NOT discrimination. The owners are evangelical Christians therefore it is safe to assume that aside from offering decoration/craft supplies year-round, they would also offer decorations/crafts for the holidays they celebrate. I was recently visiting another city and went into a small and quaint bookstore (I love books). They had a wide variety of literary novels, cookbooks, craft books, etc. I noticed they sold communion cards and baptism announcements/cards. Although they sold these items, they were mainly a general bookstore. I asked the cashier (who turned out to be the owner) where I would find a religious section (shelf). She basically explained that it is a family owned business and they're all practicing Catholics so that's mainly what their religious section was made up of. People who affiliate their business with their religious belief is NOT discrimination. There are different businesses affiliated with religious beliefs such as grocery stores, event planning businesses, publishing houses, schools, restaurants etc. It is not discrimination and it is wrong to claim that they are doing so. If the employee did in fact use those words, then I believe it was a wrong. And to give the customer service rep. the benefit of the doubt, it could also have been poor word choice without meaning to discriminate. When I was discriminated against, I went straight to the head of the department at the university. I do have to wonder why the insulted customer went straight to the media with a complaint instead of asking to speak to the manager. Yes, it happened at Hobby Lobby but I'm pretty sure we can all agree that a customer service employee does not always reflect the values of the business/chain/owners. I know that the university I attended does not condone discrimination. They just made a mistake in hiring a professor who although knowledgeable on the subject he taught, was completely ignorant on multiculturalism. I do not see a case of discrimination at all. Everyone is welcomed to shop at Hobby Lobby regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, etc. The fact that they do not carry items from all religious groups is NOT discrimination. Just like not every grocery store sells items from all ethnic groups. It is NOT discrimination. I do see a case of prejudice - mainly from your part. You appear to have a very negative attitude towards the Christian community and Hobby Lobby. Please remember that prejudice frequently leads to discriminatory behaviour. (10/03/13)

jane blog we have a new hobby lobby store in my area. Mr. Green will definitely not be blessed. See Genesis 12:3. We are Christians and will tell all our friends and family not to shop Hobby Lobby. Mr. Green is not a christian. He is a religious man (not christian) who is anti-semitic. All I can add is this is very sad. What all true christians should do is BOYCOTT this store. (10/03/13)

John Eight Thirty-Two I would think selling halal meat is the easiest thing in the world for a kosher butcher. Aren't the rules essentially the same? It's not like he's trying to sell kosher halal pork. (10/03/13)

iizthatiiz Yes, it can be spelled with either the Ch or an H however, when spelling with an H, it's Hanukkah .. two k's in the middle (10/04/13)

Fram Ester Let's not forget that there is a difference between hatred and indifference. What Hobby Lobby is doing is not Anti-semitism. Don't attack them just because they have the courage in this day in age to publicly state their beliefs... a right that even the Jews appreciate. (10/04/13)

spatrick Mr. Berwitz is offended easily. Why don't you share with the Christians here what the uncensored Babylonia Talmud says about Christ? That he was a bastard, fathered by a Roman soldier by the name of Pantera? That Mary was a prostitute? That Jesus is boiling in excrement in Hell due to his practicing sorcery and misleading the Jewish people? Princeton professor of Jewish Studies Peter Schafer discusses these anti-Christian facts and others as they appear throughout the Talmud and in Rabbinic tradition -- never mind what the Toledot Yeshu says. Why would an openly Christian store want to stock "religious items" from a faith that says such hateful things about it and is diametrically opposed to it? Do Lubavicher stores stock Christian items? (10/04/13)

Peter Townsend Good, I'm glad they don't cater to you people. Maybe if you didn't screw everyone's life up, people would like you more. (10/04/13)

RMc I like to do crafts so i went to the new hobby lobby in Dickson City PA- I knew nothing about this company. As I was walking through the aisles a store employee twice cut me off when I was going to another aisle- it was just weird and i said to her, is there some type of problem. I did buy a few things and left. It was a few days later that I found out who the owner of the store was and that he was "evangelical". I too will never buy anything from hobby lobby ever again. (10/04/13)

JewishPrincess Question: Does anyone know if Hobby Lobby employs any Jews? I would wonder about that, especially at the corporate level. Now that would be a discrimination lawsuit. If Green despises all things Jewish, why does he own the world's oldest Jewish prayer book in his private collection? Interesting how these topics bring the antisemites out of the woodwork. (10/04/13)

Flower David Green is an amazing man. He employs people of all kinds. Mr. Green and the Jewish community worship the same God. Now, they may worship differently, but still the same God. That doesn't make either party any better than the other, it just makes them unique and special in their own way. In the past, Hobby Lobby carried Hanukkah items. Unfortunately, they didn't sell well. So, like any good businessman, these items were discontinued. I feel that is fair. I wouldn't want ANY company to lose money carrying a product that no one is buying and it's wrong for you to think they should. I think it's wrong for all of you to judge one man and his business all because of a statement that one person said. Before you go slandering the Green family, you really should know the facts about them and their beliefs. Hobby Lobby President Steve Green issued a press statement in regards to the comment that was made by that employee. If you are going to be hateful and judging, please take the time to read the statement below. newsok.com/hobby-lobbys-president-steve-green-responds-to-bloggers-anti-semitism-claim/article/3889542/?page=2 (10/05/13)

patrick The god of the Kabbalah and the Mishnah and Gemara of the Talmud are not the same as the Triune God of Christianity. The godhead presented in the Kabbalah is akin to certain Gnostic ideas of emanations (sephora) and cannot be manipulated through occultic means as discussed in Merkavah literature. Christians do not believe in reincarnation as Orthodox Judiasm does. Christians do not believe they are the only people who can recover divine sparks of the Godhead that fell into kelipot to be redeemed by an extra special people. They are not the same God and as soon as Christians educate themselves on what Talmudic and Kabbalistic Judiasm really teaches, perhaps real dialogue can begin and the world can begin to heal under the Grace of Christ. (10/05/13)

Esser Agaroth Hi, Ken, Let me start out by saying that I do not think that you are wrong, not in your report, not in your take. However, I believe that we, as Jews, need to take a deeper look into what is actually going on here. My full response is posted at Esser Agaroth. (10/05/13)

A DEE D Goldberg – “Jewish money”?!! I did not realize that money had a religious demonization. How do we know what the employee actually said? We don’t, we only have KB’s word and that does not appear to be worth much. The only prejudices I see is coming from the Jewish community. I never shopped at Hobby Lobby but thanks to K Berwitz’s rant and the response from what appears to be his community I will be sure to patronize the store from now on and often. (10/05/13)

josepine This is very sad that people are so unhappy with themselves and their lives that they feel they MUST ATTACK others. Everyone can find something to be offended at but some are smart enough to get on with life and shop where the products they want are sold, rather than cause problems and HATRED toward others. This is NOT ant-Semitism. I love God's chosen people. This is still America, sooo far. I LIKE HOBBY LOBBY. I and my friends and family WILL shop there and our community LOVES it too. Go to where you like but stop causing undue HATRED toward Christians as well. This is SHALLOW minded. WHEN A STORE DOES NOT CARRY THE PRODUCT I WANT, I GO TO THE APPROPRIATE STORE THAT DOES..... DUH! (10/07/13)

katarina Wow, these comments sure make Atheism an easy choice. btw, JOSEPHINE!!!!!!!, the fact that M Green is trying to foist his religious beliefs on his female employees is enough to make me stop shopping there. (10/07/13)

Josephine cool jewel, all a matter of opinion and we all have one. Just be careful of slander. (10/08/13)

Lori S. I just discovered your blog via David Yonke and his Toledo FAVS website. I'm a Christian with Jewish relatives and friends. We enjoy shopping at Hobby Lobby, that is, until now. I was shocked, then disgusted, by owner David Green's blatant anti-semitism. He's a Christian?!! I will share your informative blogpost on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I will not shop HL any longer. Thank you! (10/09/13)

katie I have worked at hobby lobby and i never once heard or read anything from the company that had anything to do with not wanting to sell to people of the Jewish faith. All of this has been blown out of proportion and none of it came from David Green himself. If you want to be angry at someone be angry at the person who said the offensive comment. I realize they represent the company as an employee but not Mr. Green himself. Wow, products are sold and discontinued based on how they sell and regardless of which faith they are from. Crosses are discontinued.. all things are based on business decisions not religious ones. How good you must feel telling someone to" go to hell". (10/09/13)

B Freedman Stop your whining. Jews make up 2% of the population and a private business can sell whatever it wants--and to whom it wants for that matter--and the idea that there is a special brand of bigotry for Jews called antisemitism (while Arabs are also semites, too) says more about the people who use the race card than it does about the bigots. (10/10/13)

J L While obviously it's important to be sensitive to the sad history of Christian anti-Semitism, it seems like this can get spun into "anti-Semitism" only by committing the "it's all about ME" fallacy. I imagine Hobby Lobby also does not sell stuff for Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan, Atheist/Freethinker, or Buddhist holidays, even in stores located in areas with above-average population concentrations of such beliefs. No, I am not equating Judaism with those other belief systems, but unless Hobby Lobby caters to all of those other places BUT then SPECIFICALLY targets Judaism in some way, how is that "anti-Semitism." By the same logic, am I an "Islamophobe" if I refuse to contribute money to build a mosque? As a Christian, I would understand if a Jewish merchant was not comfortable selling me a cross. A great Rabbi once taught that we should do no less for others than we would want them to do for us. (10/11/13)

ErikwithaK Another non issue. Just because they don't carry items for a minor Jewish holiday doesn't mean they're anti Semitic. Other than Hanuka, what holiday items does Target stock? Does that make them anti Semitic? This is a private business that can carry any items they want. Whether they are or aren't a "Christian" store is irrelevant. Whether they are open to the general public is irrelevant. He has a business plan and the market will determine whether it succeeds of fails. And you base your assumptions on the words of people other than Green? That's how your blog works? Oookayyy (10/17/13)

grintch Strange coincidence his name is "Mr. Green" That's the character (Jewish) that Gregory Peck played in the movie "Gentlemen's Agreement" That dealt with anti-semitism many years ago. (10/20/13)

Ken Berwitz grintch - Actually, Peck's character - Philip Green - was not Jewish. He was a writer who pretended to be Jewish while doing a magazine series, to find out for himself whether there was anti-Semitism and how it was manifested. The movie is very dated now, but if you get a chance to see it you'll find that it has an excellent cast (Celeste Holm and James Garfield among other supporting actors) and that the beginning of the movie - which was filmed in 1947 - has some really terrific location shots of post-war New York City. My favorite scene: when Green is first welcomed at the resort hotel, then refused a room when he makes the staff suspicious that he might be Jewish....with a special nod to the bellboy's smirky look of triumph when he carries Green's bags out the door. (10/21/13)

Burcu I had a quick look at your website. A few SEO tips for your you:Your site has dtauicple META Tags: Title, Description and keywords. Each tag on each page needs to be individual and relevant to the page's content.Your title tag is far too short and Google will most likely ignore it for that reason.You also have keywords in every keyword tag that dont apear on the page content, either remove offending keywords from tag or include in web page text content.Your site navigation is not user or search engine friendly, currently every page apart from the home page only links back to the home page. You should put navigation on every page in the same spot, to all important pages. Search engines may also encounter following your internal page links, change to/or add text links to internal pages, your xml sitemap helps but it's not ideal. Also your xml sitemap has the same priority level for all pages, they need to indicate different prioritys like homepage with the highest value.If you have your site verified in Google Webmaster Tools, Google will already be, or soon will be, pointing some of these problems out to you. That's about as solid proof they need changing as you can get. Adding H1 & H2 Header Tags (headline texts) would benefit your website alot aswell, as they are like content titles and subtitles and give the search engines and site visitors a clear idea of the structure of each pages content.Just a quick few tips that should help you alot when applied. (11/09/13)

susan defuria i will tell everyone i know to boycott hobby lobby because it is owned by a scum bag who is not in tune with "love thy neighbor" and practices abuse toward women. how dare they deny any woman her basic rights!!! (11/27/13)


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