The national chain store Hobby Lobby is rethinking its policy of not carrying merchandise for Jewish holidays, after an employee at a Hobby Lobby store in New Jersey reportedly made anti-Semitic comments to a customer and a corporate spokesperson told a well-known journalist that the store doesn’t carry Jewish-related merchandise due to the owner’s “Christian values.”
According to writer Ken Berwitz, author of the book Hopelessly Partisan, an employee at the Hobby Lobby outlet in Marlboro, N.J., told a customer who inquired last week about purchasing a greeting card for a bar mitzvah, that none were or would be in stock — even though the store carried cards for other special occasions.
The employee told the customer, “We don’t cater to you people,” Berwitz reported on his blog.
On hearing this story, Berwitz says he followed up by calling the local Hobby Lobby as well as the chain’s corporate headquarters. He was told that the store does not stock items related to Jewish holidays because the chain’s billionaire founder and owner, David Green, “is a Christian and those are his values.”
Berwitz says on his blog, “I would guess that, in a five mile radius around the Marlboro store, a solid one-third of all residents are Jewish.”
On its web site, Hobby Lobby says that the chain’s mission is “honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”
Founded by Green in 1972, 40 years later Hobby Lobby has 550 stores in 45 states.
Contacted by a local news site, Marlboro-Colt’s Neck Patch, company spokesman Vincent Parker simply said that the company is looking into stocking Jewish holiday merchandise. Parker also sent an e-mail ti Marlboro Mayor John Hornik, assuring him that company is “investigating” the comments by an employee reported by Berwitz.
“These comments are in no way indicative of Hobby Lobby culture, the owners and the operators," Parker wrote.
Earlier this year, Green sued the government, so that his company would not have to provide health insurance that covers birth control for his employees.
SOURCES: Hopelessly Partisan (Ken Berwitz), Marlboro-Colts Neck Patch, Wikipedia, Daily Kos