Hobby Lobby May Add Jewish Holiday Decorations to Shelves

After backlash for perceived bias, Hobby Lobby says it will evaluate its current stock of merchandise.

Christmas decorations at Hobby Lobby. Credit: Patch photo
Christmas decorations at Hobby Lobby. Credit: Patch photo

Hobby Lobby is experiencing an Internet backlash because the arts-and-crafts chain doesn't stock Jewish holiday decorations among its wares.

The company announced that it will review whether to add Hannukah decorations to its merchandise after a New Jersey blogger ignited a debate about the retailer's values and its avoidance of Jewish-themed decor.

Hobby Lobby has stores in Vernon Hills, Palatine, Schaumburg and Mount Prospect among its 17 stores in the Chicago area.

The blog post, written by Ken Berwitz, author of the political book Hopelessly Partisan, recounts a conversation Bewitz said he had with the craft and home store's corporate office in which the office allegedly answered, "Because Mr. [David] Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian, and those are his values."

In a brief email to Patch, Hobby Lobby representative Vincent Parker said, "We currently do not carry any Hanukah items in our store. Our customers have brought this to our attention and we are currently evaluating our Holiday items and what we will carry in the future."

The store is an arts and crafts chain controlled by Green and family in Oklahoma City with 13,000 employees and 525 big-box stores in the United States as of March, 2013.

In his blog post, Berwitz said he believes the lack of Jewish holiday decorations is "anti-Semitic" in an area with a large Jewish population.

"So let's be clear: these are not Christian values. They are David Green values," Berwitz wrote.

On its website, the Hobby Lobby mission includes, "Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles."

— By Kaitlyn Anness, Patch.com

Melissa September 30, 2013 at 06:02 PM
I feel it is necessary to point out the fallacy in all this. This whole situation was brought about by a friend of the author claiming she was told by a Hobby Lobby thaat when discovering that the faith based company did not "cater to your people" when she found that there were no items for Jewish faith holidays available, and when she called and the author called the company's corporate line they were informed that the owner,Mr. Green did not recognize Jewish holidays as a part of the company's observance and it was his choice not to include Jewish decorations in their craft stores. This has blown into the author telling the owner of Hobby Lobby to go to hell (a direct quote) and a claim that Hobby Lobby should be boycotted for discrimination and anti semitism acrossthe webs. I ask you for you to call your iintegrity and responsibility into question when actively doing this. I am a proud member of the gay community, and realize that people's oppression is often marginalized by right wing and Christian groups, but to say because of an anecdotal storyline with bias that this company did the Jewish community wrong and discriminated against them is completely incorrect and irrefutably wrong l. They did not refuse anyone service, they did not declare hatred, a simple background check into Mr. Green would show he is an active member in the Christian community and collects artifacts of Christianity, including rare Jewish literature. You are telling people they do not have the right to have their own decisions in what products to carry basses on their beliefs, that is marginalizing and being bigoted. I do not expect Christian bookstores to carry books that support the LBGT community, my community, and do not go into them enraged when they do not "cater" to my "people". This is dangerous and ridiculous propaganda, and the journalist should be ashamed of whaat he has started. Droves of people now boycott this company because of his "story" editorial that not once quoted a direct source to factual information, just claims. You do not have the right to force every company in this country to cater to every single protected class. I respect the Jewish community, and have ties to Judiasm in my family, but I found this storyline and it's implications not only offensive and fraudulent to Judiasm, but to all people who actually are oppressed by a right wing minded society. Call into question your integrity, ask yourself, when you go into a store that is Jewish owned and themed, if it would be right to call into question discrimination for not carrying Christmas themed and Christian themed holiday crafts and decorations. How can a respected journalist community oversight the hypocrisy in causing this kind of controversy? I am disappointed, thoroughly by you author's irresponsobility.
florene darr October 04, 2013 at 10:56 AM
What a great, to the point article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts'and articulating how the majority of people feel.
florene darr October 04, 2013 at 10:56 AM
What a great, to the point article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts'and articulating how the majority of people feel.


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