Hobby Lobby has decided to stock Hanukkah merchandise in stores where there is a heavy Jewish population. Blogger Ken Berwitz complained about the lack of merchandise on a blog and was subsequently called by Hobby Lobby president Steve Green.
An employee told Berwitz the store does not carry Jewish merchandise because the Green family is Christian. However, the employee was mistaken because many stores stocked them in the past and some still do carry Hanukkah items.
“We do not have any problems selling items that celebrate Jewish holidays,” Green said. “We have in the past and have decided we would try it again in some of the markets where we have Jewish population.”
Green called Berwitz and they spoke for 15 minutes. Berwitz said he never meant for his blog to start a fight. He described the call as pleasant and was pleased Green took the time to call him personally.
“I’m very pleased that he was as forthcoming,” said Berwitz, a focus group moderator.
Even the Anti-Defamation League knows Hobby Lobby does not always stock Hanukkah merchandise out of spite. Others went to the ADL previously, but they said by not doing this it does not violate anyone’s rights.
“We have no reason to believe that Hobby Lobby has refused to stock Hanukkah items because of hostility to Jews or anti-Semitism,” the statement said. “In fact, some Hobby Lobby stores have stocked a few Hanukkah items in the past, and the chain is apparently considering stocking more Jewish merchandise in the future as they expand into more culturally diverse markets.”
Hobby Lobby came under fire for speaking out against Obamacare and is not very popular with the mainstream media because of their devout Christian values. In fact, Huffington Post Religion posted a very misleading tweet about the story. They said the company decided to carry the merchandise under pressure even though there was no pressure involved.