BY SAM FIELDS
“We don’t cater to you people” was the explanation offered to a Jew looking for Chanukah candles at a New Jersey Hobby Lobby store that was filled to the gills with Christmas items.
Reacting, CEO Steve Green assured the public that he didn’t hate Jews and regularly gave to Jewish charities like Yad Vashem. He further promised the Jewish community that he would reconsider the lack of Chanukah tchotchkes based on the local market demand.
That was in 2013.
Never heard of Hobby Lobby?
It’s an arts and crafts chain with 572 outlets and 23,000 employees.
A Southern Baptist whose $3.3 billion company is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Green is a religious fanatic. He says his company is run on Biblical beliefs and it has four minister on the payroll.
Green went to the Supreme Court to avoid insurance coverage for female birth control because of his belief that the Bible is against abortion. The good news for men is that Hobby Lobby insurance still covers boner pills and penis enlargements.
Meanwhile, he is building a huge Bible museum near the Capitol in Washington.
Hobby Lobby recently opened a store in Davie. I thought I would check it out after seeing daily newspaper ads that promoted Christmas items with zippo about Chanukah.
There are over a half a million Jews in South Florida. With snowbirds Broward has over 200,000. I expected to see at least an isle of menorahs, candles and dreidles, etc. After all, Mr. Green assured the public the market would control Hobby Lobby.
This morning, the first day of Chanukah, the picture below is all they had.
A few measly shelves at the end of an aisle that did not even include candles. Bizarrely, the Chanukah display included a sign announcing 50% off for “Christmas décor”.
Were the Hobby Lobby folks trying to convert us with deep discounts figuring there is no better way to attract the Jews? Or was that a not too subtle sign of contempt?