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Hobby Lobby's President Steve Green responds to blogger's anti-Semitism claim

The Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain apologizes and says it will re-evaluate its selection of holiday merchandise.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: October 4, 2013

Amid criticism regarding the absence of Jewish-themed merchandise on Hobby Lobby shelves, the Oklahoma City-based retailer Thursday apologized and said it will re-evaluate its holiday items.

Ken Berwitz, a New Jersey blogger, said in a Sept. 27 blog post the retailer refuses to stock anything related to Judaism — no paper dreidels or bar mitzvah greeting cards — even in communities with significant Jewish populations.

The controversy began when Berwitz, who writes the “Hopelessly Partisan” blog, learned that on a recent trip to a new Hobby Lobby store in Marlboro, N.J., his wife's friends could not find anything related to Hanukkah.

According to Berwitz, one of the women asked about bar mitzvah cards, and a Hobby Lobby employee responded: “We don't cater to you people.”

Thursday, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green offered an apology in a written statement.

“We sincerely apologize for any employee comments that may have offended anyone, especially our Jewish customers and friends. Comments like these do not reflect the feelings of our family or Hobby Lobby. Our family has a deep respect for the Jewish faith and those who hold its traditions dear. We're proud contributors to Yad Vashem, as well as to other museums and synagogues in Israel and the United States.” Yad Vashem is Israel's memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

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by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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We are investigating this matter and absolutely do not tolerate discrimination at our company or our stores. We do not have any policies that discriminate; in fact, we have policies that specifically prohibit discrimination.”

Steve Green,
Hobby Lobby President


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