Hobby Lobby Considering Jewish Holiday Decorations on Shelves

Hobby Lobby told Patch it is evaluating its current stock of merchandise.

Christmas Decorations in the Hobby Lobby store, Marlboro Township. (Photo credit: Kaitlyn Anness).
Christmas Decorations in the Hobby Lobby store, Marlboro Township. (Photo credit: Kaitlyn Anness).
Update: Read Hobby Lobby's response to the alleged offensive comments here.

After internet backlash from a local blogger about its Marlboro Township store, Hobby Lobby is evaluating its merchandise.

Over the weekend, Marlboro residents began to discover and circulate a blog post detailing Hobby Lobby's lack of Jewish holiday decorations.

The 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."

Parker did not comment on the alleged remarks by a Hobby Lobby employee, and did not confirm the conversation ever happened.

Hobby Lobby opened in Marlboro in June, filling the empty Pathmark location on Route 9 North in Marlboro Plaza.

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. It is the third location to open in New Jersey. The other two stores are in South Plainfield and Millville. 

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.

The blog post was also picked up by NJ 101.5 host Ray Rossi. A small majority of listeners voted they would not patronize stores such as Hobby Lobby, Barilla Pasta, or Chick-fil-A when their chairman’s values are made public, if the views do not reflect their own.

In his own blog post, Rabbi Don Weber of Temple Rodeph Torah said, The same freedom that allows Hobby Lobby to ignore Jewish interests also allows us to ignore Hobby Lobby. OUR freedom includes the right to vote with our feet, and with our money."

Green's company also runs Mardel, a large chain of Christian bookstores. The company is challenging a requirement in President Barack Obama's revised healthcare legislation that some companies must give insurance coverage for contraception drugs and devices.  In December, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor refused to block the mandate. The company was told it could continue its challenge in lower courts. 

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." 

Does Hobby Lobby's lack of Jewish holiday representation keep you from shopping in the store?
Michelle Lisanti September 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Don't care if they sell it now I still won't shop there!! I am sure he has no problem taking money from any Jewish customers who do shop there!
smokey2 September 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Was looking forward to checking out this store when it opened, until a close friend said she inquired about holiday decorations and was also told it was a Christian store and no Jewish holiday decorations would ever be stocked. Never did set in foot in there, and never will.
twogirls84 September 30, 2013 at 01:04 PM
My issue is not with his inventory...it's with the exchange that took place!
Natalie Slaughter September 30, 2013 at 02:08 PM
So who wants to be the one to have that awkward conversation with the Green family where it's pointed out that Jesus was Jewish? Good thing he isn't around now; he'd probably get run out of the store.
Kaitlyn Anness September 30, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Hobby Lobby is investigating the comments: http://marlboro-coltsneck.patch.com/groups/business-news/p/hobby-lobby-investigating-employees-alleged-offensive-comments
O Padrinho September 30, 2013 at 03:22 PM
From what I read about Hobby Lobby, the family is very religious and as a private company has the right to sell what it wants. We as consumers have the right to choose whether or not we spend our money there. I applaud the company for promoting Christian values, their stores are closed Sundays as to allow family time for their employees. While the employees comments were inappropriate their stocking policy isnt bigoted any more than the fact I can't get pork or other foods at a kosher food place.
Alyssa Koshefsky Elstad September 30, 2013 at 03:39 PM
It's too late no one wants to buy from them anyway. The employee's comment was rude but they were just relating the company's policy.
StraightGrandmother September 30, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Now you know how gay people feel. The Chairman of Barilla Pasta just told gay people last week that he would never make a commercial with a gay family in it because those are not his kind of families, and if gay people don't like it they can buy a different brand of pasta. For good measure he finished with he does not approve of gay couples adopting children either. So just like you, they ARE buying a different brand of pasta. I am certain that if this hits the Gay Bloggers they will support you as we'll.
Eric Goberman September 30, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Why do they sell halloween stuff ?
Rhonda Gibson September 30, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Well, I guess it's a good thing they are closed on Sunday since the Old Testament says you must be put to death if you labor on Sunday. Mr. Green and/or his reps can talk about his "religious values". There is nothing Christian about the way he treats and judges others. He should try reading the New Testament, the red printed parts, as spoken by Jesus...a Jew.
Eric Goberman September 30, 2013 at 05:13 PM
The sabbath (including christian) is saturday. Some yutz changed it
Michael De Paulo September 30, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Rabbi Don Weber of Temple Rodeph Torah said, The same freedom that allows Hobby Lobby to ignore Jewish interests also allows us to ignore Hobby Lobby. OUR freedom includes the right to vote with our feet, and with our money." Oh my God! How did today's poorly-trained journalists allow a voice of reason into an article obviously written to inflame?!?
Eric Goberman September 30, 2013 at 05:26 PM
//Now you know how gay people feel. // jews already know - that why most support LGBT movement for equal rights
Monica Rose Kiesel September 30, 2013 at 06:32 PM
O Padrinho, the problem with your reasoning is, it ignores a couple of important points about Christianity. The first is that Jesus was Jewish. As for the second, you have heard the story of the good Samaratan, right? Do you know what it was about? (I'm betting David Green doesn't.)
Marlboro VoiceofReason September 30, 2013 at 08:45 PM
We need a new topic already - - - the point has been made.
Rhonda Gibson September 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Hmm, so many of these posts sound like Teabagger logic. I wonder why.
Wwe Tensai October 01, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Gee, they're going to consider selling hanukkah stuff. Aren't they just... just.... so wonderful?????????
anonymous October 01, 2013 at 09:02 PM
I will have no problem shopping there. Just like I have no problem patronizing Kosher restraunts that don't serve cheeseburgers and ham---my favorites!!
Amber Wright October 02, 2013 at 08:58 AM
They have an agenda - you can either support it or not - but there is their agenda. THIS ARTICLE IS FROM 2010 - Hobby Lobby Just Wants To Share Craft Supplies And Christ With You http://consumerist.com/2010/04/14/hobby-lobby-wants-to-share-craft-supplies-and-christ-with-you/
Marlboro VoiceofReason October 02, 2013 at 09:28 AM
Why are we still talking about this. People/consumers have free will to choose where to spend their money. Enough already.....
Manalapan Resident October 15, 2013 at 09:35 AM
I think this patch topic is over .Just for the record.. all the Jews on here that throw Jesus in Christian's faces , need to stop and think...the "JEWS DON'T RECOGNIZE JESUS"but you sure are quick to mention his name only cause he was a Jew..you're a bunch of hypocrites.
Wwe Tensai October 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Could you clarify what "throwing Jesus in Christian's faces" means, exactly? It seems that Hobby Lobby's mission (from their own ads and press releases) is to spread the faith so isn't it them thats doing the throwing?
Manalapan Resident October 15, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Not sure what you don't understand. Jews are reminding Mr. Green that Jesus was Jewish. Mr. Green is Christian, he knows who Jesus is, remember the Christians stayed with Jesus, the Jews left him , it's the Jews that don't know who Jesus really is. Tensai: If you think Hobby lobby is spreading the Christian faith in their "ADS", then why would anyone go to hobby lobby for a bar Mitzvah card? I wouldn't walk into Aramis and ask for a Christmas card ,but then again why not? They sell other gifts and jewelry that aren't just for the Jews. Christmas tree shop is a place that Jews can purchase Hanukkah things..why is that? You figure it out sweetheart.
Manalapan Resident October 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM
@Eric Gooberman, Everyone sells Halloween stuff except Aramis.
Wwe Tensai October 17, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Possibly because Christmas Tree Shop doesn't spread the faith, they just sell stuff. Hobby Lobby is also involved with VisionFforum and a bunch of other interesting organizations. I personally don't care, but I think that whole "you people" was rude. Simple as that. I also find their explanation for why they don't use bar codes really "interesting". They now claim that its because their foreign suppliers can't use them (huh? Doesn't seem to bother WalMart) If you go into one of their stores down South and ask why, they'll tell you that bar codes are "the mark of the beast." Kid you not.


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