TORONTO (Dec. 16)
A Christmas card has been removed from the shelves of the T. Eaton Company, Canada’s largest department store chain, after a rabbi said it depicted a “classic anti-Semitic message.” The card, which pictures a Hasidic Jew with a beard, ear-locks and a long nose, dressed in a block suit, reads: “We poor Jewish people live in an economy which is directly affected by your Christmas sales. When you Christians hold bock from lavish gift giving, we suffer.”
The card was removed after Rabbi Jordan Pearlson of Temple Sinai of Toronto complained to Eatons that the card was offensive. “I am satisfied Eatons acted in good faith,” Pearlson said in an interview after receiving a letter of apology from the company. “It means they’ve kept their word and not just written a letter.”
RABBI STUNNED BY CARD
Pearlson, who is also the national chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress B’nai B’rith Joint Committee on Community Relations, said he was stunned when he saw the card. He said the only message it gave was a “classic anti-Semitic one.”
Barbara Duckworth, a spokesperson for Eatons, said an assortment of Christmas cards are purchased in bulk and are not always checked thoroughly. Liz Ryan, supervisor of customer service for Recycled Paper Products, Inc. of Chicago, III., which manufactured the card, said the company has sold 375 dozen throughout North America. “We don’t see it at all as being anti-Semitic, not at all “she said. “It was meant to be humorous.”
M. S. Universal Greeting Cards Stationery and Paper Products of Toronto, which distributes the Chicago firm’s products, said the cards are no longer in stock.