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In attempt to please its shoppers, chain offers ‘Jewish’ hot cross buns

LONDON, March 21 (JTA) — Britain’s largest supermarket chain has heeded appeals from some of its Jewish clients and launched a line of “Jewish” hot cross buns for Easter. But the supermarket chain Tesco is likely to find that in this case, at least, the customer is not always right. The chain’s new-look buns — which replace the traditional cross, intended to symbolize the crucifixion of Jesus, with a Star of David — has been greeted with incredulity by both Jews and Christians. A Church of England spokesman said the idea was “a complete waste of time. The point of hot cross buns is that they mark Good Friday when Christ was crucified. Hence the cross. You cannot put a star in its place.” The Jewish education adviser to the interfaith group Council for Christians and Jews, Jonathan Gorsky, said “ it seems to me that the buns are part of Christian life. To pretend otherwise is totally absurd. They have no relevance to Jews and I can see no reason to do such a thing.” The supermarket chain is likely to face another obstacle to its new line: In the largely traditional British Jewish community, there is likely to be little demand for the “Jewish” buns during Easter, which this year falls during the eight days of Passover.

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