Hobby Lobby called out for absence of Hanukkah goods, alleged slur

(JTA) — Hobby Lobby, following a blog report that the chain did not stock Hanukkah merchandise, said it was evaluating its inventory and looking into an alleged anti-Jewish slur by one of its employees.

Ken Berwitz on his Hopelessly Partisan blog wrote over the weekend that a friend who asked about Hanukkah goods at the arts and crafts chain’s store in Marlboro, N.J., was told “We don’t cater to you people.”

Berwitz reported that he called the company’s home office in Oklahoma and was told that Hanukkah is not on the chain’s list of holidays and that it would not be stocking Hanukkah merchandise “(b)ecause Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he’s a Christian and those are his values.”

David Green, an evangelical pastor, according to Berwitz, owns the chain.

In a statement issued Monday on Entrepreneur.com, the chain said it “is currently working with our buyers over our merchandise selection. Due to multiple customer requests, we are currently evaluating our Holiday items and what we will carry in the future.

“Alleged comments made by employees are being investigated and will be addressed accordingly. These comments are in no way indicative of Hobby Lobby culture, the owners and the operators.”

The company is not required by law to sell Hanukkah or any other Jewish-related merchandise.

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