Hobby Lobby craft stores have made good on a promise to stock Hanukka products in areas with Jewish residents.
Edison resident Carla Heller was shopping with her 10- and 13-year-old daughters recently in the South Plainfield store when she saw the Hanukka decorations on a shelf and snapped a photo.
“It was a small display of Jewish stars and garland,” she told NJJN. “There were a few menoras, some cookie cutters. No more, no less than you would see at any other retailer like Target or a place like that.”
The Christian-owned chain was the subject of an onslaught of bad publicity after a New Jersey blogger wrote about the lack of Hanukka merchandise at its Marlboro store.
According to the blogger, Ken Berwitz, a friend who asked about Hanukka goods was told, “We don’t cater to you people.”
After the blog post went viral, the chain issued an apology and promised to stock Hanukka items in areas with Jewish populations, including central New Jersey. The Anti-Defamation League accepted the chain’s apology for the employee’s behavior, but added, “we have no reason to believe that Hobby Lobby has refused to stock Hanukka items because of hostility to Jews or anti-Semitism.”
Heller said she had never encountered any problems when shopping at the South Plainfield store.
“Everybody has always been very friendly,” she said. “In fact, my older daughter just had her bat mitzva Oct. 5 around the time all this started and we bought the baskets there. I told them I needed new baskets for candy because I had to make sure they were kosher. Everyone there was very nice about it. I always believed this whole thing was just one or two bad employees.