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Hobby Lobby Head Likes Jewish Prayer Books, Jewish Holidays Not So Much

David Green owns the world’s oldest siddur, won’t stock Hanukkah items

Elissa Goldstein
October 03, 2013
Gelt; not sold at Hobby Lobby.(Shutterstock)
Gelt; not sold at Hobby Lobby.(Shutterstock)

Earlier this week, the media was afire with the news that the Malboro, NJ outpost of The Hobby Lobby (one of largest craft stores in the United States) would not be stocking Hanukkah merchandise. Well, turns out The Hobby Lobby doesn’t stock any Jewish products at all–nary a bar mitzvah card, according to Ken Berwitz, the blogger who initally broke the story. The reason? According to Hobby Lobby’s corporate office, “Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he’s a Christian, and those are his values.”

Writes Jillian Scheinfeld for Kveller:

Sadly, this Oklahoma-based business owner, David Green (which sounds pretty Jewish) equates being a Christian with disregarding Jewish holidays in a town such as Marlboro, New Jersey, which is 1/3 comprised of Jews. His response is fluff talk for what appears to be unequivocal anti-semitic feelings… Separately, Hobby Lobby has been in the news for challenging the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that the company provide birth control coverage to its employees.

OK. So the ironically named David Green doesn’t like bar mitzvah cards, Hanukkah, women, or the Jews. OR DOES HE? Because the plot thickens, dear readers. Turns out Green is the owner of one of the world’s largest collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts, including, most recently, a siddur reportedly dated to 840 C.E. This latest acquisition was announced on September 26 by Green’s son, Steve Green, amid much excitement. The younger conjectured that the siddur could be the “earliest connection today’s practicing Jews have to the roots of their modern-day rabbinic liturgy.”

Guess it’s all fun and games and Indiana-Jones style antics until one of your customers wants to buy some Hanukkah gelt.

Elissa Goldstein is Tablet’s Social Media Editor. Follow her on Twitter here.

Elissa Goldstein is Tablet’s director of audience development. She also produces Unorthodox. Follow her on Twitter here.