Hobby Lobby is experiencing an Internet backlash because the arts-and-crafts chain doesn't stock Jewish holiday decorations among its wares.
The company announced that it will review whether to add Hannukah decorations to its merchandise after a New Jersey blogger ignited a debate about the retailer's values and its avoidance of Jewish-themed decor.
Hobby Lobby has stores in Tinley Park, Bridgeview, Bolingbrook and Joliet in the southwest suburbs among its 17 stores in the Chicago area.
The blog post, written by Ken Berwitz, author of the political book Hopelessly Partisan, recounts a conversation Bewitz said he had with the craft and home store's corporate office in which the office allegedly answered, "Because Mr. [David] Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian, and those are his values."
In a brief email to Patch, Hobby Lobby representative Vincent Parker said, "We currently do not carry any Hanukah items in our store. Our customers have brought this to our attention and we are currently evaluating our Holiday items and what we will carry in the future."
The store is an arts and crafts chain controlled by Green and family in Oklahoma City with 13,000 employees and 525 big-box stores in the United States as of March, 2013.
In his blog post, Berwitz said he believes the lack of Jewish holiday decorations is "anti-Semitic" in an area with a large Jewish population.
"So let's be clear: these are not Christian values. They are David Green values," Berwitz wrote.
On its website, the Hobby Lobby mission includes, "Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles."
— By Kaitlyn Anness, Patch.com