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Whole Foods, CVS Confuse Jewish Holidays With Incorrect Displays

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/20/2011 5:25 pm Updated: 12/20/2011 5:25 pm

WASHINGTON -- Are local businesses culturally insensitive to Jews? The Washington Post's Jessica Goldstein expressed her shock Tuesday when she learned the new Whole Foods supermarket in Foggy Bottom had stocked its Hanukkah display shelves with matzoh -- an unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the week of Passover.

According to the Post:

Matzoh and matzoh balls and a wide variety of matzoh-y things would be just spectacular if this were a) a Passover display or b) the cracker section, but it is neither. It is Hanukkah which, for the uninitiated, is not Passover and is not a holiday on which one eats matzoh. What Whole Foods is really displaying is a casual kind of ignorance for which there is no excuse.

Goldstein went on to say that although it might generate less media attention than the so-called "War on Christmas," the mistake is really a "callous kind of carelessness" that must be addressed.

The store has since pulled the boxes from the display with its apologies.

The Huffington Post also learned that the CVS pharmacy in the Court House neighborhood of Arlington County made a similar error, pairing its Hanukkah display with an image of a shofar and pomegranates. Both are items associated with the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Although it's easy to understand that non-Jews are unfamiliar with the differences between the holidays -- which are significant -- it's surprising that some businesses in the area don't think to cater to the Jewish population, or at the very least, as Goldstein puts it, devote "30 seconds to a Wikipedia search for 'Hanukkah food'."

According to a 2003 study, 215,600 Jews live in the D.C. metropolitan area.

National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony Held On DC's Ellipse
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The National Menorah is lit for the first night of Hanukkah on the National Mall on Tuesday in Washington DC. Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight day Jewish holiday marking the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
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