I consider it a key part of my job as a Jewish philanthropy blogger to promote the good work of Jewish organizations, but sometimes I come across decisions that I think are just plain wrong. Here is one of them that makes me ask, “What were they thinking?!?”
The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, whose work I usually admire, released their December newsletter today. Its headlining article is titled, “How a Nice Jewish Girl Did Christmas– and Chanukah, Too!”
(Did you get that: Christmas– oh yeah, and also Chanukah.)
Okay, I thought. It’s a teaser. You used a provocative headline to get my attention, I’ll keep reading. But it got worse, much worse.
From the logo accompanying the article (see above) to the author’s questioning of Christmas’ place in her house:
But as December approached, I became more uncomfortable about having a tree in my home. It just didn’t feel right. A friend and colleague and observant Jew helped me sort it out.
“Did he go to services with you on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?” she asked. Yes, he had – and with more interest, I might add, then my Jewish ex-husband. “Then you need to do Christmas with him,” was her advice.
The article ends: “Christmas, like Thanksgiving and Chanukah, became a day for us to gather together and simply enjoy the riches of our family and friendships.”
This is officially the worst call by a Jewish organization that I have seen all year. I have read articles of all variations struggling with intermarriage and assimilation, but to PROMOTE Christmas (that’s Christ + Mass, folks) as an American holiday that we should all be practicing…
If I were a potential or current donor, I would use my resources elsewhere. That discredits all the other work of the federation. How can I look at their annual campaigns and talk of anti-semitism and think of anything but this article as being the pillar of how the organization presents themselves on one of the most vital issues of American Jewish society.
If you ask me, an apology should be printed and somebody should be fired.
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