I hope everyone is having a great summer and finding ways to stay cool.
Over the past few weeks, we have been monitoring a situation that came up recently where it was reported that the owner of the West Orange Bake Shop had cancelled an order for Pride themed baked goods for B’Nai Israel. We didn’t react immediately to give space for the owner to respond to the claim that the cancellation was anti-LGBTQ+ related. However, after hearing more directly from the owner, we feel his response runs counter to Shomrei’s values and are compelled to move away from doing business with the Bake Shop. This shift will be implemented immediately.
We are exploring different bakeries to work with in the future and are also exploring getting rates that are comparable or within reach for baked goods at other businesses. Further, our own EDIA Committee will endeavor to discuss this issue and the intersection of orthodoxy and Shomrei’s values in an ongoing way over the course of the coming months. This is not a solitary event where business owners choose who they will provide goods and services for and a fuller investigation of our vendors and how they align with our values is overdue.
I also wanted to share with you a note from Rabbi Julie on the issue, as well as a few links to press coverage on the topic so you can read some of what we’ve been seeing.
Editor’s note: This message was originally emailed to the congregation on July 14th.