CEO and Co-Founder
Dear Mr. O'Shaughnessy:
We were deeply troubled to learn of Living Social’s 7 Deadly Sins-themed Halloween party, which reportedly included a “greed” room featuring dreidels, the spinning tops that are popular during Chanukah. Linking greed and a distinctly Jewish holiday summons up some of the oldest and most dangerous anti-Semitic canards. The accusation that Jews are greedy, money-grubbing and morally deficient is an accusationhas been a major factor fueling hatred of Jews for hundreds of years, certainly since the Middle Ages.
It is shocking that no one at Living Social stopped such a deeply offensive choice from being made in the first place and that it reportedly required complaints from partygoers for your company to speak out and apologize. Additionally, your company’s statement that “We do not condone prejudice, nor do we tolerate inappropriate or hurtful behavior of any sort” and that the inclusion of dreidels “was not a smart choice, and we are very sorry to have upset anyone” does not go nearly far enough. Living Social should acknowledge the truly odious and dangerous nature of such anti-Semitic stereotypes and denounce what occurred in the strongest terms.
We welcome the opportunity to speak with you to discuss this matter further.
David C. Friedman
Washington, D.C. Regional Director