Jews Find Joy In Christmas Season

December 24, 2000

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On December 24, 2000, the St. Petersburg Times reported that many Jews enjoy some aspects of the Christmas season. Sheila Weinstock, a Jew who grew up in Boston, said she never felt left out of the Christian holiday. Although she does not celebrate Christmas, she does not resent it, either. She said she enjoys the sacred connotations that go along with Christmas. Clara Solomon, also a Jew, said she loves the season. "Solomon always has loved sparkly things. For a time, she sold gold and diamonds at the Wagon Wheel Flea Market. She said two-thirds of her year's business was generated by the Christmas holiday. 'Jesus was a Jew. It took a Jew to create the greatest shopping days that produce two-thirds of your year's business in 10 days,' Solomon said. On her apartment door there is a Star of David. Inside, she has a blue menorah decoration adorned with sequins in the back window, and a blue-and-white Hanukkah throw blanket on the couch. On the glass table in front of the couch, she has a small golden Christmas tree decorated with pearls." Lynn Arroyo, who grew up in Brooklyn, said that her children always wanted lights and a Christmas tree when they were younger. "Now that they are older, her children 'don't feel left out' at Christmastime, she said. They have embraced Judaism, especially her oldest child, David, who recently graduated from Columbia University's Jewish Theological Seminary." Rabbi Arthur Baseman said that he does not have any problem with Jews enjoying the Christmas season. " 'There is a sense of identification with each other that we are one,' he said. 'That's what a Jew enjoys about Christmastime.' "