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Jun 27, 2012

Feldheim and Egged Team Up To Throw Sephardim Under the Bus

This is just too much! It is so pathetic that I laughed when I first read it. In today's day and age? And then to just shrug it off rather than immediately correct it?

Feldheim Books in conjunction with Egged advertised a special sale that upon presentation of an Egged smart card and a minimum purchase of 30 NIS, the cardholder would be given a free siddur with his name imprinted on the siddur.

It turns out, this deal is only applicable to Ashkenazim, as they did not include any Sephardi siddurim (nusach Eidot Mizrach) in the deal. Sephardim who tried to collect their prize, asking for a Sephardic siddur, were told they are not included in the deal.


When Kikar asked Feldheim representatives about this, they did not even realize the PR disaster they were about to walk into. They should have apologized for the oversight and immediately moved to correct it.

Instead, they just shrugged it off and explained that the deal is not to choose a siddur, but you are given a siddur. Sephardim who want to take advantage of the deal can claim their siddur and give it to an Ashkenazi friend. The rep said they printed for this deal siddurim in nusachei Ashkenaz and Sephard (hassidic), but not Eidot Mizrach - and what's the big deal, we can't answer everybody's needs!

Egged's representative laid the blame on Feldheim. They said the deal was until supplies last from a repository of siddurim. They had been of the impression that the stock of siddurim was a mix of all the various nusachs.

Amazing. Astounding.

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17 comments:

  1. OK pretty dumb, but what about Druzim, Muslims, Christians, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionists, Canaanim and everyone else? Don't they deserve a Siddur of their choice as well?

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  2. Its a Jewish bookstore and it is reasonable to limit the giveaway to a jewish book.

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  3. Maybe Feldheim is an Ashkenazi Jewish bookstore?

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  4. You missed the pun - "Feldheim got Egged on their face"...
    (giggle, giggle, snort... ahhhemmmmmm.....)

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  5. I wasn't joking. I thought Feldheim was an Ashkenazi English-language Hareidi publisher.

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  6. what about them made you think ashkenazi bookstore? the denomination of the owner?
    they dont advertise themselves as an ashkenazi bookstore, rather as a jewish bookstore. if you go into the store, you will see books published by asheknazim and by sephardim, books with ashkenazi content and sephardi content, siddurim of the various nusachs, etc. regular customers will be made up of both ashkenaz and sephardic backgrounds. They are just a jewish bookstore, not ashkenaz, not sephard.

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  7. It shows that I haven't been in their store for many years....

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  8. My daughter goes to the local Mamad Torani. On the form she got for her Mitzba Siddur she was given the option of Sephard and Edut HaMizrach. We got a phone call asking for clarification and we agreed to settle on Sephard.

    When she finally received her Siddur the school had put in an effort to fulfill all the requests for Ashkenaz sidurim. Keep in mind this is a bigger challenge for the teacher who has to teach tefillah in such a way that every kid will get it.

    It was an oversight of the original promotion. It was an embarrasment they didn't just step up and fix it.

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  9. Might it be that Feldheim was promoting siddurim that they publish? I don't know of any Edut Mizrach siddurim that they publish. Siddurim that they publish probably cost them 10 shekels each (or less) -even if it retails for 50 shekels. If they would have to *buy* Edut Mizrach siddurim in order to give them to the customer, they would be out a lot more money.

    Feldheim is an ashkenazi publisher. They don't publish Edut Mizrach siddurim. I don't see anything wrong with that.

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  10. So Feldheim doen't sell any Rambam's because they are an Ashkenazi publisher?

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  11. thats a good possibility, Moshe. I have no idea if they publish eidot mizrach siddurim or not. next time I go into a Feldheim store (not too often, but I can make the effort) i will try to remember to take a look.

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  12. actually, a quick search on the feldheim website shows you are wrong about that

    http://www.feldheim.com/prayer/siddurim/siddur-shearim-b-tefillah-hebrew-only.html

    these siddurim are published by feldheim in all nusachot - ashkenaz, sfard and eidot mizrach. there are others as well, but I found this right away so didnt bother looking at the others...

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  13. Isn't Feldheim in bankruptcy? Or is that another Jewish publisher?

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  14. Feldheim Publishers (not the bookstores) was recently on the verge of bankruptcy. they were given time to reorganize.

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  15. To satisfy the largest segments, they should have had an Ashkenazy siddur, an Eidot Hamizrach siddur, and a Koran available. That would cover >90% of the population which is sufficient for these kinds of things.

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  16. next the chabadniks will complain that they weren't included, and the yemenites, the italians, and whoever else has another nusach.

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