Volume 49 Number 97
                    Produced: Thu Nov 10 22:20:40 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Christian phone directories (21)
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Janice Gelb, Carl Singer, Mark
Symons, Akiva Miller, Steve Goldstein, Joshua Seidemann,
c.halevi, Adam Steiner, David Charlap, Bill Coleman, Daniel
Cohn, Frank Silbermann, Ari Trachtenberg, A.J. Hyman, Ed
Greenberg, Marc Sacks, Ephraim Tabory, Bernard Raab, Ben Katz,
Mischa Gelman]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:13:29 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

>From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
>I noticed - thrown in as an aside in another item of either the
>Jerusalem Post or the HaAretz English paper - that over 100 America
>communities now publish "Christian Phone Directories." That would seem
>to me to be the equivalent of the "Don't buy Jewish" - carried out to
>its extreme by the Nazis (before they got around to simply killing all
>the Jews).
>Does anyone have any further input about this nefarious trend?
>Shmuel Himelstein

How does this differ from the "Eruv Book" in many Jewish communities or
the "Yeshiva Phone Book" or similar actions by frum organizations in the
United States?  As long as we accept that it is OK if done by us, then
we cannot object to others also doing it.

It is not "Don't buy Jewish" but "Support your local merchants and our

We do need to be careful to watch the trends so as to make sure that it
does not go too far, but we should allow others to do what we want to

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water

From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 08:50:37 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

I think you're severely over-reacting, Shmuel.  I doubt very much that
these directories are created for the intention of not buying from
Jews. As long as the stores will cater to anyone and the directories are
published and paid for by private companies rather than municipalities,
I don't think this is that much different from the Resource directory I
get from my local Federation every Rosh Hashana. Jews try to patronize
Jewish businesses, why shouldn't Christians do the same?

-- Janice

From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 06:45:46 -0500
Subject: Christian phone directories

Here in Passaic, New Jersey we have a community phone directory
(residential name / address / phone) which includes paid advertisements
from vendors.  The majority, I'd say, are Jewish -- but some clearly are
not -- they simply cater to this community.

I imagine one issue might be will they accept paid advertisements from
non-Christians -- if Cohen's auto repair wishes to advertise can Cohen
buy and ad (perhaps noting that he is closed on Shabbos.)

Carl Singer

From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 23:04:02 +1100
Subject: Christian phone directories

What about the Shomer Shabbos directories?

Mark Symons

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 12:49:06 GMT
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

You may not be aware that such things are printed in American Jewish
communities as well, and I don't see any difference. In both cases, I
think the intention is to support one's own group, not to boycott the
outsiders. The effect may be the same, but the intentions cannot be

Akiva Miller

From: Steve Goldstein <stevengoldstein@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 08:08:40 -0500
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

Is that any different from what major Jewish communities do in
publishing their local Jewish Community lists with Jewish businesses
advertising.  How about cleaners or garages advertising 'Shomer
Shabbos'.  Or how about Chesed Dollars to be used primarily at Jewish
establishments?  Not that I have anything agianst this practive, but
whats good for the goose is good for the gander....

From: Joshua Seidemann <quartertones@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 05:54:31 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

Is this any different than Jewish communities that publish "local Jewish
directories" that include names, addresses, phone nos., etc. of
residents and businesses?  Is the directory a municipal/gov't or private
publication?  It would be mildly disturbing if the non-Jewish directory
refused an ad from a Jewish business, but ultimately it's no different
than supporting the local Jewish hardware store simply to give a Yid
parnosoh.  IMHO communities are entitled to consolidate lists of their
members and patronize their businesses.


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 07:59:23 -0600
Subject: Christian phone directories

I saw this in the 1970s, when I was an editor for a Chicago Jewish
newsweekly. I've also seen Jewish directories listing stores, shuls etc,
(Saw one a few months ago, for that matter.)

You may want to contact the ADL for their position.

Kol Tuv,
Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi

From: Adam Steiner <ajsteine@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:09:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

I'm not sure I'd label the trend nefarious.  The Jewish (and most other)
communities have services just for their community, be it doctor
referral lists, special discounts, or phone books.  While I haven't seen
one myself, I have been told that such phone books exist for boro park,
flatbush, sullivan county, and lakewood.  Esra is but one example.  I
don't think its a trend insofar as people wanting to associate or
support others like them.  Buy from a Jewish store or a non-Jewish
store, a religious or non-religious Jew?  Not "Don't buy Jewish" rather
"Do buy Christian." We do it too.

Additionally, I am troubled by the Nazi comparison.  Granted, its that
time of the year, but we should be careful in the analogies we make and
examples we use.  There are many (outrageous) things which we can
compare to the Nazis.  Like other things, we should also recognize that
such directories can be used for good or for bad.  Just look at the

Adam Steiner

From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:16:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

How is this any different from the Jewish phone books that many Jewish
communities (including my own) publish annually so that Jews can support
Jewish businesses?

These Christian directories are not a listing of "everybody that's not
Jewish".  They also don't include Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and
non-religious Christian stores.  They are intended so that Christians
can support active practitioners of Christianity.  No different from the
Jewish phone books.

-- David

From: Bill Coleman <wbcoleman@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:16:40 -0600
Subject: Christian phone directories

Here in Chicago we have a local direction called Acheinu which is a
phone book of the observant communities in west Rogers park and Skokie.
It is supported by a large advertising section and can be fairly
characterized as a buy [Orthodox] Jewish directory.  If we can do this,
why can't the Christians?

Bill Coleman

From: Daniel Cohn <cohn3736@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 07:52:58 -0500
Subject: RE: Christian phone directories

How is this different than ads in Jewish publications proclaiming the
"Shomer Shabbos" status of the business owner?

Daniel Cohn

From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 08:15:20 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

During my lifetime America has transitioned from a place where most
gentiles attended church every Sunday to one where religion plays little
role in most people's lives.  However, religion remains a faith (and not
merely cultural baggage) to a few.  These are the gentiles who, for
example, don't want the Bible to cease being the inspiration for
America's standards of sexual morality.  Hated and feared by those
promoting ever-increasing sexual liberation, they are much more numerous
in the "Red States" or "Bible Belt" than in the "Blue States."

These people refuse to relinquish to term "Christian" to nonbelievers,
and use the word to distinguish themselves from gentiles whose lives are
completely secular.  I suspect that these groups publish Christian phone
directories as a way of solidifying their communities, much as the
Memphis Orthodox community prints and distributes its own phone

In other words, these phone directories are primarily to help them
distinguish themselves from lapsed Christians.  They probably don't even
have Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or Hindus in mind when they do this.

Frank Silbermann	Memphis, Tennessee

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:53:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

Jews have for a long time published "Jewish" directories ... is that
nefarious as well?

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>

From: A.J. Hyman <a.hyman@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 11:27:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

My community has several Jewish phone directories, including both
commercial ventures as well as one published by our Federation/Vaad. Are
these 'kosher'?

In the context of the commercial ventures, the contents contain both
religious and secular listings from both Jewish and non-Jewish
vendors. In the case of non-Jewish vendors, it seems obvious that they
are interested in attracting Jewish customers. The same could be said
for those who advertise in Jewish newspapers.

IMHO the real question is whether or not the Xian phone directories will
take your advertising dollars, or do they restrict entries only to

Try calling one and ask about their advertising rates and mention that
you aren't personally Xian and see what happens.  


From: Ed Greenberg <edg@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:03:30 -0800
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

Um yeah... I've certainly seen this coming. It starts with business people 
putting the fish symbol on their business cards, signs and stationary. Gets 
worse from there.


From: <msacks@...> (Marc Sacks)
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 11:21:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

The sorts of people who publish these things are not thinking of
Christians as opposed to, say, Jews or Buddhists. They are generally
evangelicals whose definition of "Christian" is limited to their own
(born-again, maybe fundamentalist, probably right-wing). Rather than the
equivalent of "Don't buy Jewish," an analogy would be an Orthodox or
Chassidic group putting out a directory of businesses run by frum
people, with an implicit "don't buy Conservative, Reform, etc."

This sort of thing offends many Christians, as well, most of whom are
also not included in this interpretation of "Christian."

Marc Sacks

From: Ephraim Tabory <tabore@...>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 01:34:25 +0200
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

Indeed, but what should be said about businesses that advertise that
they employ only "Jewish labor" and stores and bus companies that
advertise that they are "shomer shabbas."? There is currently a campaign
in Jerusalem to boycott gas stations that are open on shabbat. When is
unequal treatment considered legitimate, and when is it peceived to be
discrimination? A step further: advertising housing in Israel "for the
religious only" seems to be accepted as legitimate, but what
would/should the reaction of the religious (Orthodox) be to an
advertisement for housing "for nonreligious only"?

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 12:04:11 -0500
Subject: RE: Christian phone directories

Did the articles mention the Jewish phone directories published in the
New York area (and possibly elsewhere)? These tend to rival or exceed in
heft the traditional "yellow pages" directory in New York!

While it might be argued that a struggling minority community could seek
to promote "in-buying", this is hardly the position of the Jewish
business community of New York. And the idea of the majority community
promoting the same sort of exclusionist behavior is totally horrifying.
But we would be in a better position to complain if the Jewish yellow
pages didn't exist.

b'shalom--Bernie R.

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 19:33:37 -0600
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

         I don't see how it is any different than an Acheinu (or some
similar) Directory that many Jewish communities (including ours) have.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
e-mail: <bkatz@...>

From: Mischa Gelman <mgelman@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 20:46:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Christian phone directories

While I agree that this presents a potentially serious problem, the
Jewish community does the same thing. In Pittsburgh, for instance, we
have the "mikvah book" which lists the vast majority of "frum"
individuals in the city. I know many people who use it more than the
White Pages, as it's easier to find those you need to locate. So when
does trying to identify/associate with similar people (a common human
tendency) then become a dangerous way to avoid recognizing people from
other groups?

- Mischa Gelman


End of Volume 49 Issue 97