Fairfield County, CT – The sale of rainbow color cookies following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the nation has unleashed a torrent of criticism against one local bakery.
Connecticut-based Challah Connection bills itself as a kosher bakery offering confectionery treats and challahs for Jewish holidays, birthdays, and even shiva visits. But owner Jane Moritz, who was raised in a Conservative home with Orthodox leanings, says she was the recipient of what she describes as “hate e-mails” for posting a picture of rainbow cookies with a message on her homepage that read, “Never have these treasured cookies had such meaning” after the Court’s ruling. Her website also featured a “BUY NOW” button inside a rainbow heart.

Kosher consumers were offended by Moritz’s website, and told her so. “People [were] saying what was wrong with me, how could I be a Jew, how could I be supporting gay marriage, saying that they were never going to order from my company again and they were going to make sure that no one else ordered from my company again,” Moritz told the Jewish Week.

This is not the first time Moritz has fielded criticism for her political or religious views. Ten years ago, her bakery advertised and sold black and orange cookies in celebration of Halloween, much to the dismay of her kosher consumers.

The rainbow cookie controversy even spilled over to the OnlySimchas.com website which condemned Challah Connection for its “endorsement and support of a lifestyle and activity that is unequivocally condemned and forbidden by Jewish Law.”

In response, Moritz said, “If that’s the case, so be it. We stand firm in the Jewish values that implore upon us to show compassion and kindness to all beings. We believe in freedom. We believe in love, and compassion – for all people, of every faith, everywhere. We are here to help all people gain more access to wonderful items that have sprung from our Jewish faith. Our customers include Jews and non-Jews alike, and that’s one of the things we love about Challah Connection. We are a conduit to Jewish customs, cultural practices, and of course specialty Jewish foods. But anyone can enjoy the special items we sell, regardless of their religious belief. . . .”

Moritz continued, “This is a big kerfuffle over a cookie. A fabulously delicious cookie. A cookie which is kosher – just like all of the other products at Challah Connection, which are kosher. If we want to have a big Jewish-style debate about rainbow cookies, let’s have it about where their stripes originated, or whether they are more delicious than rugelach. Not about what they mean, or could mean, to people symbolically. Because that is up to each individual person to decipher. We do not pass judgment on anyone’s lifestyle. We are here because we love our religion, and the many values it teaches: education, compassion, and even questioning our own beliefs among them. No one movement, group or sect “owns” Judaism. It belongs to us all and holds a unique place in history as one of the world’s oldest religions. It is not up to us to determine what moves people’s spirit, nor judge the direction in which it moves them.”

 As reported by Vos Iz Neias