intervention spurs Target Corporation to halt selling Kabbalah
String, halt exploitation of a Jewish tradition.
International Society for Sephardic Progress (ISFSP) is
pleased to announce that the Target
Corporation has ended its exploitation of an ancient Jewish
tradition, by revoking the sale of a piece of yarn which they
termed "Kabbalah Red String." In a letter dated August
3, 2004, the ISFSP asked Target to halt the sales of the product.
The original request stated:
are offended by the exploitation that Target Corporation is
conducting by marketing this item. Just as you would not sell
turbans, statues of Buddha, crucifixes or rosary beads, items
considered part of Jewish ritual should also not be sold for
a profit. We ask that you please reconsider the sale of this
item, as it makes a mockery out of the authentic practice and
original modality of the Kabbalistic tradition."
ISFSP had also notified
Target that the use of the term "Kabbalah Red String"
is not authorized as the United States government refused to issue
a trademark on these words under provisions of the Trademark Act
Section 2(e)(1). The government felt the red string was indeed
worn by people of the Jewish faith for certain legitimate purposes,
and that those purposes have significance to those practitioners.
note, on August 11, 2003 the Kabbalah Centre was denied a patent
and trademark for the use of Kabbalah and/or Red String by the
U.S. government. Please reference United States Patent and Trademark
Schneider of the Target Corporation legal department responded
in a letter stating
the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles provided Target with
materials which helped them market the product. The Kabbalah Center,
known for its shady activities, has long been criticized by Chief
Rabbis and the legitimate Jewish community around the world. Ms.
Schneider went on to indicate that the Kabbalah Red String
has been removed, that it is no longer being offered or advertised
Alfassa, Executive Director of the ISFSP declared:
is a victory for the Jewish community. The Jewish people should
not allow the corporate exploitation of their religion. Judaism,
as well as Kabbalah (which is an inherent part of our sacred
tradition) is not for sale, period. As we say, we are advocates
for the Sephardim, but activists for the Jewish people."
International Society for Sephardic Progress is a Jewish
agency developed to serve the Sephardic community--the descendants
of the Jews of historic Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the
Levant who share both common religious and cultural bonds. Although
based in the United States, the ISFSP is an advocacy organization
representing Sephardim internationally.
ISFSP is a
a non-profit organization.
of all newspapers which
carried the ISFSP / Target story
DOCUMENTS HERE 1, 2,