Yesterday, we wrote about Jewlybandz, a Jewish-themed knockoff of Silly Bandz that had one band shaped like a dollar sign. Since then, many websites have picked up the story. Benjamin Kerer, the owner of Jewlybandz distributor Benny’s Educational Toys, came into our comment thread to defend himself, writing:
The dollar sign in the set is there to symbolize the “Chanukah-Gelt” – which is an old Jewish tradition. During Chanukah Jewish children all over the world are given coins or chocolate coins (to symbolize the real coins). The Dollar sign in the set comes to remind us of that. By the way, they were created by Rabby Moshe Rabin. Maybe it is not the best choice, but this is what the manufacturer chose for that symbol (probably if he would have tried to show coins it would just be a round silly band – and that would defeat the purpose).
He also accused The Gloss of calling him an anti-Semite, which isn’t true. While some of the other websites that picked up the story may have done that, The Gloss does not in fact (yet) run the entire internet and tell them what to say or how to respond to our posts.
Kerer told Tablet Magazine that his website has been hacked. In an email to The Gloss yesterday, however, he said that his site had crashed, probably from the surge in traffic. It’s not clear which of the two is actually the case.
As for whether I wish any harm on Kerer or his business, I don’t. But should people send him hate mail because of some plastic bracelets that are going to go the way of the Beanie Baby and the pet rock? Probably not.