The New York Board of Rabbis and the Catholic League issued a joint statement yesterday denouncing the newly created holiday, which combines Chanukah and Christmas, called Chrismukkah.
In their statement, Catholic League president William Donohue and the New York Board of Rabbis vice president Rabbi Joseph Potasnik said they are “deeply concerned about the spiritual misrepresentation of a newly created holiday.”
Chanukah begins today, Dec. 7, at sundown and ends at nightfall Dec. 15. Chrismukkah begins at the same time, but it ends Dec. 25, on Christmas Day.
Chrismukkah is a new hybrid holiday that seeks to conflate Chanukah and Christmas, made popular by a teen television program called “The O.C.” It is a reflection of the high degree of intermarriage, especially in recent times, between Christians and Jews.
Ron Gompertz is behind the marketing of Chrismukkah, which includes Merry Chrismukkah cards and Yamaclaus hats. Donohue pointed out in a separate statement that Gompertz admits Chrismukkah is taking the secularization of ‘The Holidays’ one step further.
“While we as Jews and Christians practice our particular traditions, we also want to see the spiritual integrity of all faiths fully protected. Chanukah and Christmas celebrated during the same period should not be fused into some cultural combination that does not recognize the spiritual identity of our respective faiths,” reads the joint statement.
“Copying the tradition of another faith and calling it by another name is a form of shameful plagiarism we cannot condone,” it continues. “Frankly, those who seek to synthesize our spiritual traditions may be well intended, but they are insulting both of us simultaneously.”
The statement says Jews and Christians respect one another, but they also realize that “there is a time to be separate and a time to be together.”
“We see each other as separate spiritual brothers and sisters who will work together to better the human family,” the statement concluded.