Sisters Fired Over 'Happy Hanukkah' Oven Jibe

Image: thinkstock

Two Iowa sisters were fired from their jobs after joking about “burning the Jews” inside a toy oven.

Christina and Susan Ott were dismissed from an assembly plant in New Hampton, Iowa, in January, the Des Moines Register reported , after walking around work on Dec. 19 with a toy oven in which they placed gingerbread men.

“Happy Hanukkah. We’re burning the Jews,” the women said, according to five plant employees.

The Otts were rejected for unemployment benefits in separate hearings.

Both women claimed that they didn’t make the comment, the paper reported. They asserted and that they were carrying the toy oven around to make up for missing a Christmas sweater contest at the plant.

“We did not have a Christmas sweater, so we decided to give out gingerbread men instead,” Susan Ott testified, the Register reported.

A judge was not impressed with their claim.

“Simply the act of carrying an oven around with little people in it while saying ‘Happy Hanukkah’ is offensive, let alone if she said the hate speech along with it,” administrative law judge Susan Ackerman said during a hearing for Christina Ott, according to the newspaper.

Written by


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Sisters Fired Over 'Happy Hanukkah' Oven Jibe

Thank you!

This article has been sent!