Rabbi Ted Riter of the Beth Israel Congregation
The owner of a Greek restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi, says it was simply a misunderstanding over his accent that caused a Jewish man to accuse him of anti-Semitism.
Rabbi Ted Riter of the Beth Israel Congregation said he went to Wraps in Maywood Mart last week and was insulted by the owner, John Ellis, when he ordered a salad, The Clarion-Ledger reported.
“A full size or a Jewish size?” the owner asked, Mr. Riter recalled.When asked what he meant by that, Mr. Riter said the man said,
“It’s small. Jews are cheap and small. Everybody knows that.”The rabbi said Mr. Ellis continued to berate him until he left the restaurant.
Mr. Ellis said the whole thing was a misunderstanding over his Greek accent. He also said the restaurant sells a Jewish salad, a local ABC affiliate reported.
“We have different salads. We have Carlito’s Way Salad. We have Grecian Salad. We have Jewish Salad. We have Greek Salad. We have Cesar Salad. We have a lot of salads. Names of salads derive from people; they don’t derive from the sky,” he told the station.The station said, however, that the Wraps menu did not include a Jewish salad on Wednesday, but it was added later when news crews revisited on Friday.
“I know what I heard and I was insulted and you did curse at me and tell me to get out,” Mr. Riter told the owner during the restaurant’s “Salad Summit” to address the issue.Mr. Ellis apologized and offered to name a salad after the rabbi, which the rabbi refused.
An employee of the restaurant told The Clarion-Ledger that the owner “has his own sense of humor.”
“The owner has no racial problems. He is very friendly and would never do something like that,” she said when asked about Mr. Riter’s allegations.Wraps’ new Jewish salad contains French-fried potatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, flat-leaf parsley and mint, the ABC affiliate reported.