Portland: Ad in newspaper seen as offensive to Jews


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

wanted poster.jpgFor the second time in less than two weeks, an advertisement in the Portland Press Herald has Jewish community leaders concerned there is an anti-Semitic tone being allowed on the daily newspaper’s pages.

The Washington, D.C.-based director of Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center, meanwhile, said he is greatly alarmed that another ad with “overt anti-Semitic content” was published.

The advertisement for PeoplesChoice Credit Union of Biddeford ran on Page B9 of Wednesday’s Press Herald. It was designed to look like an Old West “wanted” poster, including a photo of a man with what critics called stereotypical features, evoking the image of Jews as usurers and unethical money lenders. The ad calls the man “The Fee Bandit,” and describes him as “charming and polite,” and one who “smiles as he takes your money in ways big and small …”

While the paper apologized, calling the ad an oversight, Rabbi Moshe Wilansky said, “Since it could look like a Hasidic Jew, I think the paper should be educated.”
A spokesman for Peoples’ Choice said that the ad was meant to depict a banker from the Old West, and his team did not mean to offend anyone.


  1. Does anyone else “chap” that a Reform “Rabbi” associates himself with a Jewish stereotype?
    I’m not praising it merely pointing out that prior to WWI & II the typical response of the reform to anit-Semitic stereotyping was to distance themselves from the “Heimishe” and believing acting more “goyish” would save them.
    Ver Vaist?

  2. ‘…….it was meant to depict a banker from the Old West’
    Sounds perfectly reasonable! Had there been antisemtic intent, there would not have been an apology with an explanation….
    Gosh, when are we gona stop being so paranoid?!

  3. Well nameless, I would agree with you except, why is this “Old West” banker wearing what looks like a pair of plastic frame eyeglasses you could only buy in Boro Park or Williamsburg?

    I think it smells a little bit rotten. Someone is “pushing the envelope in Portland to see what they can get away with.

  4. esg
    describe him as ‘charming and polite’…..
    come on, does that ring anti semitic bells???
    We got plenty of enemies, why go on a ‘fishing expedition’ for more?

  5. it probably started as an “old west” routine, however, someone should have been smart enough to realize what this looks like. especially after the the other incident in Maine reported previously on this site.