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Heavenly Ham's invitation not kosher

By DAVE GUSSOW

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 8, 1999


Mixing business and religion can be difficult, especially when the business is hams and the religion is Jewish.

Heavenly Ham cordially invited Rabbi Gary Klein of Temple Ahavat Shalom in Palm Harbor to a reception for potential franchisees to learn more about the company.

Paradise Foods Inc. of Roswell, Ga., the franchisor of Heavenly Ham, wants to open 10 to 15 stores in the Tampa Bay area this year, according to vice president Wade Brannon. Brannon, who says the company has some Jewish franchisees, called the letter to Klein an "unbelievable" mix-up. The company bought a list with 6,000 names, didn't screen them "and obviously that one slipped in," he said.

Jewish dietary laws prohibit the eating of ham and other pork products, among other things. Klein shared the letter with his congregation recently, all sharing a good laugh.

Just call it a ham gone awry.

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