Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Jewbilation in Bentonville

For all those critics of Wal-Mart who railed against the company's homogenization of America with its vanilla box architecture there is news that should get us all to re-think our harsh critiques. What kind of news could cause such a sea change in attitude? Here it is: The Jews are coming to Bentonville.

As the NY Times reports this morning in a front page story, the growth of global Wal-Mart is threatening to turn Bentonville, Arkansas into a cosmopolitan metropolis. Hundreds of executives and employees of suppliers have been drawn to the Wal-Mart corporate home and there are now enough Jewish families to support a synagogue.

Talk about irony. All throughout the country the Wal-Mart behemoth is eliminating the diversity of small businesses and neighborhood retail. In fact, as we have ben commenting, this is just what will happen in Monsey, New York if the Walmonster gets the approval to build a supercenter in this heavily Orthodox Jewish community.

So while a cosmopolitan feel of cultural diversity begins to give Bentonville a different communal flavor, the drive toward eliminating these positive features of American communal life continues with Wal-Mart's drive towards lebensraum. Can this trend be stopped? Let us all pray.