In news from Jackson, Mississippi, a man was allegedly asked to leave a restaurant after admitting he was Jewish to the eatery’s owner.
Ted Riter, a reform Rabbi from the Beth Israel Congregation, exposed the disturbing and openly racist incident on his Facebook page, following his experience at the Wraps in Maywood Mart last Tuesday.
Having ordered a salad for lunch, the owner of the restaurant allegedly asked the Rabbi if he wanted, “A full size or a Jewish size?”
When Riter looked at the man quizzically, asking him what he meant exactly he was told, “It’s small. Jews are cheap and small. Everybody knows that,” to which Riter responded, “Did you really just say that?”
With that, the restaurant owner asked Riter if he himself was Jewish. When he confirmed he was, he was asked to leave the establishment.
The Clarion Ledger reports that Riter said, “Expletives, F-bombs, and since I’d never been the recipient of that before, I was in shock, so I didn’t register it until the second or third time he told me to leave. It was a bit surreal. So I left.”
By way of trying to explain what happened to him, Riter added, “If he had said, ‘Ugh, I’m sorry,’ and laughed it off as, ‘I shouldn’t use that term’ or something of that nature, if he had just intended it as an off-color joke, I wouldn’t have appreciated it but I would have been fine. But to turn around and tell me to get out of his restaurant… I can’t even offer a guess as to what he was thinking.”
The 16 WAPT website, which contacted the restaurant owner for comment, said that John Ellis, also known as Yianni Allis, had quite a different version to the events that took place.
“The guy said he didn’t want to do any business with us. He was probably offended because we offer different salads – that’s all. I said, ‘Greek salad or Jew?’ 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.”
Nevertheless, neither the menu at the restaurant nor the online version made any mention of a Jewish salad, even though Ellis reportedly said a Jewish salad contains French-fried potatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, flat-leaf parsley, and mint.
However, in a damning report from an ex-employee of John Ellis, Jason McDonald of Brookhaven said about the following about the owner.
“I worked for John around 2000 when I was a student at Millsaps in his restaurant. He was offensive and arrogant to employees and customers alike. I personally witnessed similar outbursts like this resulting in multiple people being thrown out or leaving on their own accord. I 100 percent believe the rabbi’s account of the story because I witnessed so many incidents like this during my time of employment in John’s restaurant. This is not an isolated misunderstanding that happened once.”