Understanding the Jewish holidays

Soon we will be observing and celebrating the fall Jewish holidays. Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot hag days, Shemini Atzeret and Simhat Torah all fall on weekdays this year. With best of intentions, we often see that public schools have a hard time understanding distinctions between the Jewish calendar and the Gregorian calendar – along with understanding different Jewish traditions regarding the number of days observed for the holidays.

The Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is pleased to share an “Understanding Jewish Holiday Observances” document: 2022 Understanding Jewish Holiday Observances. We encourage you to share it with public schools your children attend; please also take time as early as possible to discuss holiday absences with your child’s/children’s public-school administrators.

The state of New Jersey does allow school absences for all these holidays (www.nj.gov/education/holidays.shtml). It is each of our responsibilities to let schools know about our child’s/children’s holiday absences in advance, to confirm what schoolwork will be missed as well as reasonable accommodations to make the work up. We encourage you to reach out to school leadership as soon as they are back to work from their summer break. It is easier on everyone – especially students – when these details are confirmed as far in advance as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to let our Jewish Federation know if you need any additional resources or guidance on this topic. For information call (609) 822-4404.



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