Board OKs later start for school year Calendar revised for Rosh Hashana

November 14, 1993|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer

The school board, under pressure from the Jewish community to delay the start of 1994-1995 academic year because of Rosh Hashana, voted last week to have students begin classes Sept. 7, one day later than planned.

Robert L. Christopher, president of the Harford Jewish Center, the county's only synagogue, and other community leaders had lobbied for a two-day delay to avoid a conflict with the start of Rosh Hashana, the 10-day period that marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year.

Rosh Hashana is one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar.

To accommodate the added day, the 1994-1995 calendar will include only three snow days instead of the usual four.

By adjusting the calendar, the board was able to keep the school year's closing date of June 16.

The 1995-1996 academic year will begin Sept. 6, the day after Labor Day, and end June 13.

The potential conflict between schools opening and Rosh Hashana will not again occur until 2021, said Stuart Jay %o Robinson, a Bel Air attorney who has lobbied strongly to eliminate the clash between education and culture.

Mr. Robinson said he was glad the board delayed the start of school for one day, although he would have preferred having students receive two days off.

Mr. Robinson said Rosh Hashana religious services that begin on Labor Day evening, Sept. 5, conclude on Sept. 7.

It places an unfair burden on members of the Jewish faith who are part of these celebrations, not only sharing religious services, but equally important family traditions from cuisine and culture to fellowship, he said.

"We need to do a little more work in the area of education" to avoid this problem in the future, Mr. Robinson said.

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