FCPS schools should close for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur


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Dear Editor,

Fairfax County Public Schools should close for Jewish High Holidays. In my experience, most of the Jewish children at my temple attend services on High Holidays. During Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, services last until mid-afternoon, and many people have rituals afterwards. On Yom Kippur, the holiday for apologizing for the bad things you did over the year and making amends, everybody 13 years of age or older is required to fast (not eat) and go to services. Then they have a big meal in the evening.

Students should not be expected to keep up with missed schoolwork on the days that are holy to their religion. The majority of them are not. Children who celebrate Christmas and Easter receive full days off of school to spend time with their family and observe the holidays.According to the Washington Post, in 2016 the American Jewish population was approximately 7.2 million people. Although Judaism is a minority in Fairfax County, a good chunk of Jewish students attend their schools.

My Jewish classmates and I have all missed important exams and other school related things on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Traditionally, the use of electricity is forbidden on these holidays, so we can’t do anything online or contact people to ask about schoolwork.

In conclusion, it is not equitable for Jewish children to have to skip school on their high holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. FCPS should cancel school on those days.

Sincerely,

Autumn Frank,

Seventh grade,

Legacy team

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