GSS High Holiday petition sign now

This petition requests that when the High Holidays occurr on a weekday, GSS should not be in session.

GSS is closed for Christmas and Good Friday, and Columbus Day but open for the Jewish High Holidays. Jewish students are routinely excused on those days, but is that enough?

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two most important Jewish holidays of the year: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of repentance, usually follows about a week later. The two most important Christian holidays are Christmas and Easter. Students at GSS, like most students across the country, don't go to school on Christmas as part of winter break. Likewise, Easter always falls on a Sunday. While it would be inconceivable for Christians to have to go to school on Christmas or Easter, it should be just as implausible for Jews to attend class on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.

While GSS should give the High Holidays off, it is important to note that the vast majority of GSS faculty is very accommodating to students who miss class due to religious holidays, and they should be commended for that. This sensitivity to religion shows that GSS cares about its students and faculty. But students would not have to rely on the understanding of faculty and the administration if they got the days off like they should.
We must pride ourselves in being 'A Community of One, and out of consideration for a large, significant segment of our community and school, its time to make change. In a society in which politicians repeatedly bemoan the lack of religion, faith and morals in society, pitting academics against religion does not help the problem. Congress observes the High Holy days - GSS, should as well. If Congress can decide that these Jewish holidays are so important that they are not in session for them, GSS certainly could make that judgment call.

While canceling classes on the Jewish holidays would be more of a matter of convenience than necessity for Jewish students at GSS, it certainly would be helpful. GSS must show that it has a genuine concern for the diversity which it tries to foster, and running away from the issues of religious holidays ignores the problem.

GSS must set an example and do their best to accommodate the religiously observant.


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Shanna MosleyBy:
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GSS parents

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