University of Miami: Cancel classes on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
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Dear President Shalala,
We, the students and professors at the University of Miami, urge you to introduce an amendment to the academic calendar to accommodate and promote observance of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Both holidays, observed by the majority of Jews around the world, are the most sacred days in the Jewish calendar. They are both marked by reflection and self-sacrifice and require Jews to abstain from all work-related activities. In that light, all United States district courts and public schools in South Florida are traditionally closed on both days. Despite a University policy, which excuses students from class for recognized religious holidays, too many students and professors still struggle with the choice between religious observance and one’s duties to the University community. No person should have to choose between religious obligations and schoolwork. As a result, we ask that you cancel classes on both sacred days, in effect for the 2012-2013 academic year. Such changes would be strong testaments to UM’s commitment to its students and to the values that our University espouses. We appreciate your consideration of this matter and hope that these concerns can be addressed.