This calendar of Jewish holidays has been prepared by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington as an aid for planning and scheduling events (tests, examinations, assemblies, conferences, athletic events, tournaments, open houses, registrations, etc.) in an attempt to minimize conflicts that involve the absence of Jewish students and personnel.
During the 2020-2021 academic year, the JCRC led an interfaith advocacy coalition of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains to secure school days off on major religious holidays in counties throughout Greater Washington. We mobilized parents and activists to advocate for calendars that would make all students feel safe and valued in their learning environments and offer all children an equitable opportunity to succeed.
Calendars by School District:
The Arlington County School Board voted to add days-off to its 2021-2022 school calendar with days off coinciding with the first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr and Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.
In Fairfax County, the school board rejected a more inclusive calendar that would have included closures on Jewish holidays, opting instead for designated “O” days on which there should not be exams or other significant events scheduled.
We understand that there is confusion about this new system and whether it will improve Jewish experiences in FCPS. To accurately assess how this “O” calendar impacts our community, we need your help. Please complete this easy, online form to share specific incidents where accommodations for High Holiday observance were denied or not readily granted, or where faculty or staff were not in compliance with the stated intent of this new calendar. Please share this link within your networks. The more data we collect, the stronger our advocacy will be.
Frederick County School Board, after advocacy from the local Jewish community in Frederick, voted to continue school days off coinciding with First day Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Loudoun County School Board adopted a 2021-2022 calendar with days-off coinciding with first day of Yom Kippur, the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr and Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.
Prince George County
Prince George’s County school will start on the second day of Rosh Hashanah after advocacy with the school board to not start school on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. We have been in close communication with PGCPS administrators to ensure that impacted Jewish students, and especially staff, are not penalized for missing the first day of school in order to observe Rosh Hashanah.
Prince William School Board voted to add days-off to its 2021-2022 school calendar coinciding with the first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr and Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.
If you need support advocating for yourself or your student, please reach out to Education Director Sara Winkelman.