As we approach the High Holidays we are mindful that calendar changes, both positive and negative, are taking place across Northern Virginia with respect to the Jewish holidays. We are delighted that for the first time Arlington and Prince William County Schools will be closed for the first day of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur, and Loudoun county public schools will be closed on Yom Kippur.
In Fairfax County, the School Board rejected an inclusive calendar that would have included closures on first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Eid, and Diwali, opting instead for designated “O” days on which there should not be exams or other significant events scheduled. This new calendar is clearly sowing further confusion without providing the equity we have long sought, based on initial feedback from students, parents, and teachers.
The JCRC is committed to continuing its advocacy to secure a school calendar that is truly inclusive for all. As we enter this high holiday season, we need your help to keep the spotlight on this issue.
Take Action Now!
Please complete this easy, confidential online form to share your overall experiences observing the Jewish holidays as a member of the FCPS community, and if relevant, share anonymous details on specific incidents. The more information we have, the more effective our advocacy will be.
Be a part of the Hineini- I Am Here social media campaign! Please share the images found here on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or your favorite social media platform and tag FCPS and your school board member so they know you are here. Images for non-Jewish allies also available at this link.
Post and/or encourage your students to post videos and messages reflecting their feelings and experiences about choosing between celebrating the holidays and attending school, using the hashtag #FCPSfaithequity.
Don't live in Fairfax? You can still help by sharing the graphics and information on your social media accounts and by thanking your local school board for seeing and respecting Jewish students and staff by adopting an inclusive calendar.