Monday, May 11, 2009

Want Yom Kippur Break 2009? Email Executive Vice President Donald Lehman!


Hi Friends!

First of all, in order to get a one day break on Monday, September 28th, 2009, you should join the Facebook group and sign the online petition. Then,the next step to trying to get Yom Kippur Break on September 28th, 2009 is to personally email the Board of Trustees. The Committee on Academic Affairs will be meeting on Thursday, May 14th, and they should bring up this issue during their discussion. Please paste the letter below, and send it to the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Donald Lehman, at vpaa@gwu.edu. Please Bcc me in the email as well, esterkin@gwmail.gwu.edu.

Dear Executive Vice President Donald Lehman,

We, the students of the George Washington University, believe that there should be a one day break from classes for Yom Kippur on Monday, September 28th, 2009. Roughly 2,800 Jews attend The George Washington University. Yeshiva University, Tulane University, Syracuse University, and Brandeis University are all private universities that have roughly 2,000-2,800 Jewish students and all have Yom Kippur breaks, where classes will not be held on September 28th, 2009. It is simply unfair to hold classes on Yom Kippur, which is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Approximately 2,800 Jewish students attend GWU, and they should be able to observe this high holiday--which requires fasting for 24 hours--without worrying about being penalized for missing classwork. Students, in the past, have even penalized for missing class on Yom Kippur when professors have quizzes and tests on this holiday. Jewish students, which is over a third of GW's student population, should have the chance to observe this holiday. Some Jewish professors already cancel classes for Yom Kippur, but it might as well be made official and uniform across campus. Please discuss this important issue when the Committee of Academic Affairs meets on Thursday, May 14th. This break is something GW students feel strongly about and should be discussed further.

Thank you,

(insert name here)




Please remember to keep discussing on GWblogspot.com and the wall of our Facebook group (and invite your friends, too!)
Let's keep working to try to get a break for Yom Kippur in the fall! If we all participate and send this email, GW Administration will feel obligated to explore this issue further!

Thanks,
Paige Esterkin

22 comments:

Zahin said...

Not to be a negative nancy, but why should GW stop classes for Yom Kippur when it doesn't for any other religious holiday? Simply by looking at the academic calendar (http://www.gwu.edu/ac8.cfm), you'll see that there isn't a single religious holiday on there. Rather than having everyone in the university take a day off (which can result in a longer semester, more content in the next exam/quiz, or both), how about those who observe Yom Kippur take the day off? I do believe it's in the calendar of approved holidays. For those that have been penalized for skipping class, this may be the result of not communicating with the professor ahead of time. If not, then start a controversy about that.

Also, canceling class for one religious group will make it unfair for the others. If you want to play the numbers game, just count how many Christians and Muslims (especially in the Med School) attend GW. The numbers are comparable.

Anonymous said...

Paige ...way to be biased

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