Let My People Go

No student should have to choose between keeping a religious commitment and keeping up with his studies. Rabbi Swarttz said that “every effort” was made to accommodate Jewish students this Rosh Hashanah. Students who wished to celebrate Rosh Hashanah were excused for the days’ commitments. However, the laws of Judaism dictate that no work should be performed on Rosh Hashanah. This week more than a hundred students of the Andover community will had to choose between adhering to their religion or their class syllabi. Students who chose to celebrate their religion had their absences “excused,” but their undone work did not disappear- it piled high. When it comes to matters of religion, the school should be flexible and bear in mind that being excused from classes doesn’t mean being relieved of the burden of the coursework. In comparison, Christian students can celebrate all twelve days of Christmas and not to have worry about catching up. Three weeks off for “Winter Break” conveniently accommodates their religious celebrations. It’s time for the administration to acknowledge this inequality. The school should consider shortening our winter holiday by two days and instead having two days without coursework for all students during the Jewish high holidays. Just as there are no classes for students on Christmas, there should be no classes for students on Rosh Hashanah.