Did/does your local public school system close for Jewish holidays?

Most public school systems in the United States do not. Counties/school systems with a large Jewish population often do; it’s usually predicated on estimates of what percentage of students (and faculty/staff) will not attend school on Jewish holidays anyways. If that percentage is significant enough, school is out for everyone.

Did/does your local public school system close for Jewish holidays?

If you don’t know, here’s a handy map where you can check if your county does (they’re colored in blue).

When I was in school we were definitely always off for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I don’t think there were usually others but I could be wrong.


Growing up, yes. I just checked, they still do. The town we live in now doesn’t although there is a notice on the school calendar that teachers will refrain from scheduling tests or one time events on those days. The next town over gets Yom Kippur but not Rosh Hashanah. The town my wife works in gets neither. A nearby town with a high Jewish population gets both.

We’re in one of the highlighted counties on the map, but I’ve always known this to be on a town by town basis.

We have “Winter Break” from just before Christmas past New Year’s which, this year, is December 22nd through to January 7th.

Nope. But as a kid I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood. I had no idea the significance of the holiday, but we got them off.

Not when I was growing up. These days they still don’t, but they now close for two “Local Holidays”, which just happen to line up with Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur every year.

They have also renamed Christmas Vacation to Winter Break, and Easter Vacation to Spring Break. Although Spring Break is now truly Spring Break, as it is always the same week of April each year, and is no longer tied to the week before Easter.

[Obligatory Simpsons Reference]
Principal Skinner on phone: Uh, I-I know Weinstein’s parents were upset, Superintendent but I-I was sure it was a phony excuse.
I mean, it sounds so made-up. Yom Kip Pur.

The Jewish Holidays usually refers to Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah (The High Holidays) which usually occur in Sept/October. No one takes time off for Hanukkah.

My current town closes, but we have a fairly large Jewish population. We also close for Chinese New Year as we have a very large Chinese-American population.

The town where I grew up did not, but I think there were only 3 Jewish kids in my grade. So wouldn’t have made sense.

That made me laugh a little. Thanks.

Helps to know where you live though.

Not that I know of. I don’t have a school calendar in front of me but I wouldn’t put it past them to have a conveniently located “Teacher In-service” day to give a religious holiday off without actually giving a religious holiday off. I don’t think they do that for Jewish holidays though; mainly Good Friday.

Not around here. When I was in public school, I do remember that Jewish holidays were listed on the school calendar – but only Jewish students were excused on those days. This was in suburban New Orleans circa mid 1970s - mid 1980s. That same school district no longer lists the Jewish holidays on their calendars at all.

They did when I was a kid and they still do.

Since my time they have added Diwali and Eid al-Fitr.

I voted “no” on all accounts but I THINK our schools are starting to schedule their professional days around one or both of the aforementioned high holidays.

Not to mention that this year Hannukah doesn’t even fall on that date range :stuck_out_tongue:

Not Jewish, but the school system I grew up in closed on the major Muslim holidays, for the simple reason that certain schools in the district were basically empty on those days anyway.

When I was a kid, there were 4 Jewish kids in the entire school system, half of whom were my brother and I. I remember one year, in 2nd grade, when the class had to make decorations to get tacked up around the room. Everyone was making traditional Xmas decorations, but I made menorahs and dreidels. Some of the other kids thought mine were cool, so they made them too. After we put them up on the walls, the teacher went around, tore down all the menorahs and dreidels, and threw them in the trash.

Wow, what a jerky teacher. Even crazy True-Believer Bible Thumping Christians will usually at least respect Jewish Symbols at “Christmas Time”.

Nope. Not when I was growing up and not now where I raised my kids. There is a decent-sized Jewish community in my area, but the public schools do not give the days off.

A tangent: do any companies give Jewish holidays as paid company holidays? (outside Israel)

Or universities that give the days off? (outside Israel)

My local public school system gives the days off though there are very few Jewish students (and not many Jewish teachers either). I think it’s a relic from an earlier demographic.

I’ll note that the linked map isn’t quite accurate in at least one way…in my state (NY) counties are not coterminous with school districts as they are in some other places. My county, which is shaded on the map, has about 14 districts. Most close on the high holidays, but not all.

No. There could have been, I suppose, one or two Jewish students at my school during my grades 1 to 12, but if they were, I didn’t know about them.

Yes, first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There are a lot of Jewish teachers and surveys they’ve done have shown that there wouldn’t be enough subs to cover all the staff absences, so they close.

I work for the school system and I’m Orthodox, so this helps me.